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Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?

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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:06 am

tlb
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ldwechsler wrote:YoR analysis is sort of cute. First of all, there are a lot of veterans around even after Laocoon. Having senior chiefs who are 35 sounds real young but it probably means they've served at least 15 years. Also, promotion had really been slow in the Manticoran Navy unless you had political clout. Honor was a new captain in her 40's, meaning she had been in the navy for well over 20 years. In peacetime, promotion was slow.

Second, the Sollies had no idea of how far behind they were because MAlign pushed the notion on them. MAlign wanted them gone, not Manticore...until the Manties had no choice. Remember, there were people who who were in the Sollie Navy who knew the analyses were wrong and they were shut down.

Tech doesn't grow itself all that fast. To build competitive ships takes a lot of new tech. And in a lot of fields.Note that even after the war between the Grand Alliance and the League had been going on, a lot of the Sollie admirals had no idea it was happening much less how bad things were going.

Even some of the best admirals (as we saw in SoV) really had no idea of how outclassed they were.

Total fiction? Read about the difference in torpedoes between the US and Japan in World War II. The Japanese "long lances". which the Japanese had from the beginning were better than what the US had even in the end. American admirals fought like crazy to defend their torpedoes even as sailors died in wholesale lots. The problems the US had in the Solomon Islands came mostly from the torpedoes. Only when the big battleships with radar directed guns combined with a heavily reinforced air grouping with improved planes did the US win.

"Cute" is an odd adjective to use. I believe that you are correct though about the manpower; Oyster Bay killed construction and support people, but not so many ship crews. Only ships being repaired might have some of their crew on board at the stations. To counteract that, there was a pool of merchantmen to draw on from the ships idled by Laocoon.

The SLN's lack of knowledge is a key point. But Malign wanted their political unit, The Renaissance Factor, to be dominant in the post war environment; that requires the Solarian League to lose in a way that causes its breakup and importantly to strike weakening blows as it goes down, so the victor retreats from power.

Concentrating on torpedoes overrates the Japanese advantage in WWII. Particularly after the US studied the captured Zero, the P-40 and Wildcat could use their armor and armament to gain a favorable kill ratio. The air war in the Pacific was being won without the battleship; a result that made the carrier the dominant weapon. When the problem with the torpedo trigger was fixed, the result did not have to be as good as the Long Lance; only good enough to sink ships.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ldwechsler   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:48 pm

ldwechsler
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tlb wrote:
ldwechsler wrote:YoR analysis is sort of cute. First of all, there are a lot of veterans around even after Laocoon. Having senior chiefs who are 35 sounds real young but it probably means they've served at least 15 years. Also, promotion had really been slow in the Manticoran Navy unless you had political clout. Honor was a new captain in her 40's, meaning she had been in the navy for well over 20 years. In peacetime, promotion was slow.

Second, the Sollies had no idea of how far behind they were because MAlign pushed the notion on them. MAlign wanted them gone, not Manticore...until the Manties had no choice. Remember, there were people who who were in the Sollie Navy who knew the analyses were wrong and they were shut down.

Tech doesn't grow itself all that fast. To build competitive ships takes a lot of new tech. And in a lot of fields.Note that even after the war between the Grand Alliance and the League had been going on, a lot of the Sollie admirals had no idea it was happening much less how bad things were going.

Even some of the best admirals (as we saw in SoV) really had no idea of how outclassed they were.

Total fiction? Read about the difference in torpedoes between the US and Japan in World War II. The Japanese "long lances". which the Japanese had from the beginning were better than what the US had even in the end. American admirals fought like crazy to defend their torpedoes even as sailors died in wholesale lots. The problems the US had in the Solomon Islands came mostly from the torpedoes. Only when the big battleships with radar directed guns combined with a heavily reinforced air grouping with improved planes did the US win.

"Cute" is an odd adjective to use. I believe that you are correct though about the manpower; Oyster Bay killed construction and support people, but not so many ship crews. Only ships being repaired might have some of their crew on board at the stations. To counteract that, there was a pool of merchantmen to draw on from the ships idled by Laocoon.

The SLN's lack of knowledge is a key point. But Malign wanted their political unit, The Renaissance Factor, to be dominant in the post war environment; that requires the Solarian League to lose in a way that causes its breakup and importantly to strike weakening blows as it goes down, so the victor retreats from power.

Concentrating on torpedoes overrates the Japanese advantage in WWII. Particularly after the US studied the captured Zero, the P-40 and Wildcat could use their armor and armament to gain a favorable kill ratio. The air war in the Pacific was being won without the battleship; a result that made the carrier the dominant weapon. When the problem with the torpedo trigger was fixed, the result did not have to be as good as the Long Lance; only good enough to sink ships.


My point was about the technology. I didn't say that the torpedoes were vital. I merely noted that when the Japanese were able to use them, they were devastating, far better than what the Americans had. Robert Lockwood, a submarine admiral has written about the disaster of American torpedoes.

Remember that every weapons system has as defenders the people who created it. A lot of semi-useless systems were created because of politics. And a lot of REMFs battled to keep them even when it cost the lives of people on the front lines.

We saw this over and over for the League. They not only didn't keep up with the new tech, they went out of their way to ignore it. And that was only party through MAlign's efforts.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by GloriousRuse   » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:32 pm

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Cute is an odd term.

1st Manticore obliterated a large portion of a proportionally tiny RMN. Manticore has plenty of bodies to throw in the slots. What they don’t have is plenty of equal bodies. A captain represents Sagami Island, time as a junior officer, time as an XO or other “field grade” experience, possibly light unit command experience, almost certainly some “shore” experience in staff and planning or perhaps shipyard experience, and an immersion in the almost unfathomable sub-culture of making a Navy run for, as you noted, 20+ years. The XOs, the sub-command personnel, the engineers who will never command, the senior logisticians doing fleet time who are waiting to transfer back to the support side...those are all decade plus investments. Even the most junior officers of the old RMN need to go through the selection and education process.

On the enlisted side, section chiefs in the RMN are also decade plus types. The guy overseeing all the electronic work on a “mere” cruiser might have spent twenty years in working the knuckle-banging parts of keeping everything turned on. Hell, by old Manti standards even a basic Able Spacer is likely a three year investment.

When entire fleets get pounded into scrap, huge holes get ripped in that knowledge base. Replacements get promoted early. Some are good. Some are not. Midshipmen get accelerated. People who maybe would t have made the cut before have 500,000 jobs waiting to be filled. And you got to fill them or you’ve got to downsize to the talent you have left.

————
The pacific theater is a really good example...against the Manties. Arguably the US didn’t catch up in tech until late ‘43, but pulled ahead in a few key areas like intelligence gathering and signals. There was still no question that by the end of ‘42 the tide had turned, using largely pre-war tech. They just adjusted their tactics.

Not one air dropped torpedo even detonated at Midway. But the dive bombers got it done after the fleet faked out the Japanese.

The F4F, P-38,39, and 40 couldn’t turn and burn with a zero. So they stopped, and adapted things like the Thatch weave or just boom and zoomed. Actually, when the Japanese rolled out their new wave of fighters in ‘44, aviators were saying there was no way to beat them in the air...to which one Admiral famously replied “so kill them on the ground”. Which they did.

We could go on and on, but the Pacific story is basically a down-tech force using clever tactics and strategies to adapt and hold on long enough for a massive industrial base to drown the warrior culture it was fighting against in materiel.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:31 am

tlb
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GloriousRuse wrote:The pacific theater is a really good example...against the Manties. Arguably the US didn’t catch up in tech until late ‘43, but pulled ahead in a few key areas like intelligence gathering and signals. There was still no question that by the end of ‘42 the tide had turned, using largely pre-war tech. They just adjusted their tactics.

Not one air dropped torpedo even detonated at Midway. But the dive bombers got it done after the fleet faked out the Japanese.

The F4F, P-38,39, and 40 couldn’t turn and burn with a zero. So they stopped, and adapted things like the Thatch weave or just boom and zoomed. Actually, when the Japanese rolled out their new wave of fighters in ‘44, aviators were saying there was no way to beat them in the air...to which one Admiral famously replied “so kill them on the ground”. Which they did.

We could go on and on, but the Pacific story is basically a down-tech force using clever tactics and strategies to adapt and hold on long enough for a massive industrial base to drown the warrior culture it was fighting against in materiel.

I think you are incorrect on your closing assertion. While it is true that the planes introduced by the Japanese during the war could compete with the best that the Allies had; by that time the submarine warfare had made fuel and raw materials scarce, which combined with poor maintenance and the lack of trained pilots reduced their effectiveness.

It is not that the Zero was technologically advanced compared to the P-40 or Wildcat; rather it represented the extremes of what could be achieved by lessening the weight: no armor, no self-sealing tanks, limited ammunition, small control surfaces (which made it difficult to control, particularly in a dive) and the habit of many pilots to forgo a parachute. Faced with the proper tactics the Zeroes were death traps and combining that with the inadequate training of replacement pilots resulted in the poor pilot quality by the end of the war.

But, as you suggest, there were other arenas where the Allies were ahead, if not at the beginning then near the end: by 1944 the proximity fuse was in full production making AA fire much more effective, by 1943 radar control was available for that AA fire and (mentioned by ldwechsler) the allied ships had radar integrated into their fire control systems so that by 1942 they could fire with zero visibility (compared to the Japanese who used optical control throughout the war). Plus the war ended with the first use of the A-bomb.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by GloriousRuse   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:37 pm

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I should be more specific:

The pacific war is the story of a side that initially finds itself outclassed in terms of equipment and personnel that opens the war with a string of defeats. The other side starts at a near peak of capability and experiences nothing but victory until Coral Sea.

The initially outclassed side adapts tactics and operations sufficient to overcome its disadvantages enough to stalemate strategically. Then the industrial base kicks in; in some tech fields they can compete, in some they can dominate, and in some they are behind...but it doesn’t matter because the sheer weight of good-enough weapons is more than sufficient to drive the smaller side under.

Which side would be the Sollies here is fairly self evident.

————
As an aside about the Zero: yes, but it was considered the pinnacle of “how to fight well in the air” until the Allies changed how they fought. Just as the Sollies could have changed their tactics rather than constantly see if they could beat the Manties in a long range missile chucking contest.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by ldwechsler   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:17 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:I should be more specific:

The pacific war is the story of a side that initially finds itself outclassed in terms of equipment and personnel that opens the war with a string of defeats. The other side starts at a near peak of capability and experiences nothing but victory until Coral Sea.

The initially outclassed side adapts tactics and operations sufficient to overcome its disadvantages enough to stalemate strategically. Then the industrial base kicks in; in some tech fields they can compete, in some they can dominate, and in some they are behind...but it doesn’t matter because the sheer weight of good-enough weapons is more than sufficient to drive the smaller side under.

Which side would be the Sollies here is fairly self evident.

————
As an aside about the Zero: yes, but it was considered the pinnacle of “how to fight well in the air” until the Allies changed how they fought. Just as the Sollies could have changed their tactics rather than constantly see if they could beat the Manties in a long range missile chucking contest.


There are several problems in directly relating to a comparison of what is happening in the Honorverse to WWII in the Pacific.

First of all, the League barely reacted at all. They were so certain of their victory there were no changes made at all in the beginning. The US began preparations for war in 1940 and had ships on the block getting set for fighting. There were major reinforcements added in late 1942 after all.

It takes years to build ships in both universes. The US got a head start. The Sollies did not.

Also, the Japanese were rather undermanned in terms of navy. There were only six large carriers at the start. Two of them faced enough damage to planes and ship they were not around at Midway. And they were not producing many capital ships afterwards...still hanging on to the battleship model. The
US had a few battleships almost ready at the start of the war although none after the first day in the Pacific and a real lot more being worked on. The Mandarins sat back. And Manticore had hundreds of ships.

Also, the tech was much lower in WWII. While the Zero was better at the start, the new American planes were superior and were on line in about two years. Radar directed guns added a lot.

Also, the Japanese did not push the fighting past Hawaii to any degree and didn't even take those islands, which they might have done. And while there were SOME losses, within a few months the Americans did OK at the Coral Sea and then smashed the carrier force at Midway. That ruined the Japanese navy for real battles where they could take the initiative in a strategic way. They were still superior during the Solomons campaign but that's when things started to change.

Note that the Sollies never really beat Manticore in battle. Even at Hyacinth where they clearly outnumbered and outweighed the opposition, they could not really carry out the main mission.

Also, there were a real lot of different ways Manticore was superior. It was not only in sensors but in missile effectiveness and in crew performance. While claiming that there would be a lot of fairly new leaders on Manticore, there was far too little notice that a real lot of the Sollies got their jobs through influence AND THE SOLLIE NAVY NEVER REALLY FOUGHT A REAL WAR.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:22 pm

tlb
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GloriousRuse wrote:I should be more specific:

The pacific war is the story of a side that initially finds itself outclassed in terms of equipment and personnel that opens the war with a string of defeats. The other side starts at a near peak of capability and experiences nothing but victory until Coral Sea.

The initially outclassed side adapts tactics and operations sufficient to overcome its disadvantages enough to stalemate strategically. Then the industrial base kicks in; in some tech fields they can compete, in some they can dominate, and in some they are behind...but it doesn’t matter because the sheer weight of good-enough weapons is more than sufficient to drive the smaller side under.

Which side would be the Sollies here is fairly self evident.

————
As an aside about the Zero: yes, but it was considered the pinnacle of “how to fight well in the air” until the Allies changed how they fought. Just as the Sollies could have changed their tactics rather than constantly see if they could beat the Manties in a long range missile chucking contest.

Yes, I agree with most of what you say; one major difference is that the tactic of commerce raiding adopted by the US submarine fleet could, and did, starve the Japanese of the essentials to run their war effort (after the problems with the US torpedoes were fixed). It is not clear that the SLN could do anything equivalent, particularly given the RMN advantages with wormholes and convoy protection.

I am not sure about the strategic stalemate you mention. The Japanese had a very flawed strategy of creating island fortresses that would stymie the Americans until they quit the war, because they lacked the warrior spirit. They were wrong about both points.

The Zero was the pinnacle of “how to fight well in the air” until the Allies examined the captured example and discovered all the shortcomings and design shortcuts which good tactics could use.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by GloriousRuse   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:36 pm

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Although I could debate the Zero and whether Thatch had info when he invented his weave, or Bong knew the weaknesses when he decided that he was just going to blaze through, I fear I may be digressing.

The real point here is that a large, first rate navy, representing the max effort of the Japanese Empire, was stymied by the Americans adapting tactics and operational approaches which blunted them. It stopped the Japanese form ever pushing out far enough to make a cross pacific campaign impractical. This blunting happened in '42, before the USN managed to really come out of its pre-war starting blocks in terms of equipment.

And that was all it had to do. Not lose long enough to let the industrial base win. Which would be the equivalent of the Sollie Navy learning, adapting, and then eventually stalemating the RMN long enough for the League to mobilize for real.

----------------
Concerning commerce raiding: Yes, though it really didn't begin biting until late '43. However, commerce raiding would actually be an optimal SLN approach.

It forces the Manties to either withdraw their merchants from "unsafe" areas and begin choking given they rely on them so much economically, take risks with them, or begin escorting them.

If they start escorting, the ground is set for the SLN to pick its fights against chosen escort squadrons. We know that individual pirates are able to find ambush locations on the interstellar shipping lanes where they can be assured someone is crossing an in-limit stretch outside of fixed defenses. The new name of the game becomes ambush and counter ambush, which means attrition based more on who tricks who today rather than straight technology duels. The Sollies will still be on the low side of the kill:loss ratios, but they can afford to be.

Similarly, given the raw missile production rates (UH has the Sollies bringing colliers that can launch volley in their millions if pods flush) smashing outlying industry form beyond the limit is simple enough. A long ballistic launch...and if the Manties have 250k counter missiles, well, just send 300k missiles at the shipyards in question.
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by Weird Harold   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:16 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:Concerning commerce raiding: Yes, though it really didn't begin biting until late '43. However, commerce raiding would actually be an optimal SLN approach.

It forces the Manties to either withdraw their merchants from "unsafe" areas and begin choking given they rely on them so much economically, take risks with them, or begin escorting them.


Unfortunately, the SLN let the MAlign define "commerce raiding" as EE violations of neutral systems. Partly be cause the SEM preemptively withdrew their merchant marine from "unsafe areas" and the SLN didn't have sufficient assets in reach of any SEM commerce to do any effective raiding.

You are correct that the SLN should have just sat back and rebuilt their Navy. The SEM would have been at a serious disadvantage militarily because they would have nothing to react defensively to without being perceived as the aggressor.

Thanks to MAlign influence, Bing, Crandall, and Rajampet (and pretty much every senior SLN officer,) made the worst possible decisions and sent the SLN into the teeth of the SEM's strengths instead of fighting smart. The Mandarins didn't help, either.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Has anyone else decided to root against Manticore?
Post by tlb   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:22 pm

tlb
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GloriousRuse wrote:However, commerce raiding would actually be an optimal SLN approach.

It forces the Manties to either withdraw their merchants from "unsafe" areas and begin choking given they rely on them so much economically, take risks with them, or begin escorting them.

If they start escorting, the ground is set for the SLN to pick its fights against chosen escort squadrons. We know that individual pirates are able to find ambush locations on the interstellar shipping lanes where they can be assured someone is crossing an in-limit stretch outside of fixed defenses. The new name of the game becomes ambush and counter ambush, which means attrition based more on who tricks who today rather than straight technology duels. The Sollies will still be on the low side of the kill:loss ratios, but they can afford to be.

Similarly, given the raw missile production rates (UH has the Sollies bringing colliers that can launch volley in their millions if pods flush) smashing outlying industry form beyond the limit is simple enough. A long ballistic launch...and if the Manties have 250k counter missiles, well, just send 300k missiles at the shipyards in question.

One question presents itself: is there still a war on? That is, given the situation at the end of UH, will the new Solarian League vote a declaration of war or will they work on getting the new government running really well? Given the actions of the Mandarins and the information on infiltration by enemy agents, it is possible that the League will concentrate on housecleaning and research, instead of military action.
GloriousRuse wrote:Although I could debate the Zero and whether Thatch had info when he invented his weave, or Bong knew the weaknesses when he decided that he was just going to blaze through, I fear I may be digressing.

I would not argue against you here, I was just putting a final time limit on things.
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