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Battle of Solon

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Battle of Solon
Battlesign RMN vs RHN PN
ConflictSecond Haven-Manticore War
Date15 November 1920 PD
PlaceSolon System
ResultHavenite victory
Combatants

Royal Manticoran Navy
Task Force 82

Republic of Haven Navy
task force of 3rd FLT

Commanders

Adm. Honor Harrington

Adm. Javier Giscard

Strength
  • 2 SD(P)
  • 6 CLAC with 670 LAC
  • 5 BC(P)
  • 6 CA
  • 8 CL
  • 3 DD
  • 18 SD(P)
  • 6 CLAC
  • 8+ BC


  • 3 SD
  • 7 ML
  • 190 system defence LAC
  • fixed defences
Casualties

destroyed:

  • 1 SD
  • 3 BC
  • 3 CA
  • 3 CL
  • 211 LAC
  • 6 BC destroyed
  • 2 BC damaged
  • 1 SD damaged
  • 2 ML damaged

The Battle of Solon was fought between a task force of the Republic of Haven Navy's Third Fleet and Task Force 82 of the Royal Manticoran Navy when the Solon System was targeted for a deep raid by the RMN as part of Operation Cutworm III.

The battle featured the first use of the RHN's new Tarantula and Moriarty system-defence platforms. It also resulted in the capture of then-Rear Admiral Gold Peak.

Summary Edit

Shortly after moving her forces in-system, Admiral Honor Harrington was ambushed by Admiral Giscard's forces which had been waiting in hyper for a signal from the new Tarantula platforms. Giscard's forces surrounded Harrington's, and after several large missile pod volleys, surprised Harrington by launching over 17,000 missiles from pods that had been laid by minelayers masquerading as battlecruisers, under the fire control of the new Moriarty system.

Harrington's forces were badly damaged, but she managed to get half of her forces out of the system. A notable exception was the battlecruiser HMS Ajax, Rear Admiral Gold Peak's flagship, which was neither able to go to hyper, due to damage to the aft impeller ring, nor easily abandon ship, due to wreckage in both boat bays. Gold Peak eventually managed to escape her ship, but was captured by Havenite forces. (HH11)

Order of battleEdit

Republic of Haven Navy Edit

A task force of Third Fleet[1], CO Admiral Javier Giscard:

  • Task Group 3_ (Bogey Two - northern), CO - Admiral Pierre Redmont
    • a battle squadron
    • a CLAC division
    • a battlecruiser squadron[2]
  • Task Group 32 (Bogey Three - southern), CO - Rear Admiral Hildegard Sewall[3]
    • a battle squadron
    • a CLAC division
    • a screening element
  • Task Group 3_ (Bogey Four - astern), CO - Admiral Javier Giscard
    • a battle squadron[4]
    • a CLAC division
    • a screening element
  • Task Group 36 - subordinate Solon System Defence, CO - Rear Admiral Emile Deutscher
    • a battle division (Bogey One)[5]
    • a squadron of mine-layers (Bogey One)[6]
    • a LAC wing
    • system defence missile pod clusters

Royal Manticoran Navy Edit

Task Force 82, CO Admiral Honor Harrington:

Course of battle Edit

Following the successes of Operation Cutworm and Operation Cutworm II, Operation Cutworm III targeted the Solon System. Two destroyers scouted the system prior to the arrival of Admiral Harrington's Task Force 82, and discovered a light system defense fleet in orbit of the planet Arthur, and groups of missile pods arranged around Arthur and near the planet Merlin. Upon arrival, TF 82's LAC carriers launched all its LACs, and Admiral Miklos's CLACs remained at the system hyper-limit with one wing of LACs from HMS Unicorn and three light cruisers (HMS Tisphone, Samurai, and Clotho) for escort.

Unbeknownst to Harrington, the light system forces (designated Bogey One by TF 82) were a ruse to entice her forces to enter the system so they could be trapped by Admiral Giscard's forces, which were being coordinated by the new Tarantula platforms. Tarantula allowed Giscard's ambush task group to sit in hyper and wait for the signal to attack, similar to what Harrington had done at the Battle of Sidemore. Upon the discovery that FTL comms were originating from both Arthur and Merlin (from the Tarantula platforms), Harrington suspected some kind of coordinated trap, and ordered her CLACs and its escorts to hyper out to safety.

Three task groups of RHN ships translated out of hyper and surrounded Harrington's units, Bogey Two from system north, Bogey Three from system south and Bogey Four from astern. Each task group consisted of six superdreadnoughts and two CLACs, plus screen. Bogey Four, led by Giscard, fired the first shot at TF 82 with 12,000 missiles over 11 salvos, mainly targeted at HMS Imperator and HMS Intolerant. Thanks to the new Keyhole II platforms and the fact that most of the LACs were Katanas, over 8,200 counter-missiles were fired, resulting in no missiles getting into attack range. This was followed up by a single salvo of 11,000 missiles, targeted at both superdreadnoughts and battlecruisers, of which 269 managed to hit, resulting in heavy damage to HMS Intolerant as well as the death of Admiral Morowitz. Battlecruiser HMS Ajax and heavy cruiser HMS Star Ranger also sustained hits, although Ajax only suffered light damage. TF 82 responded with a salvo that targeted RHNS Conquete, causing moderate damage. Final volleys from both sides caused major damage to HMS Intolerant and RHNS Conquete. At this point Bogey four had pretty much exhausted its supply of missile pods.

Having outrun Bogey Four, and passing by the extreme edge of Bogey Three’s engagement envelope, Harrington moved Gold Peak's battlecruisers so that they were between HMS Intolerant and the cluster of missile pods positioned near the planet Arthur. At this point Admiral Deutscher, who had been using Bogey One's battlecruisers to lay pods, ordered the activation of the Moriarty platform. The platform coordinated the launch and fire-control of over 17,000 missiles from both Bogey one’s pods and the pods in orbit around Arthur. In response Harrington fired salvoes from the pods of both superdreadnoughts and the Agamemnon-class battlecruiser pod-layers. Thanks to the control provided by Moriarty, very few RHN missiles lost telemetry, and even though thousands were intercepted by missile defences, over 1,600 survived to attack TF 82. HMS Intolerant was completely obliterated, as were two battlecruisers, three light cruisers, and 211 LACs. Two heavy cruisers were turned into wrecks, and the battlecruiser HMS Ajax and heavy cruiser HMS Necromancer suffered heavy damage to their impeller rings, with Ajax also suffering damage to her boat-bays, preventing evacuation. HMS Imperator also suffered minor hits. In return, TF 82 destroyed two of Bogey One’s battlecruisers and heavily damaged a superdreadnought.

With heavy damage slowing them down, TF 82 was in danger of being overtaken by Bogey Two and Bogey Three. With coordination from the scout destroyers, Admiral Miklos hypered in his CLACs to recover the surviving LACs, and the survivors of TF 82 (with the notable exception of HMS Ajax) hypered out, pursued by Bogey Three.

The damaged HMS Ajax battered Admiral Redmont's task group's (Bogey Two) screen, and destroyed six battlecruisers, when they set off a mine trap of over 4,000 missiles. HMS Ajax was then destroyed by a salvo from Bogey Two. It seems at least part of her three hundred skeleton crew survived, including Rear Admiral Gold Peak. Her acting flag captain and acting tactical officer were killed in action. (HH11, SI2)

Detailed losses Edit

RHN Edit

  • 2 superdreadnoughts heavily damaged, including RHNS Conquete
  • 2 minelayers damaged
  • 6 battlecruisers destroyed
  • 2 battlecruisers damaged[8]

RMN Edit

AftermathEdit

Admiral Giscard was offered the Congressional Cross, although he refused to accept it. He agreed instead to accept the thanks of Congress.[9]

Pleased with the performance of Tarantula and Moriarty, Secretary of War Theisman ordered the deployment of Moriarty platforms elsewhere in the Republic to help bolster system defences and free up ships for the front-line. (HH11)

References Edit

  1. consisted of 18 Sovereign of Space-class SD(P)s, a 6 Aviary-class CLACs and screening elements, split evenly into three task groups of 6 superdreadnoughts and 2 CLACs
  2. 8 units (SI2)
  3. according to HH11 list of characters TG 32 was "Bogey Two"
  4. including: RHNS Sovereign of Space, fleet flagship, CO Captain Patrick Reumann, and RHNS Conquete, CO Captain Hal Fredericks
  5. 2 pre-pod SD
  6. 7 units
  7. HMS Ambuscade, CO Commander Estwicke, HMS Rifleman and HMS Intruder; it is not certain, if they were technically organized as division
  8. supposition
  9. Giscard considered the Cross to be too important an award to be given for political reasons.


Operations of the
Second Havenite-Manticoran War

Thunderbolt | Cutworm | Cutworm II | Cutworm III | Gobi | Sanskrit | Beatrice

Battles of the
Second Havenite-Manticoran War

Second Tequila | Grendelsbane | Second Thetis | Second Maastricht | Second Trevor's Star | Second Marsh | Raid on Alizon | Raid on Zanzibar | Gaston | Tambourin | Hera | Squalus and Hallman | Augusta | Chantilly | Des Moines | Fordyce | Lorn | Solon | Second Zanzibar | Lovat | Manticore

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