3. Rainbow Six (John Clark, #2)

Rainbow Six (John Clark, #2)“The U.S. Military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they’re protecting us.”

The name of the title came from the United States Color Coded War Plans, more specific the Rainbow Plans of 1930 and Rainbow Five is the last plan. These plans were made to outline strategies to deal with conflicts between coalitions of certain countries and Rainbow Six being an international plan for terrorists on the global scale.

The Story

For John Clark, a former NAVY SEAl fighter, international terrorism no longer seems to have no mystery. Recently appointed head of a cationic international organizations to fight terrorism, Clark is forced to fight overwhelming forces.

It all starts with a series of events, that at first glance, appear to have no connection: an incident in a Swiss bank, the kidnapping of a famous businessman in Germany, destroying a Spanish amusement park but, slowly, the terrifying picture begins to emerge of an terrorist organizations one like no other in the history of mankind, an organization made up of people so fanatical, that their success would mean the end of civilization.

Tom Clancy constantly analyzes the international political situation, succeeding to find possible conflicts and dangers around which embroiders captivating stories. In the whole world widely circulated experienced and well-trained terrorists, having contact with some old national intelligence.

To this is added the fact that some countries that do not want an open confrontation with the United States make use of these terrorists. The best solution to this problem is to build up a multinational anti-terrorist team whose name will be codenamed Rainbow.

2. Red Storm Rising

Red Storm RisingTom Clancy has specialized in writing books of espionage, war and political intrigue, action taking place during or immediately after the Cold War. Very well documented and quite objective, got a good political analyst and he was seen giving interviews occasionally to CNN, especially when a military / political crisis occurs somewhere in the world

Usually Tom Clancy’s novels are a part of the Jack Ryan universe, Red Storm Rising is one of three novels (other being SSN and Against All Enemies) that don’t partake in that universe, but the novel’s name was eventually borrowed by the game company called Red Storm Entertainment (Tom Clancy being a co-founder).

“Red Storm” is a “Technological Thriller”, a “War” book written in 1986 and presents a scenario quite realistic and objective about something what could have to been: an open war between the Soviet Union and NATO.

The Book

Follows several characters and threads of action on both sides of the fence, from Soviet military command to the decks of allied ships to the US and Soviet submarines in the Atlantic, in order to stick to tanks and bombers jet aircraft with long-range, from commando type actions to cruise missiles, from spies to spy satellites. Technical descriptions are very detailed and military equipment is described with great accuracy.

Very interesting is that Tom Clancy describes among others a invisible fighter jet radar, the only model F117 operational at the time being whose existence was officially recognized in 1988 (two years later). Several times in the records some strengths and weaknesses of each party are highlighted, both in terms of military equipment and doctrine and organization models and order. Of course, the book also raises the issue of the final solution – the use of atomic weapons.

For lovers of possible and impossible scenarios for lovers of technical details for enthusiasts of military equipment from the Cold War and for those who played in one gulp “Red Alert”, I recommend this book and will let you have the pleasure of reading how Tom Clancy saw the solution to the scenario.

1. The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red OctoberWhen it comes to the military forces and of landlocked countries we must take into account naval forces; if a country has high hopes, we must surely talk about submarines; If we talk about nuclear power, then we must refer to submarines powered by a nuclear reactor and ballistic missile; and whether the country is the Soviet Union, then we must necessarily refer to the largest military submarines ever built: the Russians call them the “Akula” (shark) and NATO “Typhoon“.

With a length of 175m, a displacement of 48000t, powered by two nuclear reactors of 190 MW each (254,800 horsepower) each, can reach depths of up to 400m where can stay up to 120 days and  with a writer like Tom Clancy who paid attention ,we have all the prerequisites of a first-hand tehnothriller.

The Story

Tom Clancy imagines it so (the book appeared in 1984) one of the most feared scenarios of the Cold War: the Soviet Union mounted a Typhoon class submarine (called “Red October”) a new means of propulsion that does almost no noise. The submarine becomes almost impossible to detect and can move smoothly through NATO’s defensive mainframe systems and can reach US shores.

The submarine is entrusted to captain Marko Alexandrovich Ramius one of the best sub commanders. Immediately after launch apparently Ramius has other plans … submarine goes in an unknown direction, apparently trying to attack the United States itself and thus trigger nuclear war.

Ramius’s plan, however, is another: he understood from the beginning that such a submarine can only be a weapon of attack and would completely destabilize the already fragile balance between the two great powers, so he plans to defect and surrender the submarine to the United States.

But how can someone manage this with a submarine armed to the teeth (with nuclear missiles) and more, undetectable by an almost openly known enemy, with the intention to surrender, without causing war?  Soviet fleet goes in full alert, NATO forces also and a deadly game of cat and mouse triggers, and Ramius must use all the knowledge that friends and foes of yesterday that reversed roles today and fulfil out the plans.

An excellent book, rich in technical details with action, espionage, political intrigue, in short a typical Tom Clancy book, unable to criticize much but perhaps a slight note of propaganda, however understandable if we consider the period which was written.

This time I have to say that the story was filmed in 1990 with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin in the lead roles and the movie is excellent and worth seeing. Until you get the film, the book was recently reprinted and is available in bookstores. Happy reading!

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