Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kirov Series #27: 1943

The War in the Pacific heats up as the U.S. goes on offensive.

Admiral Halsey returns leading three new Essex Class carriers into 1943. While the US makes a big push to defeat the Japanese on Fiji, Halsey must fend off the skillful maneuvers of King Kong Hara as Japan moves to garrison her vital holdings in the New Hebrides. The action on both land and sea heats up as the U.S. launches a series of bold new offensives to challenge the Rising Sun.   

Meanwhile, Vladimir Karpov leads the battlecruiser Kirov into the warm waters of the South Pacific, intent on causing harm to his enemy. He hatches a plan to take the war right to the heart of Combined Fleet operations with a daring raid on the main Japanese naval base at Truk.

Then, after a long slow journey beneath the ice, Captain Ivan Gromyko arrives in the Pacific with a very special guest aboard the submarine Kazan. Sent by Director Kamenski he must make the difficult decision to decide the fate of Kirov, yet Vladimir Karpov has other ideas that could set the two former allies into dangerous opposition... Now he uses his devious skills to try and persuade Fedorov and Volsky to join his cause.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Special Release

War in the Pacific, Volume II
Sea of Fire
A Kirov Series Battle Book

Sea of Fire: Volume II in the alternate history of the Pacific War presents the story of JS Takami and the battles of mid to late late 1942. When the shock of what has happened to them is finally realized, they must answer the question of who’s side they will support in the war. Meanwhile, the action in the Pacific continues with the Battle of the Coral Sea, Halsey’s raid on the Marshalls where he battles a pair of Japanese ships that never were, then Yamamoto launches Operation FS and the landings on Fiji begin, leading to the US landings at Suva Bay and the climactic Battle of the Koro Sea. Karpov’s summer offensive on Sakhalin Island is also covered, with the battle between Kirov and an unexpected challenger in the Sea of Okhotsk. Finally, Admiral Hara’s Indian Ocean Raid and the battle with Somerville’s Far East Fleet concludes this volume. The action will then immediately continue in the next regular series novel, entitled 1943, which is entirely focused on the Pacific Theater, (scheduled for Nov 1 publication.)  

Sea of Fire - A Kirov Series Battle Book - More Info Here
by John Schettler
54 Chapters, 474 Pages, About 156,000 Words


Volume I of the Desert War
550 Pages: $19.99


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Available Now: Thor's Anvil

Just Released!

Book 26 in the Kirov Series
Thor's Anvil
Kirov Series: Book 26

The crew of Takami returns to the South Pacific to meet with Yamamoto, and now they must undertake a new operation. A daring raid into the Indian Ocean is planned, as the Japanese aim to capture the last British outposts on Ceylon.
Lost in time, Anton Fedorov now confronts his moment of destiny in the lonesome village of Ilanskiy, and the decision he makes will decide the fate of the world he hopes to return to.

Meanwhile, the Germans now drive to the city of Volgograd, cutting it off as their troops reach the Volga in the north. There, a vital bridge links Hitler’s legions to those of Ivan Volkov, and the Germans mass their toughest Pioneers to attempt to break through at Rynok. Steiner is determined to storm this last Soviet bastion in the south, but Chuikov and Shumilov plot the stalwart Soviet defense that made this place an anvil of doom for Germany’s fortunes in the war.  As the elite German divisions strike one by one to hammer upon that anvil, General Zhukov unleashes his long awaited winter counteroffensive aimed at Kursk. Will Volgograd become the turning point in the war as it was when named Stalingrad, or will the tides of war lead fate somewhere else?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Special Release: Kirov Series Battle Book 3

The Kirov Battle Book Series Moves to the Pacific!

Dear  Readers,

We had originally hoped to present the Odyssey of the Argos Fire as the next Battle Book Series release this month, but that volume is taking more time than expected due to the addition of new material. To fill the void, we move now to the War in the Pacific, with the first of several Battle Books devoted exclusively to the that campaign, uninterrupted by any of the many other plot lines in the series. This month we present Volume I in the War in the Pacific: Roll of Thunder, available August 1, 2016 for Kindle and also as a trade paperback a few days after that.

About Roll of Thunder

This is the alternate history of the war in the Pacific, extracted from many volumes of the long Kirov Series and re-edited into one continuous narrative. There are already 90 chapters featuring action from the Pacific, far too many to assemble in just one volume, particularly if a print trade paperback version is also being produced, as is the case with this Pacific War Series. Those chapters are scattered throughout five or six volumes in the main series, but here, that history will be presented in a series of Battle Books, this being the first 45 of those 90 chapters.  

In this volume, the war begins with the Japanese Pearl Harbor Operation, where the first carrier to carrier battle of the war begins to set the history off on a very different course. Then comes the story of the US “Pensacola Convoy,” and the alternate history US battle with the French Pacific Fleet in the New Hebrides. As the Japanese land on the Philippines and MacArthur is forced to flee to Australia, the war progresses with a detailed presentation of Yamashita’s Malay Campaign and the exciting Battle for Singapore.
Karpov’s initial duels with the Japanese Navy are covered, including his attack on the Kido Butai, and the opening rounds of his Plan 7 operation against Japanese occupied Kamchatka. The Japanese invasion of Timor follows to recount the fate of the Australian Sparrow Force, along with the Battle of Badung Strait, the Battle of the Java Sea, and the British effort to reinforce and hold the strategic island of Java. Even as the Japanese invasion there proceeds, this volume will conclude with the dramatic events off Java that led to the arrival of a most unexpected visitor. The material above will present 45 chapters, 400 pages; about 132,750 words.
In editing this, I have revised certain segments to eliminate information not needed for this narrative, and also included small segments of new material in places to improve the flow. I worked a bit so that a reader who is new to the series can jump right in without having to read all of season 1 and 2. So if you are a Pacific War fan, I hope you will enjoy my spin on this history, though be advised that it will be heavily influenced by the underlying premise of the series as a whole—what if a modern day ship of war suddenly found itself transported into the midst of WWII? How would it, or how could it, influence the course of events and shape the outcome of the war, and by extension, of all the history that follows.
The battlecruiser Kirov was that ship, launching a series that has become much more than I ever expected from the story, and this is but one of the many subplots presented in that series, which has covered wartime action on every key front.
Volume II for the Pacific War will then continue with the story concerning Captain Harada and his crew, the Battle of the Coral Sea, Halsey’s raid on the Marshalls, Japanese Operation FS and the landings on Fiji, the Battle of the Koro Sea, US Marine Landing at Suva Bay, Karpov’s Landings on Sakhalin Island, and finally the battle between Kirov and an unexpected challenger in the Sea of Okhotsk, (another 45 chapters in all). It will then probably take at least one more volume of this same length to cover the remainder of the Pacific War, or possibly two, all chapters I expect to write as the Kirov Series soon moves into 1943. For those many readers who have written and asked me to cover the Pacific in the next release for the Battle Book Series, here it is.  Enjoy!

NOTE: And don't miss the next regular series release Thor's Anvil, which is on schedule for release Sept 1st.

- John Schettler

Friday, July 1, 2016

Available Now: Tigers East!

Season 4 Premiere!
Tigers East
Book 25 in the Kirov Series 

Big events are underway in the Season Four Premiere of the Kirov Series, Tigers East. The title of the book was unannounced until the heads up “Coming Soon” notice posted on the Author’s web site about a week before publication, and the cover art gives us a strong indication of where this book will take us, back to the German Summer Offensive on the East Front, Operation Blue. That battle is presented in some detail, with the action on two segments of the vast Russian front. The Germans have massed their armor in 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies, and they make a bold drive for Voronezh as they did in the real history. After failing to cross the Don, that offensive then turned southeast, following the course of the Don River as it drove towards the Volga, but in these events, Manstein has already driven deep into the Donbass region, and is already threatening Kalach on the Don by the time von Rundstedt turns Model and Hoth loose in their massive pincer operation to take Voronezh.

This is the action presented, along with the increasingly desperate Soviet attempts to stop the Germans. When Manstein drove southeast, the Soviets managed to retain several bridgeheads south of the Don at Boguchar, Veshenskaya, and Serafimovich. There, Zhukov had moved many of the armies that fought to try and save Moscow, particularly several Shock Armies formed with Siberian troops sent by Karpov. He has been holding them for a planned winter counteroffensive, but the circumstances force him to play out his cards early in two attacks. The first he calls Operation Mars, which has no association with the real operation launched under that name. Zhukov is just choosing planets to name his battles. This spoiling attack is meant to force Manstein to look over his shoulder, threatening his line of communications, but enter one Hermann Balck and the 11th Panzer Division from stage left, and the action is on.

Balck now becomes a major historical character as he sends his elite division into the battle to try and foil Zhukov’s attack. As the east front action develops, the Germans find themselves simultaneously threatening Rostov, Volgograd and Voronezh, and Zhukov must reach for any reserves he can find to stem the tide, eventually committing, with Sergei Kirov’s blessing, all the reserves he had been husbanding.

While all of this is happening, the story also takes us back to the deserts of Libya where Rommel is brooding on his Mersa Brega line. We get his reaction to the Allied landings presented in Second Front, where his already weakened Afrika Korps must now send the 10th Panzer, as well as Goring’s Brigade, west to von Arnim where the Germans are attempting to build the new 5th Panzer Army to counter the Allied advance into Algeria.

The action in the west is presented as Patton pushes for Algiers, and there is a major sea battle fought by Tovey as a prelude, where something quite significant happens. In fact, this book is loaded with sudden major happenings. Kazan arrives in 1942 early in the narrative, and that has a big impact on Fedorov’s decisions. The naval battle has a big resolution to Tovey’s longstanding feud with the Kriegsmarine, Rommel awakens from his depression at Mersa Brega when he gets some much appreciated news from Kesselring, something extremely big happens on the Allied side involving Tobruk, and it will impact the entire balance of the war in North Africa in a very dramatic way. The bulk of the novel is devoted to these land battles that develop, east and west, the story alternating between the action on two fronts. As the conclusion draws near, the last six chapters take us back to the mission Fedorov has been planning.

He and his little band of Marines have already hijacked the airship Irkutsk, but Symenko continues to gnaw on Fedorov’s ankle, telling him he will have no chance to get through to Ilanskiy. This pressure, and the sudden arrival of Kazan in 1942, throw that action in a most unexpected direction, but where it then ends up taking us is a cleverly devised twist that will not fail to please. Again we see how events and minor characters introduced many volumes ago suddenly are presented as having a major impact on the story. Everything matters in these books. Nothing is ever given ink without careful thought, and a definite purpose in the overall tale.

What happens at the end cannot be divulged here, but Tigers East will keep you turning pages, with lots of wartime action and then the inevitable intrigue that is infused into the story by Fedorov’s surprising choices. Fans of Erwin Rommel will also see their favorite General resurgent here, and determined to stop fighting the last war and return to the mobile battles that made him famous. Through it all, we get numerous appearances by Hitler, Manstein, Steiner, Rommel, Kesselring, Patton, Sergei Kirov, Zhukov, Admiral Tovey and other historical characters, with Herman Balck getting a good deal of ink after his introduction. By the time those Tigers are well east, hammering at the Soviet defense near Volgograd, it is October of 1942. The next volume then promises to take us into the most massive battle ever fought, the author’s rendition of the terrible struggle for Volgograd, where the drama is already well under way in Zhukov’s counterpunching, if premature, offensives. How that battle will finally end remains to be seen in the next book.

The Kirov Series has now reached the mid-point of the war as the tide of affairs has slowly become more even handed through the last several books, Turning Point, Steel Reign and Second Front. The British have stopped Rommel, though he now stirs to life again as a major threat. The Allies have put an end to Raeder’s dream in the Canary Islands, and knocked both Spain and Vichy France out of the war in the startling developments after the opening of their Second Front. The Japanese Operation FS has been halted on Fiji, even as their expansion met its first challenge on Guadalcanal in the real history. The Battlecruiser Kirov has settled the affair involving JS Takami, and sent Harada and Fukada south to continue their arguments somewhere else.

Here the action on the East Front takes the German summer offensive to its conclusion, as the rains and mud of autumn herald the coming of the dread winter of 1942. Can the Soviets muster the offense that will be required to turn the tide in Russia? In any case, we have reached that dangerous balance in the period late 1942 to early 1943, where the Axis has suffered its first major setbacks, but both Germany and Japan remain powerful opponents, and the outcome of the war still remains in doubt. If the Allies can continue to gain momentum and carry on the fight, we have ahead the great battles that formed the heart of the war: Volgograd, Kursk, and surely others in Russia; Overlord, Cobra, Market Garden and the Bulge in the West, assuming those actions ever occur in this history. Fans that have remained loyal to the series from its inception are now have tickets to all those rides, and Season Four starts with a bang here in Tigers East, on sale in the kindle store just in time for the fireworks this July!


TRADE PAPERBACK: $19.99 (After July 4)