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This Day in Science Fiction History: 5 March

Fictional Entry—Monday, March 5, 4007 

Flash patches of the Royal Manticoran Navy (RMN) [a gold manticore rampant on a red field pentagon boarded in gold] and People’s Navy (PN) [ten pointed starburst on a black field on left and alternating rectangles of white and gold on a green field on right surrounded by a white rectangle]
Flash patches of the Royal Manticoran Navy (RMN) and People’s Navy (PN) (© SaganamiFan)

Confident that the People’s Republic of Haven Navy (the People’s Navy or PN) had not scouted Hancock Station, Admiral Parks dispersed the fleet to cover nearby systems, including Yorik, Zanzibar, and Alizon. Admiral Parks was confident that a PN scouting force would be spotted by the picket ships or the forces would deploy from Seaford Nine, which was under surveillance by a trio of RMN destroyers.


After the tasking orders, Read Admiral Mark Sarnow was in command of Task Group Hancock 001. The task force had been reduced to Battlecruiser Squadron 5 (three Homer-class battlecruisers, four Redoubtable-class battlecruisers, and one Reliant-class battlecruiser), Cruiser Squadron 17 (seven Star Knight-class cruisers and a Crusader-class cruiser), and a Light Cruiser Squadron (twelve Apollo-class light cruisers).


Unknown to the RMN forces, the PN had deployed Argus surveillance stealth sensor platforms near the hyper limit. This meant the PN was able to accurately count the number and weight of ships at Hancock Station. During a download of Argus data, the PNS Alexander (Conqueror-class light cruiser) was spotted by Admiral Park’s screening forces in the Yorik System. Admiral Parks immediately ordered the redeployment of his forces back to Hancock Station.


The People’s Navy sent a task group under Rear Admiral Genevieve Chin to assault the lightly defended Hancock Station.  This force consisted of at least fifty-eight units (eight dreadnoughts, sixteen battlecruisers, twelve heavy cruisers, and twenty-two destroyers), well outmatching Task Force 01 in number of vessels. However, the technology gap between the forces was considerably in the RMN's favor.


The first attack was with stealthed missile pods, which made it appear his force contained superdreadnoughts. This destroyed a Havenite dreadnought and three battlecruisers as well as damaging a dreadnought and battlecruiser. Admiral Chin ordered her forces to close to energy weapon range.


Hancock Station then activated decoy drones. These drones gave off gravimetric readings of two full battle squadrons of superdreadnoughts. Admiral Chin broke off her chase until she determined the superdreadnoughts were, in fact, decoys. By that time, the range had opened considerably between the forces, though missile volleys continued.


During this, the HMS Crusader was destroyed which placed Captain Young as the commanding officer of Battlecruiser Squadron 5. Admiral Sarnow led the chase through a minefield, which destroyed one battlecruiser, three heavy cruisers, and six destroyers of the PN task group.


The battle continued after Admiral Sarnow was severely wounded in a missile attack. Captain Honor Harrington took command of the task force and decided not to follow the original plan of scattering due to the arrival of Admiral Danislav’s dreadnought squadron.


This battle was considered to be the first major battle of the First Havenite-Manticoran War though it occurred approximately simultaneously with the Third Battel of Yeltsin’s Star.

The Short Victorious War


David Weber



This Day in Science Fiction History examines notable events, real and fictional, concerning fantasy and science fiction in various media.


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