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Planetary Attack Carriers?

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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by cthia   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:43 pm

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Rednek731 wrote:So what I'm interpreting from this conversation so far, is that one COULD design "monster transports", but whether or not to use them for their greater capacity or larger numbers of smaller transports for flexibility would be a matter of circumstances. Like using large numbers of smaller transports to deploy in multiple areas quickly while using larger transports for simply getting them off planet?

That's how I see it. Utilizing the behemoths for the proposed type of military use rings of "putting all of your eggs in one basket."

Someone else's mileage may vary.

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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by kzt   » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:50 pm

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Rednek731 wrote:So what I'm interpreting from this conversation so far, is that one COULD design "monster transports", but whether or not to use them for their greater capacity or larger numbers of smaller transports for flexibility would be a matter of circumstances. Like using large numbers of smaller transports to deploy in multiple areas quickly while using larger transports for simply getting them off planet?

You want all the invading troops collected on one large, slow and poorly defended ship to make easier destruction possible. Or not, depending on whether you are defending or attacking. :D
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by pappilon   » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:25 am

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kzt wrote:So what I'm interpreting from You want all the invading troops collected on one large, slow and poorly defended ship to make easier destruction possible. Or not, depending on whether you are defending or attacking. :D


Or a good way to send BF POWs back home at some point.
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by cthia   » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:46 am

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pappilon wrote:
kzt wrote:So what I'm interpreting from You want all the invading troops collected on one large, slow and poorly defended ship to make easier destruction possible. Or not, depending on whether you are defending or attacking. :D


Or a good way to send BF POWs back home at some point.

Except, with that many BFs you'd have to worry about a Mutiny On The Bounty LOL

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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Rincewind   » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:02 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Rednek731 wrote:But is that the biggest they have? Can it be SD sized and carry more people and shuttles? An SD can be as big as 9 million tons. Although I guess regardless of whether or not they do, my question is still answered but I'm still curious if it's possible or if there are size limitations on a ship that acts purely as a transport.

You could make a transport at big as an SD. But the rules of war in the Honorverse around planetary combat are closely modeled after the 'practicable breech' rule for fortresses.

Once you control the planet's orbitals (equivalent of a practicable breech in a fort's walls) they either surrender (in which case you send down a small occupation and peacekeeping force) or you bombard them from space until they do surrender (or I guess until everyone is dead).

And even if they surrendered falsely to lure ground troops into a hopeful guerrilla war the idea is that your relatively small numbers of troops are still supported by the 'big guns' of orbital bombardment.

So there isn't a perceived need for dropping and supporting hundreds of thousands of troops. So most people opt for smaller, cheaper, assault transports and system control cruisers so they have the flexibility to send them to multiple destinations (or if a massive assault is needed for some reason you simply assign more and more or your small transports to it)

But from a technical standpoint, sure you could build a 10 million ton assault transport ship with vast hangers to drop hundreds of shuttles and pinnaces for all the troops you're carrying. But nobody (that we've seen) does.


There is one scenario where such a capability might be required. From all the posts & the literature I have read the scenario is about capturing one of the home systems of your enemy. If you show up you call for their surrender & if they don't you use kinetic weapons on them until they do.

However!

What about a scenario where an enemy has captured one of your own systems (or that of an ally) & then deeply entrenched themselves in amongst that planet's infrastructure? Sure, you could use kinetic weapons but then you would be blowing up most of the planet's infrastructure &/or population; (sort of like the old saying, 'We had to kill them to save them'). In those circumstances you might have to send a ground force in to winkle the occupiers out without doing to much damage to the planet or inflicting too many collateral deaths amongst your own citizens or your allies, (hopefully).

On a side point, would it not be advantageous to have a few squadrons of sting ships to carry out interdiction and close air support? I know pinnaces can carry these missions out but it always struck me as risking them (& their crews) unnecessarily when a group of one man sting ships could carry them out & probably have a better survival rate: (Read the example of how Quentin Saint James won his Parliamentary Medal of Valour in the Honorverse Companion, page 323 for an example of one such situation).
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Re: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Theemile   » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:39 pm

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Rincewind wrote:
There is one scenario where such a capability might be required. From all the posts & the literature I have read the scenario is about capturing one of the home systems of your enemy. If you show up you call for their surrender & if they don't you use kinetic weapons on them until they do.

However!

What about a scenario where an enemy has captured one of your own systems (or that of an ally) & then deeply entrenched themselves in amongst that planet's infrastructure? Sure, you could use kinetic weapons but then you would be blowing up most of the planet's infrastructure &/or population; (sort of like the old saying, 'We had to kill them to save them'). In those circumstances you might have to send a ground force in to winkle the occupiers out without doing to much damage to the planet or inflicting too many collateral deaths amongst your own citizens or your allies, (hopefully).

On a side point, would it not be advantageous to have a few squadrons of sting ships to carry out interdiction and close air support? I know pinnaces can carry these missions out but it always struck me as risking them (& their crews) unnecessarily when a group of one man sting ships could carry them out & probably have a better survival rate: (Read the example of how Quentin Saint James won his Parliamentary Medal of Valour in the Honorverse Companion, page 323 for an example of one such situation).


This too is covered in the compendium. There is an agreement that the navy not operate dtingships (this is army, that is navy). However, Army transports are mentioned which can carry stingships, for such drops.

Also, an ~8 mton RMN marine carrier, the Guadacannal class, iirc, is mentioned in the Jayne's discussion of the Broadsword Marine Cruiser. (The 8 Broadsword CAs usually escort the Guadacannal and Roark's drift class marine carriers and coordinate the ground attack in their special command suites.)
******
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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by cthia   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:12 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:There are special cases where dropping troops would not only be unavoidable but recommended, even if the orbitals are controlled. Remember Blackbird? Situations where there are hostages.

Remember my scenario in roseandheather's wonderful POV thread, where Beth and several in line for succession are held on Darius? You just can't bombard. Especially if fanatics are involved. Like Blackbird. Like Darius.

Having said that...

It seems there would come a point where the risk outweighs the utility. As you say, it would become a priority target. Losing one of these things is worse than losing an SD full of your best officers. If indeed they can carry that many people, you are likely to only send one. Making you completely reliant upon that one.

If you are going to send an extra or two for backup, then there's no need to make them that large, less carrying equipment. IMO.

Right. In my effort to be brief and focus on all out planetary assault (then only place you'd need the monster transports that Rednek731 was asking about) I failed to touch on raids, boardings, or unconventional interventions. Despite the rules of war there are still good reasons for warships to carry some ground forces and the small craft to drop and support them.

Even the occupation of Masada requires more troops, even with the constant threat of orbital bombardment, than you might expect for a non-fanatic surrendered planet.

And in addition to the Blackbird raid you mentioned, there was Honor's marine intervention on Basilisk, the anti-terrorist orbital drops in the Talbott Sector during the annexation debates, the boarding parties of the surrendered SLN ships after Spindle, and others where we saw use of well equipped (but fairly small) Marine or landing/boarding forces used where no other solution seems likely to have worked.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that the rules of war eliminated the need for ground forces - just the need for vast numbers of them in any one planet.
cthia wrote:No worry Jonathan. I was speaking to the notion and not to you directly. As far as I'm concerned, you CYA and made that clear when you said "So there isn't a perceived need for dropping and supporting hundreds of thousands of troops."

I took it that you were questioning the number and not the notion.

However, I'd like to add a slant that we've missed. I caution using them as ship transports for military personnel for the reasons I posted above. But I think they'd have a niche use. Such as planetary evacuations. Especially emergency evacuations.

Ferrying people "away from" than "to," a destination.

Like getting all of the Manticoran, Havenite and Grayson civilians and officers off of Earth right before Lacoon II.


Redneck731, as I spoke of in this post of the utility of your design in "ferrying away from," here's your "solution looking for a problem."Found.

snip

There’s no question that Yildun would be a legitimate target in terms of its contribution to the Solarian war effort, but it would be a very messy target and difficult to hit without creating an Eridani Edict violation unless the attackers were prepared to bring with them transports with sufficient lift for four or five million civilians.

snip

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: Planetary Attack Carriers?
Post by Rednek731   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:33 am

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Redneck731, as I spoke of in this post of the utility of your design in "ferrying away from," here's your "solution looking for a problem."Found.

snip

There’s no question that Yildun would be a legitimate target in terms of its contribution to the Solarian war effort, but it would be a very messy target and difficult to hit without creating an Eridani Edict violation unless the attackers were prepared to bring with them transports with sufficient lift for four or five million civilians.

snip
[/quote]
Thank you for that, and yes I can only imagine the kind of nightmare attacking Yildun would be.
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