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Red Storm Rising

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Red Storm Rising

Old 30th Dec 2015, 23:02
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Red Storm Rising

I suspect many PPRuNe mil folk will have read this, a cracking tale of NATO forces, particularly air power, fighting a defensive war against an all-out Soviet attack. What's interesting is, according to just-released cabinet papers, it was apparently viewed by Ronald Reagan as an accurate guide to Soviet leadership intentions and recommended as such to Mrs Thatcher.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 23:42
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Cauldron by Larry Bond is just as good and becoming relevant far too quickly for my liking.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 00:43
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I remember reading Red Storm Rising for the first time on det in Basrah and it being the only time I managed to forget where I was when I picked the book up each evening. Reagan was apparently also a big fan of The Hunt for Red October (incidentally based on a real incident, but involving a Krivak class frigate in the 1970s) much to the annoyance of the Department of the Navy who considered it a little too accurate to be anything other than an inside job. But if ShotOneis correct, it does make you wonder just how much influence a decent bit of fiction can have on our lords & masters - or if indeed that is part of the intent behind some writing.

And although I've not read it yet, I've heard some very good things about Ghost Fleet by Singer & Cole as a concept of how future wars might play out.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 01:25
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Star Wars is based on a true story, happened in the 1400s. There's still bits of smashed up spaceship on the moon.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 08:36
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It works both ways - Tom Clancy in his "Debt of Honour" had the US president and others taken out by the expedient of deliberately crashing a 747 into the Capitol building during the State of the Union address.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 08:48
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"it does make you wonder just how much influence a decent bit of fiction can have on our lords & masters"

Melchett, apparently Reagan was deeply troubled by "The Day After" and it helped to provoke the change from confrontation ('Evil Empire' etc) to talks aimed at reducing nuclear stockpiles.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 09:04
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There was a novel, Le Carre IIRC, probably back in the late 60s, involved war games with two old codgers playing Red. I used some of their ploys in sim scenarios.

What always got me though was the virtually fixed scenarios for Red raids on the UK. Penetration through BALTAP, swing SW, ARM against radar stations. A Canadian assessment of a single thrust through CR, exploited and expanded, and enfilading NATO rear areas was discounted out of hand.

While there was something to be said for penetrating BALTAP I always had the feeling that it was to allow maximum play area for the fighters and maximum play time for the SOCs. What happened in GW2, a short fight against the air defences then everything else. Similarly GW1 was initially planned as air defence first and quickly escalated to both air campaigns at once.

In other words, novelists can create as good or better scenarios than the professionals.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 09:10
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Red Storm Rising is the only book i've ever re-read.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 10:10
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I loved RSR when I was a youngster but re-reading it now, along with Team Yankee, I find them both a bit 'Hollywood'

You can get 'Chieftans' by Bob Forrest-Webb on Kindle. Give that a go.
Few problems with the writing (plots not finished mainly) but as a Tank Commanders view of WW3 in Northern Germany it really is very good.

The bit where they lose a squadron of Chieftans to a massive Soviet Arty barrage is quite sobering.

Amazon Amazon

If you can find a copy 'Arc Light' is an excellent story about a Sino-Soviet War going Nuke and getting the whole world involved.

The chapters about F-15 Strike Eagle attacks on an Ivan's port and a B1 Nuke attack over Russia are very realistic. Not all one way, Backfires bombing USA Nuke plants is in there as well.

Arc Light: Amazon.co.uk: Eric L. Harry: 9781476702629: Books Arc Light: Amazon.co.uk: Eric L. Harry: 9781476702629: Books
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 10:13
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Apparently during the Cuba missile crisis Kennedy made all his advisors read The Guns of August.
He didn't want WW3 happening by accident.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 10:25
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Guns of August should be required reading for any military/political leader.

The chapter 'An Enemy Then Flying' about the Goeban and the British Mediterranean Fleet is quite breath taking.

Last edited by ExRAFRadar; 31st Dec 2015 at 10:31. Reason: Silly Punctuation
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 10:51
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In other words, novelists can create as good or better scenarios than the professionals.
The key difference being imagination - or the lack of it.
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 11:20
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NATO Standard WW3 scenario during Cold War:

Pact invade West Germany/Denmark/Turkey*
NATO fall back
Pact supplies run low/hit by NATO Airpower*
Colonial Cousins Corp arrives and with a British Armd Division that somehow survived the onslaught counter attack
Counter attack success causes Polish/East German/Czech* Army to revolt
Tactical Nuke rapidly escalates to All Out Strategic Exchange
Game Over

*Delete as appropriate
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 13:27
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You can get 'Chieftans' by Bob Forrest-Webb on Kindle.
Probably the most daunting book I've read.

......well having "done that"...it's sheer realism brings back less than happy memories of what we were expected to do...

gr
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 13:46
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NATO Standard WW3 scenario during Cold War:
I remember sitting in a 'command bunker' wondering why the reds were bothering to nuke Lincoln when a well placed bucket of instant sunshine would take out all the facilities at nearby waddo (including the aforementioned command bunker).
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 14:30
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WW, nah, get Scampton as well

May be they knew the bases would be empty?
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Old 1st Jan 2016, 22:59
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a cracking tale of NATO forces
Apart from the fact that the Russians came straight through the middle of 1(BR) Corps area, and we didn't get a mention.

Similar in style and detail to The Chieftains, have a read of "The War Book" series by Andy Farman, available on Kindle books, covers a complete war scenario. Better written and more realistic than Red Storm.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 09:31
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It's notable that nearly all the comment here has been about the plotline and not the fact of the leader of the free world recommending a work of fiction as their primary briefing document to a key ally. Mrs T was so concerned that most of her cabinet weren't told.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 10:07
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To be fair I always thought Reagan was an idiot who just spouted the things he was told by the puppet masters.

The fact that he recommended RSR to Thatcher as a way of getting to know Soviet thinking just proves that.

It's so absurd that I just assumed we never had to even bother acknowledging it
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 10:17
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We were encouraged to read it by the Defence Studies lecturer we had at Cranwell at the time - a USAF Major ex 135 tankers. I've re- read it a couple of times in the last 30 years or so. What I found impressive was the way Clancy managed to detail such a large theatre so well.

I had been told that Clancy was questioned by elements of the USG after it was published, as it played so similarly to their war game scenarios - but that may just be urban legend.
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