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The "Suez Crisis"

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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:03 pm

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kzt wrote:And no, if the forts are not close to the planets their ability to do anything with energy weapons in nil. Attackers will simply avoid them. You've got about a LS range with grasers vs SDs, and likely about 2 million km range from the SDs to the stations. The fort can maneuver at 50-75s while the SDs can maneuver at 500g.

How many forts do you think they have to oppose the likely 300+ BB+ ships that are going to attack? How many does it take to produce say a 3 million KM radius sphere with no more then 200,000 km range between the forts?

I think the interior lines somewhat counters your point. You need a lot less acceleration at say 3-4 million km further out than the stations to stay between an attacking force and them. They've got to cover a lot more linear distance to make as large an angular change.

Oh, and the stations are reported to have sidewalls; they just didn't know to activate them before Oyster bay. So I'm not sure why you think they're vulnerable to energy fire from 4x the range of a warship or fort. They're a lot bigger target, and much less protected to damage that gets through the sidewall. But that shouldn't translate to a 2 million km vulnerability to energy weapons fire.

Oh, and pre-war SDs had safe accel rates between ~321-340 gees (Gryphon & Scientist classes being the lowest and highest modern SD). Obviously DNs being lighter are also a bit lighter on their feet and PRHN BBs can safely pull even more; 356 gees. Still several times what a fort can do; but hardly 500 gees; they can't even do that flat out at 0% safety margin.
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:20 am

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A sidewall disperses the energy of an energy weapon. So it goes from say a Terajoule per square centimeter over an 8 meter diameter to a megajoule per square centimeter over 250 meter diameter. Much easier to stop that megajoule than a terajoule if you have a multi-meter thick armor system integral to your hull. If you have a 5cm thick structural composite between you and space it’s going to probably be a bad day either way.

And it is really a bit different targeting issue between a 50-100 meter wide 1 km long ship maneuvering at hundreds of gravities and a 10km wide 200 km long immobile station.
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by Fox2!   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:26 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:
Fox2! wrote:[

Oran was a French naval base in North Africa. Onan was a Biblical character known for disobeying the commandment to give his deceased, childless brother children.



Onan was a spoiled spurt?


Yup
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by cthia   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:33 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:
kzt wrote:If the Peeps crush home fleet the war is over. They can and presumably will deploy an overwhelming amount of force to take of the mobile forces, and will take fairly low losses doing so. It's a high risk strategy, but if you pull it off you have won.

By the time a significant amount of reinforcements can arrive it's two weeks, which is far too long. The Peeps have a lot of ships and can use prox kills to take out the missile pods in the planetary defense system, so they will drive in on Manticore and invite the government to surrender, or else.

Notice how reluctant the RMN was to actually engage a hostile fleet at BoM, because once you start shooting at them they can shoot back.

Even if they simply blow up Home Fleet and then the 3 stations and leave the war is over. That's something like 33% of the mobile forces, 90% of the repair capability, >90% of the capital ship production capability of the MA, and probably >80% of the total production capability. And if they do that the next stops will be the other systems that can produce/repair capital ships.

And you can't just whistle up a SLN fleet. Without months to set it up they will arrive in the Manticore province of the people's republic a few months later.

Trying to attack Haven has the problem that once Manticore falls you are pirates operating without a repair base or logistics chain. Haven is heavily fortified, so you have to accept damage you can't repair to atack them. Then their is the fact that Haven doesn't have any similarly critical system that Mantcire has, they have many planets building capital ships.



I think that you are conflating the battle paradigm of TSVW era when missile pods were just being reintroduced with the combat paradigm of later eras. Combat was still dominated by energy weapons which the forts excelled at. Weber himself has quoted the wet navy axiom, "only a fool fights a fort." It was this reality that dissuaded Churchill from attacking the French fleet at Toulon rater than Mers-el-Kebir and Onan. If Home Fleet can lure an invading fleet into battle within support range of the forts, a stalemate is plausible. Alternatively; a battle in which Haven deploys only SDs and DNs and retains a reserve while attacking Manticore is more likely a stalemate even if the forts are not involved.

I am not going to crunch the numbers or describe a detailed scenario. However; assuming collusion between Haven and the SLN, it would be remotely plausible that an SLN might have a fleet poised to just drop in after an indecisive battle. This is especially true if they peacefully transit from the Beawulf terminus.


"Only a fool fights a fort!"

Mirrors the mindset at the opening phase of the war.

Fort = fort-ified position.
Home System = fort-ified position.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:33 am

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kzt wrote:A sidewall disperses the energy of an energy weapon. So it goes from say a Terajoule per square centimeter over an 8 meter diameter to a megajoule per square centimeter over 250 meter diameter. Much easier to stop that megajoule than a terajoule if you have a multi-meter thick armor system integral to your hull. If you have a 5cm thick structural composite between you and space it’s going to probably be a bad day either way.

And it is really a bit different targeting issue between a 50-100 meter wide 1 km long ship maneuvering at hundreds of gravities and a 10km wide 200 km long immobile station.



You do realize that the Manticoran Forts of the TSVW era had shit loads of missile tubes as well as shit loads of energy weapons? More importantly, Weber depicts the sidewalls and armor of forts being much, much tougher than an SD. They do not have to worry about the mass penalty.

One on one, a Fort is far more than a match for an SD at any range.


Of course all of this ignores the basic premis that I was suggesting. The purpose of a Haven attack on the Manticoran home system is not a successful conquest but to present the appearance of a threat to interstellar shipping that gives the SLN a pretext to occupy Manticore's home system.

Assume Haven is to conservative to commit all of its SDs to an attack much less strip the BBs picketing its systems. Haven attacks MWHJ not through the junction (which is suicide) but through hyperspace. The invading fleet moves to engage the junction forts. Manticore immeditately closes the junction. Perhaps all or a portion of Home Fleet moves to support the forts. Big battle but not decisive as is normal for the prepod era. Haven takes losses. The RMN Home Fleet takes losses. The junction forts take losses. Haven fleet withdraws from the system.

Manticore reopens the junction. Dispatch boat carries the news of the battle to the Beawulf terminus then on to Sol. News includes lots of pretty pictures of blown up ships and forts. A SLN squadron just happens to be hanging out around Beawulf. SLN Admiral transits the wormhole, peacefully, one ship at a time, to investigate the threat to interstellar shipping. (The SKM is not going to risk pissing off the 800# gorilla by denying them passage.) Dispatch boat carries an overhyped report back to Sol. Dispatch boat also dispatched to contact SLN Fleet that just happens to be on manauvers in the Haven quadrant.

Manticore is soon confronted by some 100 SLN DNs and SDs in its home soon after having Home Fleet and the junction forts attrited by the battle with Haven. The SLN fleet announces its intention to secure the MWJ and various terminae. Manticore KNOWS that the invincible SLN can bring 2,000 wallers to bear either through the junction or through Hyperspace. It is an offer that Manticore can not refuse.
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:04 am

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Why would you possibly go after the junction? It’s a massively fortified complex that has no real value unless you can somehow keep the enormously angry people 12 LH from coming after it.

When you decide to go for broke you need to win the war, not gain some minor tactical victory at the cost of 25% of your fleet. Once the queen surrenders you get the junction for free. And the defenses are almost certainly not much, if any, stronger.
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by thanatos   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:30 pm

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Israel had other reasons for going along with Britain and France. That period, from the end of it's War of Independence and until 1956 was known as the era of retaliatory operations, whereby Palestinian forces (called fedayeen) from Egypt, Jordan and Syria would launch cross-border attacks into Israel. At the time they had the backing of the Arab countries from which they launched their raids and Israel would in turn retaliate. The Suez Crisis was seen as a golden opportunity to really hurt the fedayeen in Sinai and Gaza, which they did in the first day of the campaign. Then there was the fact that the Egyptians were blockading Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran, which significantly hurt Israel's commerce with the far east through the Gulf of Eilat. The end result for Israel was the 1956 Armistice Agreement, that forced Egypt to demilitarize the Sinai, open the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and allow Israeli flagged ships to pass through the Suez Canal. It also created a very clear causus belli, under which Israel would be justified to attack Egypt, i.e. militarization of the Sinai and blockading the Straits of Tiran (Egypt reneged on allowing Israeli shipping to pass through Suez).

Regarding such an idea, remember that everything Manticore was doing for the 30-40 years prior to SFW was to widen the qualitative gaps, narrow the quantitative gap and build an alliance that would make deep space attacks to its vital areas prohibitively expensive for Haven. If Haven was willing to pay the price in blood and treasure, it could have taken Manticore but it would have had to commit a huge amount of wallers to achieve this. Remember that once Apollo was revealed, Haven knew that their quantitative advantage went out the window and it decided it had no choice but to go for broke and attack Manticore directly. And they had to commit hundreds of SD(P)s and support ships, many of which did not survive the opening salvos in the opening engagement of that battle. Moreover, Haven under the Legislaturalists and under the Committee of Public Safety knew that if they committed so many hundred of wallers and even obsolete Battleships and lost too many of them, it would be impossible for them to maintain control over the planets they seized over the past century. That's also something Israel counts on when planning it's grand strategies - That any war upon it, even if it is successful for its enemies, would cost them so heavily in blood and treasure that they risk losing control of their own countries.
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:18 pm

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The qualitative and quantitative margins between the Peeps and the MA were not shifting in the Peeps favor, so the longer the war goes on the worse it gets. They were at their strongest the first battle of the war, whose time and place they got to choose. They choose poorly.

The Peeps were at a wartime mobilization level, so they really can't go any higher. The MA is not, and they have major shipyards under construction, so the opposing forces will increase over time unless they take those shipyards.

Similarly, the Peeps had already determined that the RMNs tech as better then their, so a safe assumption is that the margin does not close, a pessimistic one is that it opens and it takes a real nut to think that they will gain parity.
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:11 pm

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kzt wrote:The qualitative and quantitative margins between the Peeps and the MA were not shifting in the Peeps favor, so the longer the war goes on the worse it gets. They were at their strongest the first battle of the war, whose time and place they got to choose. They choose poorly.

The Peeps were at a wartime mobilization level, so they really can't go any higher. The MA is not, and they have major shipyards under construction, so the opposing forces will increase over time unless they take those shipyards.

Similarly, the Peeps had already determined that the RMNs tech as better then their, so a safe assumption is that the margin does not close, a pessimistic one is that it opens and it takes a real nut to think that they will gain parity.

Though they do have to balance that against the historic trend that the first use of a new weapons or tactic is often when it is most effective - before the enemy has a chance to develop tactics or equipment to blunt the edge that the surprise gave you.

Throwing everything into an all or nothing attack on Manticore risks losing if Manticore's surprises give it too much of an edge - an edge it wouldn't necessarily have in that fight if forced to show it's abilities in earlier less climatic battles.


Certainly it appears the Peeps spread their initial attacks too widely and didn't concentrate their forces sufficiently. But there's room to concentrate their forces more yet hit a few other targets to force Manticore to show it's hand. Finding out about missile pods by rolling over, say, Hancock with overwhelming force lets them attempt to mitigate that risk when they hit Manticore and it's heavier defenses. And that's hardly the only thing where effectiveness drops after exposure. Given a bit of time to analyse the ECM and decoys the RMN used against Haven's missiles and combat data on RMN missile pen-aids and effectiveness Haven can improve their active and passive missile defense while also reducing the susceptibility of their missiles to the RMN's active and passive defense (of course if any RMN forces get away then they'll bring the hard earned sensor data that will let the RMN improve their active and passive defenses. But given that the RMN started with a significant advantage in missile combat overall the improvements on both sides will tend to narrow that relative gap; as we saw happening in the actual war until Manticore had time to introduce new generations of hardware)

So I'd argue that the best course for the Peeps would to be pursue a short war, but not a single battle war. Aim for a short campaign of a 4-6 battles. That gives time to adjust to surprises and, worse comes to worse, failures aren't as likely to be immediately war losing. They'd have the chance to try to convert to a longer attritional war if the initial battles show they're unlikely to be able to successfully attack the Manticore system. (Sure, we know that ultimately the Peeps lost the attritional war; and would be likely to do so again. But it still looks to them like a less risky option that risking the war on a single throw of the dice).

The problem of course is that this intermediate approach likely requires more total deployed forces than the all-or-nothing attack -- because you'll lose some ships to destruction or combat damage in those couple battles that proceed the attack on Manticore. But, unless the RMN is foolish enough to further disperse Home Fleet, you'll still need nearly as large a force for the attack on Manticore (despite expecting to narrow the per-unit combat effectiveness gap due to adjusting to RMN equipment and tactics)
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Re: The "Suez Crisis"
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:35 pm

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Ultimately you have to take Manticore to end the war. It’s going to be bloody, no real way around that. Do you want to do it against the RMN after they have deployed the war only minefields and clouds of missile pods, recalled all the retired (and hence highly experienced) spacers, pulled everything that can shoot out of mothballs, and with your ships shot up and suffering from a lack of maintenance after 6 months or a year of combat or do you want it to be a bolt from the blue with a fully combat ready force that gives the RMN say 3 hours total before you are in orbit around Manticore asking to speak to the Queen?

Either way it’s risky. Going to war is a risk. Anytime two nations go to war they are both reasonably confident they can win. At most one is right. So if you are playing it safe you don’t go to war.
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