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Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)

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Re: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by cthia   » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:02 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:No doubt she should have reported it. I would hope that 2000 years of civilisation evolution and 500 of a free and equitable Manticoran society would mean victims suffer no stigma after reporting rape. But you're right about the stigma against genies, which she knew she was and might come to light in the proceedings.

You're also right that she could have mounted the best defence possible, with the Crown's help, who would be likely eager to take on the North Hollows. But she didn't know she could: she likely didn't consider her friendship with Mike extending that far (remember that Mike reported to the Commandant behind Honor's back). And even if she did know, being the centre of the media's attention was definitely not what she wanted. She was also aware that the Navy still had the cliques of patrons and the North Hollows had friends who could and would (and did try to!) derail her career.

So when her rationality reasserted itself, she made a conscious choice to let it go. To her later detriment.
I'm not sure how much pressure Lord North Hollow could have brought through his files on an attempt to publicly try and convict Pavel for attempted rape. Even without being able to hold the treat of torpedoing war funding over peoples heads he might have been able to get the events hushed up with Pavel simply no longer in the Navy. (After all while not as critical as funding the start of the war, this was still during the pre-war build-up and enough blackmailed Lords could have blocked that funding if Lord North Hollow had held their feet to the fire over it)

That still might leave Pavel in a position to pursue a vendetta against Honor. But probably not significantly more-so that he did after she refused to report him (since he was operating under the belief that he had been reported and got only a slap on the wrist by people afraid to anger his father)

Pressure? I'd like to think none, but we all know better than that. What's the difference in severity of attempted rape of a member of the navy vs desertion in the face of the enemy.

Young's sordid history with women would have hit the fan, and quite possibly, under the right political pressure, Young would have gotten off. But he'd have been kicked out of the navy.

At any rate, those sordid NH files would have used up their last vestige of power with that trial. Much as they did with the other.

The whole sordid affair reminds me of a very good movie, The General's Daughter.

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: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:27 pm

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cthia wrote:At any rate, those sordid NH files would have used up their last vestige of power with that trial. Much as they did with the other.
Why would they have been used up? They weren't used up when Lord North Hollow used them to save Pavil from execution by forcing basically every politician he had compromising dirt on into politely threatening to hold up the declaration of war and supporting appropriations.

The powerful thing about blackmail is that it doesn't expire just because you've used it once. It only become ineffective once the compromised person loses their ability to comply with your demands (bankrupt, loses their position, dies, etc.) OR that person decides that exposure of their past acts is preferable to whatever you're attempting to compel them to do now.

The North Hollow files only lost their power once a very pissed off North Hollow security chief destroyed them on her way out the door. (And even then only because she did so in such a way that people were pretty sure they were actually destroyed)
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Re: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by cthia   » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:58 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:At any rate, those sordid NH files would have used up their last vestige of power with that trial. Much as they did with the other.
Why would they have been used up? They weren't used up when Lord North Hollow used them to save Pavil from execution by forcing basically every politician he had compromising dirt on into politely threatening to hold up the declaration of war and supporting appropriations.

The powerful thing about blackmail is that it doesn't expire just because you've used it once. It only become ineffective once the compromised person loses their ability to comply with your demands (bankrupt, loses their position, dies, etc.) OR that person decides that exposure of their past acts is preferable to whatever you're attempting to compel them to do now.

The North Hollow files only lost their power once a very pissed off North Hollow security chief destroyed them on her way out the door. (And even then only because she did so in such a way that people were pretty sure they were actually destroyed)

I disagree with why they lost their power. They lost their power because they took on something too big to be swept under the rug. That kind of leverage has a shelf life because you can't keep justifying your actions. They'll come to light and piss off the wrong people, like Cathy Montaigne and Anton Zilwicki.

The same would have happened in a rape trial, against someone in the Queen's navy. The fight would have been against the Crown as much as the Crown's navy. Using leverage under the covers and behind closed doors is one thing. But a public display of that power limits it's shelf life.

See the entire circus surrounding the current POTUS's impeachment for an example.

If an officer can be raped in the navy without consequences, there would be no honor of the Queen.

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: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:46 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:Young knew Nimitz would be a problme and made sure that he was elsewhere -and far away- when he made the attempt on Honor. He planned it all out and had accomplices.

Actually, I'm almost surprized that Nimitz didn't run into Young later at the Academy and remove parts of his anatomy--like his throat- just castrating him isn't Treecat style.

Honor wouldn't have brought Nimitz with her to Warlock. 1st because she was going to have a difficult enough time being there as Young's subordinate and 2nd because Nimitz -if he had been allowed into the cabin with her (which I highly doubt, Young not being a compleat idiot) might have caused an "incident" and Honore was already raw from being banished to Basilisk with her butcherd cruiser.


Young drugged Nimitz to keep him out of the way.
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Re: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by cthia   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:34 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:I just can't understand why being a yeomen is something to be ashamed of, in a time and place like the Honorverse, but I don't hail from her neck of the woods, so. At any rate, she was a Yeoman's daughter, but neither of her parents were run of the mill yeomen. Not by a long shot.


We don't have to understand why she felt that way, only that she did. I agree with you that I don't understand why she wouldn't report, but I'm not the type of person who rapists seek (cis, white male).

As for her parents and her "pedigree", it was very understated in the beginning. She refers to her father as "a retired medical doctor", not one of the foremost neurosurgeons in the kingdom (though that was 25 years prior). Honor was probably brought up to explicitly not lean on her family's history and to earn a name for herself by her own actions. So her upbringing would could have made her think her own origins humble and similarly never consider that her best friend, the fifth person in line for succession to the throne, would fight for her. Compare that to the explicit use of the family's name, wealth and connections that Pavel Young must have been brandishing.

At any rate, men don't generally rape women because of their looks, but because they are weak, vulnerable, accessible, and because they are perverted criminals.


You're probably right, though there has to be some level of sexual allure, otherwise they wouldn't be rapists, they'd just be kidnappers, wife beaters, molesters or murderers. And at the risk of straying into current politics, when the current president of the US was accused of harassing women, one of his defence arguments was "they're ugly".

This is a difficult topic, one I'm sure David had a lot to think about when he inserted as Honor's backstory. How about we discuss space piracy?


****** *

ThinksMarkedly wrote:. . .but I'm not the type of person who rapists seek (cis, white male).


Not quite true in today's climate. Nor does it seem to be true in certain religions in the news. And it has never been true in prisons.

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: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:07 pm

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cthia wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:. . .but I'm not the type of person who rapists seek (cis, white male).


Not quite true in today's climate. Nor does it seem to be true in certain religions in the news. And it has never been true in prisons.


Completely true, though maybe I should have qualified that in the environments and communities I'm part of, I'm not (usually) a target, and thus have never felt the fear that some of my female friends may have.
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Re: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by cthia   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:38 pm

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kzt wrote:
cthia wrote:Unwitting accomplices. I bet Nimitz had an APB out for him.

What makes you think that?

I made the same mistake in another thread, and was corrected then as well. I keep thinking Nimitz has to be aware that he was drugged. But, unlike a human, there's no way he would know. My error, and thanks for correcting me.

But, the accomplices were unwitting.

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: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by locarno24   » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:26 am

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At no point have Nimitz and Young been together post that point.

Honor leaves him on Fearless (OBS) and also leaves him in her quarters on Nike (SVW). Her testimony is recorded, and she doesn't bring him to either the House of Lords or the Duelling Grounds (FOD).

The drugging was an interesting point. It's never been suggested that either Nimitz or Honor are aware Young drugged Nimitz.

More to the point, since Young would have been more than happy to kill him given a chance, the fact that Treecats are to all intents and purposes 'people' even pre-sign-language means an unexpected death would have probably prompted an autopsy and been treated as a murder. Certainly, if Honor knew or even suspected Young had tried to hurt Nimitz, I suspect her reaction would have been far more pronounced and she'd have tried to kill him (either challenging him to a duel or simply beating him to death and bugger the consequences) back in the academy



How about we discuss space piracy?

Sounds like a good idea. It is the title of the thread, after all....

On the topic of space piracy itself, he does mention it's likely to occur on regions with corrupt governments, ineffective policing, during times of conflict or all three. Which just happens to be the case in Silesia.

For piracy (as distinct from privateering, which is just subcontracted naval warfare) to work, you need to make it profitable. Which means, ultimately, you need a safe-ish port where you can sell on your ill-gotten gains (whether cargo, ship, or ransom-able crew) to someone who can dispose of them for money. Since this involves either a government prepared to look the other way or a port with no effective government at all, you tend to see it around balkanised regions and failed states.

And he also talks about how piracy only makes sense when you can ship things over interstellar distances for less cost than producing them locally.

Theoretically seizing the ship and crew can be profitable even if the cargo isn't, but yes. Ultimately space piracy presupposes the existence of space commercial shipping, otherwise there's no-one to attack.

It also requires that said commercial shipping be able to be seized profitably, which means that it be concentrated in an easily traversed volume (many settled systems in close proximity) and that the ships be able to be seized by a vessel you can obtain easily (the merchants aren't heavily armed themselves and are not able to outrun a frigate- or corvette-equivalent light warship). If piracy requires a true warship instead of a slightly upgunned 'armed merchantman' or a customs patrol craft, then it becomes much harder for anyone except a 'proper' navy to indulge in it (which becomes commerce warfare, which is a whole different issue despite the broadly similar activities).
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Re: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by lightningstar519   » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:18 am

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Space piracy is a big part of Honor Harrington's world. Right from the tale of Edward Saganami to Case Buccaneer, piracy (or a facsimile) has been used by governments as well as private entities to destroy merchant shipping and space infrastructure.
Sidemore and the attacks on Hauptman shipping were the most prominent cases of piracy in the series, leading to the indirect development of the LAC Carrier and podnought concepts and doctrine, given how Wayfarer and her sister ships performed.
While podnoughts and LACs (along with Apollo) are my favourite aspects of space navies in the Honorverse, I can't help but think that Manticore's merchant shipping was left vulnerable to piracy, especially given the fact that merchant ships were operating far beyond the Star Empire's borders,.
Some simple tactics and safeguards could make Manticoran merchant ships a lot harder to seize. For instance, a typical pirate attack involves the merchant ship being attacked by a pirate frigate or destroyer, or even a converted merchantman. Why not give the merchant ships the means to defend themselves against light combatants, rather than wait for the Navy?
Some of the measures I can think of are:
Missile pods tractored to the hull of merchant ships - They don't need to be Apollo missiles or even MDMs, but a missile pod designed for merchant ships will go a long way in keeping shipping safe. That's the beauty of pods; there's no refit or yard time required.
Anti-piracy LACs - Quoting David Weber from an infodump
"I should also point out that CLACs aren't the only way to deploy LACs. They can be deployed from freighter bays or even transported limpeted onto the hulls of regular warships. A CLAC offers many significant tactical and strategic advantages, including the ability to provide rapid turnaround time for LAC sorties and the defense of firepower and shipboard electronics capabilities built into them. They also tend to be faster than most freighters, as well as specifically configured to carry large amounts of ammunition, spare parts, etc., to service their LAC groups. They aren't necessary to the process, however."
Manticore can easily whip up an LAC model for anti-piracy patrols that can be carried in a freighter's hold or on the hull if the owners don't want to sacrifice the cargo space. There's no need for a battlecruiser-level graser, like on the Shrikes, a scaled-down version of the Katana can easily defend merchant ships from most pirates one-on-one, with a wing of three to six able to disable or destroy pirate destroyers or anything below.
Pocket LAC carriers - What has been made clear is that the greater flexibility of LAC platforms has made destroyers and cruisers inefficient for missile defense, freeing them up for escort and raiding duties. With the expansion of Manticore's borders by conquering Silesia and annexing the Talbott Quadrant, lighter ships will be in greater demand which I believe calls for the development of a pocket LAC Carrier for the SDFs. With a squadron of light cruisers and destroyers as escorts, a smaller carrier (that can service and transport around 40 to 50 LACs) can be used for system defense (backed by Mycroft), convoy security and force projection easier than penny packet patrols and pickets.
Naval auxilaries and mercenaries - With the expansion of the Manticoran Empire, they have a larger population base leading to a larger pool for their armed forces. Rather than training the new forces exclusively to serve in the navies, Manticore can easily use retired servicemen to train volunteers in the Talbott Quadrant system for their SDFs or to serve in anti-piracy LACs with merchant ships.
There have been very few professional mercenaries outfits in Manticore, apart from the Volsung Mercenaries in 'Call to Arms', but with the major wars cooling down and the hunt for the Mesan Alignment on, private contractors might become relevant again (I can see Captain Zilwicki and Victor Cachat slapping together a mercenary outfit on the fly in the tradition of Admiral Naismith and the Dendarii Mercenaries whlle peeling the onion). The good mercenary outfits could be hired by larger Manticoran shipping lines Like Hauptman for security.

I just feel that anti-piracy operations will be taking centrestage after so many major wars.
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Re: Space piracy (and OBS named SFIA book of the month)
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:25 pm

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lightningstar519 wrote:While podnoughts and LACs (along with Apollo) are my favourite aspects of space navies in the Honorverse, I can't help but think that Manticore's merchant shipping was left vulnerable to piracy, especially given the fact that merchant ships were operating far beyond the Star Empire's borders,.


Hello lightningstar, welcome to the forum

First question, just how vulnerable was shipping? From all accounts, the RMMS was massive. So statistically most shipping must have been safe. The responses to piracy must have been proportional to the problem itself, especially those whose cost was footed by for-profit companies. For those, it might have been cheaper to buy insurance to pay off ransoms and the indemnifications it might owe. Unlike most options, insurance applies to all ships at all times.

Some simple tactics and safeguards could make Manticoran merchant ships a lot harder to seize. For instance, a typical pirate attack involves the merchant ship being attacked by a pirate frigate or destroyer, or even a converted merchantman. Why not give the merchant ships the means to defend themselves against light combatants, rather than wait for the Navy?


That makes them armed merchantmen, which puts them in a completely different category. They may not be welcome in all systems and governments, for starters. It's likely that almost all independent, single-system polities and even the Silesian Confederecy would have accepted armed Manticoran ships, but what if the League didn't? They League already didn't like Manticoran shipping, so giving them an excuse to bar them from League space would be a bad idea. This would apply not just to the League official members, but to all OFS-controlled worlds too.

Having a fleet with different capabilities means logistics gets complicated. You can't use an armed merchantman on a route where any port forbids them, so either you accept shipping with unarmed ships in those routes or you reroute. The latter option may be cost-ineffective.

Before anyone suggests undeclared weapons, there's a risk to that: if discovered, such a ship could be legally impounded and the crew legally detained. And you couldn't use insurance to pay for their release either, because insurance wouldn't cover those undeclared weapons. The shipping company would need to foot the legal defence out of their own resources.

Some of the measures I can think of are:
Missile pods tractored to the hull of merchant ships - They don't need to be Apollo missiles or even MDMs, but a missile pod designed for merchant ships will go a long way in keeping shipping safe. That's the beauty of pods; there's no refit or yard time required.


Pods have another advantage: they can be offloaded easily. So on those routes I envisioned above, the ships could offload their pods before heading to a port that didn't accept armed Manticoran shipping, then pick up a new load on the next system. It wouldn't even be difficult if the shipping goes in both directions, since the ports on either side of the unwilling port would always have missile pods being dropped off.

The difficulty here is that those two systems need to be very friendly to hold on to those pods, plus provide security by themselves, since there will be ships arriving unarmed. Pirates would know that.

Another problem is that you have civilians in control of missiles. Granted, a considerable chunk of the merchant crew were retired Navy, who probably have some combat experience (especially now in the post-war scenario) and who wouldn't panic and shoot down a friendly ship with transponder problems. But not all would. More importantly, they open themselves to being charged with piracy themselves: if the local pirates are friendly with the corrupt local government, the crew of a civilian ship that fired on a raider would likely be detained and could get executed before any relief came from Manticore.

Anti-piracy LACs - Quoting David Weber from an infodump
[-snip-]
Manticore can easily whip up an LAC model for anti-piracy patrols that can be carried in a freighter's hold or on the hull if the owners don't want to sacrifice the cargo space. There's no need for a battlecruiser-level graser, like on the Shrikes, a scaled-down version of the Katana can easily defend merchant ships from most pirates one-on-one, with a wing of three to six able to disable or destroy pirate destroyers or anything below.


LACs had existed for centuries before the Shrikes and they were ferried from system to system either in the bellies of freighters or tractored to the hull. So you wouldn't need a dedicated model, an old design might suffice.

Or it might not. One of the biggest advantages of the Shrikes, Ferrets and Katanas, aside from their weaponry, was their endurance. An old-style LAC couldn't operate very far from a good base of operations and freighters make poor bases. It's doubtful an old-style LAC could even carry its crew aboard on a long-haul hyperspace stint.

Either way, I don't think LACs would be a good idea. First, they may have a very poor reaction time when trouble presents itself. If the LAC crew is not aboard or the LAC is inside a cargo bay, launching it could take 10 minutes or more. If the freighter was ambushed by a pirate lying doggo, they may not have 10 minutes. Second, you need to embark not just the crews for the LACs, but also maintenance personnel, which increases the crew size aboard a freighter. Third, LAC duty on freighters would not be a very attractive option for the military service members and would probably be seen as punishment duty.

Pocket LAC carriers - What has been made clear is that the greater flexibility of LAC platforms has made destroyers and cruisers inefficient for missile defense, freeing them up for escort and raiding duties. With the expansion of Manticore's borders by conquering Silesia and annexing the Talbott Quadrant, lighter ships will be in greater demand which I believe calls for the development of a pocket LAC Carrier for the SDFs. With a squadron of light cruisers and destroyers as escorts, a smaller carrier (that can service and transport around 40 to 50 LACs) can be used for system defense (backed by Mycroft), convoy security and force projection easier than penny packet patrols and pickets.


A smaller carrier (escort carrier, CVE, though CLACs aren't CV, CVL or CVF) is an interesting concept. Without going into the merits of such a ship type, the problem with the above suggestion is simply that it's a warship in the first place. It's far easier for the RMN to build and crew a destroyer than a carrier. And destroyers and light cruisers are far more indicated for convoy duty than a carrier, plus the same ship can serve more functions. The RMN does prefer non-specific ships.

Small carriers may have other purposes, but I don't anti-piracy is it. They wouldn't be efficient for escorting and they wouldn't be needed in most Manticoran systems, since a fixed base can house and launch bigger LAC wings.

Naval auxilaries and mercenaries - With the expansion of the Manticoran Empire, they have a larger population base leading to a larger pool for their armed forces. Rather than training the new forces exclusively to serve in the navies, Manticore can easily use retired servicemen to train volunteers in the Talbott Quadrant system for their SDFs or to serve in anti-piracy LACs with merchant ships.
There have been very few professional mercenaries outfits in Manticore, apart from the Volsung Mercenaries in 'Call to Arms', but with the major wars cooling down and the hunt for the Mesan Alignment on, private contractors might become relevant again (I can see Captain Zilwicki and Victor Cachat slapping together a mercenary outfit on the fly in the tradition of Admiral Naismith and the Dendarii Mercenaries whlle peeling the onion). The good mercenary outfits could be hired by larger Manticoran shipping lines Like Hauptman for security.


Private security outfits could be a good idea. They could buy decommissioned RMN ships and install civilian-grade weaponry. Even older destroyer hulls could be useful and the RMN had them by the hundreds. Like you said, it could also provide jobs for demobilised service members.

I just don't know if protecting Manticoran shipping from piracy would be cost-effective. Far more likely, such mercenary groups would sell their services to full planetary governments who didn't have a good Navy of their own and now don't have Frontier Fleet "protection". The mercenary fees are probably too high for the shipping companies to afford themselves. Plus, the RMN is still present to protect Manticoran shipping. Hauptman has enough influence to make the RMN escort his and other ships anywhere where piracy is really troublesome, essentially for free. Even if he can afford the mercenary fees, you can't beat RMN's price.
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