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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Naval Wargames Show was on last weekend in Gosport. With images;
2000 non-fiction, a collection of anecdotes by officers of the Royal
Navy's Fleet Air Arm.
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.)
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.
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:
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
1971 collection of earlier fiction; various stories of action during
the Second World War.
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;
The Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-219 suffered an accident in
the Atlantic, and later sank, in October 1986.
In an attempt to get details of the latest Chinese missile submarine,
an American attack boat is sent in to shadow her. Spoilers.
Fourth in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is now deputy CAG
aboard a Nimitz-class carrier, and Russia is invading Norway.
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.
Airliners over the Atlantic are being shot down by submarine-launched
missiles. How can this be stopped? Spoilers.
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.
In the latter days of the Second World War, a U-boat group leader
tries to maintain morale and keep his crews alive.
In a now-alternate 2002, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier suddenly
disappears at sea, apparently in a nuclear accident. What happened?
The People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force has been making
substantial, though largely ignored, efforts to gain a carrier
HMAS Melbourne was the Royal Australian Navy's last aircraft carrier
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:
So that's my fantasy Royal Navy. Who's it going to fight? Practically
Some time in the 1980s, a terrorist attack on oil infrastructure leads
the USSR to invade Europe.
Carriers and submarines are dealt with. What about the rest of the Navy?
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.
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?
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.
I'll come back to what the British are up to, but the historical enemy
has to be considered.
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
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.
In the 1950s, retired MTB commander Philip Vivian gets into trouble
while struggling to run a small yacht charter business.
Some time after the events of Dangerous Ground, Jerry Mitchell heads
north again in USS Seawolf. Mild spoilers will follow.
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.
A Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Memphis, goes on an
intelligence-gathering mission off Novaya Zemlya.
In 1997, an Improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine, USS
Cheyenne, joins the war against China.
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.
Sub-Lieutenant Clive Royce is assigned to a Motor Torpedo Boat working
off the east coast of England during the Second World War.