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Historical military fiction with time travel

Author John Schettler specializes in writing historical military fiction with time travel or alternate history. His best selling Kirov series and the latest release of the Devil Ship epitomize his mastery of the genre.

Historical military fiction with time travel is a story set in a documented historical period that involves military conflict. It can be a war or battle in the past, or a hypothetical conflict in the future, where the author presents real historical figures as characters, sometimes interacting with his own fictional characters. The arrival of characters capable of time travel causes interventions and variations in that history, which changes the documented flow of past events and produces an alternative historical outcome. Interventions in Military history can be particularly decisive and dramatically alter future history arising from that period. For example, what if the South had won the American Civil War? What if Napoleon had defeated Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo? These are the kind of questions explored by mixing historical, military and time travel genres.

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Project Status

14 MAR 2023

The Sands of Honor



The price of honor has been high, for an Empire, a nation, a single man. And that price has been paid on battlefields all over the earth, in the hinterlands of Empire, beyond the frontiers of national power. For England, the world’s greatest empire in the late 1800s, the price of honor was paid with the blood of her soldiers, in Europe, Afghanistan, India, China, Egypt, Sudan, and Natal, and the often desolate places where that blood was shed, the battlefields where men fought, and strove, and died became the sands of honor. England sent her diplomats, politicians, her heroes and her soldiers in their khaki tunics to those battlefields, and in The Sands of Honor these ‘desert loving Englishmen’ will face and fight the whirlwind Army of the Dervish, the zealots who had rallied to the banners of the Mahdi, he who was promised to come.

On the morning of the 2nd of September, 1898, with Kitchener’s Anglo-Egyptian Army encamped in a large defensive position against the Nile called a zeriba, the British 21st Lancer Regiment rode out to find and fix the enemy’s intentions. They would reach and climb the grey gravel slopes of Jebel Surgham just off the left flank of the camp, whereupon they heard ‘a mighty rumbling as of tempestuous rollers and surf bearing down upon a rock bound shore.’ There they saw ‘a moving, undulating plain of men, flecked with banners and glistening  steel’ extending over a front three to four miles wide. It was a dense mass, a deep bodied flood of anger raging towards that hill, aiming to flow over and around it like a mighty sea of arms. Soon the shouts of that mass were plainly heard—Allah u Akbar! Rasool Allah el Mahdi! They brandished thick bladed swords and long cruel spears, masses of tightly packed warriors led by proud Emirs on horseback surrounded by bannermen and troops of Baggara horsemen.

Where on the British side there stood Brigadiers Gatacre and Lyttelton behind their dour ranks of Fusiliers and Guardsmen, out on that vast plain came the Khalifa Abdullah beneath his great black banner, waving unfurled in the morning wind. There came the Khalifa’s son Sheikh Ed Din. There came Khalil, the fiery Osman Azrak, Emir Unis, Ali Wad Hulu, and Abdel Baki surrounded by 500 dark spearmen in black robes. There came the notorious Yacoub, scourge of the desert. These were the men who had stirred the restless sands of Sudan in wild rebellion; the men who had thrown down Gordon of Khartum, one of England’s dearest heroes. They were fierce, proud, relentless as they came, and endowed with a fanaticism that would drive them into the teeth of all the firepower Kitchener’s army could bring to bear on them, the quick firing artillery, Maxim Machine guns, the incessant volley fire by lines of steady infantry with their magazine fed Lee-Metfords.

This vast army, approaching 60,000 in number, could have come the previous night, like wolves in the dark, but instead they waited for the dawn, choosing to attack beneath the eyes of Allah. Why should they creep and snipe in the dark against these, who they would now surely destroy? Now, there was nothing between this vast host and Kitchener’s Army of 22,000 but the 320 men of the 21st Lancers, watching from that lonesome desert promontory. With them, was a young Lieutenant, out to make a name for himself, a medal seeking, glory hunting 23 year old named Winston Churchill….

On came the venomous Dervish fighters in their fearless fury, and all of future history held its breath.


Looking for the Battle Books and Special Editions?

Battle Books feature only the historical narratives of a given campaign as presented over five to ten Kirov Series volumes or more. You do not have to have read the entire series to enjoy them. They are complete alternate WWII history narratives on their own.


Click Foxbane for all the Kirov Series Battle books covering the north African campaign and Pacific Campaign.

|   The Keyholder’s Saga   |

Cover-Field of Glory-145

Click Field of Glory for the Kirov Series spinoff Keyholder’s Saga books covering  famous battles in history, including Vol I Waterloo, Vol 2 Isandlwana , and the latest volume, The Devil Ship


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For Kindle & Paperback

Then join Sir Roger Ames again with a new opponent, Sheikh Ali, as they struggle to bend the lines of fate in the wilds of Sudan.The battles of Abu Klea, Atbara, and the climactic Battle of Omdurman even sees a mission for Troyak and his Marines here. At stake is the life of one of Britain's greatest leaders and heroes, no, not Charles Gordon, but young Winston Churchill!

Book 4 in the Keyholders Series features cameo appearances by the Meridian Time Travel project team, Argos Fire and Fairchild Group, and it even has a mission for the Mighty Kirov and Company! Troyak and the Marines must stand to arms to save all the history the ship and crew fought so diligently to preserve... To save Winston Churchill.


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John Schettler




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