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Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?

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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:43 pm

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Fireflair wrote:RF can continue to peel off systems and build their own base. The Haven sector is going to stabilize and calm down. Who knows what will happen with the Andies, there might be a changing of the guard. There's been plenty of foreshadowing that the Andies could be very unhappy long term about the growth of the SEM and how it englobes their empire. That could become a real sticking point in the future.

I believe that at all the Onion needs to do is to go dormant for a while. Play catch up on tech while re-weaving it's networks. To get over their own assumed supremacy while starting to really pay attention to reality and not the echoes they want to believe.


You're right that that's what they should do. But will they? Also note how doing that practically means letting the RF wither and become insignificant. Part of the strategy goes down the drain. The only chance of salvaging the RF is to continue do destabilise one of the 4 or 5 larger entities -- and that's if the Honor Plan wasn't more successful in breaking up the League into smaller but stable polities.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. If they do, they risk exposure, right at the time when there's a manhunt for them and they're militarily vulnerable.

If they don't, the GA stabilises and benefits from the economic boom of a trade zone of 300+ planets and an extensive wormhole network. The SL successor state(s) also set down roots and make pacts with the GA. And the Verge regions become independent and organise à la Madras and Maya. And everyone builds SD(P)s, MDMs and missile pods.

The way I see it, the Plan is unrecoverable. They have to come up with a new one. I just can't predict what they'll do.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:14 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
tlb wrote:Here are some of the threads that I could find which discuss the Mesan Alignment and/or Detweiler Plans:

Re: About the Alignment
Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Re: Mesa is the Boogy Man it wasn't meant to be
Re: Has the Mesan Alignment already lost?
Re: Speculation on the MA 'Master Plan' and other toys
Re: Honorverse Ramblings and Musings
(Note: this thread is huge!)
How many Alpha Line individuals are in the RF Systems?
Re: Mesan Alignment Questions...
Re: League Survival
Re: Misalignment of MA plans?
Re: Just for the halibut... What of the RF post GA victory
Re: The Alignment's next step
Re: Filetra'a missiles -- why??
(contains long post by RFC on origin of Detweiler Plan)
Re: Spoiler end of the MA
Re: Mesan Alignment - back on balance
Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Enemies of the Alignment
Re: Post-Yawata Strike survivors in Grayson


Oh boy, there are a lot more than I've read. I'll probably go over some of the more interesting ones in the next few days/weeks...

I may have some typing mistakes; I see I entered RD instead of RF above. Also I should not have included the "Re: " at the beginning of most lines; that just means it was not the first post, but a response.
Here is RFC's post from "Filereta's Missiles -- Why??" (another typing error on my part).
runsforcelery wrote:I don’t think you’ve been paying close enough attention.

At the time that Detweiler left Beowulf, the Beowulf Code’s prohibition on genetic modification of humans was not — and still is not — unconditional. It places limits on that genetic modification, prohibiting things like the introduction of non-human DNA or the construction of “new” genes — the equivalent of genetically modified organisms on a level which inserts laboratory-constructed genes rather than combining existing genes or selecting the most favorable combination of genetic material. There are a lot of genetically modified human beings running around the galaxy with the complete approval of the Beowulf medical and political communities, including one Honor Harrington.

The restrictions that the Beowulf Code placed on genetic modification — aside from the physical restraints listed above — were designed not to prevent individual humans from being “improved” with stronger muscles, tougher bones, greater longevity, increased intelligence, any of those factors. They were designed to outlaw systematic programs designed at creating a . . . stratified genetic spectrum. One in which the existence of, for example, Alpha lines, or beta lines, or gamma lines created a new form of racism based, this time, on overtly quantifiable genetic differences.

The restrictions on the extent and the degree of radical modification stemmed from the genetically-engineered horrors of Earth’s Final War, when genetic modification had been weaponized with catastrophic consequences. Detweiler’s move to Mesa was made in the shadow of those restrictions, and I thought it had been made fairly clear in the course of the books that he had a point. It was within humanity’s grasp to genetically improve and uplift humanity. He believed the “fears of little minds” had caused Beowulf and the League to turn its back upon that possibility. His opponents believed that his proposals were reckless, unbridled, and all too likely to reopen the door to what had happened on Old Earth but spread throughout the League.

Both factions were right.

Unfortunately, when Detweiler headed to Mesa he took with him the most extreme proponents of his view, which removed the voice of opposition to the Beowulf Code’s restrictions from inside the Beowulf medical community and the League in general. Far worse, however, was his decision — based in no small part on his fury at the “small minded cretins” who had driven him from his home world — to begin creating genetically modified “indentured servants.” In time (although not until after his death) the “indentured servants” turned into outright slaves. By creating that situation, he had accomplished exactly what the Beowulf Code’s proponents had feared: he had created purposely designed, sellable property out of human beings and, in effect, reinvented racism in the form of the widespread prejudice against genetic slaves which, after all, had to be subhuman because they were property which had been built to be sold.

That only underscored the fundamental hostility between Beowulf and Mesa, its “evil twin.” Beowulf’s hostility towards Mesa and, especially, genetic slavery grew even more pronounced, and Beowulf — unlike Mesa — was a member of the League, in a position to have genetic slavery outlawed. In essence, to make Mesa clearly a “rogue state” in League eyes, since it was the source of all those genetic slaves and of the slave traders who had now been outlawed.

While that was going on, Beowulf itself was continuing in a tradition of what you might call “gradualist genetic uplift.” The Beowulf Code had never prohibited incremental improvement in the human genotype, and it still doesn’t. It would never have tolerated for an instant the eugenics programs on Mesa which could lead to the deliberate production of high-risk children who, like Francesca Simões, are “culled” if they prove unsuccessful. That is precisely the sort of thinking that the Beowulf Code was designed to prevent in the beginning. However, it would not be unfair to say that Beowulf has largely achieved much of the original Detweiler’s dream.

Unfortunately, while that was going on, the Detweiler Plan was being formulated and put into effect on Mesa. I thought that I had made it clear that the Detweilers and the relatively small number of people fully inside the onion who are formulating the Alignment’s true policy aren’t rational. I don’t mean they aren't very smart, I don’t mean they aren't capable of rational thought. I mean that their fundamental postulates and assumptions are irrational, the product of literally centuries inside an echo chamber where hatred spawned by ideology has become in many respects the primary driver of ideology.

Beowulf has never used its special forces to destabilize Mesa or to attempt to prevent voluntary and incremental genetic modification and improvement. Its special forces have been directed specifically at Manpower and genetic slavery, with overlap to oppose Mesan transstellars in general because those transstellars have an even higher degree of rapaciousness and are so deeply involved in the Solarian League’s internal corruption. (Again, some of this stems from a "rogue state's" contempt for — and determination to exploit and punish — the system which has sanctimoniously declared it and outlaw.) Mesans in general don’t really appreciate the fact that Beowulf’s active opposition is not to all things Mesan, but rather to specific activities of Mesan commercial enterprises like — and especially — the purveyors of genetic slaves. It becomes opposition to the Mesan government because the Mesan government is completely in the pocket of Mesa’s transstellars and huge corporations. When government policy is specifically structured to support and export the institutions and the practices which Beowulf is dedicated to destroying, then Beowulf comes into conflict with Mesa as a political entity, as well.

Now, not all Beowulfers realize the . . . targeted nature (or cause, at least) of Beowulf’s hostility towards Mesa any more than all Mesans do. After so long, the hatred is deep, visceral, and automatic. Effectively a knee-jerk reaction on both sides. That is one of the major factors in the current political situation.

Several characters in the novels have reflected on the fact that if the Alignment had spent a fraction of its resources on propaganda, public education, and advocacy groups, it could long ago have achieved its goal of legitimizing human genetic uplift in the eyes of the galaxy in general, whatever Beowulf might think. More to the point, the Alignment might have realized that — in the sense of accomplishing the original Detweiler’s goals — it had already won. In fairness, not even Beowulf has really recognized that fact, because just as Beowulf has been demonized in the eyes of the onion, Detweiler has been demonized in the eyes of Beowulfers. He was “obviously” an unhinged lunatic, and the fact that he truly was the “father of genetic slavery” (whether he ever realized it would go that far or not) goes a long way towards validating that view of him outside the Onion. By the same token, the Onion’s goals have become much more extreme than his were. They are no longer talking about the general uplift of the human species. They are talking about creating specific groups of genetically engineered individuals who are as designed for their roles as anyone in Plato’s Republic. They are busy trying to create a genetically stratified society with the alpha lines permanently in the position of the “vanguard of the proletariat," and constrain all the rest of the human race to accept it.

The two sides are no longer really fighting over the issues which led Detweiler to lead his group of dissidents to Mesa. On those issues, Detweiler won, for all intents and purposes. The problem is that his descendents don’t realize/aren’t prepared to admit that that’s happened. It is more important to them to prove that they are right and Beowulf is wrong by imposing their own view of a “genetically improved human race” upon the rest of humanity than it is to simply be right.

That’s the real tragedy of the Mesan Alignment. In fact, it’s why — to my thinking — the situation isn’t black and white any more than the People’s Republic was unrelievedly evil or the Star Kingdom of Manticore was unrelievedly good. Rob Pierre had many good qualities and goals; Baron High Ridge had very few. The Detweiler boys have many good qualities and (for those who support the Onion) goals, and – like Oscar Saint-Just — they are totally prepared to commit morally horrific actions in pursuit of those goals. Which is what makes the Alignment a tragedy. They’ve spent centuries — hundreds of thousands or even millions of man-hours, uncountable trillions of credits, and an uncountable number of lives — in pursuit of an altruistic and laudable goal and, in the process, turned themselves into something which continues to support genetic slavery as a useful tool and is prepared to inflict megadeaths on civilian targets to create a genetically stratified societal pyramid which puts them at its apex.

They are, in effect, a totalitarian state which justifies its existence by claiming to pursue a noble goal without recognizing — or, at least, admitting — that that “noble goal” has become solely a justification for its own continued existence.

I don’t have the Detweilers sitting around discussing that transition. They’re inside the process, unable (or unwilling . . . or both) even to see what they’ve become, far less acknowledge it. The (relative) handful of alpha and beta line agents who truly understand the Alignment’s goals are true-believers, carefully inculcated with the Onion’s view of galactic society. Sometimes — as in the case of Jack McBryde — they see beyond the blinkers, and that always spells trouble for the Onion. It’s always possible (I’m only the writer, after all, so what do I know?), that this sort of problem could become . . . more general for them farther down the road. We’ve already seen some “leakers,” after all. But the leadership is even more captive to its ideology than its agents are, and therein lie the seeds of the war between the Solarian League and the Grand Alliance and whatever may ultimately come of it. Not because people are making rational choices, and not because the people involved are black-and-white, but because ideological conflict is so often driven by components which are fundamentally irrational.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:09 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:My point was that no one knew that Manticore could hold off the PRH, not even Manticore. They knew they had to because there was no alternative. But they didn't know. Some of the technology they got came from Grayson, like the compact fission bottles, which no Manticore planner (much less anyone outside) knew about before 1903. The MAlign still doesn't have something equivalent in 1923!

The MAlign planners were probably aware that Manticore was not going to be a walk in the park; everyone else simply looked at a single star system and thought it could never resist a 300-star system entity.


Yup. It was the MDM and then Apollo that allowed Manticore to survive. Neither existed at the start of the war. Spies can't find what doesn't exist.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:42 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:My point was that no one knew that Manticore could hold off the PRH, not even Manticore. They knew they had to because there was no alternative. But they didn't know. Some of the technology they got came from Grayson, like the compact fission bottles, which no Manticore planner (much less anyone outside) knew about before 1903. The MAlign still doesn't have something equivalent in 1923!

The MAlign planners were probably aware that Manticore was not going to be a walk in the park; everyone else simply looked at a single star system and thought it could never resist a 300-star system entity.

Loren Pechtel wrote:Yup. It was the MDM and then Apollo that allowed Manticore to survive. Neither existed at the start of the war. Spies can't find what doesn't exist.

But the spies were still there when these weapons were used. Even if they did not know the full technical details, enough could be ascertained from the raids using Apollo and the Battle of Manticore to see that this eliminated any chance of the SLN defeating Manticore. Moreover the Onion knew this, because it was the reason for the accelerated implementation of Oyster Bay.

If you want to argue the Malign could have expected Haven to win as of the start of the conflict, I agree. The problem comes as they follow the course of the war and do not make sufficient effective adjustments. The only adjustments they did make were the fiascos in the Talbot Quadrant and the accelerated Oyster Bay and Houdini.

They still pushed the SLN into a one sided war, like pushing chicks into a pool of piranhas.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:52 pm

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tlb wrote:Here is RFC's post from "Filereta's Missiles -- Why??" (another typing error on my part).
runsforcelery wrote:I don’t think you’ve been paying close enough attention.

At the time that Detweiler left Beowulf, [...]


Thanks for the post! I don't think I'd yet read it. This confirms most of what I suspected and adds new info which I did not. For example, that Detweiler left Beowulf with the most extreme of his supporters, which led to the creation of an aggressive plan and the echo chamber which in turn led to the current Onion not realising it's strayed far off the original main goal.

And that the Detweiler ideal of uplift was actually accomplished. There's probably more to do and, having read Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga before the Honorverse, I can't find uplifting in itself a bad idea. But I can the creation of a stratified society.

So the original Detweiler goal is either accomplished or completely far off the rail, or both. The Plan as was put into operation centuries ago is also off the rails.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:37 pm

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tlb wrote:But the spies were still there when these weapons were used. Even if they did not know the full technical details, enough could be ascertained from the raids using Apollo and the Battle of Manticore to see that this eliminated any chance of the SLN defeating Manticore. Moreover the Onion knew this, because it was the reason for the accelerated implementation of Oyster Bay.

If you want to argue the Malign could have expected Haven to win as of the start of the conflict, I agree. The problem comes as they follow the course of the war and do not make sufficient effective adjustments. The only adjustments they did make were the fiascos in the Talbot Quadrant and the accelerated Oyster Bay and Houdini.

They still pushed the SLN into a one sided war, like pushing chicks into a pool of piranhas.


First, I think that Apollo was not a factor in the war, since its production having been curtailed during Oyster Bay, they weren't majorly used. So whether the planners estimated its abilities correctly or not, they removed it from the board. Plus, Oyster Bay wasn't designed to make Manticore an easier target for the League, but instead an easier target for Haven.

Haven wasn't as advanced as Manticore and, if they had won, it would take time for them to put the Manticoran technology into production for their own, which made them have a window of opportunity.

I still think they underestimated the capabilities of both the RMN and the RHN, they overestimated those of the SLN and they overestimated their ability to play catch-up. Those were serious mistakes, but understandable. Until they fought someone else, the RMN+GSN+IAN's capabilities were only measured against those of the PRN/RHN, which were also increasing. Their offensive and defensive doctrines were evolving in lockstep. And the multi-thousand-missile attacks and parries only started after the tech pipeline had been cut, with Operation Cutworm. By that time, Monica was already going on.

The overestimation of the SLN was caused in part by themselves, by deliberately muddying the data that they themselves would later need. The SLN began a self-reinforcing cycle of lying to itself, with no true metrestick with which to measure itself until the conflict had actually started. And the planners may have bought into those same lies -- even partially!

I don't know if they expected Monica to succeed: 11 BCs against nothing heavier than a CA? Maybe. Maybe not against the Lynx Terminus itself, but anywhere else. Anisimovna at the time clearly thought so, but she wasn't inner Onion yet. But let's say Monica was always destined to be defeated, only one more entry in a series of mounting excuses for Crandall eventually moving her SDs. (Byng was clearly destined to be destroyed, but his personality and the way he was transferred from BF to FF was a factor, plus at the time the RMN already had BCs in Talbott)

The SLN had 2000 active SDs at the time. As they said in the books, "quantity is a quality of its own", so maybe they expected the SLN to eventually prevail. If Crandall succeeded, however horrific her losses may have been, she'd be in possession of Spindle and the MAlign would have access to captured Manticoran tech. At the time, they'd start moving actually competent admirals into positions, not loose cannons like Byng and Crandall (it seems Filaretta was competent, despite his character flaws). Those 2000 SDs, supported by tens of thousands of escorts, with MAlign technology out of Darius, could conceivably be expected to succeed.

In the end, it really didn't matter who won, so long as both equally lost.

That is, until the Battle of Spindle, the battle with the most lopsided outmassed opponent has ever won. At that point, it was glaringly obvious the SLN was not going to win. The question was only how badly they'd lose. So why didn't they cool off at this point?
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:42 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:First, I think that Apollo was not a factor in the war, since its production having been curtailed during Oyster Bay, they weren't majorly used. So whether the planners estimated its abilities correctly or not, they removed it from the board. Plus, Oyster Bay wasn't designed to make Manticore an easier target for the League, but instead an easier target for Haven.

Haven wasn't as advanced as Manticore and, if they had won, it would take time for them to put the Manticoran technology into production for their own, which made them have a window of opportunity.

I still think they underestimated the capabilities of both the RMN and the RHN, they overestimated those of the SLN and they overestimated their ability to play catch-up. Those were serious mistakes, but understandable. Until they fought someone else, the RMN+GSN+IAN's capabilities were only measured against those of the PRN/RHN, which were also increasing. Their offensive and defensive doctrines were evolving in lockstep. And the multi-thousand-missile attacks and parries only started after the tech pipeline had been cut, with Operation Cutworm. By that time, Monica was already going on.

The overestimation of the SLN was caused in part by themselves, by deliberately muddying the data that they themselves would later need. The SLN began a self-reinforcing cycle of lying to itself, with no true metrestick with which to measure itself until the conflict had actually started. And the planners may have bought into those same lies -- even partially!

I don't know if they expected Monica to succeed: 11 BCs against nothing heavier than a CA? Maybe. Maybe not against the Lynx Terminus itself, but anywhere else. Anisimovna at the time clearly thought so, but she wasn't inner Onion yet. But let's say Monica was always destined to be defeated, only one more entry in a series of mounting excuses for Crandall eventually moving her SDs. (Byng was clearly destined to be destroyed, but his personality and the way he was transferred from BF to FF was a factor, plus at the time the RMN already had BCs in Talbott)

If Monica had not been discovered early, because of the transport used to bring rebel supplies, their forces might have created enough confusion to allow the SLN to attempt to sit on the WH junction. But the expectation is that they would be repulsed by the RMN forces protecting it. I am sure Byng was expected to lose; but I am not sure about Crandall, who had a much stronger force.

I strongly disagree with your statement that Apollo was not a factor. The destruction it caused in the raids triggered the Battle of Manticore, where it was then decisive in the victory. I agree that Oyster Bay was intended to help Haven, not the SLN; but that still means that the Onion was aware of the way the odds had been shifted by Apollo.

I do not know if the Onion overestimated the SLN, because their agents had been key in crippling its ability to analyze foreign navies and their weapons; while the Onion still had their own analyses. We know that they wanted the SLN to lose and the League to disintegrate. If Haven had fallen on Manticore after Oyster Bay, as they expected, then would the results have been closer to their projections?
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:32 pm

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tlb wrote:If Monica had not been discovered early, because of the transport used to bring rebel supplies, their forces might have created enough confusion to allow the SLN to attempt to sit on the WH junction. But the expectation is that they would be repulsed by the RMN forces protecting it. I am sure Byng was expected to lose; but I am not sure about Crandall, who had a much stronger force.

I strongly disagree with your statement that Apollo was not a factor. The destruction it caused in the raids triggered the Battle of Manticore, where it was then decisive in the victory. I agree that Oyster Bay was intended to help Haven, not the SLN; but that still means that the Onion was aware of the way the odds had been shifted by Apollo.


Apollo did influence their decision-making, but because it was removed off the board during the majority of the war, it wasn't a factor. My point was that since it had been removed, we can understand why the planners thought the SLN was in striking distance of the RMN, even if they had to pay a 10-to-1 price. The SLN had enough ships to afford that. In fact, the MAlign would want that!

However, if that's the case with Apollo, then it stands to reason that Oyster Bay had to happen soon, whether the Battle of Manticore had happened or not. Once its capabilities were demonstrated at Lovat, the MAlign had to remove it from the equation or add something equivalent on the other side if they had a hope of SLN fighting. The latter option was impractical though. This is probably when Oyster Bay, already in the planning, was first pulled up, but probably still targetting both the sides of the war. Remember: Lovat happened 3 months after Monica.

The Battle of Manticore accelerated it yet again.

tlb wrote:I do not know if the Onion overestimated the SLN, because their agents had been key in crippling its ability to analyze foreign navies and their weapons; while the Onion still had their own analyses. We know that they wanted the SLN to lose and the League to disintegrate. If Haven had fallen on Manticore after Oyster Bay, as they expected, then would the results have been closer to their projections?


I meant that after spewing lies for so long, the analysts may have begun to believe some of them themselves. If nothing else, they created a lot of noise in the form of bad data that they had to know to remove. Any mistakes in removal meant that they were consuming that bad data.

It's an interesting question of what would have happened had Haven won at Manticore. Pritchart was not interested in conquering, so she'd have extended an unbelievably mild terms of surrender to Elizabeth. There may have been no alliance and the RMN would be weakened, but the RHN would still have got access to Apollo, Ghost Rider, Shrikes and Katanas. They would have captured the plans for Operation Lancoön too. Like Honor, Theisman would never have supported a strategy that would result in revanchism and he would have protected ally planets like Hypatia.

The big difference is that there would have been a cooling off period, since the Republic was not in a state of war with the League. The conflicts that caused the war would have to be restarted, which meant that the MAlign would have had more time to introduce Darius tech into the SLN to make up for the deficiencies. It wouldn't be long enough, because the MAlign wasn't willing to wait. And any cooling off would mean the RHN could completely integrate Apollo, protect its key systems with Mycroft, and even allow the RMN actually recover from its weakest point.

So I believe it would have ended the same way: the RHN would have trounced the SLN. It would have been Fleet Admiral Theisman dictating terms to Kingsford and it may have been in 1925 or 1926, but it would have happened.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:00 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:My conclusion is that the Onion planners had no idea the technological gap was so big, despite having eyes in both sides of the war. There was talk at some point at whether Crandall was expected to succeed or not, instead of just how badly she'd be crushed. Manticore didn't know how well they'd succeed, which is why the DD sent to Meyers rushed back to Spindle: if they knew they had such superiority, the reaction would have been different.


Yeah, since Manticore itself didn't realize how overwhelming it's superiority was at that point how could the MAlign be expected to figure it out? Even after Crandall we still see them not realizing the difference--remember that raid to free the spacers at a world I do not recall at present? DDs vs battlecruisers and despite the data from Crandall he didn't expect to blow them out of space with one volley per ship. It's not until Uncompromising Honor that the GA truly understood where they stood on firepower.

It was a huge blunder, possibly the most fatal mistake the MAlign made, even if there were mitigating circumstances. They probably thought they had closed the gap enough to fight against 1914 (Buttercup era) technology, as they had Cataphract missiles. That's also the time when the main lines of military tech communication closed from Haven, when Theisman kicked the SL contractors away in favour of Erewhon.


They should have realized that the Cataphract was a pale shadow of a true MDM and that it didn't have the range of the GA missiles. Now, the SLN thought it was dual-drive vs dual-drive and not too great a difference but the MAlign certainly should have known the approximate range of Manticoran and Havenite missiles. They had to know that the GA could pull something along the lines of the final fight any time they chose to.

I've never understood panicking over the Talbott expansion. It always seemed to me that was an excuse, something that the inner Onion used to justify their intervention in Monica, Split and Montana to the outer Onion. Mesa was not in danger, no one besides Torch was at war with it. But maybe it really was that: panic (thus irrational).


Until the raids with Apollo-equipped ships nobody had used the strategy of deep raids. In their arrogance (and lack of military knowledge--they had never fought a war) this translated to distance being security. Talbott greatly cut the distance and thus greatly increased the threat.

Was the snowball already too big? Once stoked, the Solarian League arrogance couldn't be quenched, the Mandarins wouldn't quiet down and "lose face to neobarbs"?


It wasn't arrogance, but necessity. The die was cast with Byng, the MAlign couldn't stop it after that. It wasn't just a matter of losing face to neobarbs, but the loss of their aura of invincibility. For the SLN not to crush the neobarbs that had the audacity to blow away a SLN ship showed they couldn't and thus would precipitate the disintegration of the league.
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Re: Is the Detweiler Plan off the rails?
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:03 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:Yeah, since Manticore itself didn't realize how overwhelming it's superiority was at that point how could the MAlign be expected to figure it out? Even after Crandall we still see them not realizing the difference--remember that raid to free the spacers at a world I do not recall at present? DDs vs battlecruisers and despite the data from Crandall he didn't expect to blow them out of space with one volley per ship. It's not until Uncompromising Honor that the GA truly understood where they stood on firepower.

They should have realized that the Cataphract was a pale shadow of a true MDM and that it didn't have the range of the GA missiles. Now, the SLN thought it was dual-drive vs dual-drive and not too great a difference but the MAlign certainly should have known the approximate range of Manticoran and Havenite missiles. They had to know that the GA could pull something along the lines of the final fight any time they chose to.

Until the raids with Apollo-equipped ships nobody had used the strategy of deep raids. In their arrogance (and lack of military knowledge--they had never fought a war) this translated to distance being security. Talbott greatly cut the distance and thus greatly increased the threat.

It wasn't arrogance, but necessity. The die was cast with Byng, the MAlign couldn't stop it after that. It wasn't just a matter of losing face to neobarbs, but the loss of their aura of invincibility. For the SLN not to crush the neobarbs that had the audacity to blow away a SLN ship showed they couldn't and thus would precipitate the disintegration of the league.


The raid to free the spacers was NOT equipped with Apollo, but they should have seen the fighting discrepancy with Crandall. The particular problem with this instance was the inability to abort a missile flight against a surrendering ship; the commander had FTL communication with the SLN ships, but not with the missiles.

There were deep raids before Apollo by both Manticore (using the new LAC's and podlayers in Operation Buttercup) and by Haven (the attack on Sidemore and before that Giscard in Silesia).

The arrogance you are talking about is by the Mandarins and the leadership of the SLN. Perhaps the Malign would have trouble in changing their minds, but they certainly had the apparatus in place to make the attempt.
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