After the stunning event at Irkutsk, Karpov is eager to get north, a hot anger burning within him. He is
ready for another fight.
The war that began in 2025 has now come full circle in the next volume of the Kirov Series, Jericho, as the fighting returns to the place where it all began in the Ryukyu Island Chain. The war has now reached the edge of the East China Sea, the
rocky “First Island Chain” that China hoped to hold secure. Billed as China’s Great Wall at Sea, the seizure of the Ryukyus from Amami in the north and south through Okinawa to the
Miyako Islands lit the fuse on what might have been a limited conflict in the Pacific, but that was not to be.
In an effort to demonstrate the reach and power of its new navy, China began
stopping and impounding commercial ships as far away as the Mediterranean Sea, focusing on Japanese ships. That set them in quick opposition to the Royal Navy, and specifically, the Argos Fire was in on the early engagements there.
The war, as it happened:
At that time, China had bases at client states throughout North Africa, and most importantly, Egypt. Yet the British
retained outposts at both Gibraltar and Malta, and that enabled Admiral Wells, a distant relative of the man we met in WWII, to conduct operations that eventually checked the small Chinese contingent
in the Med. Beijing reacted by withdrawing its Med flotilla through the Suez Canal, and then pressured its client state Egypt to shut that vital waterway down. This gave the Chinese a powerful fleet
in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, which they soon used to blockade routes to the Persian Gulf.
By this time, the war was starting to go global, and the US Navy was already reacting by
reinforcing the Pacific and sending the carrier Truman to the Med to take up the watch there. This allowed Admiral Wells to take his ships south from Gibraltar, and drive China’s naval assets
from the few West African bases they had there. The Chinese ships slipped around the Cape into the Indian ocean, and continued north, collecting ships from their East African bases to create one
large fleet under Admiral Sun Wei.
With 40 ships now under Sun Wei’s command, and bases at Djibouti, Aden and Karachi, a major escalation of the war occurred when two more Chinese
clients states, Iran and Iraq, launched a big invasion of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. What followed was a 2025 version of the first Gulf War, as the Saudis desperately fought to hold the line until the
US Navy could get reinforcements to the Gulf. Before that happened, Admiral Wells took his Royal Navy north and fought a series of costly engagements with Sun Wei where the British realized the
weaknesses in their weapons loadouts. The arrival of the USS Roosevelt and the Independence Carrier Strike Groups shifts the balance of power, and the combined US British force slowly forces Sun Wei into a corner near Karachi.
After fighting out of the corner for some time, Sun Wei is eventually ordered to break out and attempt to reach Sri Lanka. By the time he does, the heavy engagements in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea leave him with no more than 10 ships, but he exacted a heavy toll on the Royal Navy in that fighting. As the US led coalition launches a major operation against Iraq from the west, that forces the Sons of Saddam to withdraw from Saudi Arabia to defend the homeland. The ground action there rolls all the way into Baghdad, and as far south as Basrah after the USN forces entry to the Persian Gulf. It ends with a broken Iraqi Army retreating into northern Iraq, and the Chinese sending two armies into Iran to force a stalemate near Basrah.
Then Sun Wei runs home, first to Colombo on Sri Lanka ans hten through the Strait of Malacca, and the war returns to the Pacific, with battles near Singapore, in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, and then a major engagement for the Philippines. Now it has run full circle to the Ryukyu Islands, and Admirals that fought earlier engagements struggle to hold the East and South China Seas inviolate. In Jericho, the final battles that will decide the outcome now begin in a series of attacks and counterattacks by both sides.
The US Navy has reinforced to have five Carrier Strike Groups available when the Roosevelt is moved from the Indian Ocean. That group joins Admiral Cook’s fleet carriers, Enterprise, Independence, Washington and John F. Kennedy. In
Jericho, this powerful fleet sails east of the Great Wall at Sea, and begins its mighty shouts to start bringing that wall down. With the fleet
carriers, the USN has also seen the arrival of the entire “Gator” force, ten light carriers with the US Marines.
The battles here are on a scale that has not been seen since WWII.
Admiral Cook and the Marines will begin in the north to prepare the invasion of Amami, with the next big objective in the plan being Okinawa. As this fighting gets underway, China sends an old
warrior, once disgraced, back into action for another surprising operation—Wu Jinlong. Once relieved after command when his
Operation Sea Eagle failed to damage any of the US bases on Yap, Palau or the Marianas, the old Admiral is given a second chance to redeem himself against the Japanese. The fighting in this volume is intense, and all the decisions made by either side are well explained through the musings and meetings of all the Admirals in charge.
As this volume closes, Vladimir Karpov is eager to get north, particularly after the disastrous incident at Irkutsk. When the 48 hour cooling off period between China and Siberia expires, Karpov learns that Vladivostok is now threatened again. Liberated by his lately departed brother-self, Karpov now rushes north to oppose a big amphibious operation aimed at Vladivostok by the Korean Navy.
Jericho, this astounding depiction of WWIII now careens toward its conclusion in the final volume of Season 7, Whirlwind. That will still
leave the unfinished business between Kirov and company, and the dastardly machinations of Ivan Volkov, who also has a doppelganger operating in the past, and that is the substance of the final
season of the Kirov Series, (yes, we mean it this time) coming next year after the war finishes early next year in Whirlwind.
There’s never been anything like this series. With a
scope and scale that is truly awesome, it will end up running ten years before it concludes. Don’t miss the big battles here in Jericho, as this one comes to Amazon on December 1st.
Available Dec 1, 2020