Analysis: Standard Starship Scuffle

Starship Scuffles in Real Life?

A "realistic" design for a space battleship was created by the United States air-force during the Kennedy administration. It would be propelled by an Orion Drive (i.e. driven by the force of nuclear explosions), and would be equipped (alongside a full nuclear arsenal) with naval-style battleship turrets. A battle between two such ships using their turrets is probably the closest Real Life could come to fulfilling this trope. In practice, the very design of the ship terrified Kennedy to such an extent that he cancelled the entire program.

It's also worth noting that such a battle in low orbit around a planet or moon could result in a phenomenon known as Kessler Syndrone, where collisions between debris become common enough to create a man-made Asteroid Thicket. If this were to happen in low Earth orbit, safely launching and maintaining satellites (to say nothing of larger manned vessels) could be all but impossible for many generations.