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Fridge: Honor Harrington

Fridge Brilliance

  • The series has various parallels to advances in naval warfare, going from ships of the line to including rudimentary high-speed communication (the grav pulse comms initially work like a telegraph), the use of naval mines and minelayers (missile pods and the later podlayer ships), the progressive dominance of long-ranged missiles over massed gunfire (Manticore's Multi-Drive Missiles combined with advances in the FTL comms), torpedo boats and aircraft carriers (with the LACs serving both as Age of Steam gunboats and later as Age of Steam torpedo boats, and the CLACs filling in for aircraft carriers), and as of Mission of Honor, the Mesan Alignment has created an Honorverse parallel to submarine warfare.
  • At the beginning of Shadow of Saganami, when the HMS Hexapuma is traveling from Manticore to Spindle, while no-one says anything, it seems pretty clear that everyone on her crew from Captain Terekhov all the way down to Midshipwoman Zilwicki is unhappy with Admiral Khumalo's decision to leave nothing but a tiny picket force — two destroyers and an obsolete light cruiser — at the Lynx terminus. In fact, in his first meeting with his commanding officer, Terekhov explicitly points out the emphasis Admiral Givens put on defending the terminus ... to which Khumalo replies by reiterating his opinion that the forces he has been assigned for the defense of the Talbott Cluster are insufficient to discharge his responsibilities, and that, in an emergency, the terminus can be reinforced from Home Fleet. Terekhov shows no sign of joy at hearing this, but by the end of the book, not only has Khumalo been proven correct in his assessment of Talbott's security needs, but many of those ships that Khumalo didn't leave at Lynx are available to fight the would-be invasion force from Monica — and given how close a fight that was, that's a very good thing. As much as his Navy fellows underestimated his courage, they misjudged Khumalo's strategic instincts just as completely.
  • Also regarding Shadow of Saganami and Khumalo: from the moment of his introduction, the admiral has a way of expressing his complaints and worries that often has his subordinates and peers wondering what ulterior motives he may have for complaining about "the current Admiralty", or expressing concerns about Captain Terekhov's judgment in light of the captain's actions at Hyacinth, or trying to close the topic of Talbott's internal politics at the reception when two planetary representatives were grilling Terekhov on the subject, or ... well, there are examples in pretty much every chapter Khumalo appears in. The hilarious thing is, though, that Khumalo's behavior throughout can be perfectly explained by a simple hypothesis: that he's been completely, guilelessly, and unabashedly expressing his exact thoughts and feelings the entire time, with no hidden agenda whatsoever.
    • Also keep in mind that Khumalo has spent basically every moment since the Grantville government came in worrying about when they were going to yank him out of Talbott — and these fears are entirely justified, because until Monica, the White Haven Admiralty was planning to do just that! If anyone has reason to be wary of the new government, he does. Anything and everything that goes wrong in that quadrant regarding the RMN is his responsibility — for all he knows, one wrong step could be his last.
    • ...which, in turn, adds a great deal of awesome to his immediate reinforcement of Terekhov in Monica: the captain had specifically arranged the situation so that Khumalo would be free to disavow his actions ... and Khumalo's reaction to learning what Terekhov had done was not, "oh God, this is the disaster that's going to end my career and I need to grasp at any straw I can to save myself", but, "this is exactly the kind of emergency that I've been stationed here to deal with and by God I will deal with it, politics be damned."

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