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Silk Town-Thesmar Canal

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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:57 am

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Hi Don,

I believe the passage you reference mentions only the past century and a half of its imbroglio with the RoS, which lasted well over 2 centuries before the Silkiah treaty.

The main explanation for not taking advantage of its fantastic central position for trade is its fear of being out of sight of land for too long, which is repeated often for all the non-Charisian merchants, and the stormy seas that are probably the root of such fears.

While we have textev of many brave main-landers in the respective navies, they are a far too pitiful fraction of the mainland's several hundred millions.

Technically of course, Charis's maritime industry is only a tiny fraction of its population as well, maybe around 2% including supporting industries.

L


n7axw wrote:
HungryKing wrote:Desnair did have an active Navy, or at least a fleet, before OAR, in fact, according to the wiki it was fourty vessels at its highest strength, but was only twelve at the time of the battle of Darcos Sound, all foreign built.

I think at some point some Desnari Emperor, or his advisors, had hit upon the concept of bypassing the Siddarmarkian defenses and landing in their rear. At the level of preMerlin Safehold calvarly hold where ever there is no infantry. Of course the logistics of sea transporting calvarly is rather daunting, so the project was abandoned.


Textev for first paragraph is found in AMF. In addition to this it is noted that one of the reasons Desnair never developed as a sea power was its focus upon its competition with Siddarmark, another land power.

The church paid for the building capacity developed at Ithyria and Gerya which did not exist prior to that despite Ithyria's excellent natural harbor.

Don
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:15 am

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Hi McGuiness,

Please remember there weren't any schooners before Merlin.

Although no galleys for anti pirate patrols seems hard to believe, the primary pirates we know about are too far away.

Trellheim?

Please be serious.

The textev for them in OAR is that none of the various pirate kingdoms had as many as 6 galleys and even collectively they were no real threat or even nuisance to Harchong, who if they had been would have flattened them easily, even with its oft laid up galleys.

We have textev the temple actually forbade the republic to build a large navy, then especially not a modern galleon fleet.

So suppose the Desnarian emperor asked the temple as a personal favor to please ensure the RoS will not ever be a naval threat as a secret side deal to the treaty or even earlier so they could desperately spend their gold elsewhere.

So the twelve galleys left were probably used for coastal patrol, but with a relatively pitiful merchant marine there wasn't enough to interest pirates to go that far.

Does that help?

L

McGuiness wrote:
n7axw wrote:Textev for first paragraph is found in AMF. In addition to this it is noted that one of the reasons Desnair never developed as a sea power was its focus upon its competition with Siddarmark, another land power.

The church paid for the building capacity developed at Ithyria and Gerya which did not exist prior to that despite Ithyria's excellent natural harbor.

Don
That sorta makes me wonder what Desnair would have done if the CoGA hadn't intervened and prevented Siddarmark from seizing both Silkiah and North Watch. A navy would have come in rather handy at that point.

At the very least, a fast bunch of schooners are needed to inhibit piracy and smuggling, even if Desnair didn't build galleys - which is pretty hard to swallow no matter what the Wiki says. Almost every other country that isn't swallowed up by decadence and bribery (think Harchong) had a navy composed of dozens of galleys that were actually seaworthy, yet Desnair didn't. (I get the feeling that Siddarmark got a message or ten from the CoGA that building a navy would be a very bad idea...)
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:30 am

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Hi JeffEngel,

Permit me please to disagree.

Paying pirates to leave your ships alone has rarely if ever worked.

Remember the problem with the 'Dane-geld'?

IE, how do you then get rid of the Dane?

How many pirates would show up just to get paid off?

Besides Tarot, although we have no textev of any mercenary Tarotian galleys, I think Silkiah could have built them as long as they didn't keep any, or with wide open borders and no army, the temple and their neighbors knew they wouldn't be a threat to them no matter how many they built, though in fact there wouldn't be that many.

OTOH, Dohlar would have been very willing to build lots of them as part of its naval build up, which would have pleased the CoGA as well for a win-win.

L


JeffEngel wrote:
McGuiness wrote:*quote="n7axw"*
Textev for first paragraph is found in AMF. In addition to this it is noted that one of the reasons Desnair never developed as a sea power was its focus upon its competition with Siddarmark, another land power.

The church paid for the building capacity developed at Ithyria and Gerya which did not exist prior to that despite Ithyria's excellent natural harbor.

Don*quote*That sorta makes me wonder what Desnair would have done if the CoGA hadn't intervened and prevented Siddarmark from seizing both Silkiah and North Watch. A navy would have come in rather handy at that point.
It probably would have started coming in handy just to lean on Silk Town to get them to capitulate to Desnair rather than keep dealing with Siddarmark. And likewise for Siddarmark. I guess both of them just had more than enough power on land and too much commitment to furthering it to want to dabble in a navy that would be an additional expense for secondary use. I think Bismarck felt about that way about a Prussian/Imperial German Navy when he was in power, for similar reasons.

An answer to the argument - for those without resources coming out the wazoo - has to be in terms of what you can get with a small navy, second to many. A lot of conventional thinking answers, "Not enough." Maybe Desnair and Siddarmark accepted that and left their coasts defended by nothing more than guns on the shore.
At the very least, a fast bunch of schooners are needed to inhibit piracy and smuggling, even if Desnair didn't build galleys - which is pretty hard to swallow no matter what the Wiki says. Almost every other country that isn't swallowed up by decadence and bribery (think Harchong) had a navy composed of dozens of galleys that were actually seaworthy, yet Desnair didn't. (I get the feeling that Siddarmark got a message or ten from the CoGA that building a navy would be a very bad idea...)

If Siddarmark didn't have galleys, then Desnair didn't have a serious worry historically about another navy. So a navy for them is just for use against opponents of opportunity or piracy suppression. The Treaty of Silk Town eliminated their only real target of opportunity. I doubt they ever considered seriously the naval ambitions it'd take to make Tarot one, and the mutual defense agreement with Charis would make that even less appetizing.

So, pirates. With naval warfare being practically galley warfare, it'd be very hard to handle pirates at sea. Maybe the desultory little navy Desnair did have was enough to keep harbors patrolled, or to escort troop transports to go stomp pirate bases to discourage the practice.

Or, there's money. Desnair may have had a policy of buying off pirates that became nuisances. It's risky, certainly, and rubs anyone's pride the wrong way. Or if they wanted to react violently and in a naval fashion, money could buy them Tarotisian mercenary galleys. Tarot's a plausible candidate for the source of the galleys they bought from outside their own ports, too.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:40 am

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Hi Don,

Apparently the Desnarian fleet peak may have been around 2&1/2 centuries ago, at a time when it may have easily been the then dominant naval power east of Harchong; ie even before the Ahrmahk's controlled all of Charis, let alone begun expanding its trade beyond Howell Bay; NTM about a hundred years into its incessant wars with the RoS, when as I've pointed out previously, it had probably lost its southern coastal provinces to Siddarmark.

L


n7axw wrote:To reflect a bit further, after Desnair started getting the howling s**t kicked out of it by those Siddarmarkian pike blocks, I suspect that they focused down even more narrowly on defending themselves on land.

Then there was another potential adversary to worry about sinse Harchong had expanded into Howard. While we don't have any textev of conflict between Harchong and Desnair, even a brief glimpse at a map shows the potential for such conflict as being a further sourse of concern for Desnair.

Don
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:53 am

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Hi Louis R,

Kudos for the excellent points as usual. ;)

I very much like your point about cavalry on a ships deck-GREAT! :D

Though the time factor may be the most critical to consider; when the IDN was at its peak more than 250 years ago there was no Charisian navy yet to make anti pirate patrols, nor had Dohlar evidently even begun to consider expanding its navy since they were Johnnie-come-latelies when it came to building their own navy, possibly after the treaty.

Building the canal too small for Dohlaran ships seems pretty spiteful if not silly or foolish, but the construction cost savings plus the transshipping charges could be reason enough, especially if they were in a hurry.

L


Louis R wrote:Bismark's major argument against a serious fleet was that it would bring Prussia into conflict with the UK. Something that he felt was the last was the last thing his country needed - very wise, that.

The primary reason Desnair never developed as a naval power is that it's damned hard to get your horse up to a full charge on a heaving deck. When you further consider that piracy is a problem for merchants [unless you're making money from it, of course, in which case where's the problem?] and one those peasants in Dohlar and Charis were dealing with just fine anyway, there's even less need for the Empire to trouble itself with something so commoner-ridden as a Navy.

BTW, according to RFC the canal to Mahrosa was built after the Treaty of Silk Town. Not only would the Empire have had to be arm-twisted to let the Dohlarans through, there's a pretty good chance they deliberately built it too small for Dohlaran shipping to start with.

As for the Salthar canal, RFC carefully avoided saying it could take Dohlaran galleys [or that it couldn't], and in any case it, like all of Silkiah, was expressly demilitarized by the Treaty. The Grand Duke couldn't have let Dohlar through if he'd wanted to without an explicit decree from the Church.

n7axw wrote:Textev for first paragraph is found in AMF. In addition to this it is noted that one of the reasons Desnair never developed as a sea power was its focus upon its competition with Siddarmark, another land power.

The church paid for the building capacity developed at Ithyria and Gerya which did not exist prior to that despite Ithyria's excellent natural harbor.

Don
That sorta makes me wonder what Desnair would have done if the CoGA hadn't intervened and prevented Siddarmark from seizing both Silkiah and North Watch. A navy would have come in rather handy at that point.


JeffEngel wrote:
McGuiness wrote:It probably would have started coming in handy just to lean on Silk Town to get them to capitulate to Desnair rather than keep dealing with Siddarmark. And likewise for Siddarmark. I guess both of them just had more than enough power on land and too much commitment to furthering it to want to dabble in a navy that would be an additional expense for secondary use. I think Bismarck felt about that way about a Prussian/Imperial German Navy when he was in power, for similar reasons.

An answer to the argument - for those without resources coming out the wazoo - has to be in terms of what you can get with a small navy, second to many. A lot of conventional thinking answers, "Not enough." Maybe Desnair and Siddarmark accepted that and left their coasts defended by nothing more than guns on the shore.

If Siddarmark didn't have galleys, then Desnair didn't have a serious worry historically about another navy. So a navy for them is just for use against opponents of opportunity or piracy suppression. The Treaty of Silk Town eliminated their only real target of opportunity. I doubt they ever considered seriously the naval ambitions it'd take to make Tarot one, and the mutual defense agreement with Charis would make that even less appetizing.

So, pirates. With naval warfare being practically galley warfare, it'd be very hard to handle pirates at sea. Maybe the desultory little navy Desnair did have was enough to keep harbors patrolled, or to escort troop transports to go stomp pirate bases to discourage the practice.

Or, there's money. Desnair may have had a policy of buying off pirates that became nuisances. It's risky, certainly, and rubs anyone's pride the wrong way. Or if they wanted to react violently and in a naval fashion, money could buy them Tarotisian mercenary galleys. Tarot's a plausible candidate for the source of the galleys they bought from outside their own ports, too.
[/quote]
Last edited by lyonheart on Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:57 am

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Hi Louis R,

Again quite right.

OTOH, we know they've built some smaller canal barges for their internal canals, so they may have a few ironclads specially built to pass through the smaller Salthar canal.

We can only wait for more light right now.

L


Louis R wrote:If it was built to the same plan as the Holy Langhorne - I think it's a safe bet that Shan Wei ordered it - then it looks touch and go for the riverboats. IIRC, the River IIs are actually ~30' longer than the lock chambers on the HLC.


n7axw wrote:What I am wondering about the Sathar Canal is if it's big enough to accommodate the EOC's riverclads.

I think Lyonheart is right in predicting that the EOC will seize control of that canal in the near term future.

Don
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by JeffEngel   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:06 am

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lyonheart wrote:Hi JeffEngel,

Permit me please to disagree.

Paying pirates to leave your ships alone has rarely if ever worked.

Remember the problem with the 'Dane-geld'?

IE, how do you then get rid of the Dane?

Yup. I did mention it was risky.

How many pirates would show up just to get paid off?
As many as could. Yeah, risky, but there are ways of doing it that have worked. Just giving them money to go away isn't doing more than streamlining the pillaging. You need to make sure you get the result. France gave their Normans land, there, and it did pretty well. Oh sure, they did get even more difficult barons out of it, but those Normans weren't Vikings any more at least, and made the Vikings think twice about raiding those shores. And eventually England worked out a comparable if less voluntary arrangement with Danish kingdoms eating up the southeastern portion of the island.

Buying their ships and weapons may help - and heck, it could be the source of the foreign-built ships! After that, Desnair would have dangerous resources and the pirates would have to go get more gear to come back.

Last, if you do have a stick you can use too, but cannot or care not to afford to keep using all the time, you can offer the pirate the carrot and let them know it's a one time deal: come back and you DO get the stick. And live up to the threat. It will cut down drastically on how much you have to bother with punitive expeditions And still allow you to buy off the pirates often enough, without them being a permanent parasite like Zion.

In addition, there's the point you make elsewhere that piracy was plausibly only a mild problem for Desnair anyway. I suspect that most pirates that ever plagued Desnair were Desnairian themselves, and they could have handled that shore-side as a law enforcement and military problem.
Besides Tarot, although we have no textev of any mercenary Tarotian galleys, I think Silkiah could have built them as long as they didn't keep any, or with wide open borders and no army, the temple and their neighbors knew they wouldn't be a threat to them no matter how many they built, though in fact there wouldn't be that many.
Yeah, Silkiah (and simple Silk Town before it) would be a possibility. That arrangement is unlikely to go back to the days when Silk Town was being fought over and favored Siddarmark over Desnair, and since then, it would mean galley building facilities in a state that's officially demilitarized - not entirely contradictory, as you say, but still a peculiar fit.

OTOH, Dohlar would have been very willing to build lots of them as part of its naval build up, which would have pleased the CoGA as well for a win-win.

Yes. I suppose that may do for Desnair's presence on the Gulf of Dohlar particularly - if Dohlar wanted to encourage them to have any such presence. Moving galleys around the long, long, long coast is likely to mean a lot of galleys lost, or at least arriving not looking like something you're happy to have paid for. It's not impossible, but it's reason in my mind to think Desnair's source of foreign galleys was closer, even if Delferahk, Tarot, or Silkiah all have much more limited shipbuilding capabilities.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by JeffEngel   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:30 am

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Louis R wrote:If it was built to the same plan as the Holy Langhorne - I think it's a safe bet that Shan Wei ordered it - then it looks touch and go for the riverboats. IIRC, the River IIs are actually ~30' longer than the lock chambers on the HLC.

You know... Tying a few things together here:
It's hard to see the Silk Town-Thesmar as a result of Silkiahan investment and labor. Silk Town didn't have the manpower for it and arguably not the need before the Treaty of Silk Town; since then, it hasn't had the time. (Especially if they've been occupied making little Silkiahans....)

So - peg it as Shan-wei's work. Silk Town has been around since the Day of Creation or thereabouts. Much of the canal network has been too. If we suppose the ST-Thesmar and Salthar-ST were both Shan-wei's work, along with Silk Town, you get a good way to cover the need to move cargos over the isthmus and inland northward. Maybe she and her terraformers didn't want to count on Safehold being well able to take the Gulf of Mathyas route north and/or did fear those transshipment issues.

Desnair would certainly have liked her to have had those canals connect somewhere inland of Silk Town's harbor. Why didn't Shan-wei?

I'm thinking she may have slipped in a bit of long-range social engineering with her canal routes here. The canal arrangement makes Silk Town a natural commercial, maritime power. The ST-Thesmar adds little to that, but (1) it does mean Silk Town could not be cut out of the north-south trade there, and (2) it gave Silk Town a large potential hinterland well connected to it. So it wouldn't be condemned to be a mere port city. It had a good chance to be Charis on the mainland. And a commercial, maritime power is going to have a mindset that values labor savings and trying new things. It will be exposed to ideas from faraway lands. It will have plenty of people on the make, looking for opportunities to better themselves.

It will be a big, glorious spike in Langhorne's plans!

It didn't work out well enough soon. We're even further out on speculative limbs figuring out why, but certainly the changes with the War Against the Fallen through bricks through any projections of the locations of developments, and the Proscriptions and the Punishment chilled innovation, especially on the mainland, more than she would have been able to count on based on the original Writ. Silk Town did end up as a commercial city, but didn't get a unified Silkiah til much later, and even then as a mere buffer state. Still, she took a number of shots, and even if Silkiah never managed to be Mainland Charis, it's now not-small and not-unfriendly to Island Charis.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by Easternmystic   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:52 am

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lyonheart wrote:Hi EasternMystic,

Welcome to the forums, please enjoy your favorite simulated beverage on the simulated forum. ;)

Kudos for the excellent points!

Although for the first, the distance I measure is only about a third again [possibly half if you go very wide] the sea distance which given ships travel 5-7 times as fast does argue strongly against the cost.

For the second, excellent point indeed.

Regarding the third, its a bit more iffy; since there was no Silkiah territory for it to belong to argues against customs which would require centuries for the canal to pay off.

OTOH, the fact the South March Lands were then Desnarian makes sense for a non sea connection, even if no one except Charisians were getting out of sight of land.

Then again, if Dohlar had ever tried to charge Desnar too much for its customs or tolls, I suspect the Imperial Desnarian army would have come calling.

Since we have no textev it did, we have to hold off on supporting that hypothesis, but either argue against building a canal solely to sidestep customs.

The fourth is another excellent potential reason, though we still lack the details; personally I like a combination of Silkiah financing part of it, in connection with Desnar and the CoGA, in its role as building infrastructure to benefit God's children 3-4 centuries ago, when Desnar was much more powerful NTM far richer.

On one hand for the fifth, I wholeheartedly agree, exploiting your territory is what nations do; OTOH I doubt Silkiah built it since 869, though as above Silk Town with help may have done it a few to several centuries before.

L


It's generally considered a really bad idea to take a ship over shoals. I believe that these are the same shoals where destiny had it's little misadventure trying to outrun a hurricane/typhoon.

Agreed that Silkiah as such didn't exist until quit recently. However, it was somebody's territory and the same considerations would still apply to however was running the show prior to Silkiah becoming independent.

Their was also a series of wars between Siddarmark and Desnair prior to the COGA imposing terms to prevent siddarmark from conquering Desnair. It is possible either Siddarmark or Desnair built a temporary canal for military logistics and it was later improved and made permanent by Silkiah after it became independent.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by SYED   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:56 am

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It is said the canals in the land bridge region are limited in size and capacity.. we all know that making a canal is a long and hard process, but is expansion of an existing one any easier.
I can see silkiah getting made part of the empire, but desnair could be taken by the republic.. It gives tham access to a whle new coast, and if they aid charis logistically in their operations there, it would be a way to pay of part of their debt.
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