Title Posted
Warshaski sail missiles Oct 2002
<em>Wayfarer</em>'s cargo doors Oct 2002
"Weaknesses" of the SD(P) classes Oct 2002
Wedge geometry Oct 2002
The Grendelsbane yards vulnerability Oct 2002
Source of the Grayson starship reserves Oct 2002
System defense ships Oct 2002
Ground warfare Oct 2002
Hyperspace near a Wormhole Junction Oct 2002
Kinetic infrastructure attacks Oct 2002


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Pearls of Weber

A collection of posts by David Weber containing background information for his stories, collected and generously made available Joe Buckley.

Source of the Grayson starship reserves

  • Series: Honorverse
  • Date: October 22, 2002

In answer to the question about the numbers of Grayson SDs, no, it's not a mistake. The ships in question come from two sources. Well, arguably, from three, I suppose. Both of the first two sources are Grayson construction. Fifteen of the total had been constructed, or were in the final stages of construction, when the first Harrington-class SD(P) was laid down. Another seven were already in the pipeline, and far enough advanced that the Office of Shipbuilding decided to complete them. Another five are the same "command class" SDs as Benjamin the Great, which brings the total up to 27. The remainder were acquired by that thrifty and frugal planetary ruler, Benjamin Mayhew, when the Janacek Admiralty decided to dispose of them. Twenty of them were vessels which already had been transferred to Grayson service earlier in the war. They were really supposed to be handed back over to Manticore as new Grayson construction came online to replace them, but instead, Grayson managed to come up with the crews to keep them in commission at least until the SD(P)s came along. When the SD(P)s did begin to enter service, Grayson's training and expansion programs kept far enough ahead of the demand for them (bearing in mind that the Grayson's went even further, faster in adopting the manpower-reducing automation philosophy than Manticore did), that they managed to keep about half of their total older SDs in commission, as well. Then came Operation Buttercup, the cease-fire, and the Janacek Admiralty. At that time, Benjamin had 47 of his current total of 90 already in Grayson service. The Janacek Admiralty wasn't in any hurry to get back to 20 of them which technically belonged to the RMN, especially since they were actually planning on building down, and saw no use for "obsolete types." Benjamin, on the other hand, was convinced from the outset that the resumption of active military operations was a very real probability, which is the reason he maintained his building programs. As part of the same mindset, when the Janacek Admiralty and the High Ridge Government began talking about listing ships for disposal, Grayson very quietly picked up an additional 43 of the more modern pre-pod designs which otherwise would have gone to mothballs or the breakers. They paid Manticore basically the scrap value of the ships, which allowed them to pick the vessels up literally for a song. It wasn't so much that Benjamin and Wesley Matthews expected to man all 90 of them with Grayson spacers, so much as they sought as a way to preserve more of the Manticoran naval units which would otherwise have been simply lost. If you'll notice, they only have 30 of them manned as of the point in time represented by the table [Spoiler Warning -Ed] I sent you. (That point, by the way, is not exactly at the beginning of the next novel; it's at the point at which Honor stops being "CO (Designate) Eighth Fleet" and becomes "CO Eighth Fleet.") The other 60 are earmarked to be handed back over to the RMN to be manned out of the larger Manticoran manpower pool. As the SD(P)s which the Grayson's still have under construction (an unfortunately small number) become available, the conventional SDs will be decommissioned (or handed over to Manticoran crews) on roughly a 1-to-3.25 ratio to provide the manpower for the SD(P)s. At the moment, everyone in Manticore with the IQ of an amoeba is glad that they are available, since any waller is better than no waller under current circumstances.