In Starwars during the battle of Hoth, the empire made what i believe to be a hilarious strategic miscalculation and sent vehicles with only forward facing firepower (unimpressive firepower at that), are easy targets, and are slow moving, up against the stronger, more agile squadrons of rebel fighters which consequently result in massive imperial AT-AT casualties.

The rebels had previously illustrated a proficiency at fighter based combat and rely upon them heavily. Fighters appear to be the perfect counter to an AT-AT assault.

So why would any general in his sane mind deploy them? granted, i recognise that their firepower was sufficient to breach the rebel defences, would likely impose a significant psychological effect on the enemy, would act as overwatch due to heigh and acted as troop carriers. However they were completely vulnerable to the obvious rebel fighter counter and appear to be totally impractical anyway: They are slow moving, easy targets and possess obvious weak spots around the cockpit and leg joints.

What ever happened to tanks, which would be the far more logical alternative, especially when supported with ground to air/air-air defences, and why would the empire use AT-ATs?

  • Oh ok thanks, i will refer to the link to answer my question, thanks – user42467 Mar 14 '15 at 8:05
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    It was clearly a coded message to the USSR, you guys may have a lot of tanks but they will be spanked by our F16s. – Gaius Mar 14 '15 at 11:21
  • haha yeah they really did have a tank fetish didn't they – user42467 Mar 15 '15 at 3:42
  • In the Legends EU, one of the stormtroopers (I think the one that Obi-Wan mind-tricked in Episode IV) was a tank driver who pointed out the many weaknesses of the AT-AT design. Since it was the pet project of General Veers, the poor guy quickly found himself demoted & transferred to the @$$-end of the galaxy because of it. – Omegacron Mar 16 '15 at 18:13
  • hehe thats pretty funny actually, thanks for the input – user42467 Mar 17 '15 at 9:59

AT-AT stands for All Terrain Armored Transport. Its purpose was to transport Storm Troopers in the battle field. It wasn't an alternative of real-world tanks to engage enemies although it had some support weapons in case.

Its superiority against real-world tanks:

  • Thanks to its humanoid legs, it can cross small cliffs and travel across very rough terrain.

  • Its high height could allow to keep watch on enemies better.

  • Height also allows it to really fire with laser. Real-world tanks fire projectiles for which height isn't that important, but in case of lasers, height is very important.

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  • hmm.. interesting thought, thanks for your answer. Maybe im just to reliant on what i know best but i still would have used tanks as an alternative despite the all-terain advantages you mentioned. – user42467 Mar 14 '15 at 8:24
  • @user42467 You can't fire laser with tanks on a rough terrain. It won't reach the enemy. – Umbrella Corporation Mar 14 '15 at 8:26
  • @user42467 In case, you are thinking about projectiles, there's a reason why lasers dominate projectiles in Star Wars universe. – Umbrella Corporation Mar 14 '15 at 8:27
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    Aside from the name "transport", is there canon support that it was intended primarily to be as a MICV/BMP and not a tank? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 16 '15 at 19:26
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    @SS - done. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83990/… – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 16 '15 at 19:57

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