RogerBW's Blog

Viper Strike, Keith Douglass 08 August 2016

1991 military fiction; second in the Carrier series. A complex plot sees Burmese, Thai and Chinese renegades orchestrating a breakup of SEATO for purposes unclear at first. Carrier Battle Group 14 is going to get caught in the middle.

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Carrier, Keith Douglass 04 August 2016

1991 military fiction; first in the Carrier series. An American intelligence ship and her crew vanish on the high seas; the North Koreans admit nothing. Carrier Battle Group 14 is sent in to get them out.

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Type 26 Global Combat Ship early impressions 18 November 2015 - 2 comments

With the Queen Elizabeth carriers now afloat, the next major shipbuilding project for the Royal Navy will be the Type 26 "Global Combat Ship", a replacement for the Type 23 frigates.

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Afterburn, Keith Douglass 24 October 2015 - 4 comments

1996 alternate-world military fiction; seventh in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is still CAG aboard USS Thomas Jefferson, which is sent to the Black Sea for peacekeeping operations in the context of the ongoing Russian civil war.

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BALTOPS 2015 07 August 2015 - 4 comments

The NATO-and-allied-countries naval exercise in the southern Baltic, BALTOPS 2015, took place between 5 and 20 June of this year. I was digging in the hope of getting some information about any wargames that might be involved, and noticed something interesting.

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Naval Wargames Show 2015 13 July 2015

The Naval Wargames Show was on last weekend in Gosport. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Fly Navy: The View from the Cockpit 1945-2000, Charles Manning 02 July 2015

2000 non-fiction, a collection of anecdotes by officers of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm.

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Dynamic Mongoose 2014-2015 18 June 2015

Dynamic Mongoose is an ongoing series of naval exercises in anti-submarine warfare, taking place off the coast of Norway. This year's exercise was rather more multinational than recent years' have been, perhaps inspired by recent reports of possibly-Russian submarines inside other nations' territorial waters. The most blatant sign that it is being taken seriously is that it happened in May rather than the usual February in the North Sea. (Still cold, but rather less horrible.)

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Countdown, Keith Douglass 04 June 2015

1994 alternate-world military fiction; sixth in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is still CAG aboard USS Thomas Jefferson, which now gets involved in the Russian civil war of 1994+4.

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Mendez Nunez 05 May 2015 - 4 comments

When we were on our way to see Defender last Saturday, we spotted this Spanish frigate moored at West India Docks. I was able to get back to see her in a bit more detail on Monday. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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HMS Defender 01 May 2015 - 4 comments

After the tour of HMS Middleton, it was off to Greenwich to see the Type 45 HMS Defender. As with other recent tours, it was very selective, with no access to berthing or engineering spaces. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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HMS Middleton 29 April 2015 - 8 comments

The Hunt-class minesweeper HMS Middleton was open to the public at HMS President. No, they didn't let me look at the engines, and I understand she's recently been given new ones anyway. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Good Enough for Nelson, John Winton 11 April 2015

1977; ninth of Winton's novels. The Artful Bodger (Commander R. B. Badger, RN) is now in charge of the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.

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Maelstrom, Keith Douglass 27 February 2015

1993; fifth in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder, CAG aboard USS Thomas Jefferson, continues to fight against the Russian invasion of Norway in 1993+4.

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Amphibious Transport Docks 08 February 2015 - 2 comments

Several modern European navies have fielded Amphibious Transport Docks, ships designed to transport amphibious forces into harm's way while not themselves being major combatants.

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Gold from Crete, C. S. Forester 04 January 2015

1971 collection of earlier fiction; various stories of action during the Second World War.

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National Maritime Museum, 30 December 2014 01 January 2015 - 6 comments

On a chilly December day, I drove to Greenwich (do not do this, by the way; if you don't have twenty-odd quid in coins or a disposable credit card, just park in Lewisham, it's less hassle) and visited the National Maritime Museum. (Many photos follow; cc-by-sa on everything.)

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The Loss of K-219 02 December 2014 - 3 comments

The Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-219 suffered an accident in the Atlantic, and later sank, in October 1986.

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USS Seawolf, Patrick Robinson 16 November 2014 - 2 comments

In an attempt to get details of the latest Chinese missile submarine, an American attack boat is sent in to shadow her. Spoilers.

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Flame-Out, Keith Douglass 13 October 2014

Fourth in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is now deputy CAG aboard a Nimitz-class carrier, and Russia is invading Norway.

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Choosers of the Slain, James H. Cobb 06 October 2014 - 4 comments

Naval technothriller. Argentine troops invade key locations in Antarctica, and the only force in a position to do anything about it is a new US Navy destroyer.

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HMS Unseen, Patrick Robinson 02 September 2014 - 2 comments

Airliners over the Atlantic are being shot down by submarine-launched missiles. How can this be stopped? Spoilers.

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Kilo Class, Patrick Robinson 17 August 2014

In the mid 2000s, China tries to buy seven Kilo-class diesel submarines from Russia. The Americans aim to prevent this. Meanwhile, something odd is going on at Kerguelen Island.

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With Blood and Iron, Douglas Reeman 15 August 2014

In the latter days of the Second World War, a U-boat group leader tries to maintain morale and keep his crews alive.

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Nimitz Class, Patrick Robinson 04 August 2014 - 1 comment

In a now-alternate 2002, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier suddenly disappears at sea, apparently in a nuclear accident. What happened?

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Chinese aircraft carriers 13 July 2014 - 2 comments

The People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force has been making substantial, though largely ignored, efforts to gain a carrier aviation capability.

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HMAS Melbourne 20 June 2014 - 3 comments

HMAS Melbourne was the Royal Australian Navy's last aircraft carrier (to date).

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HMS Bulwark 03 June 2014 - 4 comments

The amphibious warfare ship HMS Bulwark is the current flagship of the Royal Navy. Last Sunday I had the chance to go aboard her at Greenwich, since she was open to the public as a PR exercise; tickets vanished quite fast. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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One for the Brow part 6: scenarios and Harpoon stats 31 May 2014 - 4 comments

So that's my fantasy Royal Navy. Who's it going to fight? Practically anybody.

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Red Storm Rising, Tom Clancy (and Larry Bond) 30 May 2014 - 2 comments

Some time in the 1980s, a terrorist attack on oil infrastructure leads the USSR to invade Europe.

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One for the Brow part 5: other combatants 14 May 2014 - 6 comments

Carriers and submarines are dealt with. What about the rest of the Navy?

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Rebuilding the Royal Navy, D. K. Brown and George Moore 10 May 2014

In 1945, Britain had a large and often hastily-constructed fleet which was clearly close to obsolete, and very little money with which to update it. This is the story of what happened next.

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One for the Brow part 4: carriers and submarines 01 May 2014 - 3 comments

So Queen Elizabeth, Duke of Edinburgh and let's say Eagle are built during the early 1970s. That's the easy bit. What aircraft do they carry?

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One for the Brow part 3: weapons 25 April 2014

Many designers of fantasy fleets like to come up with all sorts of plausible-sounding technological developments. I'm mostly going to borrow ideas which historically worked for the Americans, and transfer them to the British with appropriate modifications.

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One for the Brow part 2: France 18 April 2014

I'll come back to what the British are up to, but the historical enemy has to be considered.

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One for the Brow part 1: history 12 April 2014 - 4 comments

I often come up with alternate histories. The usual way of doing this is to change some historical detail and then speculate about what might have gone differently. In this case, I have a specific goal in mind, so I'm trying various divergences to try to get to the state I want.

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Armageddon Mode, Keith Douglass 05 April 2014 - 3 comments

Third in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is a naval aviator aboard a Nimitz-class carrier, as the USA gets involved in a major conflict with India.

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High Water, Douglas Reeman 02 April 2014 - 2 comments

In the 1950s, retired MTB commander Philip Vivian gets into trouble while struggling to run a small yacht charter business.

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Cold Choices, Larry Bond and Chris Carlson 30 March 2014

Some time after the events of Dangerous Ground, Jerry Mitchell heads north again in USS Seawolf. Mild spoilers will follow.

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Never Go to Sea, John Winton 27 March 2014

Fourth of Winton's novels and in the loosely-connected series. The Artful Bodger (Commander R. B. Badger, RN) takes over public relations for the Royal Navy, and gets involved in running a horse in the Derby.

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Dangerous Ground, Larry Bond and Chris Carlson 24 March 2014

A Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Memphis, goes on an intelligence-gathering mission off Novaya Zemlya.

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SSN, Tom Clancy 21 March 2014 - 4 comments

In 1997, an Improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine, USS Cheyenne, joins the war against China.

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The Last Ship, William Brinkley 18 March 2014 - 3 comments

After the total nuclear war, the captain of a missile destroyer leads his crew through the irradiated world and towards a new life.

I am going to talk about plot details, so if you care about not knowing that sort of thing you probably shouldn't read this review.

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A Prayer for the Ship, Douglas Reeman 12 March 2014 - 1 comment

Sub-Lieutenant Clive Royce is assigned to a Motor Torpedo Boat working off the east coast of England during the Second World War.

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