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Stranger Than Fiction - and a good military read - Dale Brown library

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Stranger Than Fiction - and a good military read - Dale Brown library

Old 6th Jan 2013, 16:56
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Stranger Than Fiction - and a good military read - Dale Brown library

Any former or current BUFF crews whom may have served with the author of the bestselling Flight Of The Old Dog or Day of the Cheetah, Hammerheads, Storming Heaven, Tin Man, Act of War, Rogue Forces etc etc. IMHO, he's the more high tech version of Tom Clancy!

Having read most of his books, and having a sizable collection in paperback and on Kindle on one's ipad, its interesting to see at the time current news which links to the plots.

I imagine the MV and CV-22 crews are chuffed as they always feature in his books as well as citing Dreamland as the High technology Advanced Weapons Centre known as HAWC where the modified B-52, B-1 and other exotic hardware such as the Forward Swept Wing fighter based on the X-29 or the then ATF concept, and a modified F-15E Strike Eagle with Canards nicknamed 'Cheetah' (as in the NASA F-15 ACTIVE program)

However strange as it sounds (imadvertantly the Emma Thompson / Jeff Goldblum film Stranger Than Fiction comes to mind!!)
The detail of the aircraft and systems of some of which have made up designations but can see they're based on whats out there such as the Soviet space fighter plane in Silver Tower about the AFSPACEOM orbiting space station monitoring the Soviet invasion of Iran and controlling the 2nd and 7th fleet as well as the modified B-52 known as Megafortress - (made famous in Flight of the Old Dog and apperaring in practicaally all of his novels.). The Soviet space fighter in his book was based on

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-105 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anyhow - reading Hammerheads which is about a drug smuggler who has Soviet Air Force training in fast jets and gunships who decides to aggressively push the drgs into the states by shooting down US Customs Air Branch Citation interceptors aircraft with Mig 21 (he's based out of an island off Haiti) and attacking USCG HU-25. Our hero who is not the General Brad Elliott and Colonel Patrick McLanahan from HAWC (but they do assist later on with supplying a CV-22 and using a defecting Soviet SU-27 - re Red Eagles to fool the drug smuggler) but an USCG Admiral. The final straw is the attack on an offshore rig used as a surveillance and FOB for the US Customs Blackhawk and USCG HH-65.
So the USCG and US Customs disband and form the Border Security Force -

The book was written in 1988/89 - and post 9/11 like in the above - The US Customs and US Border Patrol disband and form Department of Homeland Security Force, with Customs Border Patrol being the enforcement arm and subsequently the Air Branch. Also in Hammerheads, the introduction of UAV for border surveillance as in now with the Predator and Guardian now.

In Storming Heaven - which was written in 1994, our Coast Guard hero returns still as the head of the fictional Border Security Force equipped MV-22 and HH-65 to deal with a cunning terrorist who uses airliners as weapons not in the suicide role but more of bombers. around the USA. The bad guy was a teenage offender roughed around in his native Belgium by USAF SFS after peddling drugs to airmen. The character given a choice of prison or military service by the Belgian authorities, ends up growinng up in the Belgian system then commissioned and ends up as a Special Forces officer then going through for flying training and his hatred of the USA.

However the book does draw attention to the post Cold War drawdown of fighter units assigned to NORAD as the hero mentions in an interview with the CBS lady. Then the NORAD response with Avenger, Patriot units and all F-16/F-15 units while difficulty in managing US airspace, identifying which civilian airliners may pose a threat. Unfortunately tragedy strikes as one ANG driver shoots down an airliner due to a misunderstanding near the Capitol in the book and ends up taking his own life.
Again 7 years later from book being published, it was 9/11.

In Sky Matsers, he introduces the Sky Masters corporation with its modified DC-10 launching NIRTSat (Need-it-Right-Now satellite) rocket from its belly which I saw as based on the Orbital Sciences L-1011 Tristar modifed by Marshall Aerospace to launch the Pegasus rocket with satellite on board.

Any thoughts here?

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Old 6th Jan 2013, 17:12
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I've read most of Mr Brown's output over the years, great escapism, and as you pointed out Storming Heaven exposed the US weakspot with regards to the use of Airliners as weapons (though not in the same way as 9/11). The flying sequences really give you the feeling you are there, and they are certainly a glimpse into what was/is possible rather then probable. Unlimited budgets play a big part in it as well...

Bloody good read though, and for those with an interest in military aviation a lot more rewarding the a Tom Clancy novel!
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 17:59
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I've also got most of his books and think they are excellent.

What is the latest title?
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 18:07
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Tiger's Claw Sep 2012

Tiger's Claw proves once again that every rave has been well deserved. Set in the near future, Tiger's Claw imagines a scenario in which tensions escalate between an economically powerful China and a United States weakened by a massive economic downfall, bringing the two superpowers to the brink of total destruction. Brown's popular protagonist, retired Air Force lieutenant-general Patrick McLanahan (of A Time for Patriots, Rogue Forces, and other Brown bestsellers), is back and preparing for the impending apocalyptic clash of men and military technology. The incomparable Dale Brown scores again with a frighteningly possible story of war and global politics that's ideal for fans of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor.

When China launches the first successful test of its anti-ship ballistic missile, the future looks bleak for America. Fearing the U.S. will lose its naval supremacy in the Pacific, President Kenneth Phoenix finds himself in a compromised position. New technology requires money, but the country is recovering from a massive recession. Without the funds to compete with China's advancing technology, are the country's days of naval preeminence in the Pacific running out?
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 18:32
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Not bad, but not quite as good as Coontz IMO.

Mark Berent and Gerry Carroll also wrote outstanding series.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 18:37
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PN, why bother to plagiarise directly from the author's own website? You might as well have just posted the link Dale Brown's Reader Info Command Center MEGAFORTRESS.COM / DALEBROWN.INFO / AIRBATTLEFORCE.COM .....

amazon reviews are perhaps more revealing.

Last edited by BEagle; 6th Jan 2013 at 18:39.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 18:39
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NAB, I agree that Gerry Carroll was a superlative author and a tragedy that he died so suddenly. I thought his books were as much a treatise on leadership as military-techno-thriller.

Thank you for the reminder about Berent, I had quite forgotten now I am immersed in a Kindle.

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Old 6th Jan 2013, 19:04
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Yep agree with you, I'm a fan of Stephen Coonts and have a few of his books like Final Flight, The Minotaur, and have Flight of the Intruder on DVD and The Disciple, Liberty etc and all of Mark Berents books on iBooks.

Back to DB and when we were discussing on here, the shoot down of the Turkish RF-4E, I recalled one of his recent books, Rogue Forces whereby the contracted out of some areas of military aviation ops is addressed with an aggressive Turkish government wanting to invade Iraq to rid themselves of the PKK, even it means killing the remaining US forces based there. Anyhow the retired Brigadier McLanahan and Sky Masters running a surveillance contract with the 'Loser' which is described as a failed candidate for next generation bomber as a flying wing / blended wing body (re Boeing BWB) transport with modular pallets / loads with SIGINT/ELINT recon or cargo. The 'Loser' BWB in this case users a [email protected] which shoots down a Turkish AF F-4E equipped with ECM and jamming pods that have disabled the US/Iraq airbase.

In relation to Hammerheads, theres a Motorbooks - publication from 1990 called Amerca's Drug Enforcement Air Force written by Nena Wiley. She had unprecedented access into the then US Customs Air Branch and it addressed USCG, NORAD and ANG and CAP in the fight against narcotics. Interesting enough theres a photo taken from a cockpit of the then Miami Air Branch Citation, of a Cuban Air Force Mig 21 flying close, almost aggressively to the Air Branch. The Citation was probably shadowing a smuggler and the Cubans got itchy feet or said suspect was going as fast as he could into Cuban airspace knowing the Customs couldn't catch him
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 19:47
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Had a copy of the book below in the early 1990s, if memory serves in the chapter that covered the weapons fit included drawings from a serious study done by either the USAF or Boeing in the 1980's to give the B-52H the capability of the B-52I in the flight of the Old Dog as regards air to air self-defence and defence suppression. The upgrade was 6 AIM-120's on the wing pylons and replacement of the Vulcan cannon in the tail with a launcher for FIM-92 Stinger for air to air defence and a modified rotary launcher in the forward bomb bay fitted with HARM/Tacit Rainbow for defence suppression (along with updated nose and tail radars, fire control systems and datalinks for the AMRAAMs). The offensive weapons being in the rear of the bomb bay (a couple of B-83 H-bombs in the drawing if memory serves). Which came first, 'The Flight of the Old Dog' or the Study is unknown.

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Old 6th Jan 2013, 20:20
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As an alternate, can I suggest those by Stuart Slade,
Richard Herman Richard Herman
Mark Berent Mark Berent


Trinity's Child Trinity's Child


Books by Joe Zeybel Books by Joe Zeybel

Shadow 81 Shadow 81
(especially for Harrier fans)

Gray Eagles Gray Eagles

And just about anything by
Gavin Lyall Gavin Lyall
, but especially Venus With Pistol and Shooting Script.

A particular favourite, and I have the full set, is the Bartholomew Bandy series (8 volumes) by
Donald Jack Donald Jack
, which is hilarious...

Last edited by ORAC; 7th Jan 2013 at 09:26.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 21:42
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Brown has a lively imagination, I however avoid fiction. There's enough interesting things that have happened or are happening for me to care to read dreamed up material.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 21:58
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Yes, read all of the Stephen Coonts, Dale Brown and Richard Herman books.

Coonts and Herman are excellent(in my non Air Force experience) "contemporary" fiction, with Brown giving a look forward as to what could be in the future without too much imagination. Two of his innovations seem to be progressing well.
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 08:48
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Many of Richard Herman's books are not reviewed in the UK river site .co.uk but you can find reviews on the .com site.
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 09:43
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Originally Posted by Obi Wan Russell
and as you pointed out Storming Heaven exposed the US weakspot with regards to the use of Airliners as weapons (though not in the same way as 9/11).
With due respect, there is also Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor (1994), written in the same year, which contains in it's final chapters;
Originally Posted by wiki
With the crisis over, President Durling nominates Ryan as vice-president during a joint session of Congress. However, an embittered Japan Air Lines pilotódriven mad by the deaths of his son and brother during the previous conflictóflies his Boeing 747 directly into the U.S. Capitol.

Nearly the entire presidential line of succession is eliminated; Ryan, who had just been confirmed as vice-president moments before, narrowly escapes the attack and is immediately sworn in as president

Last edited by Hempy; 7th Jan 2013 at 09:43.
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 21:21
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Bartholomew Bandy

I too am a follower of the incomparable Bartholomew Bandy, ORAC, and endorse your comment, but I must point out that there are not eight volumes of his life story but nine.
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Old 8th Jan 2013, 08:22
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Mea Culpa. I don't hold great regard for "Stalin vs. Me" though. As the notes say it was just a draft when Donald Jack dies in 2003 and was being edited and revised. I do have all 9 on my bookshelf however, so if anyone wants to borrow them they can.

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Old 8th Jan 2013, 16:46
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I too was not overly impressed with the last volume of the Bandy series and the purpose of my post was merely to ensure that an obvious afficionado did not miss any of them - good or bad.

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