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RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)

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RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Hegemon
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:50 am

Hello

I will start by saying that I am a fan of David Weber and that English is not my native language.

Then I would like to say that I searched the forum for a discussion on this topic and I did not find any. However, if this topic was previously discussed or if I should have posted it elsewere, I apologize to the moderator and ask him to advise me where to discuss it.
I also apologize for the great length of the topic. I will divide it in several posts for easier reading and replies.

I like that the books are pretty consistent internally. I like math and I tried to estimate the variation of RMN strength in time when I ran into some inconsistencies. They seem important and I posted hoping to get a clearer picture, not just to point them out. My questions and comments will be about two sets ship numbers that seem to be somewhat at odds between themselves and with other data.

There are five inconsistencies and they concern:
- the number of RMN pre-pod wallers (Bellerophon-class DNs and especially Sphynx-class SDs) built during the war (1905-1913) is much too low (probably by 60-100)
- the number of RMN SDs and SD(P)s lost during Operation Thunderbolt (61, of which 7 SD(P)s and 54 SDs) is much too high (probably by 30-40)

See the following posts for details.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:03 pm

Hegemon
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:50 am

A) The inconsistency between RMN SD and SD(P) losses during Operation Thunderbolt and the SDs in active fleet available to be destroyed in the 27 Havenite occupied systems and at Grendelsbane.

Elizabeth says 61 SDs and SD(P)s)have been destroyed by RHN during Operation Thunderbolt ("Basically, we've lost (...) sixty-one superdreadnoughts.") We know 7 SD(P)s were destroyed at Grendelsbane, so the rest of 54 were presumably pre-pod SDs.

Let us estimate the number of active RMN DNs, SDs and SD(P)s between 1918 and Operation Thunderbolt.
- The number of active RMN SD(P)s in 1918 is 64 ("sixty-four of the new superdreadnoughts are more than sufficient")
- The number of active RMN SD(P)s in early 1919 is still 64 ("Now you're reporting that they have a minimum of at least sixty in commission . . . which is only four less than we have.")
- The number of active RMN SD(P)s during Operation Thunderbolt is 77 at most: 48 at Trevor's Star, 12 in Home Fleet, 6 at Marsh, 7 at Grendelsbane and 4 in overhaul and working up at Manticore. ("Third Fleet has almost a hundred ships of the wall in its order of battle, including forty-eight of our SD(P)s, Niall, and two SD(P)s are down for local refit. We have exactly two—count them; two—more squadrons of them with Home Fleet. We have another squadron of them assigned to Sidemore Station. We have a fourth squadron assigned to Grendelsbane. And we have, at the moment, four more of them in various stages of overhaul and working up back home but not assigned to Home Fleet."). Of these 77, 75 (63 Medusa-class and 12 Invictus-class) are in commission according to House of Steel and 2 working up ("At the resumption of hostilities, only twelve Invictus-class ships were in commission").
- The number of active RMN DNs in early 1919 is 11, all part of Task Force 34 ("eleven of the others were mere dreadnoughts." "she hadn't anticipated that even Janacek would be quite so blatant as to assign every single Manticoran dreadnought still in commission to her.")
- The number of active RMN DNs during Operation Thunderbolt is still 11 ("TF 34 and the Protector's Own between them had (…) eleven dreadnoughts")
- The number of active RMN wallers (DNs, SDs and SD(P)s) in 1918 is 310-330 ("They're actually reducing their fleet to very nearly its prewar size, Eloise.") (which was 307: 186 SDs and 121 DNs) of which 310-330 - 64 SD(P)s = 246-266 pre-pod DNs and SDs

We have three estimates of number of active RMN SDs in early and late 1919 (during Operation Thunderbolt), and all three are pretty consistent among themselves:
- The active RMN DNs, SDs and SD(P)s in early 1919 are ~67.5% of the number in 1918 ("hold the number of battle squadrons up to approximately ninety percent of the current totals. By (…) reducing each squadron from eight ships to six") or 210-223 wallers, of which 135-148 SDs.
- The active RMN DNs, SDs and SD(P)s in early 1919 are 2.1-2.25 times the number of GSN SDs and SD(P)s in 1919 ("GSN was up to a strength of very nearly a hundred ships of the wall." "our navy is almost half the size of the Star Kingdom's active fleet") or 206-221 wallers, of which 131-146 SDs.
- The active RMN DNs and SDs during Operation Thunderbolt are 3-3.3 times the ~48 SDs in the Third Fleet ("Third Fleet has almost a hundred ships of the wall in its order of battle, including forty-eight of our SD(P)s," "[Third Fleet has] around a third of our pre-pod wall and two-thirds of our total modern wall" "his [GSN] task force and Third Fleet, with almost a hundred SD(P)s and fifty pre-pod SDs between them, could take them.") or 144-160 pre-pod wallers, of which 133-149 SDs.

Now let us estimate the strengths of RMN SD fleets that escaped intact (not attacked or with repairable damage) during Operation Thunderbolt.
- RMN Home Fleet: When Admiral Giscard is told that "twenty and fifty ships of the wall. Possibly with carrier support." are on the Trevor's Star terminus, he guesses that force represents either half of the RMN Third Fleet, or a detachment of RMN Home Fleet ("But if it wasn't the second half of Third Fleet, then what was it, and what was it doing here? Could it be a detachment from their Home Fleet that had simply happened to be in range for a crash Junction transit? (...) But even if it were a force from their Home Fleet, how bad could that be? They didn't have enough SD(P)s in Home Fleet to significantly affect the odds here, and rushing in pre-pod SDs would be suicidal."). So Admiral Giscard must know there are at least 50 wallers in the RMN Home Fleet to consider plausible that the terminus force is part of the Home Fleet. Moreover, there is no way even Janacek would have left the the home system defended by less than 50 wallers. Of the 50+ wallers in the Home Fleet, 16 are SD(P)s ("We have exactly two—count them; two—more squadrons of them [SD(P)s] with Home Fleet. (...) And we have, at the moment, four more of them [SD(P)s] in various stages of overhaul and working up back home but not assigned to Home Fleet.") and the rest of 34+ are SDs.
- RMN Third Fleet: all the 48 SD(P)s and ~48 SDs were not even attacked, as Admiral Giscard retreated after only a probe.
- RMN Task Force Grendelsbane: all 7 SD(P)s were destroyed and the 16 SDs and 4 CLACs escaped ("And to oppose it, once his LACs had been effectively destroyed, he'd had seven SD(P)s, sixteen pre-pod SDs, four CLACs" "His remaining twenty capital ships were hopelessly outclassed. The incredible missile storm which had wiped away his SD(P)s was proof enough of that. Thank God that at least he'd held them back when he sent in the SD(P)s!" "We've got about a ninety-minute window to evacuate anyone we're going to get out")
- RMN Task Force 34 in Marsh: All 6 SD(P)s, 25 SDs and 11 DNs almost certainly survived the Second Battle of Marsh. This is strongly suggested by that neither Admiral Harrington nor Admiral Tourville mention RMN losing any wallers. Moreover, even after the Second Fleet's offensive firepower is cut down to one blinded SD(P) out of 12 ("Hero was the only ship he had which could still deploy pods at all"), Admiral Tourville only mentions RMN losing battlecruisers and screen units ("At least some of Harrington's ships had been sufficiently battered to fall astern in the chase, he thought grimly. Some of them, judging from the recon drone's' reports, had taken serious damage. Two of her battlecruisers had been completely destroyed, as had at least three destroyers or light cruisers."). Now would had been the perfect time to console himself with the RMN or GSN wallers his fleet has destroyed, and the fact that he fails to do so speaks volumes. And I very much doubt that one blinded SD(P) that "was running low on ammunition" would manage to destroy RMN wallers when 12 healthy SD(P)s could not do it in the initial heavy salvoes.

Summing up: out of the 131-149 active RMN pre-pod SDs during Operation Thunderbolt, the 48 SDs at Trevor Star were not attacked in the feint, the 16 SDs at Grendelsbane retreated intact, the 25 SDs at Marsh survived the battle (maybe with 1 or 2 exceptions), and the 34+ in the Home Fleet did not see action, leaving only 12-19 SDs in occupied systems to be attacked and destroyed by the RHN. In other words, there is no way of accounting for the 61 SDs Elizabeth says have been destroyed by RHN during Operation Thunderbolt, even including the 7 SD(P)s lost in action at Grendelsbane and supposing that 1-2 SDs were lost at the Second Battle of Marsh and neither Admiral Harrington nor Admiral Tourville mentioned them in their PoVs.

PS: During Operation Thunderbolt RHN had about 192 SD(P)s in the First Fleet ("Since we seem to have observed damned close to two hundred of them in action exclusive of the ones they sent to Sidemore,") and 12 SD(P)s in the Second Fleet. Supposing their small reserve consisted of two SD(P) squadrons guarding Nouveau Paris and Bolthole respectively, that suggests a total of 220 RHN SD(P)s. Admiral Giscard says attacking Trevor's Star would mean "risking over half of our own SD(P)s", which implies that at the very least 112 SD(P)s (14 squadrons) were under his command at Trevor's Star.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:04 pm

Hegemon
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:50 am

B) The inconsistency between RMN SD and SD(P) losses during Operation Thunderbolt on one hand the average RMN picket force in the 27 Havenite occupied systems that were attacked during Operation Thunderbolt.

There are 27 systems taken from the republic. Dividing the 54 RMN SDs supposedly lost in Operation Thunderbolt evenly between 27 systems would give us exactly 2 SDs (a division) in each system. This would seem pretty excessive, given two other descriptions:
- "Even as the huge cloud of LACs flashed towards her, some detached observer in her brain was visualizing all of the other system pickets. Most of them, unlike Tequila, had at least a division of capital ships, or a battlecruiser squadron, or a dozen cruisers or so, to back up the LACs expected to bear the brunt of system defense."). Supposing that 20 of the 27 systems had this arrangement, and that 5 of those were defended by a BC squadron while other 5 by a couple of CA/CL squadrons, this would leave only 10 defended by a SD division each, or about 20 SDs.
- The RMN picket of Maastricht which includes 3 SDs and 6 BCs is described as "a fairly hefty picket for a single system", which suggest it is a few times stronger then the average RMN occupation picket.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:05 pm

Hegemon
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:50 am

C) The inconsistency between the number of RMN SDs in 1905 (186), RMN SDs lost in the First Havenite-Manticoran War (more than 21), RMN SDs lost in Operation Thunderbolt (54), the units sold to Grayson (53-55) and Erewhon (9-12), the number of pre-pod RMN SDs in 1920 (225) and the number of Sphynx-class SDs listed as built by Manticore between 1905 and 1913 according to House of Steel.

There were 90 GSN active and reserve pre-pod SDs in 1920 (http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/si ... gton/106/1) , of which (according to House of Steel):
- 27 were Manticore’s Gift-class ships: 11 ships gifted by Admiral White Haven in 1905, 1 ship destroyed at Fourth Yeltsin, 14 Duquesne-class and 3 Haven-class ships bought in 1917
- 22 were Steadholder Denevski-class ships
- 3 (5 according to http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/si ... gton/110/1) were Benjamin the Great-class ships
- 34 were Protector-class (former RMN Victory-class) ships bought in 1918
- Therefore 2-4* (the difference to 90) were King William-class ships bought in 1918
*This supposes that the only GSN SD ever lost was GNS Glorious during Fourth Yeltsin. Otherwise, the number should increase to cover any additional GSN SD losses during the First Havenite-Manticoran War.

There were 225 RMN active and reserve pre-pod SDs in 1920 (http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/si ... gton/106/1) . According to House of Steel, here are the numbers of SDs that RMN could have had in 1920 (excluding the sold ships and 6 ships that House of Steel heavily implies are destroyed in the First Havenite-Manticoran War):
- up to 3 Manticore-class ships in mothballs (2 decommissioned before 1905, 1 decommissioned in late 1905)
- up to 7 Samothrace-class ships, most of them in mothballs
- up to 17 King William-class ships most of them in mothballs (of the 25 ships, a squadron of 6-8 was sold to Erewhon in 1919 and probably another 2-4 to Grayson in 1918-1919)*
- up to 11 Anduril-class ships in mothballs (of the 14 ships, at least 3-4 were sold to Erewhon in 1918)
- no Victory-class ships (of the 36 ships, all the 34 remaining were sold to Grayson in 1918 and the other 2 were destroyed in the First Havenite-Manticoran War)
- up to 67 Sphinx-class ships, about half in mothballs
- up to 163 Gryphon-class ships, about half in mothballs
- no Duquesne-class ships (of the 18 captured ships, all 14 remaining units were sold to GSN, the other 4 were destroyed in the First Havenite-Manticoran War**)
- no Haven-class ships (all 3 captured ships never saw action and were sold to GSN)
In total, no more than 268 ships, excluding losses. That would mean that the combined RMN SD losses during the First Havenite-Manticoran War and Operation Thunderbolt were no more than 268 + 2 (Victory-class) + 4 (Duquesne-class) - 225 (SDs still present in 1920) = 49 SDs. This is a lower number than the 54 SDs (out of the 61 SDs and SD(P)s) Elizabeth says have been destroyed by RHN during Thunderbolt alone ("Basically, we've lost (...) sixty-one superdreadnoughts.") ! We know 7 SD(P)s were destroyed at Grendelsbane, so the rest of 54 were presumably pre-pod SDs.

*As you can see, these are minimum numbers, that do not even consider that some King William-class ships were sold to other allied navies (other than Erewhon or Grayson) according to House of steel.
**Given that they were used for rear area security, they were probably destroyed during operation Icarus.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:12 pm

Hegemon
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:50 am

D) The inconsistency between the number of RMN SDs that could have been active according to House of Steel, the RMN SDs lost in the First Havenite-Manticoran War (more than 21), the units sold to Grayson (53-55) and Erewhon (9-12), and the active RMN SDs on the eve of Operation Thunderbolt (131-146, see Inconsistency A),

According to House of Steel "The Sphinx and follow-on Gryphon were the only classes spared in the Janacek build-down, though over half of both of these classes had been placed in reserve by the time the war resumed." If out of the 67 + 163 = 230 built, only 20 were lost in the First Havenite-Manticoran War (a very conservative estimate) this would at most 104 active units. Even if we add all the 7 Samothrace-class ships and 10 of the King William-class ships, this would mean that on the eve of Operation Thunderbolt RMN had at most 121 SDs, which is lower by 10-25 units than the estimates above (see Inconsistency A). There are no other classes of active RMN SDs on the eve of Operation Thunderbolt to make up the difference, unless there were more than 163 Gryphon-class ships built in total.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:12 pm

Hegemon
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E) The inconsistency between the build rate of Alliance DNs and SDs (5 in 1905, 18 in 1806-1807, than 48-60 a year from 1908 according to High Admiral Wesley Matthews in Flag in Exile), the total number of wallers built by Grayson (25-27 SDs and 10 SD(P)s) between 1908 and 1913, and the number of Bellerophon-class DNs (23) and Gryphon-class SDs (127) built by Manticore between 1905 and 1913 according to House of Steel.

At the start of the war, RMN had in service (http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/si ... gton/105/1) :
- 186 SDs, of which 1 Manticore-class, 7 Samothrace-class, 25 King William-class, 14 Anduril-class, 36 Victory-class, 67 Sphinx-class and the rest of 36 Gryphon-class
- 121 DNs, of which 11 Ad Astra-class, 21 Royal Winton-class, 34 Gladiator-class, 40 Majestic-class and the rest of 15 Bellerophon-class
- The remainder of 163 - 36 = 127 Gryphon-class SDs and 38 - 15 = 23 Bellerophon-class DNs were built during the war, as follows:
- According to High Admiral Wesley Matthews in Flag in Exile, 5 wallers were commissioned by RMN in 1905 ("They also added thirty-one capital ships [of which] five more from new construction.") and 18 new ones were commissioning in 1806-1807 ("They had eighteen of the wall under construction in the Star Kingdom itself from prewar programs; those units are now proceeding on a crash priority basis to commission over the next six months, and their new war program will start delivering additional units within ten months.")
- This leaves 127 + 23 - 5 - 18 = 127 DNs and SDs built by Manticore between 1808 and 1813*, and 22-25 SDs and 10 SD(P)s built by the Graysons in the same six years. Even adding the Solarian DNs bought and upgraded by Erewhon (let us say 5 DNs a year), this would mean that the Alliance as a whole built no more than 192 wallers between 1808 and 1813, or 32 wallers a year.
- However, High Admiral Wesley Matthews projects the Alliance would build 48-60 wallers a year starting from 1908 ("Second, the Alliance will get its industry fully cranked up. (...) Once we hit our stride, we'll be turning out four or five of the wall a month.")

* The first RMN SD(P) commissioned only in middle or late 1914
** The RMN, GSN and EN were the only Alliance Navies that had wallers.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Theemile   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:11 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 3159
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Hegemon wrote:Hello

I will start by saying that I am a fan of David Weber and that English is not my native language.

Then I would like to say that I searched the forum for a discussion on this topic and I did not find any. However, if this topic was previously discussed or if I should have posted it elsewere, I apologize to the moderator and ask him to advise me where to discuss it.
I also apologize for the great length of the topic. I will divide it in several posts for easier reading and replies.

I like that the books are pretty consistent internally. I like math and I tried to estimate the variation of RMN strength in time when I ran into some inconsistencies. They seem important and I posted hoping to get a clearer picture, not just to point them out. My questions and comments will be about two sets ship numbers that seem to be somewhat at odds between themselves and with other data.

There are five inconsistencies and they concern:
- the number of RMN pre-pod wallers (Bellerophon-class DNs and especially Sphynx-class SDs) built during the war (1905-1913) is much too low (probably by 60-100)
- the number of RMN SDs and SD(P)s lost during Operation Thunderbolt (61, of which 7 SD(P)s and 54 SDs) is much too high (probably by 30-40)

See the following posts for details.


Hello Hegemon, welcome to the bar and have a virtual drink on us.

Ha, you have stumbled into one of the the biggest plotholes in the Honorverse - Thunderbolt.The build data does not align with the Thunderbolt loses. Only The Sidemore and Grendlesbane loses fit into the construction numbers. HoS seems to completely ignore Thunderbolt other than that. Were are told that, just prior to Thunderbolt, the RMN has only Gryphon, Sphinx and Samothrace SDs in service, and the last 11 DNs are with Honor in Sidemore. Yet, comparing the May 1st 1921 HOS build list with the March 1st 1920 Fleetlist, only 12 Sphinx, Gryphons or Samothraces were lost prior to March 1st 1920.

A huge condumrum, and David has never addressed it. it's almost as if the off screen portions of Thunderbolt never happened. Even if all the SDs supposedly sold are acconted for, there are barely enough to cover the supposed Thunderbolt loses.

Allow me to peruse the rest of your questions and we may have some more answers for you.
******
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: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by Hegemon   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:58 pm

Hegemon
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

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Theemile wrote:Only The Sidemore and Grendlesbane loses fit into the construction numbers.


I am not sure I understand you. I understand that you refer to the 7 SD(P)s lost at Grendlesbane. Do you have any precise data on the on the RMN DN, SD or SD(P) losses at Sidemore (Marsh) ? I am pretty sure the text strongly suggests TF 34 lost no capital ships (unless you count the 2 BCs) (See my comment on Marsh losses in my Inconsistency A post).

Theemile wrote:Were are told that, just prior to Thunderbolt, the RMN has only Gryphon, Sphinx and Samothrace SDs in service, and the last 11 DNs are with Honor in Sidemore.


I am inclined to think that there were still a few active King William-class ships during Thunderbolt because Janacek saddled Honor with them along with the 11 DNs.
My conjecture is based on the names of ships in BatRon 29
http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_Squadron_29
They seem to me to suggest to be from the same class as HMS King William.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by kzt   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:14 pm

kzt
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David tries pretty hard, but there is a reason I refer to AAC as that awful book. You are looking at in far too much detail, it has many problems that you will uncover, so don’t.
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Re: RMN SD numbers (built, sold and lost in Thunderbolt)
Post by cthia   » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:28 pm

cthia
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Posts: 10038
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

kzt wrote:David tries pretty hard, but there is a reason I refer to AAC as that awful book. You are looking at in far too much detail, it has many problems that you will uncover, so don’t.

And that is why I don't like looking at things in detail, because you taint the storyline. AAC is among my most favorite reads.

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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