kzt wrote:Basically Haven started a war without being willing to decisively commit to winning. They could have rolled over Manticore easily. Hell, their 300 BBs would have provided home fleet with a decent fight despite be obsolete. You send them in against Sphinx and keep the majority of the Haven fleet waiting for Home fleet (based at the junction) to commit.
They come after the BBs then you go after Manticore itself. If they don't go after the BBs 300 BBs will crack the defenses of Sphinx. It will be bloody, but that's a lot of firepower.
Ultimately it's virtually impossible for Haven to win a long term war, because the entire ruling class of Manticore will be shot by Haven. So the government of the SKM is just are not going to go there, they seek game changing opportunities that doesn't end with them and their kids getting shot. And that opportunity is Beowulf. Do you think that it would be hard to arrange a BF force to be at Beowulf on some sort of exercise when the union is announced, and would it be hard to get them and the Beowulf fleet to be at Manticore when the Peep fleet crosses the wall?
So unless the peeps are willing to go after Manticore before the SKM government realizes on a core level how hopeless the position is they never will be able to. And they were never willing to.
And ultimately the losses in this all in assault on Manticore would have been lower (though much more concentrated) than the grinding decade of war.
Manticore would still have surprised Haven with towed pods - but hopefully Haven would have brought enough forces to have absorbed the initial blow and still been able to smash through to Manticoran orbit.
Stripping the various Havenite systems of most of their naval forces might have led to some internal revolts - and possibly some painful pinprick raids, or even lost systems across the frontier.
But if the war ends with a decisive blow, and the home system is kept under control, Haven would then have time to pacify any internal dissident.
But you'd have to make plans to basically throw everything except a minimal home fleet directly at Manticore - ideally without giving them time to notice and concentrate 100% of their forces in the Manticoran system.
Now if Haven misjudged and held back a little too much the surprise of the towed pods could have tipped the balance in Manticore's favor. And even with enough forces you need a very resolute commanders to keep wading in after taking shocking losses in the initial missile salvo.
Imagine if another Kurita was in command and broke off the all-or-nothing attack after facing far heavier than expected defense?
The rest of the war would likely go poorly for Haven...
Back to the write-up I noticed that the diplomatic side failed to touch on the arms / military tech embargo that Manticore convinced / forced the League to impose against both combatants. That was a small but significant diplomatic coupe on Manticore's behalf (though well covered in the books)