I understand that MW broadcast stations use vertical antennas because that polarization works much better for groundwave propagation. But in amateur radio, I would assume the focus for communications on the HF bands would be via ionospheric propagation, where the polarization doesn't matter a great deal.
As I contemplate what antenna to install next (after a simple inverted-vee hung out a second story window), I am struck by just how many articles/recommendations and even locals are using vertical antennas for HF communications.
The huge drawback to a vertical seems to be the ground plane required: instead of two light quarter-wavelength wires hung in various fashions across a yard/trees/attic, you instead need a sturdy tower for starters and as the icing on the cake, placement of dozens and dozens of fairly long wires all through your yard.
If you have room for a proper radial system, wouldn't you also have room for a decent loop or inverted vee? What is the attraction of replacing one of the "poles" of a dipole with dozens of almost-as-long radials instead?