Title Posted
Operation Ark's mission plan Apr 2009
A comparative look at the BC(P) vs BC(L) Apr 2009
Where is the RMMC boot camp located? Apr 2009
Do you plan ahead for which characters die? Apr 2009
Elizabeth III is <em>not </em>an irrational nut-job Apr 2009
Order of Battle: Third Clash - The Great Visit Reserve Apr 2009
Wealth and opportunities in the Solarian League Apr 2009
More on the Keyhole platforms Mar 2009
How much has the Maya Sector's military capability improved? Mar 2009
The Mesan Spider Drive Mar 2009


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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.

Naval blockades

  • Series: Honorverse
  • Date: April 22, 2009

In specific reference to the Junction, Manticore has the right (legally) to seal it tighter than a drum and refuse passage to all traffic. They do not do this for several reasons, not least among them being the high percentage of the bill for the war being paid by the Junction's use fees. There is also the fact--not yet sufficiently dwelt upon in the novels ('cause I can't find time to dwell on everything that needs dwelling on) that because such a good sized chunk of the trade along the periphery of the Solarian League passes through the Junction, shutting it down would impose major hardships on a lot of systems which would suddenly find their freight, passenger, and mail service severely disrupted. Then there are the political aspects of trying to close the Junction to diplomatic traffic on the part of neutral powers.

In general, a blockade in Honor's universe is much like a wet-navy blockade of the late 19th/early 20th centuries. To be legal, it must be effective--i.e., the blockader must possess the assets, deployed in the right places, to effectively spot and (hopefully) interdict incoming trade all around the system periphery. If he accomplishes this fact (and he can do it with LACs or even pinnaces if he likes), he is legally entitled to require any vessel entering the blockaded system to halt and submit to search and (where applicable) seizure… and to open fire upon anyone, armed or unarmed, who disregards his instruction to halt.

In fact, of course, there has often been a very profitable traffic in blockade runners, but this is a particularly high-risk profession in an era of laser heads, and about to become even more so with the introduction of pod SDs and Ghost Rider missiles in general (not to mention the 2nd-generation LACs).