Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests

Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by fester   » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:20 pm

fester
Captain of the List

Posts: 676
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:33 pm

This memo was found in an Andermani think tank archive during research on the evolution of Andermani security thinking from 1850 to the post-Alignment wars. It was written at the start of the 1st Havenite-Manticoran War. It presents an interesting set of what-ifs:

---------------------------------------------------------
The grand strategy of the Andermani Empire lost an amazing opportunity to resolve several security threats in in 1905-1906 Post Diasporia.

At this time, the Andermani faced two existential long term threats. The first was a Solarian League that had interest and willingness to resort to force to take the Empire into the protection of the Office of Frontier Security. The second existential threat was the long term expansion and continual looting of conquered territories by the Peoples’ Republic of Haven especially if the resources of the Manticoran economy and its rentier position that is generated by the Manticoran Wormhole Junction was brought under the control of Noveau Paris. Manticore’s actions and interest in Silesia are a secondary threat to immediate and near term interests of the Empire. Manticore does not have the resources nor the political system that would encourage explicit territorial expansion that would threaten the integrity of the Empire.

The IAN serves to achieve political objectives. The greatest objective is the continuation of the Empire. Against a fully mobilized Solarian League, no navy that the Andermani Empire could build or support would stand against the Solarian League. However, a sufficiently large and powerful navy could and has been built to preserve Anderamani integrity against “accidental” conquests by local Frontier Fleet and Battle Fleet formations. The IAN cannot guarantee Andermani independence against a Solarian League determined to integrate the Empire into the League, but it can be used to at least achieve a good integration deal such as the one achieved in the Maya Sector and a far better deal than the one that the Rembrandt Trade Union is attempting to build towards. Battle squadrons are trading chips against the Solarians.

The Republic of Haven’s attention, economy and deployable military forces are occupied with attempting to break the Manticoran Alliance. At this time, the PRoH is not an immediate threat. However, if the PRoH is able to conquer Manticore and the Junction and then integrate those resources, the Andermani Empire will be hard pressed to meet the PRHN on even numbers in core defensive commitments nor have a notable technological edge. Manticoran naval technology is systemically on par with Andermani naval technology with some areas of modest superiority and other areas where the Andermni Empire has modest but crucial advantages.

Naval analysts have projected that the Manticoran Alliance has been growing in relative strength as superior economic weight and the ever extending depth of the frontier systems has blunted some of the PRH’s advantages of scale and mass. However, prior to the opening phases of the current war, naval analysts projected that the Republic of Haven had a notable but not insurmountable quantitative advantage that was sufficient to overwhelm any qualitative disadvantage that they had. This balance of forces would lead to a long, attrition base war that the Manticoran navy would be hard pressed to match over time. The combination of the significant Manticoran victories in the Hancock Sector and Yeltsin as well as the disorder caused by the dislocation of the revolutionary coup has altered these calculations.

The Manticoran Alliance has begun to conduct a series of local frontier offenses. The conquest of Seaford-9 is a prime example of the altering balances of power. This is a fairly significant forward fleet base that supported a power frontier fleet of the Republic of Haven. The Manticorans were able to capture a significant portion of the base intact while also destroying most if not all of the wallers that had been supported by the base. The RMN took losses but the addition of captured wallers to the RMN order of battle will quickly replace those losses while Haven crews and yard support personnel can not be readily or quickly replaced. Similar exchanged have occurred up and down the frontier. The 2nd Fleet at Yeltsin won a significant victory that ruined a significant portion of the Havenites’ offensive capacity. Its immediate local counter-attacks have also led to the transfer of several frontier support nodes to Manticoran control. Manticore has re-established its shield far deeper into enemy territory after the first several months of this war than we had expected and the quantitative balance is almost even while Manticore seems to enjoy a greater qualitative and crew superiority than we had projected a year ago.

However, the Royal Manticoran Navy has a limited strategic capacity to advance. Most of the wall is covering the Manticore Binary system, the Junction, Grendelsbane, Basilak and Yelstin. Another significant portion of the active wall is tied to local defensive commitments of alliance members. The next fraction of the wall is in the shipyards for either normal or battle induced maintenance. The Manticoran Alliance has, at our best estimate, no more than forty wallers with adequate screen and support ships, to conduct strategic offensive operations. This is a limited force which the Peoples’ Republic Navy can and will stop in the near future.

The true mark of a navy’s power is not the sheer number of hulls available. No, it is the number and quality of hulls that can be deployed and sustained for strategically decisive offensive operations.

The Imperial Andermani Navy is now the 2nd most powerful fleet in the galaxy behind the Solarian League. We can safely assume that the other navies of the Haven Quadrant are incapable of conducting strategic offensives against the Andermani Empire. Manticore never has had an interest in doing so, and the People’s Republic of Haven is incapable of concentrating a core of wallers. Current IAN strength of 140 Superdreadnoughts and 88 Dreadnoughts with a significant, ongoing building program for superdreadnoughts and the current low threat environment would allow for strategic risk taking to occur to achieve long term Imperial security.

The IAN can credibly deliver a strategic striking force of at least eighty wallers while maintaining adequate defensive fleets at core nodes. This force would be invaluable to the Manticoran Alliance as it would allow for the RMN to continue their offensives for far longer and penetrate deeper into Havenite space while isolating the key strategic objective of Trevor’s Star early. The RMN is currently at risk of losing the initiative, but an infusion of eighty new, combat ready wallers would allow for the Alliance to maintain a permanent initiative while inflicting disproprortionate and continual losses on the Havenite forces.

This is critical to Manticore. Imperial diplomats should seek to identify what advantages the Manticoran Foreign Ministry would concede to us for such a force to be deployed to support the RMN. Any advantage would be appreciated, although our long term interests of weakening the PRH means no concessions need to be made as a victorious Manticore is not a strategic threat to the Empire while a victorious Haven is a existential threat.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by tlb   » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:41 pm

tlb
Admiral

Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:34 am

How is this a strategic blunder? It appears to be the actual plan used, which did give the Empire what it wanted in the end.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Theemile   » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:49 pm

Theemile
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4173
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: All over the Place - Now Serving Dublin, OH

tlb wrote:How is this a strategic blunder? It appears to be the actual plan used, which did give the Empire what it wanted in the end.

In the second war. Fester seems to be stating that they should have done so in the First war.
******
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."
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Duckk   » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:08 pm

Duckk
Site Admin

Posts: 4183
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:29 pm

What’s the source on this text? The IAN should at the very most be fourth in strength behind the SLN, PRHN, and the RMN.
-------------------------
Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by tlb   » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:24 pm

tlb
Admiral

Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:34 am

tlb wrote:How is this a strategic blunder? It appears to be the actual plan used, which did give the Empire what it wanted in the end.

Theemile wrote:In the second war. Fester seems to be stating that they should have done so in the First war.

But by waiting, they do not have to deal with High Ridge. Since they got what they wanted, that is a double success.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by Fox2!   » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:55 pm

Fox2!
Captain of the List

Posts: 739
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:34 am
Location: Huntsville, AL

tlb wrote:
tlb wrote:How is this a strategic blunder? It appears to be the actual plan used, which did give the Empire what it wanted in the end.

Theemile wrote:In the second war. Fester seems to be stating that they should have done so in the First war.

But by waiting, they do not have to deal with High Ridge. Since they got what they wanted, that is a double success.


That alone should be considered a strategic success.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:11 am

ThinksMarkedly
Vice Admiral

Posts: 1630
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:39 am

Duckk wrote:What’s the source on this text? The IAN should at the very most be fourth in strength behind the SLN, PRHN, and the RMN.


Sounds like something fester wrote to prove the point. The idea would be that someone in the IAN or another three-letter agency in the Empire wrote this memo to support the idea of aligning with the MA and remove not just the PRH threat but also mightily reduce the threat of the SL. The latter is not something I had thought of but makes a lot of sense: a tightly-integrated Andermani-Manticoran alliance, especially if they managed to defeat and liberate more systems in the Haven Quadrant, would be a very tough nut for the OFS to crack. Nothing short of a full war -- which did happen! -- would allow for the annexation.

But the point you raised is what also drew my attention. No way a realistic memo would claim that the IAN was the 2nd power in the known Galaxy. The IAN is at this time smaller than the RMN. First, I just don't see the Andermani engaging in intentional self-delusion and chest-thumping unless warranted. They can be mistaken like the best of us, but this claim wouldn't pass muster.

Second, the memo self-contradicts. The memo is claiming that the IAN and RMN are on par on quality, on average, so RMN's bigger quantity should place it above the IAN. The memo is also claiming that, though much inferior technically, the PN will win against the MA. Therefore, the memo is self-contradicting if it states the IAN is superior to the RMN and the PN.

But on to the point: was it a blunder not to openly ally with Manticore? I think staying out was a risk they shouldn't have taken. I agree with the memo that the PRH represented an immediate and unacceptable threat. Allying with Manticore would provide the best opportunity for neutralising it with the smallest risk. In the end, it worked out for the best, but they couldn't have known that.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by kzt   » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:51 am

kzt
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 10593
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

And if you want a fabulous deal, offering to save someone from being conquered is a pretty good inducement for them to seriously consider things they might have once felt were unreasonable.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by munroburton   » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:49 am

munroburton
Admiral

Posts: 2141
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:16 am
Location: Scotland

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Duckk wrote:What’s the source on this text? The IAN should at the very minimum be fourth in strength behind the SLN, PRHN, and the RMN.


Sounds like something fester wrote to prove the point. The idea would be that someone in the IAN or another three-letter agency in the Empire wrote this memo to support the idea of aligning with the MA and remove not just the PRH threat but also mightily reduce the threat of the SL. The latter is not something I had thought of but makes a lot of sense: a tightly-integrated Andermani-Manticoran alliance, especially if they managed to defeat and liberate more systems in the Haven Quadrant, would be a very tough nut for the OFS to crack. Nothing short of a full war -- which did happen! -- would allow for the annexation.

But the point you raised is what also drew my attention. No way a realistic memo would claim that the IAN was the 2nd power in the known Galaxy. The IAN is at this time smaller than the RMN. First, I just don't see the Andermani engaging in intentional self-delusion and chest-thumping unless warranted. They can be mistaken like the best of us, but this claim wouldn't pass muster.

Second, the memo self-contradicts. The memo is claiming that the IAN and RMN are on par on quality, on average, so RMN's bigger quantity should place it above the IAN. The memo is also claiming that, though much inferior technically, the PN will win against the MA. Therefore, the memo is self-contradicting if it states the IAN is superior to the RMN and the PN.

But on to the point: was it a blunder not to openly ally with Manticore? I think staying out was a risk they shouldn't have taken. I agree with the memo that the PRH represented an immediate and unacceptable threat. Allying with Manticore would provide the best opportunity for neutralising it with the smallest risk. In the end, it worked out for the best, but they couldn't have known that.


It's not that outrageous as a bit of spin to note that the RMN and PN were both strategically fully committed against each other and therefore cancelled each other out as far as the rest of the galaxy were concerned.

Consider how thinly the RMN was spread during the first war, in Silesia. I don't think they even had a single waller out there - until the war ended and they stationed ~30 at Sidemore.

fester wrote:The IAN can credibly deliver a strategic striking force of at least eighty wallers while maintaining adequate defensive fleets at core nodes. This force would be invaluable to the Manticoran Alliance as it would allow for the RMN to continue their offensives for far longer and penetrate deeper into Havenite space while isolating the key strategic objective of Trevor’s Star early. The RMN is currently at risk of losing the initiative, but an infusion of eighty new, combat ready wallers would allow for the Alliance to maintain a permanent initiative while inflicting disproprortionate and continual losses on the Havenite forces.

This is critical to Manticore. Imperial diplomats should seek to identify what advantages the Manticoran Foreign Ministry would concede to us for such a force to be deployed to support the RMN. Any advantage would be appreciated, although our long term interests of weakening the PRH means no concessions need to be made as a victorious Manticore is not a strategic threat to the Empire while a victorious Haven is a existential threat.


I suspect that they did have those kind of discussions during the first war - but Manticore simply wasn't willing to agree that the IAN's first stop would be Silesia. Until Thunderbolt, anyway.

The Andermani strategic blunder was leaving Silesia pretty much alone until the war was over. This memo proves they could have taken the entire region and Manticore wouldn't have been able to do anything.
Top
Re: Andermani strategic blunder in 1905 PD?
Post by kzt   » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:17 am

kzt
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 10593
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Well, it doesn’t prove anything as I think it was written by the original poster. Who isn’t David Weber.

It’s not insane, but I’m certainly not going to take anything it says as gospel and you shouldn’t either.
Top

Return to Honorverse