The Earliest BTRs

I remember reading through a coffee table book on armored vehicles when I was very young and being strangely intrigued by the BTR-40 and BTR-152 APCs. Yes, they were just armored trucks, but armored trucks still looked so much different and weird than the later purpose-built APCs on both sides of the inter-German border. The contrast between the advanced IFVs I’ve taken to amalgamating as “BMPradleys” couldn’t be any more different.

Perhaps because of their relative lack of capability, at least one field regulation document lists APCs and ordinary motor vehicles interchangeably. And that’s understandable, there’s only so much you can write about an armored truck with a machine gun on top. Yet compared to nothing, an armored truck with a machine gun on top is quite the advance.

Since then, there’s been no shortage of truck-chassis APCs from manufacturers around the world. I guess it’s the next step up from the basic technical/jeep.

Review: Carrier – Enemies

Carrier: Enemies

The “Carrier” series was a long-running series. When searching for books in it to read and review, I followed my famous rule: When in doubt, go for the most outlandish. The enemy of this book, the fifteenth of the series, is…. Greece. How could I resist?

Who and What

As the Greek-Macedonian conflict (at least a strange version of it) heats up and a news helicopter is brought down by a Greek Tomcat on a false-flag mission, Admiral Matthew “Tombstone” Magruder and the carrier USS Jefferson goes to the region to enforce peace while a reporter who survived stays on the ground amidst the Macedonians. And that’s about as coherent as it gets.

There are really two parts of this book. The first is essentially applying the technothriller “top-to-bottom” viewpoint style to the “low budget assembly line book” quality level. So there’s the conference rooms, the scrambling reporter, the subplots, and the aviators themselves, all done in a slapdash style. For instance, the main antagonist is a general but is called an “admiral” in one passage. Then there’s the small problem of the book’s ending being abrupt and simply unfinished. That’s the boring, bad part.

The second is the goofy part. Greeks with bad names flying F-14s. An evil general launching a ridiculously obvious (to the reader) false flag plot. A main character with the nickname “Tombstone.”

DEEP HISTORY OF TEM

There really aren’t that many “The F-111F triggered the Pave Tack and dropped a GBU-12B straight on the Spoon Rest” moments in this book. There are, however, a lot of conference room scenes.

Zombie Sorceresses

The zombie sorceresses were changing everything from Greek aircraft procurement to naming customs to the nature of the Greece-Macedonia conflict to well, almost everything.

Tank Booms

The actual action isn’t the best. Most of the dogfights between aircraft feel like fanfiction of the Top Gun movie from someone who has that and maybe one other technothriller as their sole source for aerial combat, and there isn’t much “adrenaline”, for lack of a better word. Constantly cutting back to conference rooms doesn’t help.

The Only Score That Really Matters

Like Ian Slater’s USA vs. Militia series, this book is the kind of thing someone like me would find more appealing than a “normal” person probably would. The plotting and action is too dry, badly done, and generic to hold that much appeal, but the premise and excesses were music to my ears. But even they can’t stop the very bad fundamentals this book has.