Several years ago you posted “Five Reasons Zombies Could Never Defeat the Military.”
But how would the military do against kaiju? Giant monsters like Godzilla and King Kong?
In the movies, they don’t do well at all. Soldiers get killed, tanks melt, planes crash, all the while shells and bombs explode harmlessly, doing little more than annoying the monster (if even that).
But in reality?
Hey Dave, great to hear from you again!
Oh boy, kaiju vs the military, surely an epic battle for the ages. We must really push our minds to the limit to figure out who would win in a clash of such titans.
Just kidding, it’s not even close. Kaiju as they are traditionally portrayed would be completely annihilated. The reason is simple: a modern military can engage the kaiju without any risk of being engaged itself.
In kaiju movies, you always see planes fly right up to the monster and strafe it with their cannons, or tanks drive into the kaiju’s feet at ramming speed. But any real anti-kaiju operation would be launched from far outside the kaiju’s reach, possibly from extremely high up in the atmosphere, or even over the horizon.
Modern artillery, smart bombs, and cruise missiles can all attack from so far away that it would be more like a demolition than a battle. Laser guided bombs, for example, are often dropped from three or four miles up, and that’s on the shorter end of engagement ranges. Even Godzilla’s radiation breath would be useless at such distances. There’s always the question of whether modern weapons could lock onto a kaiju, but enough of them can be manually guided that it wouldn’t matter.
Another thing kaiju movies do to trick us is only show us a handful of vehicles attacking at once, maybe a dozen or so. That’s not how it would go. A decently sized air force like France’s has over 200 modern jets, and it’s unlikely many of them would be held back. While not all of them could be in the air at once, that’s still a lot more than any movie will show you, and the USA’s air force is much bigger. Once you consider ships, missiles, and artillery, modern militaries can bring a truly staggering amount of firepower to bear on something the size of a kaiju.
The final question is whether these weapons would actually hurt the kaiju in question. Maybe the whole movie would just be Godzilla walking around under a constant torrent of explosions, not really caring. That’s always possible since kaiju are fictional, but it’s not how they’re usually portrayed. For one thing, such a battle would be more comedic than exciting. But more importantly, movie kaiju still need to be vulnerable to damage, usually from other kaiju. And since these other kaiju aren’t punching hard enough to crack the mantle, it seems unlikely they can be immune to the forces delivered by bombs.
Of course, since kaiju are fictional, writers can change them in any number of ways to shift the battle. We can make the kaiju super fast or give them some kind of anti-aircraft countermeasures. Heck, you can even flood the zone with kaiju if you want, having them attack in huge waves rather than one at a time.
The problem is that it’s really hard to give kaiju everything they’d need to defeat a modern military and have the story still work. After a while, it starts to get pretty contrived, or the kaiju start to operate like an enemy army rather than a giant monster. Remember how Godzilla had an EMP power in the 2014 movie? Not only is that a completely useless ability against the other monsters he’s supposed to fight, but also it doesn’t even have the range to work against modern militaries.
So there you have it. Kaiju defeat the military not because it makes any sense, but because we want to see them do it when we buy our movie tickets. Hope that answers your question, and good luck not getting eaten by Godzilla!