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I believe this is a short story or novelette I read in the late 1980s. In my memory it has the feel of an old story (pre-New Wave), so I probably read it in an anthology.

The Earth is subjugated by alien conquerors, but I recall that they were pretending they were simply foreign. (I want to say they claimed they were Mongols?) I think they mostly referred to themselves as simply Lords.

I don't remember much of the story, except that their heavier-than-air craft didn't fly, but instead they floated on pressor beams. The humans, who are mostly ignored, attack the alien craft by using rockets against the beams, causing them to crash.

Once the humans start to fight back, the aliens burn the courses they follow down to bare rock so there's no way for potential ambushers to hide, and somehow make modifications to protect their pressor beams.

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I found it! The story is "Armageddon—2419 A. D." (1928) by Philip Francis Nowlan. It can be read in Amazing Stories, August 1928 at the Internet Archive

In about 2109, it seems the conflict was finally precipitated. The Mongolians, with overwhelming fleets of great airships, and a science that far outstripped that of crippled America, swept in over the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts, and down from Canada, annihilating American aircraft, armies and cities with their terrific disintegrator ray. These rays were projected from a machine not unlike a searchlight in appearance, the reflector of which, however, was not material substance, but a complicated balance of interacting electronic forces. This resulted in a terribly destructive beam. Under its influence, material substance melted into "nothingness"; i.e., into electronic vibrations. It destroyed all then known substances, from air to the most dense metals and stone.

The enemy burns (using of disintegrator rays) their ship routes:

...the scar paths. This is what the Americans called those strips of country directly under the regular ship routes of the Hans, who as a matter of precaution frequently blasted them with their dis beams...


When I later inspected the scars left by these rays I found them some five feet deep and thirty feet wide, the exposed surfaces being lava-like in texture, but a pale, iridescent, greenish hue.

And using rockets against their support/propulsion beams:

And until my recent flash of inspiration, no one among them, apparently, had ever thought of the scheme of shooting a rocket into a repellor beam and letting the beam itself hurl it upward into the most vital part of the Han ship.

I actually found this referenced on the Wikipedia page for Tractor Beam (which "pressor beam" redirects to).

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    That was the story that began the "Buck Rogers" franchise by inspiring the long-running comic strip (and thus various movies, TV shows, etc.).
    – Lorendiac
    Feb 7, 2020 at 14:40
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    As I re member, the invaders came from East Asia, but it was speculated that they might be descended from hypothetical inhabitants of the asteroid that landed there. Feb 7, 2020 at 17:53
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    @Lorendiac I hadn't realized it at first (the protagonist is one "Anthony Rogers") but it finally dawned on me when the woman he rescues is identified as "Wilma Deering." I don't remember if I knew that at the time I first read it.
    – DavidW
    Feb 7, 2020 at 18:21

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