The war in 2021 reaches a conclusion in Eagle Rising when NATO forces force the Russian Army to withdraw from the Baltic States. AS NATO ponders how to
reverse the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the conflict erupts again in Korea, and nuclear fire ravages the peninsula, killing hundreds of thousands in one terrible hour. Seeing no good end to the war,
Tyrenkov cuts a bargain with Fedorov and Karpov, and narrowly escapes when Ivan Volkov launches a dramatic assassination attempt with a nuclear tipped missile. Now the war spirals quickly into the
annihilation of a general nuclear exchange. As Kirov shifts forward to 2025, the reach the future of the world they helped to shape with all their interventions in WWII.
That’s where we are now, with Kirov and company, including Tyrenkov, ready to war yet again. Karpov, the Siberian, has reached the Amur river in his campaign to reverse the loss suffered in the first Sino-Siberian war in 1998. Now he is ready to launch his big offensive towards Vladivostok, and asks his brother to support him again as he did earlier in the Sea of Japan. After replenishing at Petropavlovsk, Kirov now joins Captain Rose and the US Surface Action Group centered on the battlecruiser Kentucky,
but they face a much stronger foe against a renewed Chinese Navy.
Meanwhile, the other players that had been operation in WWII make their exit from that war. Both Kazan and Argos Fire finally come forward from 1945 and reaches the same time as Kirov in 2025. It seems that Mother Time is “rounding up all the usual suspects,” as Admiral Volsky puts it. Clearly the author is rounding them up, as this closing volume of Season Six serves as a bridge between the Next war in 2021, and a chilling look at how that war would play out just a few years later in 2025.
John explains why he wanted to make this transition, and take the war to 2025.
“To begin with, this is the future arising from the main
Kirov Series, and as a direct result of the interventions made by Kirov, Kazan and Argos Fire. I think it was important that the main characters see, live in, and own that future before
this series ends. Yet here they find
the scourge of war cannot be avoided. Now, after seeing what happened in 2021, they have one last chance to weigh in on whether this future survives, and what
the world will look like after WWIII.”
Yet won’t it all go to hell again as it did in 2021?
“That’s a possibility, but
this world is quite different geopolitically. Since there was no cold war and great nuclear arms race, atomic weapon inventories are very small in this history. The major players have those weapons,
but not in numbers that might bring Armageddon. A nuclear deployment treaty has limited warheads to no more that 100, so it means this war may be largely conventional. And that’s the second
reason I wanted to end the series with this war in 2025—to show what that conventional war, this time with China as the great antagonist, might look like. We’ll be looking at the Chinese
Navy that might be deployed in our world by 2025 to 2030. We’ll also see how the US Navy adapted to fight a peer adversary at sea, and learned how to give its destroyers and cruisers real
teeth. In 2021, the technology that will define the next war was only just emerging. There were few F-35’s for example, and even fewer missiles that could be used in naval warfare, like the
LRASM or Multi-Mission Tomahawk. Here, in 2025, those weapons will be well deployed, so we’ll see what the fight looks like with the weapons all sides are feverishly building now.”
Yet there’s a lot of differences in the US Navy.
“True, and you can attribute that to the fact that I never really could live with the
death of the battleship. So here the USN is a hybrid navy, something old, something new. They held onto Iowa and New Jersey, and then also built ships like Kentucky, perhaps
because they actually saw what a large battlecruiser armed with missile technology could do, and saw it as early as WWII when Kirov appeared. So the notion of a heavy surface combatant has not yet died in this world. The USN here is also a little smaller, particularly with its big deck carriers. It has eight, but one of those is in sea trials (JFK), and one in deep reserve, the Eisenhower.
It also has 10 LDH type carriers, which can also be configured as “Lightning Carriers” like the Marines are now deploying. Beyond that, there are ten of the new CG-21 Class cruisers, but only ten Ticonderogas. Destroyers, (like the Burke Class), are about the same, with 60, all named after Civil War Generals. There are also four in the Zumwalt class.”
But the Chinese Navy is bigger.
“Much bigger. They go from having just six of the new Type 055 heavy destroyers (or cruisers) in 2021, to a
total of 25 in this world, then they have added an additional 15 Type 052D destroyers. Instead of the two carriers they have today, they had six in 2025, until Karpov put the Haishen under. The USN will still have the edge with its big deck carriers and the Gator Navy, but the Chinese now match them in the cruiser class, and they have a total of 60 DDGs to match the 60 the USN floats. I’d say the Burke is the better ship overall, but those numbers matter in the Chinese DDG category now. Then we get the real big difference in the two navies. China has 50 frigates, and the USN has none at all. A good chunk of those frigates are the newest Jiankai II Class, the Type 054A/B. a very capable and well rounded ship. Beyond that, they also have 42 Corvettes, which are ships to march the US Navy’s Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships. When it comes to submarines, The USN clearly has the edge with nuclear attack subs with a 50 to 12 lead. Yet China offsets this by adding 50 more SS diesel boats, and the US has none in that class.”
What about allies?
That will really matter in this war. You’ll see the Royal Navy with ten Daring class destroyers instead of just six, and they have retained more of their older ships, upgrading them with refits. This gives them more carrier power, as you will soon see. China no longer has the Russian Navy behind it either, so the edge goes to the Western Alliance in this regard. That said, you will see the Chinese have a ground game as well, with strong alliances in the Middle East. This is going to be a very difficult struggle, for both sides, but we’ll see how it plays out.
And Tangent Fire?
The major action here is in the Med, when the Chinese launch their Operation Wildfire to close the sea lanes and Suez Canal. It’s a Royal Navy affair, so Argos Fire is the main character viewpoint on that action, which rages from the Cape Verde Islands to Suez. China’s “Zhonghai Fleet” or “Middle Sea Fleet”, is 20 ships strong, so the Royal navy really has to step up, since the US is not heavily deployed there. You’ll also see some ground action in Manchuria with the Siberian before the naval war for the Med kicks in. And there will be a couple of surprises at the end of this one, affecting those on Argos Fire as well as Kirov.