John Schettler’s Kirov Series takes us to the frozen north
The Kirov Series now takes us to the frozen north in Ice War, Volume VI in the Next War segment of the saga, and
it’s one of the best in the series. With NATO planning its counter offensives in Norway and Europe, Karpov and the Pacific Fleet are recalled to Severomorsk, but getting there will not be easy.
After their strange displacement to the future of the world they helped create with their many interventions in the past, The fleet slipped back into the war we’ve been following and put into
Vladivostok at the end of Volume V, Deep Blue. Now Karpov hopes to get as far north as possible before his fleet is discovered, as the Americans believe it perished in the eruption of the
It isn’t easy to hide that many warships, even in the vast ocean spaces of the Pacific, and soon the Americans are investigating
the sudden appearance of unknown ships emerging from the Sea of Okhotsk and heading north. What follows is a classic naval pursuit, as Captain Stark and the Nimitz Strike Group is dispatched to investigate the contacts. Karpov must get through the vast Bering Sea, and then pass the narrow strait between Siberia and Alaska, a place he calls “The Gates of Hell.” It is a harrowing warning of the action that will ensue in this volume, which features a riveting sea chase, gripping sub duels, and later, the Air, Land and Sea battles for the North Cape.
The Pacific Fleet eventually comes home to Severomorsk, but not without paying a price. Karpov and company are then immediately pulled into the naval action in the Norwegian Sea when Tyrenkov orders the seizure and reinforcement of the remote northern Islands of Svalbard. The British are leading the NATO effort to make a helicopter assault to recapture those islands, even while Karpov is delivering reinforcements for the Russians. Then the US Washington Strike Group gets into the action under Captain Tanner, and things really begin to heat up in a series of naval duels on and under the sea.
The land action in the North Cape is briefly covered in one segment, but that external battle is counterpointed by a simmering internal conflict aboard Kirov precipitated by the dark presence of Colonel Voronin, the ship’s new Zampolit,
or Political Officer. The Black Crow, as the crew comes to call him, is sticking his nose into the affairs of the ship, and this inevitably draws sparks with Karpov, right from the outset of this
volume. There are some very tense confrontations on the bridge, and both sides scheme to get the upper hand in the little power struggle. Knowing Karpov as they do, series veterans know what to
expect when Voronin’s transgressions rub him the wrong way.
All in all, Ice War
is presented with good depth and loaded with naval / air action. Battles here cover the Bering Sea Chase, action off Svalbard, NATO’s counterattack in the North Cape, and the climactic “Battle of the Barents Sea.” At the end, the author tips us off on what’s coming next, the big NATO offensive in Europe, code named Eagle Rising.
As the Ice War concludes, we asked John where the series is going next.
“The conclusion of Ice War will present an interesting discussion between Karpov, Fedorov and Tyrenkov, and that will lead them on a special mission as we go to the ground war in Europe, NATO’s big offensive to liberate the Russian occupied Baltic States. There we will meet Brigadier Berg in the 21st Panzer Brigade, and of course Brigadier Kinlan with the British contingent, and they will take us into that ground war, which will really decide Russia’s fate in this war.”
“What about the Chinese? Is the conflict in the Pacific over?”
That end of the war suffered a severe check with the eruption of the Demon Volcano, but that war resumes after a three week interruption, so I’ll also be covering the US campaign into the East
China Sea, the Chinese intervention in Korea, and then Argos Fire leads a combined NATO group into the South China Sea again as the West goes on the offensive in an attempt to break the Chinese Navy.”
“Does Kirov get in on that action?”
directly, as the Fleet is in the north now, but there will be a few twists yet to come involving Kirov and crew. I have something else planned for them, so stay tuned.”
Catch all the action and join the Ice War, as volume 6 in the
season goes on sale Aug 1st..