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ABOUT KIROV III: The Saga Continues...

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ABOUT: Kirov III – Pacific Storm

K-III-Cover-2-web-medThey just keep getting better. That says it all about Kirov III, which is perhaps the most engaging and compelling novel of the three book set from the standpoint of naval combat, an outstanding  thriller pitting the most powerful Russian battlecruiser ever built against a ruthless and determined foe in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The story begins by taking the last two pages of the epilogue from Kirov II and extending them out into a much longer full scene where Admiral Tovey calls on Alan Turing at Bletchley Park and the two men come to some startling conclusions about the ship they have been chasing through the Atlantic and the Med. Tovey proposes to deliver news of what has just happened to the ship in the Pacific, where “Geronimo” has suddenly reappeared a few days earlier. The tale he tells is the full story presented here in Volume III.

The author briefly sets the table at the outset with some interesting foreshadowing and several engaging scenes where the Japanese commanders plot a very plausible campaign in lieu of battles that were not fought in the Pacific due to alterations in the history. There was no Pearl Harbor when America entered the war early as a result of action in Kirov I, and the course of events in the Pacific has been radically changed.

With this broader strategic script well drafted, Kirov now enters stage left and begins raising hell. The Japanese reaction to the presence of the ship is immediate and violent, and they prove to be the most able and determined naval force Kirov has yet encountered in the long saga. The result is a riveting series of air and sea battles as Kirov is pursued by the 5th Carrier Division under Admiral Hara, an enraged Captain commanding Hara’s screening force aboard battleship Kirishima, and then eventually encounters a powerful surface action group centered on the most formidable ship of that era, the battleship Yamato.

In the course of these engaging naval actions the reader is also given answers to many questions raised in the earlier books. What has actually caused the ship to move in time? The officers aboard Kirov now learn how and why it has happened. What happened to Desron 7 at the conclusion of the first volume in the series? The answer is tucked away in a few wonderful dialogues between US intelligence officers working out of a special unit in Australia. What caused the terrible war that left the future a desolate, empty world? The answer is here. And all the questions the historical figures in 1942 have raised about the ship come to their own impossible conclusions here as well.

The heart of the novel, however, is a  series of desperate and incredibly exciting duels with the Japanese Navy, where each battle twists the tension higher as Kirov slowly expends her remaining missiles. Just when you think the ship has endured the worst, Admiral Yamamoto has other plans and steers his task force to find this mysterious enemy that has been battling his forces in the Coral Sea. The resulting engagement is one for the history books that were never written, a titanic clash spanning three chapters between the most powerful ships ever conceived by two different eras.

And yet that is not the final action in this well crafted and exciting tale. Something else happens to make for a truly incredible and satisfying ending that I won’t breathe a word about here. If you have enjoyed the first two volumes in the series, Kirov III will deliver all the same crisp and engaging dialogue, wonderful characterizations, incredible naval engagements, and so much more than you expect as the trilogy comes to its mind shattering conclusion...Or does it?

The one loose end left unanswered, what happened to Chief Gennadi Orlov after he made his harrowing jump to freedom in Book II, appears to have been saved by the author as the seed and root of his next story. The last paragraph of the epilogue offers an enticing hint, and is followed by a more detailed description of a novel entitled “Men Of War” wherein the author promises to reprise the roles of Alan Turing, Admiral John Tovey, Orlov, and a curious young officer who is still pursuing the mystery of what happened to the ship, Anton Fedorov. Other characters from the series also figure prominently, including Admiral Volsky, Captain Karpov and others.

At this point the three volume set now stands as one massive naval saga spanning the entire globe from the Arctic Sea to the South Pacific, and stretches your imagination the whole long way. It is simply some of the best naval fiction to come along in years, meticulously researched and deeply satisfying. The three eBooks are available on Amazon at $4.99 each, and to think you get over a thousand pages of this well crafted story for less than fifteen bucks is a real value. If you are a fan of the Kirov series, or naval fiction in general, you won’t want to miss this one. Grab it today, and enjoy!

Note: As with the first two volumes, the Writing Shop web site has detailed battle maps to follow all the action, but don’t get too curious if you don’t want to know what comes next until you encounter it in the narrative.
 

SHIP WEAPONS ROSTER:

BCG KIROV II
Weapons Inventory remaining after Book II
    9 x Moskit II “Sunburn” SSM (No remaining reloads)
    9 x MOS-III “Starfire” SSMs
    8 x SS-N-27 “Sizzler” Cruise Missiles
    3 x 152mm Naval Batteries (Two Guns / Turret)
    1 x 100mm Naval Battery
    5 x UGST Homing Torpedos  (10 reloads)
    6 x V-111 Shkval “Squall” supercavitating ASW Rockets
   35 x S-300FM Long Range VLS SAM
   37x SA-N-92 “Gauntlet” Klinok Medium Range SAM
      4 x  AR-710 30mm Close In Defense Gating Guns
      2 x Kashtan integrated CIWS Gun/missile system
      1 x KA-40 ASW Helicopters (1 other destroyed in Book II)
      0 x KA-226 Scout Helicopter (Destroyed in Book II)
    20 x Naval Marine Contingent
      2 x 15 Kiloton Nuclear Warheads


The following task groups and warships participate in the hunt and battle vs Kirov during Book III: (Some ships assigned to historical forces are engaged in action vs each other as well.)

IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY - 24 Aug 1942

5th Carrier Division - Adm Hara
  CV Shokaku - 27 A6M2, 27 D3A1 Val DB, 18 B5N2 Kate TB
  CV Zuikaku -  27 A6M2, 27 D3A1 Val DB, 18 B5N2 Kate TB
  CVL Zuiho -  18 A6M2, 12 B5N2 Kate TB
  CA Tone - 6 Sea Planes
  DD Satsuzuki
  DD Minekaze
  DD Okikaze

Screen Force - Cpt Sanji Iwabuchi
  BB Kirishima
  CA Haguro
  CA Nachi
  CA Myoko
  DD Minezuki
  DD Fumizuki
  Submarine I-63

Bombardment Force
  BB Mutsu
  BB Nagato
  DD Yayoi
  DD Uzuki
  DD Kuri
  DD Tsuga
  DD Yukikaze

Combined Fleet Reserve - Adm Yamamoto
BB Yamato
BB Fuso (Not seeing action)
BB Hiei (Not seeing action)
CL Jintsu
CL Nagara
CL Yura
DD Hamikaze
DD Maikaze
DD Nowaki

Submarine Ro-33

Carrier Reserve - Cpt. Furuichi
CV Ryuho - 12 A6M2, 6 D3A1 Val DB, 12 B5N2 Kate TB
CL Tenryu
CL Ybari
DD Kagero
DD Shigure
DD Kurashino

Western Carrier Force - Adm Yamashiro (In action vs US Navy)
CV Hiryu
CV Soryu
2 Cruisers
4 Destroyers

Eastern Carrier Force - Adm Nagumo (In action vs US Navy)
CV Kaga
CV Akagi
CL Ryujo
5 Cruisers
12 Destroyers

12 Nell Bombers - Port Moresby
2 Gekkou Night Fighters - Rabaul

ALLIED FORCES - Adm Halsey 
(In Action vs Japanese)
CV Enterprise
CV Saratoga
CV Hornet
BB Washington
BB North Carolina
9 Cruisers
2 AA Cruisers
20 Destroyers
 

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