From a David Weber post to Baen's Bar Snerker's Only dated August 14, 2009:

Terms of surrender

    I should point out that Honor wasn't in the position to launch direct Apollo-guided strikes on Tourville at the moment that she delivered her ultimatum. She would have been in a position to launch Apollo-guided attacks on him long before he could've gotten away from her. And he was rapidly approaching a position from which he could engage Sphinx and Sphinx's orbital infrastructure. If he had not surrendered, when he surrendered, on her terms, they are most definitely would have been further combat in which a bunch of his people would have gotten killed and an accidental C-fractional strike on Sphinx would have been a distinct possibility. Moreover, please note that the terms of surrender she chose to impose on Tourville violated the accepted conventions, not any formal treaties, not to any interpretation of international law. This was not a case of her continuing to fire on a ship which had dropped its wedge, for example. This was a case of the victor announcing the terms of surrender she was prepared to accept, and as Duckk has pointed out, that happens to be the option of the victor. Tourville could have rejected them, had he so chosen. Now, if he had called her bluff, and wiped the computer files and then abandon ship, and she had fired on his life pods (the equivalent of machine-gunning lifeboats in the water), the situation could have gotten extremely sticky. I imagine that all of my readers know Honor well enough to know that she probably wouldn't have done it…. unlike what we might "know" about one Aivars Terekhov. :-)