Jonathan_S wrote:If the League launched something like Raging Justice at Manticore in 1904 PD they'd take heavy losses - but they'd smash through Home Fleet and the defensive forts and force the surrender of Manticore. At that point, with that phase of the war being over, they should be able to use the Junction to resupply and shuffle units back for repair through Beowulf. It would take a while but they could build up a Raging Justice II and launch another overwhelming strike straight at Haven - knocking them out as well.
I will disagree that it would have been a forgone conclusion that the SLN would have won that theoretical battle. Even if the main war fighting tech they had in full deployment was towed pods with single drive missiles. In 1905 both the SLN planners and the RMN planners would have assumed the SLN would win, with the RMN thinking the SLN would take heavier losses than the SLN planners.
I believe the outcome would be closer to even chances the RMN or the SLN win, mainly depending on the effectiveness of the RMNs alpha strike with pods, and the more effective pen aids and ECM of RMN missiles would increase the chances of hits and random catastrophic damage to SLN ships prior to the Energy dual that would consume most of both fleets, leaving a badly mauled fleet in possession of the system.
A lot of random chance to depend on for a RMN victory.
The big option there is, in this fictional, fictional scenario, is whether the RMN is actively prepping for the Havenite war, or is at relative peace? If it is prepping for, or fighting, the Havenite war, it's deployments will leave only 50-100 Wallers in Manticore space, many under repair or maintenance, with the rest (200-250) spread out at the Manticorian Alliance's many defensive commitments or attacking the PRN. If the War is not on, >200 wallers should be Manticore space, with a smaller % under repair and maintenance.
In the first case, a Raging Justice sized force will take Manticore's planets handily, though with far heavier loses than expected. In the 2nd case, combined with Manticore's tougher SDs, better applied warfighting technologies, experience, the local defenses, and the surprise of pods, your assessment would be correct - a pyrrhic battle probably with a slim SLN victory, but not necessarily.
The Junction, however, with 120+ forts massing an average of 16 Mtons with the average fort containing the combat power of ~4DN sized Scientists, probably could take a Raging Justice sized force on it's own in 1904. When you throw in the shoals of mines, IEWPs (Independent Energy Weapons Platforms) and pods, in addition to any assigned mobile warships and any warships defending other termini, The Junction Defenses could probably fight off Raging Justice II's 600-700 DNs, though at a cost of near total destruction.