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The Royal Manticoran Navy (abbreviated RMN) is a fictional space navy in the Honorverse, a long-running series of novels and stories written by David Weber and published by Baen Books. The RMN is the navy of the small but wealthy commercial power, the Star Kingdom of Manticore, an interstellar power with striking resemblances to the United Kingdom. The RMN itself is a thinly-disguised copy of the United Kingdom's Age of Sail-era Royal Navy. Many parallels can be drawn from Honor Harrington to C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series.

History Edit

The Royal Manticoran Navy traces its origins to the early days of the Manticore Colony. The original colonists had left a considerable amount of money on Earth to guard its interests before they arrived at Manticore (a voyage that took seven centuries). Amongst other things, with the invention of safe hyper travel (which reduced the journey time to months rather than centuries) the Manticore Colony Trust used this money and the accrued interest to acquire four small frigates which were dispatched to protect the system from claim jumpers; when the colony ship Jason arrived these formed the start of the Manticorian Navy. For the next decades the Manticoran System Navy remained a small system defense fleet. Under the command of Commodore Edward Saganami, the RMN became a force to be reckoned with, and the following discovery of the Manticore Wormhole Junction changed the RMN, as the fleet expanded to protect Manticore's growing merchant marine. As the threat of the People's Republic of Haven loomed, King Roger III and Prime Minister Allen Summervale began a naval buildup program which placed the RMN as one of the largest fleets in human space.

Command structureEdit

The King or Queen of Manticore is the Commander-in-Chief of the Manticoran armed forces.

  • First Lord of the Admiralty: the civilian head of the Royal Manticoran Navy handles the overall coordination of naval policy as directed by the Cabinet.
  • Second Lord of the Admiralty: civilian official responsible for the budgetary and fiscal management of the RMN.
  • Third Lord of the Admiralty: is concerned with health and manpower.

Below the Lords of Admiralty are the Space Lords, the senior uniformed officers in the RMN. Each Space Lord handles a specific branch, or bureau, of the RMN:

  • First Space Lord: the senior active-duty officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, responsible for overall strategic direction, force structure management and deployment.
  • Second Space Lord: handles operational and tactical planning and is the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Heads the Bureau of Planning (BuPlan).
  • Third Space Lord: oversees construction and maintenance of warships in accordance with directions from the Second Lord of Admiralty. Heads the Bureau of Ships (BuShips).
  • Fourth Space Lord: responsible for research and development of new systems for the Navy. Heads the Bureau of Weapons (BuWeaps).
  • Fifth Space Lord: manages recruitment and manpower, and oversees transfers and placement of naval personnel. Heads the Bureau of Personnel (BuPers).
  • Sixth Space Lord: responsible for the training and education of Manticoran naval personnel in accordance with the Third Lord of Admiralty and the Fifth Space Lord. Heads the Bureau of Training (BuTrain).
  • Seventh Space Lord: in charge of the health and medical treatment of all Fleet personnel, and administers Naval Hospitals. Heads the Medical Bureau (BuMed).

Ranks Edit

Flag Officers

Rank Code Rank Sleeve Insignia Collar Insignia
OF-10 Admiral of the Fleet 75px
OF-10 Fleet Admiral 75px File:Rmn fadm collar.jpg
OF-9 Admiral (of the Green) 75px File:Rmn adm collar.jpg
OF-8 Vice Admiral (of the Red)
OF-7 Rear Admiral (of the Green) 75px File:Rmn radm collar.jpg
OF-6 Commodore 75px File:Rmn cmdr collar.jpg

Flag officers of Rear Admiral or higher are "of the Red" or "of the Green" (for example, "Rear Admiral of the Red Mark Sarnow" or "Admiral of the Green Hamish Alexander"), indicating seniority. Being a flag officer of the Red indicates recent promotion to the rank, while the Green is the senior division. The rank of Commodore is excluded from this system.

Historically the RMN was divided into 'Manticore' (Green) and 'Gryphon' (Red) squadrons. This is retained in that the senior half of each flag rank is in the Green division and flies a green flag. The junior half flies a red flag. Commodores have black broad pennants (swallowtailed) as they are not properly flag officers. Fleet Admirals and the Admiral of the Fleet are not split in this way either.

Commissioned Officers

Rank Code Rank Sleeve Insignia Collar Insignia
OF-5 Captain (Senior Grade) 75px File:Rmn capt collar.jpg
OF-5 Captain (Junior Grade) 75px File:Rmn capt2 collar.jpg
OF-4 Commander 75px File:Rmn capt2 collar.jpg
OF-3 Lieutenant Commander 75px File:Rmn lcdr collar.jpg
OF-2 Lieutenant (Senior Grade) 75px File:Rmn lt collar.jpg
OF-1 Lieutenant (Junior Grade) 75px File:Rmn ltjg collar.jpg
OF-1 Ensign 75px File:Rmn ens collar.jpg

The rank of Captain (Senior Grade) is also known as "Captain of the List", as they are on the official Captain's List, a list of every serving officer who has reached the rank of captain (SG), ranked in order of seniority which is determined by the date that an officer reaches the rank of Captain (SG). Once a Captain of the List, an officer is guaranteed promotion to the rank of Admiral as they gain seniority. Command of the heaviest RMN warships (battlecruiser-tonnage and up) is reserved for Captains of the List.

Warrant Officers

Rank Code Rank Sleeve Insignia Collar Insignia
WO-5 Master Chief Warrant Officer (Artificer) 75px File:Rmn mcwo collar.jpg
WO-4 Senior Chief Warrant Officer (Electrician) 75px File:Rmn scwo collar.jpg
WO-3 Chief Warrant Officer (Machinist) 75px File:Rmn cwo collar.jpg
WO-2 Warrant Officer 1st Class (Damage Control Specialist) 75px File:Rmn wo1 collar.jpg
WO-1 Warrant Officer 2nd Class (Legal Specialist) 75px File:Rmn wo2 collar.jpg

Non-commissioned Officers

Rank Code Rank Sleeve Insignia
OR-9 Senior Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy 75px
OR-9 Senior Master Chief Petty Officer (Boatswain's Mate) 75px
OR-9 Master Chief Petty Officer (Builder) 75px
OR-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer (Communications Technician) 75px
OR-7 Chief Petty Officer (Legal Specialist) 75px
OR-6 Petty Officer First Class (Missile Technician) 75px
OR-5 Petty Officer Second Class (Navy Counselor) 75px
OR-4 Petty Officer Third Class (Operations Specialist) 75px

Enlisted Personnel

Rank Code Rank Sleeve Insignia
OR-3 First Class 75px
OR-2 Second Class 75px
OR-1 Third Class 75px

(The NATO standard ranking system has been applied as used in the Military Rank articles. OF=Officer, OR=Other Ranks.)

The RMN has "Warrant Officers"; these are non-commissioned officers who have been promoted but not given a commission. In terms of seniority their ranks are equivalent from Lieutenant (JG) to Commander, but they are not in the chain of command. A Warrant Officer would then occupy a specialist position normally held by an officer, such as in engineering.

Midshipmen follow the Royal Navy pattern, to a point. They do not fill the role of Ensign; otherwise they are nearly identical, to the point of being some form of Warrant Officer.

Historical Basis

This rank structure is clearly based on the old Royal Navy. The distinction between senior and junior-grade Captains is similar to RN captains historically wearing one epaulette if they had less than three years' seniority. Promotion to flag rank was on the basis of seniority on the Captain's List. The RN also split flag ranks into Blue, White and Red divisions (in ascending order) on the basis of seniority. See Admiral for an article dealing with this.

This is only based on history, and there are some differences, especially in the seniority rules. For example, in the RN of the day, Commodore was an appointment rather than a rank, and was conferred on Captains lacking the seniority for promotion to flag rank. In the RMN, Commodore is a substantive rank, and the promotion any Captain of the List is guaranteed if they live long enough. Alice Truman was jumped directly from Captain of the List to Rear Admiral, while Honor Harrington was promoted from Commodore to full Admiral in the RMN.

Uniforms Edit

File:J1-RMN-officer-JD.jpg
The undress uniform of the officers of the RMN is described as a black coat, with a Prussian-style collar, with a white turtleneck blouse underneath and black pants tucked into boots. Awards are pinned on the left breast, underneath embroidered golden stars indicating previous interstellar commands (in the Honorverse, this traditionally means command of a destroyer or larger vessel). The jacket is trimmed in gold, and has gold-on-red rank shoulderboards. The left sleeve has a ship patch, indicating the wearer's current assignment, and the right bears the rampant manticore of the Star Kingdom's coat of arms. The patch appears again, smaller, on the band of the wearer's beret. Most berets described in the book are black, however, an officer assigned command of any Hyper capable ship wears a white beret.

Skinsuits, the fictional version of spacesuits in the Honorverse, are traditionally worn during battle conditions, to protect the crew of a ship if compartments are exposed to vacuum during battle. The RMN is described as issuing each individual their own skinsuit, and as such each suit has the user's rank insignia - collar insignia as well as rank stripes on the sleeves for officers, plus the shoulder patches of the undress uniform. The front of the skinsuit has trim similar in pattern to that of the undress uniform as well, in the color of the wearer's department (command, tactical, engineering, et cetera).

Technology Edit

Like all navies in the Honorverse, the RMN uses starships which are designed remarkably like Age of Sail men-of-war, with a moderate "chase" armament mounted in the bow and stern of the ship, and the main firepower of the ship concentrated in its broadsides. A typical broadside for a 300,000-ton light cruiser might contain several laser or graser (a gamma-ray laser lensed by artificial gravity) cannon and seven to ten missile tubes; a typical broadside for an 8,000,000-ton superdreadnought might have a dozen or more times as many weapons in raw numbers, each individual weapon mount also being much more powerful than the light cruiser's battery. Because of the nature of Honorverse propulsion, "fighters" are presumed to be unworkable; the smallest possible effective warship is the light attack craft (LAC), massing 20,000-30,000 tons (LACs cannot travel through hyperspace, however, they must be towed through it by tenders or carried in aircraft carrier-like ships called CLACs), and the smallest effective unit capable of interstellar travel is the destroyer, generally massing 150,000-200,000 tons.

There are also two major schools of tactical thought as regards technology in the RMN: the Traditionalists, led by Admiral of the Green Hamish Alexander, and the Jeune Ecole, led by Admiral of the Green Lady Sonja Hemphill. The principal difference seems to be that the Traditionalists are skeptical of the effect new technology can have on warfare (whose strategies have been basically stagnant for centuries as of the beginning of the series), while the Jeune Ecole tend to be excessively optimistic about the possibilities of new technology, often neglecting old methods of doing things simply because they are "outdated", without considering the reasons behind those methods. For example, in the events of On Basilisk Station, Admiral Hemphill put a Grav Lance (a short-ranged weapon capable of destroying a large part of a warship's passive defences) onboard the light cruiser HMS Fearless, while stripping it of virtually all of its offensive weaponry to make room for the massive weapon. When Fearless was later forced into combat unsupported, this lack of traditional offensive weaponry resulted in far higher damage to the ship than it would have suffered had it been traditionally equipped, due to its inability to fight effectively at anything but point-blank range. However, a large number of technologies championed by Hemphill have drastically altered the way wars are fought, most notably multi-drive missiles, pod-laying ships, improved electronic-warfare capabilities, and modernized LACs and LAC carriers.

Consistent with the Napoleonic-era theme, there are a number of modern technologies and innovations which are not present. On at least one occasion it is stated that the RMN build ships with only one radio room, thus making them excessively vulnerable to communications damage. Computer technology also seems antiquated, as on many occasions the only link between Control A and Equipment B is severed; indicating the RMN is unfamiliar with packet-switching technology or has chosen not to use it for some unexplained reason. Judging from how easily they are damaged, the radar sets fitted to RMN ships do not appear to be phased-array sets, which could be spread out over the entire hull and hence relatively invulnerable to anything but the most severe damage. Nuclear bombs and nuclear bomb-pumped lasers are never used in any application other than missiles and mines, despite many potential other applications. Naval task forces do not appear to routinely include significant numbers of fleet-tender vessels, which is common practice today, and thus can often run short of ammunition far more easily than would generally be desirable (for example, an SD(P) only has enough missile pods for roughly 40 minutes of full-fledged combat). It is possible that many of these gaps are due to the limits inherent in a fictional series (for example, it is possible that some of the aforementioned technologies *do* exist but have merely not been shown yet), however these differences between what would seem to be possible even with currently existent real-world technology and the technology of a massively advanced culture 2000 years in the future are surprising nonetheless. Further to this, there often seems a substantial gap between what the characters say is possible and what technology would imply is possible. An analogy could be made with pre-tank trench warfare, or pre-Pearl Harbor naval warfare. There were no fundamental rules that prevented the existence of the tank, or shallow water torpedo, but no one had built one yet. The author seems aware of this gap, and has on at least one occasion exploited it as a plot device.

At the same time, however, the fact that munition ships and colliers have not been explicitly mentioned in most of the novels does not imply that they are not there. In Shadow of Saganami, at the climax of the novel, an RMN munitions ship helps augment the firepower of the task force. It is most likely that such supply fleets are set up at uninhabited stars as covert supply dumps that the main fleet hyperspaces to when they are beginning to run low on supplies and munitions. As well, several battles that are featured in the novel are either lighting raids which hit a system and then run, or occur in systems that one side (frequently the RMN) already have some in-system installations, thus obviating the need for a supply ship to be stationed. Even in such lightning raids, a collier can be left behind in deep space at a pre-designated rendezvous point while the combat ships carry on the last few light years to target. It also seems possible that the prevalence of stand-off weapons, such as the bomb-pumped laser warheads, and their rather indiscriminate targets, could make the presence of unarmed and unarmoured support ships detrimental to fleet engagements. Lastly, the absence of supply ships may also be explained by the fact that the author, and thus the reader, may feel they do not bring enough interest to the story in most circumstances, and are thus omitted unless they are needed as a plot device.

Paradigm Shift Edit

Prior to the Havenite Wars, the RMN primarily relied upon vessels with decent firepower (with their effectiveness increased by superior technology), large crews (better for redundancy and damage control), and large marine complements. However, as the Havenite wars went on, because the Star Kingdom had a much smaller population base than the (People's) Republic of Haven, they faced a severe bottleneck of manpower. As such, as the First Havenite War was coming to a close, they began to launch several new ship classes and types which made increased use of automation, reducing crew sizes by up to 85%, and making use of the new LACs (light attack craft) for system defence instead of the more crew-intensive destroyers.

RMN space ship classes and ships Edit

For warships by fleet, type and class see: List of ships in the Honorverse

List of Honor Edit

The RMN has a "List of Honor". Ships whose crews distinguish themselves in combat may be placed on this list; the ship's name is then kept on active duty in perpetuity. Any time a ship with a name from that list is destroyed in combat or scrapped (due to obsolescence or damage too expensive to repair), a new vessel is commissioned with the same name. Ships on the List of Honor include:

  • HMS Nike:
    • BC-09, declassified as CA-103 (built in 1460 P.D.),
    • BC-01, built in 1590 PD, distinguished in Battle of Carson in 1672 P.D.,
    • BC-413,
  • HMS Fearless:
    • CL-56, distinguished in Basilisk System in 1900 P.D.,
    • CA-286, built in 1901 P.D.,
  • HMS Troubadour, DD- , distinguished in Second Battle of Yeltsin in 1903 P.D.
  • every unit of Terekhov's "Squadron" distinguished in Battle of Monica in 1921 P.D.:
    • HMS Hexapuma, CA-
    • HMS Warlock, CA-277
    • HMS Valiant, CA-
    • HMS Gallant, CL-
    • HMS Audacious, CL-
    • HMS Aegis, CL-
    • HMS Janissary, DD-
    • HMS Javelin, DD-
    • HMS Rondeau, DD-
    • HMS Aria, DD-
    • HMS Volcano, ammunition ship.

Ship classes Edit

Superdreadnoughts

  • Samothrace class: In service for over 50 T-years prior to the Second Havenite War. Considered obsolete and antiquated. Follow-up class for the King William class.
  • King William class: This class was sent to the breakers as part of the High Ridge government's naval cutbacks. Prior to the first Havenite War, the King William was one of the most common SD's in Manticoran service, and was considered a massive improvement over the older Manticore class.
  • Manticore class
  • Sphinx class
  • Gryphon class: The most powerful class of superdreadnaughts in use by the RMN prior to the First Havenite War. Armed with 54 grasers, 46 X-ray lasers, 12 energy torpedo launchers, and many missile launchers.
  • Medusa class (formerly known as the Harrington class): The Harrington class is a series of ships with the same design as the Medusa but deployed by Grayson. When it was believed that Honor Harrington was dead, Manticore—following the lead of Grayson—decided to call the then-new class, still in production, the Harrington class, as a sign of respect. When she was discovered to be alive, Manticore changed the class name back to Medusa, and never deployed any HMS Honor Harrington. Grayson never changed the class name back to Medusa, citing religious and managerial issues.
  • Invictus class: The Invictus-class SD(P)'s took the pod-laying abilities of the Medusa/Harrington class to the next level by effectively stripping out the entire broadside missile bays in favour of additional Missile pods, more anti-missile defences, and a more powerful energy battery.
  • Medusa-B class: The Medusa-B is, despite its name, a completely different ship than the original Medusa/Harrington-class vessel. Based on the same hull (and proposed as a modification of the existing Medusa class in order to get the High Ridge government to approve it), it makes use of the most modern equipment in the RMN. It retains a token broadside missile capacity using off-bore missile capacity as opposed to the Invictus' complete removal. What makes it different is that its pod bay runs over 70% of its length as opposed to only 30% in previous SD(P)'s, sacrificing hull strength for increased firepower.

Dreadnoughts

  • Majestic class
  • Bellerophon class

LAC Carriers

  • Minotaur class

Battlecruisers

  • Redoubtable class
  • Homer class
  • Reliant class
  • Agamemnon class: The RMN's first BC(P) design, the Agamemnons are designed as low-endurance strike ships. Because of the hollow-core needed to hold the missile pods, it is even more fragile than other ships in its weight class and it lacks the internal volume to stand up to any ship larger than itself for any length of time (though its first volley would be devastating).
  • Nike class: A class of "large" battle cruisers armed with no lasers, 32 grasers (eight as chase weapons), 50 missile tubes (all in the broadsides). Designed to be "generalist" vessels, these vessels are heavily armoured to stand up to the modern missiles in use at the time of their launching. While its crew size has been lowered (via automation), its marine complement remains at standard pre-automation battle cruiser strength. Until 1921 only one vessel built (HMS Nike, BC-562).

Heavy Cruisers

  • Crusader class
  • Broadsword class
  • Prince Consort class
  • Star Knight class
  • Edward Saganami class
  • Edward Saganami B class
  • Edward Saganami C class

Light Cruisers

  • Courageous class (obsolete)
  • Illustrious class
  • Apollo class
  • Avalon class: The most advanced and newest light cruiser class in service by the RMN. Equipped with the newest missile launchers, allowing off-bore firing (i.e., can fire both broadsides at targets in front of it simultaneously).

Destroyers

  • Falcon class (obsolete)
  • Linnet class
  • Chanson class
  • Culverin class
  • Havoc class
  • Roland class

Royal Yachts

  • HMS Queen Adrianne
  • HMS Duke of Cromarty

Museum Ship: HMS Unconquered

RMN space ship classes and ships released as part of the Saganami Island Tactical Simulator Edit

In addition to the canon ships of the RMN, the SITS game will soon release statistics for several other ship classes which have not been mentioned in the novels:

Superdreadnoughts

  • Anduril-class - Mentioned as, along with the Samothrace-class, a replacement for the King William-class. Noted for its heavy beam armament as opposed to the missile-heavy Samothrace-class.

Dreadnoughts

  • Royal Winton-class - A predecessor of the Majestic-class.
  • Gladiator-class - A larger predecessor of the Majestic-class. Was phased out due to high costs.

Light Cruiser

  • Illustrious-class

Destroyers

  • Havoc-class

Light Attack Craft (pre-1904 PD)

  • Highlander-class

RMN Unidentified class ships Edit

  • Unidentified class SD's — these ships were mentioned in a post by David Weber as forming part of Honor Harrington's fleet during the Second Battle of Marsh.[1]
    • HMS Horatius
    • HMS Minerva
    • HMS Romulus
    • HMS Starcrest
    • HMS Highlander
    • HMS Admiral D'Orville
    • HMS Yawata
    • HMS Winton
    • HMS Duke of New Madrid
    • HMS Duke Winter Mount
    • HMS Harrier
    • HMS Conquest
    • HMS Nicator
    • HMS Kathryn Howard
    • HMS Challenger
    • HMS Revenge
    • HMS Ibrahim
    • HMS Defender
    • HMS Morning Star
    • HMS Excalibur
    • HMS Macedonian
  • Unidentified class DN's — these ships were mentioned in a post by David Weber as forming part of Honor Harrington's fleet during the Second Battle of Marsh.[1]
    • HMS Grendelsbane
    • HMS Prince Nicholas
    • HMS Matador
    • HMS Earl Sydon
    • HMS Baroness Bellisle
    • HMS Princess Alicia
  • Unidentified class BC's — these ships were mentioned in a post by David Weber as forming part of Honor Harrington's fleet during the Second Battle of Marsh, [1] or have been named in published Honorverse works but not identified by class.
    • HMS Repulse
    • HMS Athena
    • HMS Atropos
    • HMS Victorious
    • HMS Vengeance
    • HMS Valiant
    • HMS Relentless
    • HMS Mars
    • HMS Shiva
    • HMS Triumphant
    • HMS Glory
    • HMS Furious
    • HMS Dresden
    • HMS Implacable
    • HMS Braveheart
  • Unknown classes, destroyers
    • HMS Ambuscade
    • HMS Skirmisher
    • HMS Greyhound, HMS Whippet

Saganami Naval Academy Edit

The Royal Manticoran Naval Academy is a fictional naval academy in the Honorverse.

The Academy is the main officer training facility for the Royal Manticoran Navy. It is located on the planet Manticore, the third planet of Manticore A. The Academy is built on Saganami Island, which is named after Edward Saganami.

The Academy has many parallels with the United States Naval Academy and other service academies in the real world.

Honor Harrington is a graduate of the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy, as are most of the RMN Officers in the Honorverse. In addition, many officer candidates from allied navies train at the academy. However, not all officers in the RMN are Academy graduates: the RMN has a tradition of promoting ratings who demonstrate leadership ability. These officers are known informally, as in the US military, as "mustangs." In time of war, the RMN also trains civilian merchant marine officers as military officers in an "Officer's Candidate School."

References Edit


fr:Flotte royale Manticorienne

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