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The politics of short-stopping firepower

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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by robert132   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:28 pm

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munroburton wrote:Nike's communications were fine. It was another ship whose communications were too badly damaged for its captain(senior to both Honor and Young) to assume command. As far as Young was concerned, Sarnow was still alive and Nike was the flagship.

Pavel Young wasn't a sophisticated villain. He quite simply panicked when his ship was hit - for the first time in that battle, a little while after they had passed the scatter point. Then he ran away and didn't stop running.

The only reason that squadron was on his mind at all was because a few minutes earlier, Young privately celebrated the destruction of Van Slyke's flagship, as it meant he could claim squadron command combat experience and get promoted to Commodore faster.


Indeed, Nike's comms were intact. But here is a point that seems to be overlooked, upon the Admiral's incapacitation command devolved to his Flag Captain until such time as she could notify the next senior officer capable of assuming command, a point which I think was made at some point in the post action debriefings and reports.

That next senior officer was out of communication because IIRC it was his ship whose comm department was shot to hell. The Flag Captain was aware of this and determined (again in the after action reports) that it might well confuse matters further if she were to attempt to contact the next in seniority and fail (again IIRC, and I may not.)

Until a new Chain of Command could be reestablished Positional Authority as Flag Captain made her chair on Nike's Bridge the hot seat. She knew it and to her credit did not flinch from it despite knowing the possible consequences and knowing the awful responsibility thrust upon her. She had no way of knowing (if they survived) if her actions and decisions would be upheld by higher authority.

If Honor Harrington were a flesh and blood officer today, I'd sail with her.

On the other hand Young's Exec, knowing that his Captain was acting out of cowardice would probably been found to be within his rights and authority to relieve Young on the spot, arrest or even shoot him if necessary to return Warlock to her place in formation.
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Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:33 pm

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robert132 wrote:
munroburton wrote:Nike's communications were fine. It was another ship whose communications were too badly damaged for its captain(senior to both Honor and Young) to assume command. As far as Young was concerned, Sarnow was still alive and Nike was the flagship.

Pavel Young wasn't a sophisticated villain. He quite simply panicked when his ship was hit - for the first time in that battle, a little while after they had passed the scatter point. Then he ran away and didn't stop running.

The only reason that squadron was on his mind at all was because a few minutes earlier, Young privately celebrated the destruction of Van Slyke's flagship, as it meant he could claim squadron command combat experience and get promoted to Commodore faster.


Indeed, Nike's comms were intact. But here is a point that seems to be overlooked, upon the Admiral's incapacitation command devolved to his Flag Captain until such time as she could notify the next senior officer capable of assuming command, a point which I think was made at some point in the post action debriefings and reports.

That next senior officer was out of communication because IIRC it was his ship whose comm department was shot to hell. The Flag Captain was aware of this and determined (again in the after action reports) that it might well confuse matters further if she were to attempt to contact the next in seniority and fail (again IIRC, and I may not.)

Until a new Chain of Command could be reestablished Positional Authority as Flag Captain made her chair on Nike's Bridge the hot seat. She knew it and to her credit did not flinch from it despite knowing the possible consequences and knowing the awful responsibility thrust upon her. She had no way of knowing (if they survived) if her actions and decisions would be upheld by higher authority.

If Honor Harrington were a flesh and blood officer today, I'd sail with her.

On the other hand Young's Exec, knowing that his Captain was acting out of cowardice would probably been found to be within his rights and authority to relieve Young on the spot, arrest or even shoot him if necessary to return Warlock to her place in formation.


Honor's decision not to pass the command baton was discussed and rediscussed.

But the argument over Young's actions pretty much got distilled down to what Young actually knew. And all Young knew was he was receiving legitmite oders from the flagship, via the flag captain. He never knew that the Sarnow was incapacited or the difficulty in switching the flag. All he knew was the flag had not yet sent the dispersed order as planned.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:35 am

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Theemile wrote:the argument over Young's actions pretty much got distilled down to what Young actually knew. And all Young knew was he was receiving legitmite oders from the flagship, via the flag captain. He never knew that the Sarnow was incapacited or the difficulty in switching the flag. All he knew was the flag had not yet sent the dispersed order as planned.

Just to clarify; while he knew that Sarnow had explained the spot at which he expected to issue the command to scatter, Young also knew that that was at Sarnow's discretion. (Because Sarnow explained that while at that point it was likely that the BCs had done all that they could, that his actual decision would be make 'on the spot' based on actual current conditions. Last orders were to maintain formation until ordered otherwise. And no order to scatter came - well not until much later, after the PSN wallers spotted the relief force and turned away.

Admittedly if Sarnow hadn't been incapacitated it seems likely he would have issued an informational update that the formation would proceed together further, to ensure the Peeps were lured into the arms of the newly arrived relief force - but legally whether or not he shared that the current orders were to stay on formation.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by robert132   » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:50 am

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cthia wrote:
Not sure I agree with that in its entirety. He didn't know that Sarnow was incapacitated, no. But he did know that their communications had been destroyed. Which left it up to Honor (as far as Young would accept) to presume to know or accurately guess what Sarnow's last orders were to be. That is the point of Young's shortstopping. The right to "guess" as far as Young was concerned, about what Sarnow's intentions actually were.

And to Pavel Young, this was his right to do. After all, there was no way that that call made any sense to him. Which means it had to be Harrington's interpretation, bloodthirsty bitch she is, and NOT Sarnows.

I should have a reread to get a better feel and to appease my memory.


"Warlock, Flag - Return to formation position. I say again, return to position in formation." - How I imagine the Flagship's order would have gone out as I don't have that bit of the story open in front of me but probably very close to the actual text. Young and or his XO should have interpreted it as a lawful order given in battle to be disregarded by the ship's Captain at his peril.

It might have been his right to disregard, but it should have been his ass in a bight and neck in a noose after the court martial. Just my humble opinion of course. 8-)
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Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by Lord Skimper   » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:33 pm

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Zulu orders over ride orders if you can get back in any semblance of enough time. Otherwise you would either continue or take a break and wait in the nearest orders loop. There must be a confirmation for a Zulu command otherwise the enemy would use it all the time. Likewise miss using it or over reacting to something could spiral out of control.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by Donnachaidh   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:00 am

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I don't know what you're talking about but it's not the Honorverse. I've read through the entire series a few times and the only "Zulu" reference is "Case Zulu" which is the RMN case for invasion; nothing about an order overriding another order or a confirmation of a command or an enemy using it.

Lord Skimper wrote:Zulu orders over ride orders if you can get back in any semblance of enough time. Otherwise you would either continue or take a break and wait in the nearest orders loop. There must be a confirmation for a Zulu command otherwise the enemy would use it all the time. Likewise miss using it or over reacting to something could spiral out of control.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by kzt   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:09 pm

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Skimper and the rest of the people on my block list are not actually talking about the honorverse based on the books, they are talking about their impression of what the honorvers is based on Wikipedia, Google searches and the first two chapters of whatever book it is they once stared reading but got bored.
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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by cthia   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:03 pm

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Lord Skimper wrote:Zulu orders over ride orders if you can get back in any semblance of enough time. Otherwise you would either continue or take a break and wait in the nearest orders loop. There must be a confirmation for a Zulu command otherwise the enemy would use it all the time. Likewise miss using it or over reacting to something could spiral out of control.
Donnachaidh wrote:I don't know what you're talking about but it's not the Honorverse. I've read through the entire series a few times and the only "Zulu" reference is "Case Zulu" which is the RMN case for invasion; nothing about an order overriding another order or a confirmation of a command or an enemy using it.


Exactly what is it about Lord Skimper's post that incites a riot? His post is right on the money. I tried to incite similar thought and discussion about the possible command structure of a Case Zulu a few posts back. It is quite interesting to consider what is actually contained within The OFFICIAL CASE: ZULU Handbook of Regulations and Training.

And I would assume, as Lord Skimper seems to assume, that certain straightforwardness in any logic can be posited regarding command authority along with certain preset and likely primitives. One such being, that it seems Skimper and I can 'ceive of being, is...

STOP. PROCEED HOME. No matter where you are headed, are doing, or think you are doing. Are going, or think you are going. Are planning, or think you are planning. STOP! Proceed home if you can get Home within the set number of time critical (TC) located elsewhere in handbook.


When Lord Skimper refers to "Zulu," he is informally referring to "Case: Zulu." Again, informally. As would result in the midst of War where necessary for conciseness...

"Ca— Zulu! Case—" garbled communication "lu."

"Say again! Say again! Ka Lu?"

"Zulu! Zulu! Zulu!"

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Re: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by cthia   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:22 pm

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19chickens wrote:I've just finished The Short Victorious War and in it the minelayers used to lay a trap for the Havenites were on route to another system when the war warning from Manticore arrived, so Admiral Parks stopped them at Hancock.

I'm in the midst of a reread. A slow, lingering holiday read. Vacation still amidst! Company still amidst!

Nice eye. If he hadn't shortstopped those minelayers -- which turned out to be the final trick card the Manties could play, Fearless may have been destroyed and Chin's Fleet wouldn't have been sucked into a trap.

I'd wager odds weak for another system needing them as badly.

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: The politics of short-stopping firepower
Post by Somtaaw   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:54 pm

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Annachie wrote:Wouldn't suprise me if those mine layers had orders to check in just in case the situation changed in the area they were heading too.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk


We also hadn't been told when they specifically arrived, we know they were in system prior to Parks leaving, and the only reason he did stop them was because of the official war warning that came in from Manticore's Admiralty.

So I would assume that with the pre-war activity heating to that flashpoint, alot of things changed, like the single dreadnoughts (Bellerophon earlier in the book), and the minelayers shifted from deploying without screen to only deploy in light Task Group strength if not full Task Force.
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