House of Steel The Honorverse Companion

I Will Build My House of Steel

David Weber

Although King Roger III’s role in the prewar buildup of the Royal Manticoran Navy from what was essentially a system defense and commerce protection force into an interstellar navy capable of projecting massive combat power over hundreds of light-years has been well chronicled, the true depth of his contribution to the Star Kingdom of Manticore’s survival has been under-appreciated for far too many years. His farsighted preparations, so ably continued by his daughter, the present Queen Elizabeth III, following his untimely death, were, in fact, absolutely essential to that survival, as were the tireless, equally under-appreciated labors of Admiral Jonas Adcock, his able collaborator, friend, and brother-in-law. These two remarkable men were instrumental in achieving an unparalleled and decisive transformation of modern warfare whose ramifications are even now only imperfectly appreciated by the navies of the Haven Sector and largely unguessed at beyond that sector.

The author of the present work is indebted to Her Majesty the Queen for her gracious permission to explore previously sealed archives and the many hours of her personal time which she has given to interviews with the author, not to mention the insight into events of her father’s and her uncle’s lives which no other source could possibly have provided. Clearly, the security aspects of the present work must also be considered, and the author wishes to express his gratitude to the office of the First Lord of Admiralty and to the office of the First Space Lord for their assistance in this regard.

The truth is that, even today, few people realize just how early in his own naval career then Crown Prince Roger became aware of the depth of the peril his Star Kingdom would one day face. However . . .

—from the preface to To Stand Against the Tempest:

An Authorized Biography of Roger III,

Sir Donald Keegan Morrison,

Landing University of Manticore Press, Landing, 1921 PD

December 1844 PD

LIEUTENANT R. WINTON—Commander Janofsky (“Commerce Protection and Societal Disintegration,” Proceedings, No. 3673) is to be commended for the clarity with which he makes his points. The continuing slide into even more pronounced and widespread civil disorder, privateering, terrorism, and outright piracy in the territory of the Silesian Confederacy must give any navy pause. Commander Janofsky rightly points out the increasing cost, not simply in financial terms but also in terms of manpower and platform availability, inherent in maintaining existing levels of security for Manticoran merchant traffic in and through the Confederacy. Indeed, his arguments assume even more cogency when one considers the still greater costs associated with any expansion of our secured trading zones, patrol regions, and roving piracy suppression missions.

Where Commander Janofsky’s analysis may break down, however, is in its intense focus on commerce protection as the Navy’s primary mission. I would suggest that it would be appropriate for Her Majesty’s Navy to consider the potential requirements of additional missions. Not to put too fine a point upon it, we in the Navy have narrowed our professional focus to a potentially dangerous degree, concentrating upon the mission in hand rather than stretching our imaginations to consider other challenges and threats.

The function of the Royal Manticoran Navy, as currently defined (see “Naval Security and the Star Kingdom’s Fundamental Interests,” Office of the First Space Lord, 01-15-249 AL) is to “(1) defend and secure the Manticore Binary system, its planets, its population, and its industrial base; (2) defend and secure the central terminus of the Manticoran Wormhole Junction and the industrial and economic base associated with it; (3) defend, protect, and expand Manticoran commerce and the Manticoran merchant marine; and (4) in conjunction