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A continuing Interview with John Schettler - Author Of the Kirov series novels.

The Kirov Saga


Three Kings introduced some exciting new developments!
Lot’s of new arrivals as the forces slowly gather in the Eastern Med for the decisive battles about to be fought in Grand Alliance.
Kinlan and the 7th Brigade was the real shocker.
That was the answer to the problem Volsky and Fedorov were chewing on when the Germans attacked Gibraltar. They had no way to intervene on land short of dropping a nuke on the German troops assembling for that attack and then telling Hitler “hands off.”

And with just three warheads that would only go so far.
Correct. They know that have what amounts to absolute power, but it is limited, and it diminishes every time it is used. So with the arrival of the 7th Brigade, the great grandsons of the Desert Rats, I can take the readers into the action on land in a way that is very engaging.

Fedorov sure had a full plate on this rescue mission.
He did. The language barrier was the least of it, and convincing Kinlan of what happened, then O’Connor is the opening on this next novel. Series readers have been through this with other main characters like Tovey, Admiral Fraser, and Alan Turing, but this needed to be done one last time here to answer the question of how the British will react to this dramatic truth that they have been visited by warriors from their own future. Once I go though this with O’Connor, and get him to accept this situation, then I don’t have to repeat the same song with other major figures like Wavell, or perhaps Churchill.

What about the overall reaction of the general populace? It would be shocking!
This is what Fedorov is most worried about. He knows he has to bring in senior officers and reveal the truth.  But what about the rank and file soldiers, and then all the rumors and talk that will spread from that? He is struggling to keep a lid on Pandora’s box. Perhaps he will fail in the long run, but these questions will be answered as the series continues. Think of the UFO phenomenon in our time. It’s all speculation, lore, shreds and patches of evidence but still not generally acknowledged or accepted by society, and this is after 60 years! There are the believers, and the unbelievers, and this would be the same with this revelation. So even if this news starts to migrate through the rumor mills, it could be decades before these effects are really developed in society.

And there was also the mystery surrounding the arrival of Argos Fire.
That is still unwinding. Elena Fairchild discovered that note from Tovey in the “box” she recovered from Delphi, and there will be a scene where she reveals this to Tovey of this era. It all plays into the same mystery that saw Turing discover those file boxes, and the answer behind it all is coming later.

At one point there was a book proposal that would see that ship square off against the Atlanteans!
Yes, that did reasonably well in the reader poll, but I decided to move the ship here instead. After all, if you add up all those chapters throughout the 9 Days Falling trilogy and beyond, the Argos/Fairchild plot line is almost a full length novel on it’s own. In fact, I have extracted all those chapters into one continuous file, and after some editing, I’ll be releasing that as a stand-alone novel, and it will be offered free to Kirov Series readers. It may also serve to bring more readers to the series.

So Three Kings sets up the battles we now see unfolding in Grand Alliance!
Yes. There’s a big land battle here when Kinlan moves north, and the major sea action is also presented. The Royal Navy, and her three new allies in Kirov, Argos Fire and Kazan, engage first the Italian fleet  and then the combined Franco-German fleet. The missiles are potent, but they can only do so much. Yet the modern ships obviously play a decisive role here.

How in the world can the Germans tackle those Challenger IIs?
Yes, they certainly get a shock here. But the Germans are resilient and they will adapt, just as they endured the shock of the T-34 when it first appeared in Russia.

But these aren’t T-34s. Are the Challengers really impervious to 88s?
They have RHA Armor protection levels that are astronomical compared to WWII tanks. Yes, they could take repeated hits from AT weapons of that era and survive. One survived 70 hits in modern battle by hand held AT weapons, and an RPG-7 can penetrate between 260mm and 750mm with a tandem HEAT round. A German 88 can penetrate only about 200mm armor at a close range, much less at any distance.  Yet the Challengers survived numerous repeated hits from those RPGs and were still battle worthy.

Then what can the Germans do?
I’ve been huddling with some research associates on how the Germans might adapt their tactics to deal with the Challengers. One thing that is likely to occur is a spike in tank development and missile development in the war. Having seen these new weapons, the Germans will be out to develop their own. Yet that takes time, and in the short run they will have to discover how to use what they have to deal with this powerful new threat. They have good artillery, nebelwerfers mines, and they have strong air power too. All those can be threats to the 7th Brigade. The 88s can take out a Warrior IFV easily enough, and the Challengers have limited ammo. It’s the same dilemma faced by Kirov--absolute power that is of limited duration.

So the threat to Great Britain in the Middle East is still severe .
Correct. The Germans can reinforce Rommel if they can figure out how to supply the troops. Those scenes with Paulus and Rommel, and then Paulus and Hitler are meant to stimulate that option. Then we have the other pincer they can develop against Suez, one that involves an airborne hopping strategy from Crete, to Cyprus, to Palestine. That operation is coming in the next book.

There is another spin at the end of Grand Alliance concerning Karpov.
But we can’t discuss that just yet. Needless to say, Karpov is up to his old tricks again, and looking for ways to increase his power and influence. He is a major character, and he holds one card that can trump all others, even the power of Kirov and Kazan.

That’s right. With that stairway he has tremendous power, and he is moving heaven and earth to protect and develop that. But at the end of Grand Alliance he gets another surprise in his new airship. Enough said.

There will be three volumes in the Grand Alliance set?
Yes, this is the fourth series trilogy. Next up is Hammer of God, and it will continue to answer the questions on how the Germans adapt, and also present the battle for Syria. Then we get Crescendo of Doom, which brings us right up to that fateful date in July when Kirov is first supposed to appear.

The novel following this Trilogy will be called Paradox Hour.  It will answer the question that had been haunting Fedorov and Director Kamenski once and for all.

I get the feeling Kamenski knows more than he reveals.
He is certainly one of the most enigmatic characters in the series. The amiable grandfather who became something much more in Men of War and beyond. Yes, Kamenski has more evolutions that will surprise readers when they spin out. Stay tuned

I’ll be waiting!!

Get your copy of the Kirov Series Book XIII: Grand Alliance, which is also book one in the Grand Alliance segment of the saga... and enjoy!  Coming soon to Amazon.(July 15)


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