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Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?

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Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by clancy688   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:35 am

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Heya,

I'm just listening to Storm from the Shadows and was a bit confused by something:

Commodore Terekhov sailed with his cruiser squadron and the destroyer squadron (under command of Chatterjee) to Talbott. From the way they interacted, it seemed to me like Terekhov was the overall commander. However, he was literally promoted a day or so before they took sail, so Chatterjee should have been senior to him except if he got crash promoted just like him, a day later.

But somehow I don't think that's likely. So how did the seniority game work here? Was Terekhov in command, despite probably being junior, because he had the cruisers? But if that's the case, why all the fuss 20 years earlier when Young, on a cruiser, was senior to Honor on a battlecruiser...
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by tlb   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:42 am

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clancy688 wrote:Heya,

I'm just listening to Storm from the Shadows and was a bit confused by something:

Commodore Terekhov sailed with his cruiser squadron and the destroyer squadron (under command of Chatterjee) to Talbott. From the way they interacted, it seemed to me like Terekhov was the overall commander. However, he was literally promoted a day or so before they took sail, so Chatterjee should have been senior to him except if he got crash promoted just like him, a day later.

But somehow I don't think that's likely. So how did the seniority game work here? Was Terekhov in command, despite probably being junior, because he had the cruisers? But if that's the case, why all the fuss 20 years earlier when Young, on a cruiser, was senior to Honor on a battlecruiser...

That depends on whether Commodore is an actual rank or a title conferred on a senior Captain that has been given command of a squadron. There have been times when it was an actual rank; but I think the usage here is of someone in command of multiple ships, but is not yet an Admiral. If so, then the seniority as a Captain is what matters, not the time as a Commodore.
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 10:35 am

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clancy688 wrote:Heya,

I'm just listening to Storm from the Shadows and was a bit confused by something:

Commodore Terekhov sailed with his cruiser squadron and the destroyer squadron (under command of Chatterjee) to Talbott. From the way they interacted, it seemed to me like Terekhov was the overall commander. However, he was literally promoted a day or so before they took sail, so Chatterjee should have been senior to him except if he got crash promoted just like him, a day later.

But somehow I don't think that's likely. So how did the seniority game work here? Was Terekhov in command, despite probably being junior, because he had the cruisers? But if that's the case, why all the fuss 20 years earlier when Young, on a cruiser, was senior to Honor on a battlecruiser...

I'm not sure. It appears, based on the list of personnel at the end of the book that Chatterjee does hold the rank of Commodore; which shoots down my first guess. (I thought maybe as the person in command of the destroyer squadrons he was actually a captain but had received a courtesy bump to acting commander to make it clearer who was in charge; which would have put him at a lower rank than Terekhov's actual commander rank; but no)

So the only thing I can come up with is that this is one of those awkward situations where Chatterjee is has seniority yet his destroyer squadron has been assigned to the detachment commanded by the less senior Terekhov. So because the formal orders put Terekhov in command of the 16 ship detachment (his 8 cruisers and Chatterjee's 8 DDs of DesRon 301) that places the less senior officer in the position of giving orders to the more senior. (And I'm assuming those orders went to him, because he commanded the heavier ship's, rather than putting the destroyer's in charge of the cruisers)

Their relative date of rank would only come into play if neither had formal orders placing them in command.


Honor and Young at Hancock was different because neither was in either other's formal chain of command, though they ultimately reported up to the same person (Sarnow). So, in the absence or formal orders placing Honor in command over Young, relative seniority did come into play.
But formal orders always trump seniority.

(Mind you, the Admiralty will try to avoid stepping on peoples' toes by placing someone at a lower rank in charge of someone at a higher one; but even that could happen. But I'm sure they can't always ensure that date of rank within the same rank is always honored when assigning command of fleet detachments)
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by tlb   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 12:01 pm

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clancy688 wrote:But if that's the case, why all the fuss 20 years earlier when Young, on a cruiser, was senior to Honor on a battlecruiser...

Honor did not rank Young; however she was the chief staff officer to Admiral Sarnow, who was in command all the ships. When Sarnow was injured, she should have seen to the transfer of command (all of this is in Field of Dishonor). So Young was court-martialed for disobeying her commands, because he did not know that they did not originate from Admiral Sarnow (a very anomalous position).

------------------------------------------------------------

Back to the question of Commodore; note the way that Captain Terekhov states the change in his status in chapter 29 of Storm from the Shadows:
And I, to my considerable surprise, am the newly designated commodore of CruRon 94.
Significantly he is commodore of a group of ships; not simply at a new rank. I think it is clear the the title is situational.
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by clancy688   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 3:30 pm

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tlb wrote:That depends on whether Commodore is an actual rank or a title conferred on a senior Captain that has been given command of a squadron. There have been times when it was an actual rank; but I think the usage here is of someone in command of multiple ships, but is not yet an Admiral. If so, then the seniority as a Captain is what matters, not the time as a Commodore.


I believe it is in the Honorverse. Two reasons:

- It's said in the books that a Captain's (SG) insignia is one planet, but that a Commodore's insignia is two planets - so it's a different rank, not just a title
- Shortly before Honor gets captured with Prince Adrian, she celebrates Alastair McKeon's birthday and there presents him with his new rank of Commodore - so he was promoted to that rank despite not having a squadron to lead (since this was Honor's job). He was the squadron's second in command, but he'd been that from the moment he and Honor had been assigned to it, so the rank of Commodore couldn't have anything to do with that.
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by tlb   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 3:44 pm

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tlb wrote:That depends on whether Commodore is an actual rank or a title conferred on a senior Captain that has been given command of a squadron. There have been times when it was an actual rank; but I think the usage here is of someone in command of multiple ships, but is not yet an Admiral. If so, then the seniority as a Captain is what matters, not the time as a Commodore.

clancy688 wrote:I believe it is in the Honorverse. Two reasons:

- It's said in the books that a Captain's (SG) insignia is one planet, but that a Commodore's insignia is two planets - so it's a different rank, not just a title
- Shortly before Honor gets captured with Prince Adrian, she celebrates Alastair McKeon's birthday and there presents him with his new rank of Commodore - so he was promoted to that rank despite not having a squadron to lead (since this was Honor's job)

Even if Commodore is a real rank, there are such things as brevet promotions: a promotion specifically to carry out a task. Again I point out the way Captain Terekhov states the change in his status in chapter 29 of Storm from the Shadows:
And I, to my considerable surprise, am the newly designated commodore of CruRon 94.
So the question is only whether a brevet promotion can make someone senior to another at that rank, such as Chatterjee (and what if he was also brevet). But if Chatterjee has a permanent rank of Commodore and Terekhov was just promoted to that rank, then Terekhov could not ordinarily be in command of Chatterjee.

But is Terekhov really in charge of Chatterjee? His command is a Cruiser Squadron, if I read the abbreviation correctly and so does not include the Destroyer Squadron commanded by Chatterjee. Perhaps it is just a case of deference to Terekhov's prior experience in the Talbott Quadrant.
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by munroburton   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 4:56 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:So the only thing I can come up with is that this is one of those awkward situations where Chatterjee is has seniority yet his destroyer squadron has been assigned to the detachment commanded by the less senior Terekhov. So because the formal orders put Terekhov in command of the 16 ship detachment (his 8 cruisers and Chatterjee's 8 DDs of DesRon 301) that places the less senior officer in the position of giving orders to the more senior. (And I'm assuming those orders went to him, because he commanded the heavier ship's, rather than putting the destroyer's in charge of the cruisers)

Their relative date of rank would only come into play if neither had formal orders placing them in command.


Something similar may have happened with Mark Sarnow when he was setting Hancock Station up. He went from designated senior officer to being one of Parks' most junior squadron commanders after being promoted, which creates the possibility that even as a Commodore(and then as the RMN's most junior Rear Admiral) he was briefly in charge of at least one other Rear Admiral if they arrived before Parks formally replaced him as station commander.

clancy688 wrote:However, he was literally promoted a day or so before they took sail, so Chatterjee should have been senior to him except if he got crash promoted just like him, a day later.

It's entirely possible that is what happened. The squadron of Rolands was as brand-new as that Sag-C squadron and BuPers bumped Chatterjee up to Commodore, pulling him out of whatever Captain-level post he'd been holding down previously.

Although those squadrons presumably had other Commodore candidates lined up, BuPers was probably forced to reshuffle and redraw when they were reallocated to Tenth Fleet and their deployment rushed. So it's not too implausible that they ended up sending out two brand-new Commodores together.
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:54 pm

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tlb wrote:Even if Commodore is a real rank, there are such things as brevet promotions: a promotion specifically to carry out a task.


Commodore is a real rank and is applied to an officer (usually a captain) commanding multiple vessels, similar to how any person commanding a ship is a captain even if their rank is lower.

When reading A Call to Arms, both times I flagged a "reduction" in rank of Rudolph Heissman. He is first introduced and referred to as Commodore Heissman, CO of HMS Casey CL-01 and of of Green Two. The "commodore" appears several times, then all of a sudden there's a Captain Heissman. Since that went without explanation, I highlighted on my Kindle and reported as typo... only to realise a page or two later that the other three ships of Green Two had been destroyed. That meant Green Two had ceased to exist as a formation, so if "commodore" was a brevet rank due to his position, he'd revert to his official rank of Captain.

It's also used a courtesy rank to any other (Naval) captains aboard a ship, other than the ship's CO, whereas Marine captains would be referred to as Major. But this tradition doesn't appear to observed in the RMN/RMMC.
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by tlb   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:25 pm

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tlb wrote:Even if Commodore is a real rank, there are such things as brevet promotions: a promotion specifically to carry out a task.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Commodore is a real rank and is applied to an officer (usually a captain) commanding multiple vessels, similar to how any person commanding a ship is a captain even if their rank is lower.

I was not clear: at various times and in various navys, Commodore could sometimes be a substantive rank and sometimes a positional; for example, this is what Wikipedia says about the term in the Royal Navy :
Commodore has only been a substantive rank in the Royal Navy since 1997. Until then the term denoted a functional position rather than a formal rank, being the title bestowed on the senior officer of a fleet of at least two naval vessels comprising an independent (usually ad hoc and short-term) command. (In this case, for instance, a lieutenant in substantive rank could be a commodore for the term of the command.)
Similarly in the US Navy:
Commodore was an early title and later a rank in the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and the Confederate States Navy. For over two centuries, the designation has been given varying levels of authority and formality.

Today, it is no longer a specific rank within Active Duty or Reserve ranks, but it continues to be used as an honorary title within the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard for those senior captains (pay grade O-6) in command of operational organizations composed of multiple independent subordinate naval units (e.g., multiple independent ships or aviation squadrons).
This is only of historical interest, because it seems to be the case that Commodore is a real rank in the RMN (the same as currently in the Royal Navy).
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Re: Was Commodore Chatterjee senior to Commosore Terekhov?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jun 13, 2022 10:49 pm

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Also like Terekhov's Flag Lieutenant is an Ensign (Helen Zilwicki)?
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