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Future Naval sizes

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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 12:10 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Sigs wrote:They will remember that they went from being citizens of the most powerful nation in human history by a wide margin to crapping their pants expecting the big bad RMN to sail into their system and destroy their industry and eat their children and then to make things worse they saw the SLN attack League member systems and threaten citizens with mass murder. Having the right to secede from the League means nothing if you also give the League central government the only weapons to keep member systems from seceding.


I still question how much that affects the average citizen on the street. Do they care that their military is the most powerful? Or do they care that the economy is going well and they have a good quality of life? What will they care more, that the military that was supposed to defend them turned out to be a paper tiger, but in its revelation it also took down the corruption at the highest level and effectively improved representation?

No, really, I have to ask how much the SLN's vaunted prowess as part of the SL's identity. Because if it was part of their identity, then you're right and this would be a blow to discover that it wasn't. But I don't have reason to believe it was, especially given how small the SLN actually was compared to the overall population, meaning so few people from each world could be part of it, and that it had done jack sh*t for the past 300 years. The upper cadres of the SLN BF appeared to have been also full of cronyism, meaning full of well-connected families and hangers-on, not a good sample of the population.

My understanding is that the average Sollie on the street views themselves primarily as a citizen of their home world, and only distantly secondarily as a citizen of the League as a whole. Closer to the EU than to the United States. And I believe we were told that even in the very prosperous League most people never travel beyond their home system; so most probably have a pretty parochial view of things.

The SLN as the most powerful navy in existence was a major factor in the thinking of the Mandarins. But given that it'd never had to fight a war, and the League had been safe for far beyond living memory, I doubt the average Sollie on the street gives the military much thought. (Especially since most of what it did do was unsavory things on behalf of the OFS so I doubt the navy got much news). OTOH the Sollie on the street wasn't directly paying for the navy either -- not even by their taxes -- so they also didn't really care how big and expensive it might have been because they weren't paying its bills.

The late unpleasantries also likely didn't alarm most of them because it didn't impact most of them. Yes, the navy turned out to be a paper tiger, and Sol had a bad time. But their system never saw any combat, nor any major economic disruption. How panicked will they be when life continued as normal and looks to do so, with some governmental shifts at the League level, for the foreseeable future.

People who haven't been attacked, don't personally know people who've been attacked, and aren't being told their vulnerable to attack don't tend to think about or spend money on security. So unless the governments or new agencies of various Sollie systems start bombarding their citizens with scaremongering stories it seems unlikely that any will suddenly be seized with an overwhelming desire to turn their system into a seemingly impregnable fortress.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 12:25 pm

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But also this seems really overblown. Without benefit of constraining geography no nation has ever have sufficient military to defend every part of itself from a surprise attack by forces even 1/10th the size of its military; and the larger geographically the nation is the greater that disparity grows.

Even today in the US, with our much faster relative speed of communication and movement relative to the Honorverse, if somehow a hostile mechanized infantry division appeared without any warning in, say, Illinois they'd probably be able to wreck Chicago and much of the state and advance into others before the US military was able to pivot and contain and destroy them. (And the US has a lot more than 10 divisions in its Army) And that's with air attacks possible beginning within a couple hours - not the weeks it'd take for news of an attack to reach another system in the Honorverse. The US simply doesn't have enough military stationed in each state to defend it from serious attack. But the US can rely on seeing enemies coming, and knowing they can't reach the central states without first passing through the defenses of the border states. The Honorverse has no such assurance -- plus an attacking fleet can vanish far more easily than a mech infantry division could pull out of Illinois.

But that doesn't mean the solution is to build a military capable of being strong everywhere -- that's economically unfeasible. If you have to spend more than the economic output of the system defending that system that's not a scalable solution.



Should the League beef up their system defenses? Yes, most likely. Though I'd lean towards modern Forts + pods + LACs defenses rather than everyone building fleets of SD(P)s. It's cheaper and it's less escalatory. But the enemy always gets to pick when and where to strike; so defenses can channel their attacks or deter them from attacking in the first place. But barring major surprises and intelligence failures they'll only attack where they expect to succeed; and so if you double your defenses they'll just hit half as many places at a time to double their local offense.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Sigs   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:09 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:People who haven't been attacked, don't personally know people who've been attacked, and aren't being told their vulnerable to attack don't tend to think about or spend money on security. So unless the governments or new agencies of various Sollie systems start bombarding their citizens with scaremongering stories it seems unlikely that any will suddenly be seized with an overwhelming desire to turn their system into a seemingly impregnable fortress.


I think the realization that they are in the middle of a war and going from top dog to completely defenceless does create a shock. People don't care because they know the SLN is the strongest navy in human history and almost before they realize anything is happening the SLN was crushed. I would think that a lot of systems will start expecting defences and ships when they consider that they are absolutely defenceless.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:21 pm

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Sigs wrote:No my worry is that ads a member of the League I would have absolutely no protection if I live outside of the 10-20 systems that have wallers. Being able to defend your territory is a fundamental requirement from all members.


See Jonathan's reply.

Either I am not explaining myself or you are misunderstanding me. The League is screwed if they attacked a nation with 80 SD’s and a really good fleet train and stockpile of missiles. They are screwed because the SLN is so powerful that the fleet in question has no chance and if they decide to make the League pay they have their pick at 1,700 League member systems out of 1,750, you are not a real nation if you can only defend 2% of your territory and the people that live in the other 98% of League territory might have a thing or two to say about being left out to dry.

The League is too strong for a nation with 80 wallers to have any hope of surviving but knowing that they are losing either way the League is too weak to defend against 80 wallers who are send on a suicide mission to make the League pay for their victory.


See again Jonathan's reply.

There are also less than half a dozen nations today with 80 SDs in total. Aside from the SLN itself, that was Grayson, the SEM, the Andermani and Haven, period. You can avoid much of the harm by just keeping close attention to those few. After the war, this number is likely to multiply by quite a lot, especially with systems that have seceded from the League. I expect the Republic of Beowulf-Hypatia to easily field 80 SD(P)s within 5 years, maybe even sooner if they decide to absorb the construction from Bolthole that Haven can no longer afford to keep (we heard in UH during a conversation between Truman and Holmon-Sanders that "they are coming").

So surrender? With the SLN’s history of treating protectorates really well I imagine that would be the first option of everyone.


Yes, surrender. It's not the first option (winning would be), but it's not the last one either.

Think that Massimo Filareta surrendered without firing a shoot (or would have if he hadn't been killed by a spy before the order was sent) when he found himself thoroughly trapped in Second Manticore. Winston Kingsford surrendered the League without firing a shot during the Battle of Sol. Surrender is an honourable option.

I completely agree the SL and particularly the OFS had not the best track record with those adversaries that did surrender. But my point is that there are much worse things than surrendering your system intact.

Think about it this way: any nation that can field 80 SDs must have a robust economy and is right there with the Core Worlds. Its population is probably made of high-income people on average, who consume a lot of high-value goods. It's not in the SL's best interest to wreck it to the ground. So if you have 80 SDs and can give the SLN a bloody nose, negotiate your surrender.

This is some backwards Russia thinking. We can attack you and your people as much as we want and destroy your homes and infrastructure and industry but the second you attack OUR territory in retaliation you are the villain in the story.


That's not what I meant. See the discussion below about civilian vs military targets.


Because the League doesn’t have adequate forces to provide protection for them. Its not a question of not being worth as much as a question of not having anywhere near the ships to provide defences. If we make a conservative assumption that the 1750 League members equal to about 300 times the economy and industry of 1905 SKM then we can safely say that the SLN is absolutely pathetic and not a real force. If we assume that they have 300 times the economy and industry of the SKM in 1905 then they could field a force of 90,000 SD’s without breaking a sweat and yet they only field a force that is less than 2.5% of that number.


I am questioning whether that's sufficient justification. Those systems that don't represent a significant enough portion of the League's industrial output and therefore their capability to make war don't make good strategic objectives. When Eighth Fleet attacked second-tier systems in Haven during Sanskrit and Cutworm, the targets were chosen such that they'd bring political pressure on the leaders of Haven, both to dissipate their naval presence in such a way that they couldn't properly defend, but also to get a diplomatic discussion going. That's not going to happen if you attack only small fry in the League.

It’s not attacking systems the League did not deem worth defending, its attacking systems that are left undefended by virtue of a fatal flaw in SLN doctrine. Their doctrine is if we want to attack someone we will attack them and they will kindly wait in their home system to die, if they have wallers and want some revenge the League is screwed because they didn’t invest enough into the military because so much of the money and resources were spend on corruption and the lack of legitimate threat. Either 99.5% of the League member systems are not worth defending or the League doesn’t have enough ships to offer adequate protection to 99.5% of their systems. They either have 25 systems wroth defending and 1725 not worth defending or they have 1725 systems worth defending but no means to do so.


You're correct that the SLN doctrine was deeply flawed in execution. I am not disputing that.

I am however disputing that the theory behind it was. They didn't and still don't need to defend every system with a squadron of wallers. That's not a flaw in the doctrine.

I don't know about 99.5%, but 95% of the League was not and is not worth defending with wallers. And of the 100 systems that are worth defending with wallers, no more than 20 should get a full fleet of more than 6 squadrons.

Except what if they can’t convince any other component to not get involved? Its all nice and fancy making plans to fight a fraction of the enemy alliance but pulling it off is a whole different thing. Maybe in 300 to 500 years sure, but with prolong most of the movers and shakers would be still alive, hell in 200 year many of the movers and shakers might still be alive and so would large % of the population. Its much harder to convince them to abandon allies when they remember that the League is kinda pissed off at the whole lot of them.


If you're fighting everyone in the Settled Galaxy, you should take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself if the fault doesn't lie with you. In the case of the last war, it did thoroughly lie with the League, because the Mandarins (manipulated as they were) were the cause of the troubles and why it continued. The whole thing should have de-escalated after first New Tuscany, with Byng being recalled home and an inquiry between the three parties figure out just what had happened.

The League may have the economic prowess to create a fighting force that could, indeed, fight everyone else. They may even want to do that. But they don't have to; it should suffice to be able to handily outfight the second best.

Making your strategy on the assumption that you have to fight only one portion of the enemy is a terrible idea.


Not one portion of the enemy. One enemy as a whole.

No nation should make plans for the case it goes evil. It should not need to make plans for when everyone else is the enemy.

Haven is probably operating on 10-15% of their max capacity, Grayson is also not operating on maximum capacity either and neither is the vast majority of the SEM and even Manticore after OB. If the GA doesn’t make a plan to grow their economies then they deserve to be conquered by the League. Opening Manticore, Andermani and the thousands of verge and protectorates as markets for Havens goods will promote massive growth. The economy and industry of 1905 Haven is different than that of 1920 Haven and it will be different from that of 1965 Haven. Same goes for the rest of the GA and former protectorates and verge.


I agree with you, but like I said: we don't make the rules. The text says that they are already close to their max capacity, or over it in the case of Haven. Accept it.

What math? You mean to tell me that the League is a super power put only has 20-40 systems that are heavily industrialized while the other 1700 are useless? That means the GA doesn’t have much effort to equal the Leagues economy. Manticore, Grayson Haven, Beowulf, Hypatia, Andermani, Erewhon… That right there is 20% of the Leagues industry. Removing the policies that kept the Republic in poverty will quickly bring the Republic to an economic and industrial power in a decade or two while Manticore and their empire will also grow and leave the Eague in the dust.

In your view apparently the League is only 40 systems and the other 1,700 systems are worth absolutely nothing economically or militarily.


The cliff of the industrial output curve is not going to be that sharp, but it does exist and is sharp. We got the numbers once, but I don't remember them right now, and they never went into this much detail anyway. The League is composed of about 20-30 very wealthy systems with very large populations. Their economies are similar to the MBS, but only some half of them are actually bigger than Manticore. Then they probably have 200-300 more systems close to the Core and in the inner Inner Shell that are probably like Erewhon: modern economy, nicely-sized population, who could if they wanted to field a battle squadron or two, but no more. Then you start going down to systems that are similar to Zanzibar, then all the way down to newly-admitted members that are still very close to their Verge cousins across the border.

So I am saying that the vast majority is not worth defending with wallers.

Can you elaborate on this a bit?


Canada's GDP was 1.65 trillion USD, the US's was 21 trillion. By this measurement, the US is 12.7x larger than Canada. The population ratio is only 8.5x.

The League was estimated to have 2 trillion people, but since there was no census, this number was considered a low ballpark. That means the League about 700x bigger in population than Manticore. I did say that the vast majority of the League wasn't anywhere as big as Manticore, but considering it should have 10 systems much bigger in economy than Manticore and another 20 of comparable size, that alone should make the League some 50x-100x the Manticore economy, without including the hundreds of systems that had non-negligible economies.

And? If he is in danger of being taken out do you think he will hesitate to start a war and kill millions out of spite? If it happens here why not 2,000 years from now?


I'm not disputing that. I don't want to get into a discussion about current world politics, but if the situation with the DPRK isn't ideal, at least it's not deteriorating. The same strategy could be employed 2000 years from now with a regime like DPRK's.

Exactly how willing was Hitler when Germany started losing the war? You are talking like everyone always looks at the best for their people rather than doing tings for selfish reasons.


Hitler didn't want to lose, and for himself he knew there was no escape. But Germany surrendered. Japan did too and, in doing so, managed to get better terms than would have otherwise if they had continued the war.

The fact that Japan was the world's second largest economy and Germany the third up until recently is telling.

Again 99.5% of th systems in the League are nothing but symbolic?


Attacking them is symbolic, yes.

What did the RMN destroy in Cutworm? What did the RHN destroy in Zanzibar and Alison in the second war? Only military industrial targets or everything but the habitats?


I have to say I disagree with RFC on the ability to destroy spaceborne industry, particularly with what we've heard about the result of the Battle of Sol.

For the earlier battles (Icarus, Thunderbolt, Cutworm) I could understand that they restricted to the military infrastructure. Particularly Cutworm, because the objective was to have a higher symbolic value than the actual industry loss. They were targetting systems with powerful Senators in Nouveau Paris who would put pressure in the government. But the description of what happened at Sol sounded like an atrocity to me.

I expect a modern system with space-based industry to be extremely dependent on that industry for everything, from food production to energy production to all civilian products that system makes. There's no reason to put a factory on the ground unless if you have artificial gravity and lifting people to their workplaces is cheap (assuming they can't do the work remotely in the first place). So virtually all the system's primary and secondary sectors should be in space; only the tertiary sector (services) would be on the ground because that's where people are.

And no nation in the human history has ever fought to the bitter end even if they had other choices


I don't know if you meant to be ironic here, but your sentence is very correct: you don't fight to the bitter end if you have choices. I'm arguing that there are choices.

I HAVE NEVER SUGGESTED SLAUGHTERING CIVILIANS. You can attack civilian infrastructure and industry as long as you’ve given the civilians an adequate time to leave the target. The allies bombed civilian infrastructure and industry in Germany and Italy during World War 2, civilian infrastructure and industry doesn’t get a pass…


I know you didn't explicitly suggest it.

But I am arguing that 95% of the systems of the League have nothing BUT civilian targets. The pitiful military that they may have would be no more than the orbital station that housed their old-style LACs, shared with the customs service.

Yes, attacking industry is a valid military tactic, because it deprives the enemy of the ability to make war. But I am also arguing that those systems that can be attacked are not contributing to the war effort in the first place.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Sigs   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:23 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:But also this seems really overblown. Without benefit of constraining geography no nation has ever have sufficient military to defend every part of itself from a surprise attack by forces even 1/10th the size of its military; and the larger geographically the nation is the greater that disparity grows.

Even today in the US, with our much faster relative speed of communication and movement relative to the Honorverse, if somehow a hostile mechanized infantry division appeared without any warning in, say, Illinois they'd probably be able to wreck Chicago and much of the state and advance into others before the US military was able to pivot and contain and destroy them. (And the US has a lot more than 10 divisions in its Army) And that's with air attacks possible beginning within a couple hours - not the weeks it'd take for news of an attack to reach another system in the Honorverse. The US simply doesn't have enough military stationed in each state to defend it from serious attack. But the US can rely on seeing enemies coming, and knowing they can't reach the central states without first passing through the defenses of the border states. The Honorverse has no such assurance -- plus an attacking fleet can vanish far more easily than a mech infantry division could pull out of Illinois.

But that doesn't mean the solution is to build a military capable of being strong everywhere -- that's economically unfeasible. If you have to spend more than the economic output of the system defending that system that's not a scalable solution.



Should the League beef up their system defenses? Yes, most likely. Though I'd lean towards modern Forts + pods + LACs defenses rather than everyone building fleets of SD(P)s. It's cheaper and it's less escalatory. But the enemy always gets to pick when and where to strike; so defenses can channel their attacks or deter them from attacking in the first place. But barring major surprises and intelligence failures they'll only attack where they expect to succeed; and so if you double your defenses they'll just hit half as many places at a time to double their local offense.


I'm not talking about being strong everywhere, I am talking about the difference between an enemy sending 320 SD's into the League and the SLN making it so they can attack only 10 systems at a time instead of 80 systems at a time.

Eg, having 1,000 systems to defend and only 2,000 SD's vs 1,000 systems to defend and 20,000 SD's. In either case 320 SD"s loose in your territory is bad news and in either case you can't protect everywhere but in one case the enemy can split their fleet in 80-160 Task Groups and attack 80-160 systems at once, vs having to deploy the same 320 SD's split into 16 Task Groups and attack 16 different systems.

Having 8%-16% of your territory attacked at once is significantly worse than having .8%-1.6% of your territory attacked.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:55 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:I am questioning whether that's sufficient justification. Those systems that don't represent a significant enough portion of the League's industrial output and therefore their capability to make war don't make good strategic objectives. When Eighth Fleet attacked second-tier systems in Haven during Sanskrit and Cutworm, the targets were chosen such that they'd bring political pressure on the leaders of Haven, both to dissipate their naval presence in such a way that they couldn't properly defend, but also to get a diplomatic discussion going. That's not going to happen if you attack only small fry in the League.

And Sanskrit and Cutworm picked sweet spots -- where the forces hitting the system likely exceeding the size force it's own economy could have supported -- but where there are enough similar sized similarly vulnerable systems that Haven, even with their far higher SD/system ratio (compared to the League), can't defend them all.

Concentrate the forces to hit one, and probably 20-40 other systems all start screaming that they're in the same boat and all of them need reinforcements ASAP!

Of course Haven couldn't do that. Instead they had to pick their top few guesses for next targets and heavily reinforce those in the hopes of trapping and crushing one of these raids. Which is was basically any navy or power has to do. Nobody can be strong everywhere; everybody has to be judicious about where to concentrate their force and where to leave relatively vulnerable -- because attempting to defend everybody equally just makes you weak everywhere.

Now, for plot reasons, Haven got lucky on their first try and caught a raid. But statistically you'd expect to need a couple tries before a raiding force hit one of the systems you'd laid a trap at.


(Again, none of this is saying the League systems shouldn't be looking to bolster their defenses. But there's a huge gap between where most of them seem to be now, where a Silesian independence movement privateer squadron could probably temporarily seize the system, and strong enough to defeat several squadrons of SD(P)s. Strong enough to drive off a squadron or two of modern BCs is probably a reasonable cost/benefit ratio for most system -- which is a squadron to squadron and a half of SD(P)s; or their equivalent in system defense pods and LACs)
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 3:12 pm

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You have to look at the way the League was structured for military. It was having Battle Fleet as a massive hammer to smash any advisory that dared to either directly threaten a League Member or the league.
It had Frontier Fleet to patrol "the frontier" edge of the league and offer a deep buffer against incipient problem
But that was the way it was supposed to work and OFS was supposed to "help" systems outside the league -or what are applicant members- to prevent emergencies from causing problems that could spread into the League and generally vet and then shepherd non-League systems into the greater entity. But OFS went bad and FF became their enforcer and there was all the internal politics and graft.
Battle Fleet had lots and lots of below the wall mostly because the tactics called for Fleet Screens and scouting plus operating combat units (not for a long time) to do raiding and other duties so the SD squadrons could go pulverize targets.
Frontier Fleet doesn't have any SDs...Why? Because probably 96% of known human systems (well the political entrees of systems including multi-system Like Manticore, Haven, Anderman etc) don't have SDs and most of them don't really have a true SFD that would include perhaps 15 ships up to BCs. So one BC can dominate just about any system it is sent against. What we saw in the various uprisings against local System Governments (usually some dictator or President For Lief was a couple of DD or some combinations of DD/CL, BC in various mixes and numbers with more if Intervention Battalions had to be sent. The Rules (of war) puts the ability to call up support from willing partners (like FF assisting a transtellar for $ or the planetary leader calling in favors -or money- for spaceborn guns) and if the rebels don't cave they get obliterated with KEWs and slaughtered by Intervention Battalions....all legal.

FF OFS also transitioned into a source of creating the situations where a System would call on them for help (recall the number of "Buccaneer" plans in the computers of the FF force Bing was in command of) where OFS and FF would "help" along problems that would need to be solved by inviting in OFS. And then the system would be in debt to OFS and have to work their way out of it.....except that OFS and various transtellars would also seize control though any number of pretext inculding false rebellions and then the "interim" applicant period for a system to apply for League Memberships would be .....a really really long time while the system was systematically stripped of wealth and local population that didn't pay off the OFS and transtellars would lose everything.

So FF has enough "stick" in DDs though BCs to do the enforcing as well as patrolling and anti piracy. If a larger problem should arise......well, Battle Fleet with 80 SD in one place should be able to "solve" the problem and do what they intended to do with Manticore- remove the problem, take active military and civilian control and proceed to rape the system.

But SL got snookered by the Alignment and, along with taking a deep dive in to corruption and heavy handedness, was both mislead by the Alignment moles and institutionally blind to any possible advance in a lot of types of tech beyond military so they had no clue that either Manticore or Haven (or Grayson) was a massive potential problem to normal OFS operations should it attempt to move in the direction of Haven, Manticore etc.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Sigs   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 8:20 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:And Sanskrit and Cutworm picked sweet spots -- where the forces hitting the system likely exceeding the size force it's own economy could have supported -- but where there are enough similar sized similarly vulnerable systems that Haven, even with their far higher SD/system ratio (compared to the League), can't defend them all.

The RHN could not defend them all but it could deploy enough ships and fixed defences to force them to focus on 2-3 systems at a time rather than splitting 8th fleet in 20 and hitting 20 systems at once. Its not about defending everything at once, its not about being invincible erywhere, all day everyday its about defending your territory with sufficient forces to force the enemy whoever it may be to attack a lot fewer targets than they would attack if the systems were undefended.

It forces the attackers to focus their forces to hit fewer targets, and buy the defenders time to deploy reinforcements or traps for the attackers. If all of those systems were defenceless then 8th Fleet could have been split in smaller task forces and hit more systems.

It's not about being strong everywhere, its about buying time for a response and exposing the least amount of territory to the enemy's attacks.




Of course Haven couldn't do that. Instead they had to pick their top few guesses for next targets and heavily reinforce those in the hopes of trapping and crushing one of these raids. Which is was basically any navy or power has to do. Nobody can be strong everywhere; everybody has to be judicious about where to concentrate their force and where to leave relatively vulnerable -- because attempting to defend everybody equally just makes you weak everywhere.


I have 1,000 systems and a force of 2,000 SD's to defend those 1,000 systems with. You enter my space with intention of doing damage and you enter my space with 240 SD's.

If I deploy my SD's in 10 systems of 200 SD's to I leave 990 undefended and you can deploy 1 SD per system and hit 24% of my territory at once. If I deploy them 10 per system that leaves me with 80% of my territory uncovered and you can hit 240 out of 800 systems and I can't do anything about it. Or I split 2 per system and every system is exposed and you can split into 80 task groups and crush 80 systems at a time.

If I on the other hand was to have a fleet of 20,000 SD's covering my 1,000 systems I still can't defend all of them against 240 SD's but splitting 10,000 equally across all systems and keep 10,000 in 100 QRF's you have to split your 240 SD's into 16 Task forces instead of 80 or 240. So by the time I respond you have gone through 64 systems rather than 240 systems or 800 systems.



Again, none of this is saying the League systems shouldn't be looking to bolster their defenses. But there's a huge gap between where most of them seem to be now, where a Silesian independence movement privateer squadron could probably temporarily seize the system, and strong enough to defeat several squadrons of SD(P)s. Strong enough to drive off a squadron or two of modern BCs is probably a reasonable cost/benefit ratio for most system -- which is a squadron to squadron and a half of SD(P)s; or their equivalent in system defense pods and LACs)


The League maintains the SLN through collection of taxes on trade, none of the burden of defence falls on the member systems. So if the League chose to and taxed the League members for the SLN they could build a substantial force, they are extremely small compared to what they can be, they can maintain a fleet of tens of thousands without breaking a sweat. Add to that the fact that the GA has a wormhole and an advanced base inside the League's core they need to expand the military exponentially.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Sigs   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 8:34 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
But I am arguing that 95% of the systems of the League have nothing BUT civilian targets. The pitiful military that they may have would be no more than the orbital station that housed their old-style LACs, shared with the customs service.

Yes, attacking industry is a valid military tactic, because it deprives the enemy of the ability to make war. But I am also arguing that those systems that can be attacked are not contributing to the war effort in the first place.

In cutworm, the Manticore alliance destroyed every bit of orbital industry not just the military industry and warships. Killing civilians intentionally is no go, but blowing up civilian industry very much is. The MA went after civilian infrastructure and industry to cause economic pain for the Republic. The GA destroyed all industry in Sol not just those that had direct and immediate military purpose.

Targeting civilian habitats without giving chance to evacuate is a warcrime but just like the republic blue up all the orbital infrastructure around Basilisk, Alizon and Zanzibar Manticore returned the favour in a number fo operations.
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Re: Future Naval sizes
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:18 pm

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Sigs wrote:In cutworm, the Manticore alliance destroyed every bit of orbital industry not just the military industry and warships. Killing civilians intentionally is no go, but blowing up civilian industry very much is. The MA went after civilian infrastructure and industry to cause economic pain for the Republic. The GA destroyed all industry in Sol not just those that had direct and immediate military purpose.

Yep Theisman said "Harrington just gave us an object lesson in how rear area raids ought to be conducted. She hit Gaston, Tambourin, Squalus, Hera, and Hallman, and there's not a damned bit of orbital industry left in any of them."
and
At All Costs wrote:"The economic damage is going to be bad," Theisman said. "But in the final analysis, all five of the systems were effectively noncontributors to the war effort. And, for that matter, to the economy as a whole."[snip]
"All these systems were listed in the 'break even' category," the Secretary of War continued. "At best, they were second-tier systems, and Gaston and Hallman, in particular, had been money-losing propositions under the Legislaturalists. That was turning around, but they were still barely contributing to our positive cash flow. The destruction in the star systems is going to have a net negative effect, I'm sure—your analysts will be able to evaluate that better than I'm in any position to do—because the damage to the local civilian infrastructure means we'll be forced to commit federal relief funds and resources on an emergency basis. But none of them were particularly critical. Which is, frankly, the reason they weren't more heavily defended. We can't be strong everywhere, and the systems we've left most weakly covered are the ones we can most readily survive losing."
and
At All Costs - Ch wrote:"Harrington's target selection was different. She wasn't after information; she was here to deliver a message. She picked star systems which weren't heavily defended, and she attacked them with much heavier forces. She not only brought along the firepower she needed to destroy all of our defensive units, she also brought along enough she was able to spread out, take her time, and destroy effectively every single orbital platform in each of the systems she hit. Asteroid extraction centers, foundries, power satellites, communications satellites, navigation satellites, construction platforms, freight platforms, warehouses—all of it, Sir. Gone."
[snip]
And they didn't kill or even injure a single civilian when they took out the infrastructure in that system, or anywhere else."

But we don't know how critically the supply chains for those planets relied on their own system's orbital manufacturing and industry. Are any of those dependencies short term life threatening? Or can the system limp along for a few weeks until supplies and repair equipment can be shipped in from other systems? (At least power satellites, communications satellites, and navigation satellites appear to be standardized off the shelf devices in the Honorverse, which any ship is capable of emplacing. Heck didn't Fearless at Basilisk actually carry some comm and nav sats as part of her normal stores? So those should be back up the fastest of any orbital infrastructure)

Though I'd note that this hit a fairly small fraction of Haven's systems, and not the ones with the most industry or population -- and seemingly ones scattered throughout their space. So diverting the supplies to stabilize their economy, food production, power, etc. is a relatively small (if very annoying and somewhat disruptive) drain on the rest of the planets.

Hitting League systems with the same kind of orbital infrastructure wipe at the scale you've talked about could be far different. First many of the League planets have had far longer to build reliance on their orbital infrastructure far more deeply into their supply chains (and have far more people living in space; making it harder to wipe out all that industry without significant losses of civilian life). But probably more importantly if you're trying to wipe out orbital infrastructure as quickly as you can before running out of supplies, spare parts, etc. you're probably hitting systems that are closer together (so relief and rebuilding supplies take longer to arrive and tie up more of your shipping to sustain) and you're having them hit as many systems as they can. That might rapidly overwhelm the spare industrial capacity in the systems that remain undamaged after this "burning all before them and salting the earth" spree finally runs out of steam. They may simply be unable to provide adequate and timely relief supplies and support to all the damaged systems -- at which point loss of weather data, inability to maintain industrial, agricultural, and transport equipment (due to lose of production of spare parts) and other disruptions might start causing starvation and death on massive scales.

Thus simply taking the damage Cutworm did and writing it large might drastically understate the resulting human toll -- as that will scale non-linearly once you exceed the spare capacity of surrounding systems.
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