Mission Of Honor – Snippet 51

Mission Of Honor – Snippet 51

She drew a deep breath and ran her mind over her own order of battle. Fourteen Nike-class battlecruisers, eight Saganami-C-class heavy cruisers, four Hydra-class CLACs, five Roland-class destroyers, and a handful of obsolescent starships like Denton’s Reprise and Victoria Saunders’ Hercules. Of course, she also had right on four hundred LACs, but they’d have to go deep into the Sollies’ weapons envelope to engage. So what it really came down to was her twenty-seven hyper-capable warships — the Hydras had no business at all in ship-to-ship combat — against Crandall’s hundred and forty. She was outnumbered by better than five-to-one in hulls, and despite the fact that Manticoran ship types were bigger and more powerful on a class-for-class basis, the tonnage differential was almost thirteen-to-one. Of course, if she counted the LACs, she had another twelve million or so tons, but even that only brought it down to around ten-to-one. And as far as anyone in Meyers knew, she had only the ships she’d taken to New Tuscany, without Oversteegen’s eight Nikes.

“If the people who set this up picked Crandall for her role as carefully as they picked Byng for his, she’s bound to believe she’s got an overwhelming force advantage. Especially if she assumes we haven’t reinforced since New Tuscany,” she said out loud.

“T’ my way of thinkin’, it’d take an uncommonly stupid flag officer, even for a Solly, t’ make that kind of assumption,” Oversteegen replied.

“And what, may I ask, have the Sollies done lately to make you think they haven’t hand-picked the flag officers out here for stupidity?” Michelle asked tartly.

“Nothin’,” he conceded disgustedly. “It just offends my sense of th’ way things are supposed t’ be, I suppose. I’d expect better thinkin’ than that out of a plate of cottage cheese!”

“I can’t say I disagree,” Terekhov said, “but fair’s fair. There might actually be a little logic on her side.” Michelle and Oversteegen both looked at him, and he chuckled sourly. “I did say ‘a little logic’,” he pointed out.

“And that logic would be?” Michelle asked.

“If she assumes all of this came at us as cold as it came at her — although assuming it did come at her cold could constitute an unwarranted supposition; she could have been involved in this thing up to her eyebrows from the very beginning — then she probably assumes we didn’t have any idea she might even be in the area. After all, when was the last time any of us can remember seeing Battle Fleet ships-of-the-wall putting time on their nodes clear out here in the Verge?”

“That’s true enough, Ma’am,” Lecter put in. “And, for that matter, as far as we know, Byng didn’t know she was out here. There was nothing in any of the databases we captured to suggest she might be. So if she wasn’t aware Anisimovna had mentioned her to the New Tuscans, she could very well believe that the first we knew about even the possibility of her presence is Reprise’s scouting report.”

“And she also can’t have any way of knowing what’s going on in the ‘faxes back on Old Terra or in Manticore,” Terekhov continued. “So whatever she does — assuming she does anything — she’s going to be acting on her own, in the dark, with no hard information at all on enemy ship strengths or the diplomatic situation.”

“Are you suggesting a Solly admiral’s going to just sit in Meyers, waiting for orders from home, after what happened in New Tuscany?” Michelle asked skeptically.

“I’m suggesting that any reasonably prudent, rational flag officer in that situation would proceed cautiously,” Terekhov replied, then bared his teeth in something which bore only a passing relationship to a smile. “Of course, what we’re actually talking about is a Solly flag officer, so, no, I don’t think that’s what she’s likely to do. Besides, we’ve all read their contingency plans from Byng’s files.”

Michelle’s mouth tightened.

It wasn’t as if the SLN’s “contingency planning” had come as a surprise, although she suspected the League would be most unhappy if the Star Empire chose to publicize some of its juicer details. There was “Case Fabius,” for example, which authorized Frontier Security commissioners to arrange Frontier Fleet “peacekeeping operations” which “accidentally” destroyed any locally owned orbital infrastructure within any protectorate star system whose local authorities proved unable to “maintain order” — meaning they’d been unable to induce the owners in question to sell to the transstellars OFS had decided would control their economies henceforth. Or “Case Buccaneer,” which actually authorized Frontier Security to use Frontier Fleet units — suitably disguised, of course — as “pirates,” complete with vanished merchant ships whose crews were never seen again, to provoke crises in targeted Verge systems in order to justify OFS intervention “to preserve order and public safety.”

All that was sufficiently interesting reading, but she knew what Terekhov was referring to. Byng’s files had also confirmed something ONI had suspected for a long time. In the almost inconceivable event that some neobarb star nation, or possibly some rogue OFS sector governor, attacked the Solarian League (or chose to forcibly resist OFS aggression, although that wasn’t specifically spelled out, of course), the SLN had evolved a simple, straightforward strategy. Frontier Fleet, which possessed nothing heavier than a battlecruiser, would screen the frontiers and attempt to slow down any invaders or commerce raiders, while Battle Fleet assembled an overwhelmingly powerful force and headed directly towards the home system of the troublemaker . . . which it would then proceed to reduce to wreckage and transform into yet another OFS protectorate.

“I see where you’re going with that, Sir,” Commander Pope said. “At the same time, not even a Solly admiral could think she’d get through the Lynx Terminus with less than eighty of the wall. For that matter, we’ve had a couple of squadrons based there ever since Monica, and there’s been enough Solly traffic through the terminus by now that they have to know the forts are virtually all online by now.”

“I wasn’t actually thinking about her trying to go directly after the home system,” Terekhov said.

“No, you’re thinkin’ she’s likely t’ see Spindle as th’ Talbott Quadrant’s ‘home system,'” Oversteegen said.

“That’s exactly what I’m thinking,” Terekhov agreed, and Michelle nodded.

“We can always hope something resembling sanity could break out in Meyers,” she said. “There’s no way we can count on that, though. And I think that’s especially true given how carefully the people who planned all this seem to have chosen their cat’s-paws. So, starting right now, we’re going to plan for the worst.”

She drew a deep breath and sat back in her chair.

“Gwen,” she said, looking at Lieutenant Archer, “I want you to have Bill make certain Admiral Khumalo and Baroness Medusa have both seen Commander Denton’s report. I’m sure they’ll want to sit down with him and Mr. O’Shaughnessy as soon as they’re within a reasonable two-way FTL range of Thimble, but see to it that they have all the information we have ahead of time.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“As soon as you’ve done that, tell Vicki I’ll want dispatch boats sent to every system in the Quadrant. Ask her to contact Captain Shoupe and start looking at the boats’ availability. First priority is Captain Conner at Tillerman, then Montana. He gets a complete copy of Denton’s report and data, and I’ll want to put together a personal message for him before the dispatch boat pulls out.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Gervais nodded, although he knew as well as she did that if Admiral Crandall had decided to respond forcefully, Jerome Conner’s pair of Nikes at Tillerman had probably already found out the hard way.

Michelle knew exactly what he was thinking, and smiled tightly at him. The fact that he was right didn’t change her responsibility to warn Conner as quickly as possible.

“In addition,” she went on, “when Bill makes sure Admiral Khumalo and Baroness Medusa are up to speed, tell the Admiral that unless he disagrees, I propose to send Reprise direct to Manticore to inform the Admiralty both of what she discovered at Meyers and that I am presently anticipating an attack in force on Spindle.”

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47 Responses to Mission Of Honor – Snippet 51

  1. robert says:

    So does Reprise survive OB?

    There really was nothing in this snippet, was there?

  2. John says:

    The tension and suspense builds!

    Yay.

  3. Lord Blackmane says:

    A couple of years back now I made the point that a Sag-C could take out a pre-pod SD. This was endorsed by MWW himself, although he amended that to “mission kill”. I’m not sure of the exact exchange rate of Nikes to SD’s, but 63 (remaining SD’s) / 14 = 4.5 SD’s per Nike, which doesn’t actually seem all that unreasonable. From earlier snippets and comments we know or suppose that these ships have been refitted with Fleet 2000 and/or Halo, but while the hardware side of Sollie tech may be getting close to Ghost Rider, their software sucks, and they don’t have a bunch of Havenites to reprogram it to better effect before the battle.

    In a straight-up missile duel the escorts are going to be nothing more than bodies that accidentally get in the way of missiles meant for bigger and tougher ships, but they may serve a useful purpose and screen away those 400 LAC’s, which will be given an opportunity to do unto opponents in a way they haven’t since the end of the first Havenite war.

    All told, this has the makings of a truly spectacular battle which could actually go either way. And since one side is led by an admiral that cannot retreat in good conscience, and the other side has an admiral that cannot retreat without growing a conscience, they should be set to slug it out to the bitter end.

  4. Thirdbase says:

    Well, Lt. Commander Denton is about to let out a big sigh of relief, then be somewhat upset. He does know that his ship has no place in the fleet battle that is about to happen, but he will probably feel a bit like he running away to safety. Probably just in time for OB. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  5. John Roth says:

    @1 Robert.

    Actually, there was. Notice the little thing right at the end that said Crandall might stop at Tillerman first. That’s going to add some time to her arrival at Spindle, and there are those two ammunition ships on the way with all those juicy Apollo-ready Mark 23s they just figured out they can use without the Invictuses.

  6. Lord Blackmane says:

    OB can’t hit everywhere at once. You’ve got to think that between Haven, Grayson, Manticore, and possibly the Andermani, the ship draw is going to be huge. That’s not even mentioning any Solly fleets that need to be taken out (eg Beowulf). And any time you get a major fleet base for one of those powers you’ve got to consider wiping it out too. Trevor’s Star? Silesia? Bolthole for the Peeps? No matter how many ships the Alignment has, they don’t have an unlimited supply, and they can’t deploy them against every other fleet in existence simultaneously.

    Henke’s task force doesn’t even have a single proper capital ship, and has over 150 enemy ships bearing down on it already. I imagine that the Alignment is going to consider their job done already and bypass the entire cluster.

  7. gg says:

    * I wonder why Crandall wouldn’t just assume that Lynx System, as an official home-system, wouldn’t be the place to punch out first? (I don’t mean Lynx Terminus System) Or maybe she doesn’t want to come up against SDs…

    * Aha, finally something about a plan to takeout rogue system defense fleets and sector governors… though if they got some SDs hidden up their sleeves, that plan doesn’t seem all that tenable.

  8. Thirdbase says:

    robert, This snippet actually gives Henke’s fleet as located at Spindle.

    Lord Blackmane, OB is only hitting Manticore and Grayson, the other attack(s) planned were dropped when the attack was moved forward.

  9. Shadow says:

    @6: “Henke’s task force doesn’t even have a single proper capital ship, and has over 150 enemy ships bearing down on it already. I imagine that the Alignment is going to consider their job done already and bypass the entire cluster.”

    You’re underestimating Mesan Intelligence. They have a pretty good idea of the tech gap between the League and Manticore, so the purpose of this attack isn’t to take out the talbott cluster. The purpose is to present the Solarian public with a large scale, humiliating defeat that would rule out any possibility of peace between the League and Manticore. It’s the whole Bing affair on a wider scale.

    And can you imagine something more humiliating for the arrogant morons that having a whole fleet of ships of the wall having a hard time with a double dozen heavy cruisers and battlecruisers?

  10. robert says:

    @5 John, you are right. But will she bother to bother with Tillerman? Can the Hydra’s use the Mark 23s? Can they stand off and participate in the missile duel like the ones at the Battle of Manticore did? If the ammo ships arrive, how many missiles will they bring? Gaa. I wish the book were out already!

  11. robert says:

    @6 OB is designed to attack only Manticore and Grayson. They expect the Manticore and Haven war to continue and because they have more penetration into Haven, if Haven eventually wins, they will be controllable. Further, the engineering of the war between Manticore and the SL has two goals: to weaken a now more vulnerable Manticore and to start the dissolution of the SL by having the SL fleets defeated and whittled down. Mesa does not give a toot about any other multi-star governments because it considers them inconsequential and in the long run defeatable.

    @8 I know that Henke is at Spindle, but she is sending Denton’s Reprise back to Manticore with the info on Crandall. It should be at Manticore right around the time of the OB attack.

    G’night.

  12. Daryl says:

    If this was to mirror the original wet navy history that does influence the Honorverse fleet actions, then an equivalent action – The Battle of Jutland – would indicate that battle cruisers shouldn’t go up against true ships of the line. At Jutland Admiral Fisher said as far as my hazy memory goes “Something’s wrong with our damn ships today”. The something wrong was too light armour. However the German ships also had much better shells so that probably will actually be reflected in the outcome. My bet is that the Sollies won’t even get into range.

  13. no_one says:

    That wasn’t Fisher, that was Beatty. Fisher said Speed is Armour.

  14. Daryl says:

    @13 As I said hazy memory. Ive checked and Beatty actually said “Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today.” Engage Google before keyboard in future.

  15. Jeremy DuCharme says:

    The problem with the Jutland analogy is that one side didn’t have several times the range advantage of the other. If you gave one side WWII radar fire directors maybe.

    This could be closer to the Battle of Tsushima, where the IJN had less weight of metal, but managed a crushing victory despite the Russians have what on paper should have been an overwhelming advantage in Capital ships.

    Mike has ammunition ships full of Apollo missiles, even with no or lashed up long range C&C systems they are still capital class MDMs w/Wall weight warheads, and she possible does have the newer versions of the Mark 18, which is nearly as powerful as a prewar (read Sollie) Capital missile, and has double drives. Finally not only does she have lighter units, they have higher efficiency compensators, the Nikes could probably pace Sollie Destroyers, at least their cruisers. IOW if she chooses to meet them away from the planet she can potentially keep out of any Solly powered missile envelope and pound away from range.

    OTOH the Sollies could be thinking the prewar, or prepod paradigm, where Wallers at the least aren’t seriously threatened for being killed by missiles. Damaged certainly, but the concept is that missiles are to lame an opponent to force him to accept an energy range engagement, not the primary shipkiller. So she could be thinking that six dozen of the wall can plow through anything Mike can throw at her in ‘Manti Super Missiles’, and bring her oversized BCs into energy range by investing the orbitals of her ‘capital world’.

    A fair idea, save it vastly underestimates how lethal Manticore and Haven have made missile combat.

  16. Mark L says:

    Another analogy that might fit are the battles of Cressy, Potiers and Agincourt. Energy weapons are swords and lances and missiles are longbow arrows. The Sollies play a great French in this scenario, absolutely confident of victory. All we need to make the analogy perfect is to have them do the equivalent of riding down their crossbowmen in their haste to meet with the enemy.

  17. TimC says:

    What role do we see for Henke’s LACs? Is she going to place them out on their own in a ‘hole in space’ or will they have to join battle when the Sollies close with the Manties?

  18. tootall says:

    Then there’s this “new” thing the Manties have called LACs. In the right circumstances they too are deadly…and completely off Solly radar. (Can’t wait til a Solly admiral runs into those.) So if OB takes outconsumable resources-missles, new ships- there are all those LAC’s and their rechargeable grasers for deep raids.

  19. wyrm says:

    @17 TimC

    If I was Henke, I would keep the CLACs/LACS hidden if possible. You don’t reveal new weapons if you don’t have to, you keep them hidden until you can use the effectively (cf Buttercup), and if Manticore doesn’t reveal CLACs they may well nullify part or all of any Solly attempt to counter Apollo (assuming the war goes on that long). And, as far as we can tell, there’s only two intelligence officers in Solly ONI who might even conceive of the concept of a CLAC, and their conversations (so far) do not suggest that the Sollies have even the faintest thought about grasar-armed LACs.

  20. Tom says:

    The thing that frosts my chops is that the number of ships is wrong. Is should be 12 Saganami-Cs and NOT eight. Previous snippet says that Scotty has reported in with a division of Cs. Yes, I know I’m OCD, so?

  21. robert says:

    @ 17, 18 ,19
    “So what it really came down to was her twenty-seven hyper-capable warships — the Hydras had no business at all in ship-to-ship combat — against Crandall’s hundred and forty.” So the 4 Hydra-class CLACs will not participate, but the 400 LACs may.

  22. Thirdbase says:

    robert, Sorry, I meant that it listed her Order of Battle that was available at Spindle, not just that she was there.

    Jeremy, last we heard, which would be hours ago in the book, those ammo ships are 2 weeks away from arriving. So unless Crandall is taking the really scenic route, they will not be there in time for the battle.

    I imagine that the LAC’s will either be used to add to missile defense, potentially needed if the Sollies get into range. Or they will be used as a pincer/cleanup force in reserve.

  23. John Roth says:

    @21 Thirdbase

    Actually, she doesn’t have to take the scenic route. All she has to do is waste a day or two at Tillerman.

    If you do the calc, Reprise took 74 days at 70% light speed, meaning that it would have taken 105 days at 100% of light speed. Since nominal speed for a warcraft is 60%, Crandall will take 86 days, assuming she comes directly there and doesn’t stop. That’s a difference of 12 days. Add two days for her start time (that was her estimate) and one to stop at Tillerman, and they’ll have a day of slack.

  24. John Roth says:

    @21 Oops. I just realized my calculation was backwards. I think the result is correct, but I need to redo it.

  25. John Roth says:

    Yeah. That’s 51.8 days at 100% of light speed. The 86 days is correct for Crandall’s transit time. How far to her elbow is Heneke going to be biting her nails?

  26. robert says:

    @22 3rdbase
    Why did I think that the 74 days were the total number of days that Reprise took for the round trip? (searching….ah ha).

    Maybe it was this quote from a couple of snippets ago:
    “He glanced at the date/time display. Seventy-four T-days had passed, by the clocks of the universe at large, since HMS Reprise had departed from Spindle for the Meyers System, the headquarters of the Office of Frontier Security in the Madras Sector.”

    Can somebody please make a good guess as to how many of those were spent hightailing it back to Spindle.

  27. jay says:

    I think the number of heavy cruisers is off. tremaine has 4 ,plus the 8 the commadore has. thats 12

  28. John Roth says:

    @25 Robert

    You’re right, of course. I misread that as one way rather than round trip. I’ll assume that Reprise is using the Theta band, and that Crandall, for some reason, isn’t using the Theta band. Now that I think of it, that isn’t all that surprising. IIRC, the Theta band is routinely used by dispatch boats and similar ships, not ordinary warships. Also, Crandall has got a bunch of supply ships which might not be able to make the higher hyper bands. She’s also got obsolete technology from a Manticoran perspective, so even her warships might not be able to make the Theta band safely.

    Anyway, from a meta perspective, I think she’s going to arrive not all that long after the ammo ships. I don’t think Heneke has got the resources to take her without those Mark 23s, and I doubt if David wants Crandall to succeed in the attack on Spindle. The question is which rabbit is he going to pull out of which hat to make it happen.

  29. no_one says:

    Are there not already some system defense pods in place at Spindle? Not the new-fangled Apollo pods, but the old-fashioned ones that have been in place at Manticore, Yeltsin’s Star, and a lot of other places, including most of the Havenite systems. Those would take a big bite out of the attacking fleet, assuming they aren’t prepared for them (and we can be reasonably sure the Sollies aren’t ready for much of anything the Manties are going to show them.)

  30. no_one says:

    I can see Admiral Henke firing herself nearly dry, then translating out to the edge of the system where her colliers are parked to re-ammunition and then going back for another attack. Repeat as necessary.

  31. Jeremy DuCharme says:

    @26 Another point is the higher bands are risker, and probably take some more time between refits off the nodes. IOW the Admiral might decide on a more ‘economical’ band to travel. Finally she might or might not know about the local space conditions that the Mantis do, like grav waves to hitch a ride on.

  32. @16

    In at least one of those battles the French did close with the English line, which was only held because the English had dismounted their knigts to fight on foot and hold the line.

    There was also the battle — name forgotten — in which the French attack worked; that’s the one the English do not like to remember.

    We may also imagine Admiral Henke ‘where is the RMN’s leading expert on long range missile combat?’ ‘I know she’s here someplace.’ “we need something a bit cleverer than your usual. We’d actually like a lot of SLN survivors we can parole home eventually. Also, we may think the SLN ships are not worth the ammunition needed to blow them up, but we are going to have allies who train with SLN equipment who will be happy to man all the junk we can capture.’ ‘Oh, yes, your next out-of-grade promotion requires parking you at the Crusher, so you can say you went through it. Yes, as an Instructor with appropriate brevet rank.’

  33. D says:

    Do you really think Crandall would be able to get her fleet moving in 2 days ?

  34. robert says:

    “She drew a deep breath and ran her mind over her own order of battle. ”

    “She drew a deep breath and sat back in her chair.”

    I don’t want Henke to stop breathing, but why all the deep breathing? Now cut that out! I am not smirking!

  35. justdave says:

    @21 based on SLN tech and doctrine 7th Fleet shouldn’t need the LACs for missile defense, SLN is generations behind on AMs and has a low priority on AM tactics

    LACs could be the ‘rabbit’ as the SLN won’t know how to deal with them, eg riding just behind a massive DDM salvo,
    and yes I too look forward to the brilliant tactics Abigale et al are going to come up with

  36. justdave says:

    oops 10th Fleet, been spending too much time googling USN!

  37. hank says:

    When considering ship counts don’t forget that at least some of the ships at Myers (Byng’s 3rd squadron & Thurgood’s forces) are FF and will probably, both by the contingency plan we just got informed of and the depth of love & respect between BF & FF, be left behind.
    That cuts out at least 8 BC’s and a bunch of screen from the the totals reported by Reprise.
    [in re Byng’s orphan squadron see SFtS pg 502-503]

  38. robert says:

    @20, etc. After going back and forth between Storm and these snippets I have determined that Henke’s Order of Battle is as follows:
    Battlecruiser Squadron 106, CO – Vice Admiral Gold Peak

    Battlecruiser Squadron 108, CO – Rear Admiral Michael Oversteegen

    Cruiser Squadron 94, CO – Commodore Aivars Terekhov

    Cruiser Division 96.1, CO – Captain (SG) Prescott Tremaine

    Carrier Division 7.1 with LAC Group 711, CO – Rear Admiral Stephen Enderby

    HMS Hercules, Vice Admiral Khumalo’s flagship, CO – Captain Victoria Saunders

    Destroyer Squadron 301 (the 3 remaining Rolands)

    So Tremaine’s Division is 96.1 and is NOT part of Terekhov’s 94th Squadron.

  39. Thirdbase says:

    jay, Tom, Don’t forget that it is possible that the missing 4 CAs could be out on anti-piracy patrols, visiting other planets in the cluster, etc. Just like the 2 missing BCs.

    Crandall should be able to leave in 2 days. He isn’t in his home port, all he really needs to do is recall anyone on shore leave and issue orders. The FF ships would probably be able to be ready much earlier, a real navy much earlier.

    I suggested the LACs for missile defense, because there really isn’t anything else to do with them. Sending them into a battle against 140 ships would be murder.

  40. robert says:

    @39 Thirdbase
    Gender, gender. Admiral Crandall is a she-type human.

    To LAC or not to. Depends on the attack configuration Crandall uses. With something like 6 or 8 battle groups of SDs I doubt they will come in as a mass. So how they are dispersed, given their ignorance of Manticoran weapons capabilities, will determine whether the LACs can attack smaller groups of ships or not. I do not think they will need to be used if the ammo ships arrive on time.

  41. Daryl says:

    @38 Robert, from my researches you are spot on.

  42. Thirdbase says:

    robert,

    My apologies to Adm. Crandall.

    I would like to point out that there are 5 Rolands remaining Destroyer Squadron 301. From SFtS:
    “Terekhov found himself the senior officer commanding no less than sixteen ships—the eight cruisers of his own squadron and the eight destroyers of Commodore Chatterjee’s squadron. ”

    Division 301.1, Senior Officer – Commodore Ray Chatterjee
    HMS Roland, squadron flagship, CO – Commander John DesMoines
    HMS Tristram, CO – Commander Naomi Kaplan
    HMS Lancelot, CO – Captain (JG) Ellen Seacrest
    HMS Galahad, CO – Commander Edward Miskin
    Division 301.2, Senior Officer – Captain Jacob Zavala
    HMS Gawain, division flagship, CO – Captain (JG) Frank Morgan, Grayson Space Navy
    HMS Ivanhoe, CO – Commander Lindsey Szegdi

    plus

    Goulard, Commander Rochelle (”Roxy”), RMN—CO, HMS Kay.
    Rützel, Lieutenant Commander Tobias (”Toby”), RMN—CO, HMS Gaheris.
    These two are just listed in Appendix II of SFtS, but the names fit the pattern of the Roland class. IIRC two were sent to Pequod to relieve Reprise.

  43. robert says:

    @42 You are right again. There are 2 more destroyers. I can’t find any definitive evidence that they are part of 301.2, but it makes sense that two more Rolands are around somewhere since a Division is 4 Rolands. Kaplan’s Tristram is the only one left of 301.1. But if it is not at Spindle it is not in Henke’s (or is it Khumalo’s) order of battle. She doesn’t seem to want to bring them back from Pequod.

  44. Martin says:

    It is also possible that Henke will realise that slaughtering a quarter of a million or so Sollie naval personnel may not be in the best interest of her government. Yes, I know she wont shirk from her duty, but still, she knows that this is a “put up job” and even if she wins she loses. She may try something very cunning instead, no idea what that might be tho – but thats why Im not an admiral, I just read about em.

  45. robert says:

    @42 I think that your apologies to Admiral Crandall will have to be posthumously. I recall Detweiler arranging for her termination as a “loose end.”

    Although some of his other loose ends did survive, as we saw at the Battle of Torch. I wonder whatever happened to those charges that were to blow up the SS ships. It occurs to me that those ships were given to Torch’s navy. Oy!

    @44 Martin…71 SDs times about 5,000 people per ship is 350,000+ right there. I figure something in excess of 400K SL cannon fodders. So no, I do not think Henke will want to blow them all to space dust. But if they surrender, then what the devil do they do with that many POWs? Is there another habitable planet in the Spindle system? Is there room on Spindle for them somewhere? Oh, well, first things first.

  46. Thirdbase says:

    Robert at the start of this snippet she says she has “five Roland-class destroyers” so I am guessing they are back from Pequod. She didn’t list the 2 BCs at Tillerman though.

    I would imagine that either Torch, Erewhon, or Mayas naval personal would find the charges since they would be searching the entire ships for information and actually performing good maintainance, plus I wouldn’t have put it past State Sec to have put those sorts of things on their own ships.

    I’m sure any prisoners would be temporary, besides they can all enjoy their stay on the pleasure planet of Dresdan. Torch apparently has an island they can use too. Hades has room, if the peace talks work out.

  47. robert says:

    Hades is closed. Dresden is funny–I like that. Imagine mixing SS POWs (won’t they be sent back to Haven?) with SL POWs.

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