Sunday, 29 June 2014

Terran Naval Craft

Poul Anderson refers to classes of Terran Naval spaceships as though they were familiar to the reader. The smallest is a Meteor, for example the Hooting Star with its crew of three:

a Lieutenant (j.g.) from Terra as its captain-pilot;
a CPO from Cynthia as its fire control officer;
a CPO from Huy Braseal as its engineer-computerman.

(A Terran, an alien and a colonial.)

"A Meteor was designed for high acceleration under both relativistic and hyperdrive conditions; for accurate placement of nuclear-headed torpedoes; and for no more comfort than minimally necessary to the continued efficiency of personnel."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 479.

Vodan of Stormgate Choth, defending Avalon, will proudly fight in:

"'One of the new torpedo launchers, rather like a Terran Meteor, hai, a beauty, a spear. Proud I was to emblazon her hull with three golden stars.'" (p. 506)

- in honor of his betrothed, whose Planha name "Eyath" means "Third Star." The Hooting Star and the Three Stars will have a fatal meeting.

"...the Planet-class cruisers Thor and Ansa..." are said to "mother...Comet- and Meteor-class boats..." (p. 477). Thus, Comets are intermediate between Planets and Meteors whereas a Nova class dreadnaught is "...monstrous as a mountain..." -Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 266.

So do the Terrans have any class of ship other than Nova, Planet, Comet or Meteor? Maybe. The Valenderay is a "...superdreadnaught..." -Rise, p. 514.

Addendum: Valenderay is a Supernova. -Rise, p. 531.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

You were discussing categories of space warships in the Imperial Navy. I've found two more mentioned in THE REBEL WORLDS. Dominic Flandry was assigned to command of an escort destroyer with a crew of fifty. Later he seized a subdestroyer with a normal crew of 25. "Outpost of Empire" shows us HMS Isis, a cruiser. Cruisers were the largest warships that could safely enter a planet's atmosphere.

Chapter 17 of ENSIGN FLANDRY gives us several more classes of Navy ships:
"The Imperial squadron deployed and accelerated. It was no big force to cast out in so much blackness. True, at the core was the Sabik, a Star class, what some called a pocket battleship; but she was old and worn, obsolete in several respects, shunted off to Saxo as the last stop before the scrap orbit. No one had really expected her to see action again. Flanking her went the light cruiser Umbriel, equally tired, and the destroyers Antarctica, New Brazil, and Murdoch's Land. Two scoutships, Encke and Ikeya-Seki, did not count as fighting ships..."

To sum up, the categories of Navy ships went roughly like this: superdreadnoughts, Nova class dreadnoughts, Star class pocket battleships, cruisers like Isis, light cruisers such as Umbriel, destroyers, subdestroyers, Meteors with three member crews, and scoutships with only one or two persons as crew.

We should note that superdreadnoughts and dreadnoughts were made ESPECIALLY strong and powerful so that the admirals commanding the fleets would have the time needed for thinkng and planning (advised by their staffs) their campaigns and battles.

And I believe mention was made in THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND of the Imperial fleet being accompanied by supply ships during the war with the Domain of Ythri. And I would not be suprised if that also meant the fleet took along repair ships whose job was to repair ships not too badly damaged as to be either abandoned and destroyed or sent back to repair yards in the Empire.


Paul Shackley said...

Thank you for this comprehensive list.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

And it's reasonable to think the other major star faring powers, such as Merseia, Betelgeuse, Ythri, etc., had roughly similar categories for their own navies.