History Headscratchers / HonorHarrington

11th Jul '16 10:54:06 AM PaddyMurphy
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Second, the only active arm of League Navy is Frontier Fleet, which has a very limited amount of wallers. Battle Fleet, OTOH, while large in numbers, until recently was just a collection of old [=DD/SDs=] (and a lot of actual [=BBs=] for that matter) accumulated over the centuries, more than three quarters of that numbers actually being in mothballs. The active part of Battle Fleet also wasn't all that active, really, mostly just sitting in parking orbits at its bases, twiddling their thumbs and, maybe, running the sims if they were particularly devoted to duty. This type of Navy doesn't actually have ''that'' high keeping cost, and given that for at least five centuries it deterred '''anyone''' by it's mere existence, it was the money well spent.

to:

** Second, the only active arm of League Navy is Frontier Fleet, which has a very limited amount of wallers. Battle Fleet, OTOH, while large in numbers, until recently was just a collection of old [=DD/SDs=] [=DN/SDs=] (and a lot of actual [=BBs=] for that matter) accumulated over the centuries, more than three quarters of that numbers actually being in mothballs. The active part of Battle Fleet also wasn't all that active, really, mostly just sitting in parking orbits at its bases, twiddling their thumbs and, maybe, running the sims if they were particularly devoted to duty. This type of Navy doesn't actually have ''that'' high keeping cost, and given that for at least five centuries it deterred '''anyone''' by it's mere existence, it was the money well spent.
3rd Jul '16 10:30:07 PM exsuburban
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** Also bear in mind the Haventies where the victim's of some serious intelligence SNAFU's on their part early on which lead to multiple attack's being crushed rather hard. Doesn't matter how good your strategy and tactics are if the intelligence sends you at too strong a target or if the enemy knows your coming and can prepare.

to:

*** Also bear in mind the Haventies where were the victim's victims of some serious intelligence SNAFU's on their part early on which lead to multiple attack's being crushed rather hard. Doesn't matter how good your strategy and tactics are if the intelligence sends you at too strong a target or if the enemy knows your coming and can prepare.
*** Alfred Thayer Mahan actually makes a similar analysis and criticism of the pre- and post-Revolution French navy (whom the Havenites are based on) in various works, most prominently in his Influence of Sea Power upon History, where he looks at France and sees a country that has massive potential as a naval power, and often had naval superiority over its foes, including Britain, but never became a true sea power. Main problems included the lack of cultivating a true merchant fleet, of which the navy would be a natural logistical and economic extension, whereas Britain/Manticore did (the failure of the Spanish empire correlates perfectly to the point when they started outsourcing their naval shipping to the Dutch); the French view of the navy and the military in general purely as a tool to achieve political goals, and the role of the navy mainly to support the army and avoid decisive battles, even when numbers are equal or even better (a typical French success like the Battle of Beachy Head seized the Channel temporarily for France but let the English fleet flee to the Thames and seize it back, whereas the French campaign in the Caribbean captured a couple of small islands but led to their decisive defeat at the Saintes); aggressive French tactical tendencies to take the wind gauge and attack, which in the age of sail tends to lead to your van getting ahead of the rest of your fleet, it getting crushed, and your fleet getting defeated in detail if you're not experienced or careful; aggressive British blockades of Brest, Calais, and other ports to keep the French fleet from getting the kind of experience maneuvering and operating in strength under sail that would be necessary to challenge the very experienced British fleet; aristocratic dominance of the officer class in France, the fact that French fleets would occasionally be placed under army commanders totally lacking in naval experience, and the fact that the French navy was sort of seen as a wartime project rather than a permanent institution or eternal guardian of the state, which means that the French navy was generally a neglected service until it was too late; British advantages in size and technology on a ship-to-ship basis, as French ships were generally smaller, and often lacked advantages the British possessed, for example copper bottoms in the above Battle of the Saintes; and finally the British eventually seized a number of strategic bases that were very useful in containing French power, and bases like Jamaica, Minorca, Gibraltar, and Madras became very necessary for later British success against the French in India, the Caribbean, the Med, and the Atlantic. If you look at Haven, they generally suffer pretty much all the same disadvantages and enjoy similar advantages. They're 'experienced' fighting the equivalent of the Dutch, Italians, and Austrians, but not at truly establishing sustainable space superiority with a power of equal or greater industrial-technological might and superior economic and political organization. Their strategic situation is a total wreck, and the entire Havenite leadership knows it. They can hope for an occasional Yorktown, but not much more than that. The French historically had all the advantages too, objectively, but not the ones that really mattered. Agreed that it kills dramatic tension.
29th Jun '16 1:10:28 PM PaddyMurphy
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** It's not entirely true there was already one use for it, striking the wedge was the universal signal for surrender, largely because it was sent FTL. Other than that it looks like it was a case of no one thought of using it. There's a short story where Honor does use it to send a pre-arranged signal to an Andermani battlecruiser which is what gives Hemphill the idea to develop it as an actual capability.

to:

** It's not entirely true there was already one use for it, striking the wedge was the universal signal for surrender, largely because it was sent FTL. Other than that it looks like it was a case of no one thought of using it. There's a short story where Honor does use it to send a pre-arranged signal to an Andermani battlecruiser which is what gives Hemphill the idea to develop it as an actual capability.capability.
* There was some debate (largely off-screen) on what title to give the person aboard a CLAC who ''commands'' the ''wing'' of LAC's. Why didn't Manticore just revive the old RAF rank of ''Wing Commander''? It certainly sounds a lot cooler than COLAC.
16th Jun '16 9:27:55 AM Antigone3
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

*** One of the novels refers to the Detweilers as the "alphas of the alpha lines". In a group that's structured around genetic rankings, that's as close as you're gonna get to Divine Right.
9th Jun '16 4:59:50 PM Antigone3
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

** Over the course of a thousand years, Grayson should have developed a nice collection of inheritance-law precedents. For all we know, there's been a few cases where a Steadholder ''tried'' willing his Key to a younger son and the courts or the Protector had to step in. Switching from male-only primogeniture to absolute primogeniture may be a big cultural shift, but might have been a more conservative legal shift. Another problem with changing the law to male-preference primogeniture is alluded to when Honor is told that she needs an heir of her body before Faith gets too used to being "Miss Harrington" -- letting younger brothers swipe the inheritance from older sisters would create a bunch of people raised to think of themselves as Steadholder-designates who suddenly find themselves sidelined. Can you say "Civil War", boys and girls?
24th Apr '16 12:51:27 PM AFP
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

*** As an aside, the Mantie detection and attempted hunt for the stealthed ships also works as an analogue for the USS ''Ward'', which successfully spotted and destroyed a Japanese submarine attempting to enter the harbor just before the attack. Given the timing, ''Ward's'' report of the engagement didn't make it up the chain until the Japanese air raid had begun.
23rd Apr '16 4:12:39 PM john964
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:


* On perishable food in the Honorverse they do have hydroponics gardens for various reasons most important is to replace consumable foodstuffs that doesn't keep well frozen. Remember fresh produce only lasts about a week or so before it goes bad and is inedible. Also a secondary reason is that the air in closed environment is stale smelling. According to astronauts who have done long mission aboard the International Space Station is the fact they miss smelling something besides body odor. Another reason is possible food allergies from planet to planet IIRC Howard Clinckscales had an allergic reaction to 'squash' that may have been native to the Star Kingdom but not Grayson and only Sphinxian celery has the 'vitamin' that treecats need for their telepathic abilities.
14th Apr '16 8:38:39 PM Khathi
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

*** As mentioned above, they had. While Allison and Jaques are twins, due to Beowulf's childbirth licensing laws he was incubated and born at least a decade or two earlier, so even in ''The Beauty and the Beast'', where Allison is still a student, he's already a ranking commander in the Beowulfan SOF in position to move the significant assets on his own discretion. And Chiang was already mentioned to have a Cabinet-level position at the time. Notice that this was not only ''before'' Honor was born, but even before her parents got married!
4th Feb '16 5:58:17 AM tinfoil666
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

*** (fifth troper) One word: Porkbarrel
8th Jan '16 11:12:41 PM Shinziril
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** IIRC, it was explicitly stated that the fission reactors produce less power than the standard grav-fusion starship reactors. It's just that one of those is enough to run an entire destroyer, and is actually substantial overkill for a much-smaller LAC. The fission reactors don't quite produce enough power to run everything at once, but that's dealt with using seriously oversized superconductor-ring "capacitors" (Weber calls them capacitors, they're technically [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_magnetic_energy_storage superconducting magnetic energy storage systems]], but the role is equivalent).

to:

** IIRC, it was explicitly stated that the fission reactors produce less power than the standard grav-fusion starship reactors. It's just that one of those is enough to run an entire destroyer, destroyer or even a light cruiser, and is actually substantial overkill for a much-smaller LAC. The fission reactors don't quite produce enough power to run everything at once, but that's dealt with using seriously oversized superconductor-ring "capacitors" (Weber calls them capacitors, they're technically [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_magnetic_energy_storage superconducting magnetic energy storage systems]], but the role is equivalent).
This list shows the last 10 events of 265. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Headscratchers.HonorHarrington