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Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?

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Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by cthia   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:09 pm

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Simply put, is there a time Manticore could have been conquered by the Solarians, Havenites or Andermani?

Or, were they simply born with a silver spoon in their mouth?

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: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by tlb   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:26 pm

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cthia wrote:Simply put, is there a time Manticore could have been conquered by the Solarians, Havenites or Andermani?

Or, were they simply born with a silver spoon in their mouth?

I have not read the Manticore Ascendant series, but was under impression that it was a close-run thing when the mercenaries came to capture the wormhole.

After that they may have been fortunate in their neighbors until Haven became a conqueror.
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by ZVar   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:21 am

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cthia wrote:Simply put, is there a time Manticore could have been conquered by the Solarians, Havenites or Andermani?

Or, were they simply born with a silver spoon in their mouth?


Two things that helped.
They were far away from any power that could roll over them, and this was before any navy did deep raids. That started in the Havenite wars.

Since the wormhole, they've had a very large navy for a single system, if for no other reason to provide commerce protection.

Both together means it was never really easy to take over Manticore.

Heck, it took a couple hundred years of Haven expanding to get close enough to make it reasonable to gobble up Manticore, and they are next door neighbors in the galactic sense.
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:26 am

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cthia wrote:Simply put, is there a time Manticore could have been conquered by the Solarians, Havenites or Andermani?

Or, were they simply born with a silver spoon in their mouth?

Pretty clearly during Manticore Ascendant's timeline either the IAN or Haven could have pretty trivially conquered Manticore. (Even if all Manticore's BCs had still been operational). And the SLN could have done so trivially assuming it could have figured out the logistics to send a force out that far (it would be a far longer trip back then - no helpful wormholes to reduce the distance and warships appeared to be restricted to only lower hyper bands; so all the interstellar trips take longer than they would now)

Most likely prior to King Roger's build-up Haven would have been able to take Manticore. The size of the RMN, especially in heavy ships, multiplied dramatically in the 60 years leading up to the war. A quick look at HOS seems to show they added over 100 SDs alone between 1848 and 1905! That's a major fraction of their start of war total wallers.

And there've been posts here making fairly compelling arguments that up until the RMN rolled out SD(P)s and MDMs late in the first war that the SLN could still have defeated the entire RMN should they care to send enough ships. (They might need a 4 or 5 to one advantage in SD hulls - but they have that many should they send most of Battlefleet at Manticore).

And even posts making a somewhat believable case that if President Harris had ignored rear area security and accepted that some systems might rebel and need to be reconquered, that even at the start of the war with Manticore that Haven's navy likely could have won if they'd thrown everything into an all or nothing assault on the Manticore system.


So for most of the history of Manticore there have been navies, even sometimes relatively nearby navies, that could have conquered the system. But Manticore usually had pretty good relations with those neighbors and so didn't come under attack of them until the now expansionistic Haven finally attacked in 1905 PD. And it wasn't until 1915 that Manticore became likely to survive an initial heavy attack by the SLN.

They may have had a silver spoon in their mouth (especially after the Junction was found) but they weren't unconquerable until quite recently (its been less than a decade). They were just lucky enough that none of the powers strong enough to succeed wanted to do so badly enough to accept the losses and costs involved.
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by kzt   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:54 am

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The Peeps could have, in all likelihood, crushed the RMN at the start of the war. But there was a lot of risk and they were unwilling to take it, since it would have required a 100% offensive stance, where they would win the war in a few hours. Or lose the war in a few hours...
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:56 am

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To put it simply - if Manticore wasn't constantly covered by League's Eridani Edict, the whole war with Haven would last only as long as it would need Haven to blast every major population center on Gryphon, and demand unconditional surrender threatening to obliterate the other two planets if Star Kingdom would refuse. Let's not forget: the habitable planets in Honorverse are NOT valuable assets (they could be easily found), and Manticore main value is tunnel node. If the warfare wasn't essentially regulated by League into the extremely formalized duel, the Manticore would suffer literally immense problems of having all their territory and population tightly packed, vulnerable to be taken out in just one massive strike.
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Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by munroburton   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:05 am

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Asking it another way, when was Manticore nearly invulnerable to every other navy?

First, from about 1914 to about 1917, when they(and the GSN) had the only podnoughts in commission. This ended when the IAN and RHN deployed their own SD(P)s.

A second period of apparent invulnerability existed between the Battle of Manticore and Oyster Bay - barely eight months long. Unfortunately, Oyster Bay itself shows that Manticore was never invulnerable, however powerful the RMN becomes in comparison to conventional navies.

Three and perhaps a half years of invulnerability out of five hundred years. About 0.7% of its existence.
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by Theemile   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:16 pm

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munroburton wrote:Asking it another way, when was Manticore nearly invulnerable to every other navy?

First, from about 1914 to about 1917, when they(and the GSN) had the only podnoughts in commission. This ended when the IAN and RHN deployed their own SD(P)s.

A second period of apparent invulnerability existed between the Battle of Manticore and Oyster Bay - barely eight months long. Unfortunately, Oyster Bay itself shows that Manticore was never invulnerable, however powerful the RMN becomes in comparison to conventional navies.

Three and perhaps a half years of invulnerability out of five hundred years. About 0.7% of its existence.



But Manticore hadn't been extremely vulnerable either. The Junction had ~4-5 dozen forts in 1850, each planets had a defense of forts and moon based defenses, and there were 25 Wallers (3 SDs, 11 small DNs and 11 small BBs).

Seeing that no SLN SDF has more than 36 wallers now, and each of the IAN and PRN were both considerably smaller then, the existing pre-1850 wall was sufficient to be considered as more than just a speed bump for pretty much any navy but Haven's and the SLN.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by SharkHunter   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:39 pm

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As already described, in Prince, then King Roger's early days... but Haven wasn't ready and was trying to destabilize Manticore's political system for an easier takeover. They got so enamored of their fancy footwork that they didn't press the military advantage BEFORE the buildup.

That said, as we find out later in the story, he MAlign was manipulating Haven politics relatively early because Haven was the bigger enemy, so setting the two on a collision course was supposed to create an entity that the MAlign could manipulate into a war of attrition that would leave the Havenites as the only power standing and not strong enough to tear the SLN a new one, just strong enough for all of the other players to destabilize the rest of the SLN.. leaving the RF the only viable power standing.

The Wintons, Harringtons, Benton-Ramirez, and Alexander families didn't seem to factor into their plans, however. And those stubborn Graysons were supposed to be pushovers, dagnabit... :roll: The dynamic duo of Hemphill and Foraker might have contributed to the dagnabits as well... ... and them dang treecats!
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Re: Was Manticore ever vulnerable to any other navy?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:59 pm

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It's easier to reply the other way around: when Manticore was reasonably secure against any potential and reasonable attacks. Ruling out all-out attacks by Haven which would leave rear areas unguarded, I see only two periods when Manticore was secure:

First, the one we all know, from Buttercup onwards. After the advent of SD(P) and MDMs, the defences were sufficient to stop any attacker. The only time since then that there was a chink was in early 1920 PD, when Haven did have a substantial numerical superiority. I don't think Theisman could have attacked the MBS directly during Thunderbolt, since that would leave too many ships in Grayson hands and in Grendelsbane (unfinished, sure).

Between SVW and Buttercup, Manticore was reasonably secure against Haven, and we have entire books to prove that. And as discussed in earlier threads, if the Peeps had better executed their side, Manticore had some fallback plans that were never needed. Manticore's advantage against Haven probably started earlier than SVW, but we don't know for sure because we don't how how Haven's build up was prior to the start of the war. It's not like they needed 400 SDs against to crush any other opposition in the sector.

But Manticore was not secure against the League at this point. Only SD(P)s and MDMs made that possible. If the SLN decided to reactivate a portion of its reserve and send 1000-1500 SDs, there would be little the RMN could do.




The second period is not told in stories yet: from around 1575 to 1675 PD, roughly. This is entirely my conjecture, based background references. That's shortly before the (official) discovery of the Junction to when Manticore became isolationist again. I make this statement based on the construction of the HMS Nike BC-01 to when the Ad Astra class of DNs concluded with 11 ships. The previous Nike (BC-09) likely massed around 200,000 tonnes, since she was a century old by 1545, was reclassified as a CA (CA-99) later on, and the Manticore Ascendant books talk about Beowulf BCs massing 200,000 too. That tells me that BC-01 was much bigger, probably one of the first ships above half a million tonnes that wasn't a battleship.

Moreover, Manticore did build 16 Manticore-class battleships around the same time and battleships did mass over a million tonnes. The first dreadnought, massing nearly 4 million, came in 1632, with 10 more in the next couple of decades.

So I say that in the early 17th century PD, defended by 16 battleships, up to 11 dreadnoughts, and a couple dozen battlecruisers, Manticore was very safe, even from the League. At this time, the RMN would be on par with the IAN and the RHN, which were the closest, big neighbours (and were allies). The SLN numbers wouldn't matter much because the SL Core was too far for 17th century operations.

This period may extend a couple of decades more out of pure inertia. The DuQuesne Plan is from the early 1700s, so the RHN probably did not begin expanding until after that. But 1675 sounds good, especially since Edward Saganami died in 1672, which basically means this period matches the time HMS Nike BC-01 was in service.

I hereby christen it "The Travis Long Doctrine."
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