When developing the stealth technology for the new Brevic scout ships in Hero of the Republic, I decided that, rather than creating a cloaking tech like in Star Trek, I wanted something radically different. After careful consideration over how starships would detect each other, I quickly derived my t-stealth concept that the Brevics employed. After figuring out how the essentials would work, I tried to imagine how the technology would look when designing a starship.
I envisioned enormous, curved plates of some kind of alloy that were lined with sensor arrays and anti-stealth tech that would cover most of the hull. Although the image was crystal clear in my mind, I struggled with how to adequately describe it in the book. Then, while thinking back to my World of Tanks and War Thunder days, I realized that World War Two German, Panzerkampfwagen III and IV tanks were a great representation of the alloy side plates I saw with my mind’s eye. Hence, I used the term Schürzen side skirts to help provoke the proper image to the reader.
Of course, spaced armor serves a completely different function than the Brevic scout ship’s t-stealth skirts but the imagery was absolutely wonderful for WW II enthusiasts. Incidentally, the scout ships’ designations of SS-1 and SS-2 also helped evoke the game of cat-and-mouse Pathfinder had to play in the Junction system, similar to the games of detection/avoidance of WW II submarines.