User:Piotrus/Honorverse concepts and terminology
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- 1 Starship and space weapons
- 2 Personal and ground-based weapons
- 3 Defense
- 4 Other concepts
Starship and space weapons
Small craft such as shuttles and pinnaces do not use starship weapons, but larger versions of personal weapons. They are not intended to fight starships. In The Shadow of Saganami we learn that pinnaces are equipped with an equivalent of starship point-defense lasers which can be quite deadly to unarmored merchant ships at close range.
Lasers are the most common military shipboard energy weapon. Their lenses are several meters across; they have effective ranges of about 1,000,000 kilometers (much less (perhaps 1/2) against targets with gravitic sidewall protection).
A majority of ships also mount clusters of smaller, shorter ranged, point-defense lasers for anti-missile duty. In modern navies, point-defense lasers have essentially entirely replaced older point-defense projectile guns.
The books and stories explain that, unlike today's lasers, the focusing lenses in weapon lasers are not physical materials (eg, glass or diamond) but are gravitic. The emitters are extended outwards from the hull to allow these lenses to function. The weapons are able to fire through the protective sidewall by the temporary opening of 'gunports' in the sidewall at the moment of firing.
Lasers operating in the gamma ray range (the name is an abbreviation of gamma ray amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). They are the primary energy weapon used in the largest military starships. They are vastly superior in damage capability with reference to military shipboard lasers, and they are generally confined to large ships for size and power requirement reasons. Exceptionally, the new Light Attack Craft (LAC) designs of the Royal Manticoran Navy carry a single graser about the size and power of those normally mounted in the very much larger battlecruiser. The size can be put into context, when a ship weighing 20,000–30,000 tonnes can only manage to carry one graser and two missile tubes, with magazine of about one hundred countermissiles. When the graser is removed from such LACs, as in the Ferret-class LAC, a vastly superior magazine can be added as well as a "stern wall" generator in addition to a "bow wall".
The most common weapons are impeller drive missiles. A typical missile masses 80 tons and can accelerate at 46,000 g (450 km/s²) for 180 seconds before its drive burns out, giving a powered flight range of over six million kilometers. Naturally, in space, it is possible to reach a target beyond powered range, but it is very easy to avoid a coasting missile. Even within powered range, electronic countermeasures and evasive systems, point defense and countermissiles are effective, and a direct hit on a defended ship is basically impossible. Missiles spin while in flight, to make it difficult for point defense lasers to get a clear shot past the impeller wedge.
Centuries ago, in the time of Edward Saganami, missiles used fusion warheads in the megaton range. Such weapons had to get very close to the target to do damage, and point defense was improving. The nuclear warhead was superseded as a ship-killer by the laser head. This weapon used the high energy electromagnetic radiation produced during a nuclear explosion to pump about twenty-five X-ray lasers. As the initial radiation entered the gain medium, the X-rays were amplified and fired, after which the gain medium would have been destroyed by the explosions aftereffects, resulting in a brief flare of multiple high-energy X-ray laser beams. Unlike a pure fusion warhead, meaningful damage could be dealt to anything within 25,000 kilometers of the detonation. It was more effective at penetrating sidewalls than a pure fusion explosive. (In the real world, this exact weapon – but with poorer performance – was designed by Edward Teller; he called it "Project Excalibur" and proposed it for the so-called Star Wars missle defense project during the 1980s.) Modern starships in Honor Harrington's time carry mostly laser heads, some nuclear warheads, and some electronic warfare missiles.
Advances in warship technology during the series include the development of the MDM (multi-drive missile). First built by Manticore's researchers, these missiles use the ancient concept of staging. They have ranges approaching thirty million kilometers. For reasons of size and control limitations, they cannot be carried by smaller or older starships. When they were first introduced, they made the Royal Manticoran Navy nearly invincible and contributed greatly to their victory in the First Havenite War. During the five-year armistice, the Havenites copied the weapon, though their version was both larger and cruder.
Against immobile targets, no warhead is necessary. A starship can approach the target at 0.8 c and launch missiles that will accelerate to 0.99 c. At this speed, nuclear warheads are not needed; the kinetic energy of the very high speed (and relativisticly higher mass) missiles can tear a planet apart. This form of strategic bombardment against an inhabited planetary surface, is banned under the Eridani Edict, enforced by the Solarian League due to an historical incident in which billions died. The penalty is loss of sovereignty.
Missile tubes resemble huge pulse guns — they use Counter-Gravity to launch the missile, giving it considerable initial velocity. They were not always designed this way; the technique was developed as an improvement to counter the increasing effectiveness of point defense.
Before this development, missile were sometimes carried and deployed from a 'pod', which was a bulk carrier/launcher for several missiles (perhaps 10 depending on missile size or pod design details). They were generally carried externally and controlled by tractor beam from a starship. When mass-driver launch tubes were developed, they could not be fitted to pods. Pod-launching was essentially abandoned.
At the beginning of the First Havenite War, the Royal Manticoran Navy developed a miniaturized mass driver that could be fitted in a pod. Immediately, pods became crucial to warfare again, as a ship could tow pods containing far more tubes than it could launch from internal tubes. As pods could not be reloaded under combat conditions, this made the first salvos of a battle the decisive ones.
The dynamic of naval war in space changed again with the design of the "pod-layer" ships. These vessels sacrificed after chase armament (countermissile tubes, lasers, grasers, considerable magazine space, and some structural integrity to store enormous racks of expendable missile pods within the ship. With each broadside, a new set of pods could be ejected and fired. Now, starships could carry sufficient missile firepower to destroy much larger vessels and against conventional starships, would nearly always win, due to superior rate and weight of fire. Pod-layer designs are predominant among new-build superdreadnoughts, and the first pod battlecruisers have entered service as the Second Havenite War began.
Missile tubes have also improved. Now, they have much wider fields of fire as missiles can reorient themselves off line after launch. Some vessels, such as the Edward Saganami-C class, mount no fore or aft missile tubes, as the broadside launchers can cover the entire horizontal plane.
Another advance over standard pod-layers is the Apollo system, currently only deployed by Manticore as of the Second Havenite War, and only in limited numbers at the beginning of that war. In this system, a salvo from a single (newly designed) pod contains three types of missiles. Eight of the missiles are standard MDMs carrying warheads of various types, and standard ECM missiles, again of at least two types. The third missile type is a single larger missile fitted with a faster-than-light (FTL) telemetry link instead of a warhead and with enhanced computer and communication capacity. This missile acts as a control node for the other eight missiles in its pod and allows a Keyhole-II equipped ship to provide effectively real-time control to the missiles using shipboard computer systems across the entire range envelope. This was a very substantial advance in offensive capacity; so great as to make all existing naval starships essentially obsolete for anything other than low level commerce-raiding prevention deployments.
Countermissiles are much smaller than ship-killers, and are usually fired from dedicated launchers. It is possible to fire many in one casing from a standard missile tube, similarly to a shotgun. Countermissiles have no warheads; they merely will attempt to overlap their impeller wedges with those of the attacker's missiles. This overlap is destructive to both missiles.
Not actually torpedoes of any kind, they are self-sustaining masses of plasma that can be projected against targets at ranges of up to 300,000 km. They are very destructive and capable of rapid fire, but are completely stopped by gravitic protection (eg, sidewalls or impeller bands).
The grav lance is huge, short-ranged and requires almost all the firing ships' power. However, it is the only weapon available which can break through starship sidewalls using the target's own impeller nodes, and is quite effective against them. The short range makes them very questionable in practice, as other weapons have much longer effective ranges. Admiral Sonja Hemphill adovated use of this weapon together with Energy Torpedoes, and Honor Harrington was assigned to command the first proof-of-concept starship which had been refitted according to Hemphill's concept.
The Crippler (Gravitic Heterodyne)
Similar in many ways to, and longer ranged, than the grav lance, the Crippler induces a destructive resonance in a ship's impeller drive system which overloads (and typically burns out) key components. this takes the impeller wedge (and any sidewalls if present) off line, removing the ship's primary passive defense and leaving it unable to accelerate. The Crippler is effective against merchant ships, due to differences between commercial-grade and military-grade impeller wedges. And even civilian-grade drives can be modified so that, even though the impeller wedge will still go down, there is no permanent damage to the drive, and it is possible to restart after a cooling and reset delay of typically tens of minutes.
Personal and ground-based weapons
Pulsers are mass drivers using gravity rather than electromagnetism to drive projectiles. A typical pulser pistol has a caliber of 2 mm and a muzzle velocity of 2,000 m/s. "Darts", as the projectiles are known, are often fitted with explosive warheads. It is essentially unheard of for anyone to survive a pulser hit, with even a shot to the hand being powerful enough to rip off an entire arm.
Vehicle-based pulsers can achieve tremendous rates of fire, up to 10,000 rounds per second from one barrel. It is unclear how the weapon can be loaded at this rate, or how it can store enough ammunition. The high rate of fire could be achieved by using an electromagnetic instead of mechanical 'action'. No moving parts other than the projectile.
Similar to pulsers, these weapons are the equivalent of shotguns, firing many small, razor-sharp disks. While less powerful, flechette guns are favored for boarding actions because they are much less likely to damage the interior of a ship and are more likely to hit a target. They are most effective at close range against lightly-armored targets. The flechette guns used by StateSec in the People's Republic of Haven have variable choke settings, though it is unknown if other flechette guns share this feature.
These are less common heavy personal weapons. Often employed as heavy support weapons, tripod-mounted plasma cannons are among the most deadly weapons available, being able to destroy entire squads of enemy soldiers in a single volley. Scotty Tremaine is an expert with a plasma carbine.
Similar to ATGMs, these shoulder-braced launchers fire impeller drive missiles with an acceleration of 3,000 g (29 km/s²). As with ship-fired countermissiles, the wedge is the warhead.
These are ultrasonic weapons, considerably less destructive than pulsers but are still able to cause massive trauma (eg, bruising at the minimal end and the equivalent of blunt-force trauma at the maximal end -- nervous system damage is typical as well) in those hit. Honor Harrington lost her left eye and most of her subcutaneous facial nerves on that side to a disruptor shot, requiring artificial reconstruction of both eye and of skin structure as she does not regenerate tissue, being one of the relatively small proportion of humanity which does not.
The culture and legal system of Manticore permits dueling; an offended person can challenge the offender to a duel, and there is strong cultural pressure for the challenged party to accept. The customary weapon for duels is a 10mm semi-automatic pistol. These pistols are used instead of pulsers so that duels will be less lethal. Every starship in the Royal Manticore Navy has dueling pistols for training of RMN personnel.
There are two known dueling protocols on Manticore. Ten paces, turn and shoot, in which first blood may be counted as (with consent of the injured party) honor restored. However, if either party cheats, the dueling ground master (typically a police officer) exercises discretion in killing the offending party. Such violations are criminal acts. The other protocol is a straight out, almost Old Western (pre-Diaspora) style quick draw and shoot from twenty metres. Both parties must wait with weapons at their sides until the signal (a white handkerchief). Again, violation is a crime and the dueling grounds master may intervene against the offender.
Refusing a challenge is tantamount to admitting guilt for the insult, and tarnishes that party's reputation.
Weapons of older design are still found in some places in the Honorverse. For example, on the planet Grayson, gunpowder firearms were state-of-the-art until shortly before the events in The Honor of the Queen. In Honor Among Enemies old Colt M1911 is used against Silesian pirates.
Weapons technology in the Honorverse is hugely capable, and starships must carry similarly impressive defenses.
Starships are immune to attack from above or below due to the impeller wedge. As long as the impellers are powered, a ship can project "sidewalls", weaker versions of the wedge, as shields on either side. Sidewalls are non-ablative, gravitic stress bands, and thus weaker lasers and grasers are bent away, or refracted like light is when it passes through denser mediums. In this instance, the focused light is bent by the intense gravity in the sidewall. Sidewalls are invulnerable to non-massless/lightspeed weapons as they would be destroyed by the gravitic shear caused by the sidewall. When the series begins, it is impossible to close the bow or stern of the wedge with a wall; to do so would prevent any acceleration. The Manticoran Shrike-class LAC is fitted with a bow wall, which is only meant to be raised for short periods during its attack run. Later, the Edward Saganami-B class heavy cruisers are equipped with stern walls, which reduce but do not entirely stop acceleration. The Edward Saganami-C type also has a bow wall, of a special "two-phase" type. A smaller, inner wall can be raised independently of the main bow wall. The smaller wall does not completely seal the forward aspect of the wedge; it only protects against attacks from directly ahead. However, it does not interfere with thrust or maneuvering.
Against lasers and grasers, impeller wedges and sidewalls are the first line of defense. Missiles can be stopped by other measures, including countermissiles, point defense lasers, and sensor jammers.
Ships are also protected by many layers of physical armor that alternate between ablative composites that absorb energy from energy weapons and solid anti-kinetic layers. Since the impeller wedge is impenetrable, the armor of a ship on the sides and hammerheads is considerably thicker than on the back or belly; the side armor of a superdreadnought is over a meter thick. Inside, there are armored bulkheads. Even with these defenses, at close range, the energy weapons of any starship are more than enough to destroy a larger ship.
Starship hulls are "grown" using nanotechnology, and can be repaired in similar fashion.
The ultimate in personal defensive equipment is battle armor, which resembles the powersuits in Starship Troopers. This type of powered exoskeleton is invulnerable to direct hits from nearly all chemical-explosive grenades, most personal weapon projectiles, and light laser weapons. Heavy duty lasers, most grasers, and infantry heavy weapons plasma guns are however, effective.
The Beowulf Code is a code of ethics for medical practictioners (within the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber). It is similar in many respects to the Hippocratic Oath, especially in basic approach.
The Beowulf Code originated on the planet Beowulf, in the Sigma Draconis system. The planet is renowned for its long-standing medical traditions. Its practictioners developed a code of ethics in the wake of Earth's Final War. It supplanted the Hippocratic Oath in the Honor Harrington universe.
One of the provisions of the code is Practitioner-Patient Confidentiality. However this clause has stipulations on circumstances where confidentiality can be involuntarily violated, or can be waived by one party without consent of the other party.
In the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber, the Cherwell Convention is an agreement outlawing slavery in the space controlled by signatory nations. Almost all major star nations are signatories, though that does not prevent many from ignoring the provisions of the Convention when it suits them. Historically, the star nations that most reliably enforce the Convention over their spheres of control are the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the (People's) Republic of Haven. On the other hand, the Silesian Confederacy and Solarian League have often suffered from deep corruption on the issue, despite the fact that they are official signatories of the Convention.
The conflict between the slave-breeders Manpower Incorporated of Mesa on one hand and the official position of nearly all governments in human space has evoked considerable conflict for centuries. Manpower has attempted to evade or subvert official polciy in practice, and save for the notable exceptions of Manticore and Haven, has largely succeeded. Their efforts have included bribery, subversion of politicians and civil servants, and even assassination. In the case of hostilities between Manticore and Haven, Manpower has, surreptitiously, encouraged the conflict which has had the effect of reducing opposition to its enterprises elsewhere.
One notable provision of the Cherwell Convention is its equipment clause, which states that possession of equipment that can be used to contain or transport slaves is a violation of the convention, even if the equipment is not being used to hold slaves at the time of its seizure. Not all signatories of the Convention support this clause (most notably Solarians and Silesians), but Manticoran and Havenite navies enforced it strictly since its very inception.
The Duellists Code, or Code Duello, is the legal convention used in the Star Kingdom of Manticore for legal duelling using duelists pistols, in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.
The Duellists Code provides for two duelling protocols.
The Ellington Protocol of the Duelists Code, is generally regarded as more suited for pistol experts. Many lawmakers have long sought for it to be outlawed in the Star Kingdom, because of the possibility of 'unfair' exploitation by such experts. However it remains that any man or woman of the Star Kingdom who is challenged may choose this option before they meet an adversary. In Landing City, there is even an officially prescribed Dueling Grounds, supervised by members of the Landing City Police Department.
Under these rules each duellist faces his or her opponent at a distance of forty meters, and upon the command of the Master of the Field, may fire at a sustained rate until:
- one duellist is killed.
- one duellist drops his/her weapon in surrender.
- all twenty rounds have been expended.
The Dreyfus Protocol the Duelists Code demands less pistol experitise. Any man or woman of the Star Kingdom challenged may choose this option. This Protocol is thought to benefit expert shooters less than the Ellington Protocol and so to be 'fairer'; it also results in fewer deaths. Both are factors in political opposition to duels; if they cannot be eliminated, this Protocol is the least unappealing.
Each duelist is limited to five rounds and may fire only single shots. Unlike the Ellington Protocol which requires a distance of forty meters and begins with one signal from a neutral party, the Dreyfus Protocol commences with the opponents standing back-to-back. At the Master of the Field's command of "Walk" the two duelists each walk thirty paces and stop. Upon the command of "Turn", each faces around, and fires one shot only, after which each must lower the pistol. If neither has been hit, the Master of the Field must ask if honor has been satisfied. If one or both reply "Yes", the duel is over. If neither does so, then at the command of "Walk" the duelists will take two steps forward, waiting for a command of "Fire" before they may fire again. This procedure is repeated until the duel is over, which occurs:
- at first blood, regardless of whether a duelist is killed or not.
- the honor of either duelist is satisfied.
- one duelist is killed.
- all ten rounds are fired.
If the command of "Turn or "Fire" has been made, and a pistol is dropped after firing a shot, the other duellist may still return fire. You must await the opponents return shot before you can surrender the duel.
In addition, if either party violates the specific terms of engagement under either protocol, the life of the offending party is forfeit, usually by means of a pulser dart from the Master of the Field. Such an incident is recounted in the novel Field of Dishonor.
Coup de vitesse
Coup de vitesse is a fictional martial art that is practiced by Honor Harrington and others in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber. It is sometimes shortened to the Coup.
Coup de vitesse is a fusion of several western and Oriental martial arts, developed primarily as a hard style where emphasis is placed on offense sometimes at the expense of defense, resulting in a very brutal and effective style.
Practitioners of Coup de vitesse use belts to indicate ranks. As of the book War of Honor, Honor Harrington is ranked eighth-level black belt (the highest rank is ninth), and often uses her skills to dispatch enemies that underestimate her. Those with ninth-level black belts are simply referred to as "Master Grade".
Coup de vitesse appears to be trained through full-contact fighting with either human or robotic opponents, making it likely more similar to modern-day mixed martial arts training than more formally systematized martial arts. It is taught at the Royal Manticoran Navy Academy at Saganami Island, but the books suggest that the largest group of Coup de vitesse practioners are to be found in the Royal Marines.
Neue-Stil Handgemenge is another fictional martial art of the Honoverse which is much less frequently mentioned. Both styles are taught at Manticore's Saganami Naval Academy. Neue-Stil Handgemenge appears to be more formal and with deeper formal roots in oriental martial arts, and is more common in the Adermani Empire and the Solarian League than in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.
Coup de vitesse can be roughly translated from French as blow of speed.
In the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber, the Deneb Accords are rules of war. They were sponsored by the Solarian League at a conference held on Deneb, and are generally accepted if not always followed in practice.
The Deneb Accords are similar in spirit to the Geneva Conventions in that they are meant to protect the rights of military personnel in times of war, preventing outrages of treatment if captured. The Accords regulate, among many other things, the exchange of prisoners of war between belligerent parties, the supervision and inspection of POW and internment camps by neutral third parties (usually representatives from the Solarian League).
The Accords also forbid trial of captured enemy military personnel during wartime, except in special cases including conviction of crimes prior to the beginning of hostilities.
A notable provision of the Accords is Section Twenty-Seven, which prohibits any trial of enemy personnel in time of war. There are two subsections, Subsection Forty-One and Subsection Forty-Two. Subsection Forty-One provides that the Accords' protections and safeguards do not apply to captured combatants who were convicted of crimes prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Capturing nations may carry out the pre-existing penalties if any. This was an early amendment to the Accords, following the their abuse when convicted criminals were used to prosecute wars against the nations which had convicted them. Subsection Forty-Two specifically provided for wartime trials of individuals for violation of local laws (eg, the Courts Martial of captured State Security forces on the prison planet Hades in the Cerberus system by Allied officers who had captured the planet. They used Haven's Uniform Code of Conduct, since Hell had been sovereign territory of the People's Republic of Haven at the time of the alleged crimes). The accords nevertheless prohibit ex post facto trials under the municipal law of whoever captured them; violations must be of existing law.
Subsection Forty-One's most infamous use was in the case of Honor Harrington's execution. She had been convicted by a Haven court in absentia as a political act following her successful defense of the Basilisk system against an attempted coup de main by Haven prior to open hostilities between Manticore and Haven. The Committee of Public Safety found it politically convenient to honor the conviction by the regime they had replaced.
The Eridani Edict is one of the most significant restrictions on military or quasi-military behaviour. The Edict is intended to outlaw and penalize indiscriminate orbital bombardment of a populated world, or any form of bombardment against a planetary population which had not first been given the opportunity to surrender. It also covers the use of any kind of weapons of mass destruction. Kinetic bombardment is considered a weapon of mass destruction, so accidents involving system asteroids are not immune. Even an accidental and unintended impact on a planetary surface by a missile (usually traveling at high speed, perhaps even relativistic speeds) is an Eridani violation.
The Solarian League is the primary enforcer of the Edict, taking onto itself the authority (and responsibility) of enforcement. The usual penalty is unrestricted military intervention and open war by the Solarian League Navy which, given its size and power, is likely to produce destruction of the offending party. In fact, enforcement of the Eridani Edict is the only foreign policy issue not subject to vote or veto by members of the Solarian League since the Edict is actually a part of the League's Constitution.
As the Solarian League is the most powerful star association in the Honorverse, whose military power is so great compared to any other, or combination of other, political entities that there has been little practical chance of resisting it, belligerent parties are usually extremely careful to avoid anything that may be construed as a violation of the Edict. The Edict is also taken into account in naval engagements taking place in the vicinity of an inhabited world; fleet commanders are usually quite wary of launching missiles too close to such a planet for fear that one may go astray, impacting the surface.
The Eridani Edict is named after an incident known as the "Epsilon Eridani Massacre". During a military conflict, the Solarian League-member world of Epsilon Eridani suffered a massive planetary bombardment by enemy forces which resulted in the death of over seven billion of its inhabitants. This took place some five hundred years before the events of the bulk of the Honorverse stories.
Amendment Ninety-Seven of the Solarian League Constitution, commonly referred to as the Eridani Edict, unilaterally declares that any power carrying out wholesale and wanton slaughter of civilian populations using any weapon of mass destruction is subject to punitive attack. The Solarian League Navy is under standing orders to destroy any government, star-nation or mercenary outfit which carries out such indiscriminate attacks. The Edict is, perhaps, the only matter which bears even a remote resemblance to a unified foreign policy for the Solarian League for which essentially all joint foreign policy is subject to veto of members. There are provisions for the restricted use of orbital bombardment strikes against discrete surface military targets once an attacker controls a planets orbitals and the defenders have refused a summons to surrender.
The so-called Eridani Edict has been implemented by the League Navy five times since 1410 P.D.
The Final War was started and fought by a small number of genetic supermen against the rest of the Earth's population using viral technology as one of its apocalyptic weapons. A group of genetically enhanced humans, the Ukrainian Supermen, launched a war of conquest, and used biotech diseases as one of its weapons. As the conflict was launched after many off-world and interstellar colonies had already been established, and colony ships to others launched, the devastated Earth was able to get help during the aftermath from some of those colonies. Particularly, the planet Beowulf sent medical missions and conducted medical research to help with the diseases; it partly this effort which underlies its reputation as the leading world for medical science. The conflict is also the origin of the most strongly based aversion to human genetic engineering throughout most of human space in the Galaxy, and of the very common view that genies (genetically engineered humans) are to be avoided and may be dangerous.
Neue-Stil Handgemenge is a fictional martial art practiced by several characters in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber. It was developed on Potsdam, the original planet of what became the Andermani Empire. The most prominent practitioner in the stories is Helen Zilwicki
Coup de Vitesse is another fictional martial art of the Honoverse and is much more frequently mentioned. Both styles are taught at Manticore's Saganami Naval Academy. Neue-Stil Handgemenge appears to be more formal and with deeper formal roots in oriental martial arts, and is more common in the Adermani Empire and the Solarian League than in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.
Neue-Stil Handgemenge can be roughly translated from German as new hand-to-hand fighting style.
It was launched on November 10, 1919 P.D. by the Republic of Haven and reopened hostilities with the Star Kingdom of Manticore and its allies. It either continued the First Havenite War or started the Second, depending on perspective.
Thunderbolt was conceived in part by Thomas Theisman, Javier Giscard, and Lester Tourville. It was a multi-pronged assault that was highly successful in some areas, namely the destruction of a great number of Manticoran warships, an important shipyard, and other installations. It failed spectacularly in other respects, primarily in the attempted destruction of Sidemore Station to which Honor Harrington's command had been assigned.
North Hollow Files
The North Hollow Files refer to a database of blackmail material on many members of Manticoran society and political parties, assembled by the Earls of North Hollow, especially by Dimitri Young, the 9th Earl, and used by him and his successors (Pavel Young, the 10th Earl, and Stefan Young (the 11th Earl)) to collect support for Conservative Association policies. They were destroyed by Stefan’s wife, Lady Georgia Young, Countess of North Hollow after Catherine Montaigne, and Anton Zilwicki came into possession of information identifying Lady Young as Elaine Komandorski, a former genetic slave who bought her freedom by selling a shipload of escaped slaves back to slavetrafficers. Even after their destruction, fear that the files might still exist allowed Stefan to continue to coerce support for Conservative Association for a time.
Post Diaspora (P.D.) is the dating scheme used by most of the planets in David Weber's novels and stories of the Honorverse. Most planets also use a local calendar based upon the orbit of the planet around its star, which often uses the date of landing on the planet as its beginning year. The year 2103 AD is equal to the year 1 P.D. On September 30 of that year, the first interstellar ship, Prometheus, departed the Sol system, beginning the era of sublight colonization.