Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy (1986) [Part 4] 📚🎧
Red Storm Rising is a war novel, written by Tom Clancy and co-written with Larry Bond, and released on August 7, 1986. Set in the mid-1980s, it features a Third World War between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Warsaw Pact forces, and is unique for depicting the conflict as being fought exclusively with conventional weapons, rather than escalating to the use of weapons of mass destruction or nuclear warfare. It is one of two Clancy novels, along with SSN (1996), that are not set in the Ryanverse.
The book debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. It eventually lent its name to game development company Red Storm Entertainment, which Clancy co-founded in 1997.
Red Storm Rising depicts a future Third World War, chiefly between the United States and the Soviet Union. It follows the "future war" genre first popularized by the 1871 novella The Battle of Dorking by George Tomkyns Chesney as well as the science fiction novel The War in the Air (1908) by H.G. Wells. Red Storm Rising is unusual among Cold War examples of the genre in that it presented a war fought entirely using conventional weapons rather than one with nuclear weaponry or chemical weaponry.
For instance, The Third World War: August 1985 describes a conflict based on fairly similar assumptions, but involving heavy use of chemical weaponry and with limited use of strategic nuclear weapons at the conclusion of the conflict.
According to a document released by the UK National Archives in December 2015, U.S. President Ronald Reagan had recommended Red Storm Rising to UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher shortly after the Reykjavík Summit in 1986 between him and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev so as to gain an understanding of the Soviet Union's intentions and strategy. Some of the advanced weapons systems described in the novel were deployed four years later in the Gulf War.
Tom Clancy met Larry Bond in 1982. Clancy had purchased Bond's wargame Harpoon as a primary source for his future novel The Hunt for Red October (1984). They used the board game's second edition miniature rules to test key battle sequences, notably the Soviet operation to seize Iceland and the attack on the carrier battle group in the "Dance of the Vampires" chapter, with Bond refereeing the game sessions, which typically involved several players on each side (Clancy among them) acting in various roles.
The two discussed Convoy-84, a wargame Bond had been working on at the time that featured a new Battle of the North Atlantic. The idea became the basis for Red Storm Rising. "I'm listed as co-author, but I wrote like 1 percent of the book," Bond stated in a 2013 interview. For research on the Politburo scenes, Clancy and Bond interviewed Soviet defector Arkady Shevchenko.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Edward Morris: Commanding officer of USS Pharris and later USS Reuben James
Daniel X. McCafferty: Commanding officer of Los Angeles-class submarine USS Chicago
Robert A. Toland III: NSA analyst and naval reservist, later promoted to commander in the United States Navy Reserve
Michael D. Edwards, Jr.: First lieutenant in the United States Air Force serving as a meteorological officer at Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland. Leads intelligence gathering there during the Soviet occupation of the island with the code name of "Beagle", later receiving a Navy Cross for his bravery.
Jerry "The Hammer" O'Malley: Lieutenant Commander in the USN serving as a helicopter pilot aboard Reuben James. Receives a Distinguished Flying Cross for his antisubmarine warfare work.
Amelia "Buns" Nakamura: F-15C pilot for the USAF who becomes the first American female fighter ace by shooting down three Tu-16 Badger bombers while on ferry duty and later using ASM-135 anti-satellite missiles to destroy at least two Soviet naval radar reconnaissance satellites. She also becomes the first Space Ace because of her satellite shoot-downs.
Terry Mackall: Sergeant First Class in the United States Army serving as an M1 Abrams tank commander in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment on the German front. Receives a battlefield promotion to lieutenant for his valor and leadership skills.
Colonel Douglas "Duke" Ellington: USAF officer and commander of the F-19 Stealth squadron
Colonel Charles DeWinter "Chuck" Lowe: Officer in the United States Marine Corps who works with Bob Toland before the conflict and later as the commanding officer of a Marine regiment in the invasion force that recaptured Iceland. Lowe served three Tours of duty in Vietnam and received a Navy Cross for his bravery in that war.
General Eugene Robinson: Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Robinson served three Tours of duty in Vietnam and commanded the 101st Airborne Division.
William Calloway: British Reuters correspondent and SIS agent.
James Smith: Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps serving under lieutenant Edwards in Iceland.
Pavel Leonidovich Alekseyev: Deputy Commander of the Southwest Front and then Commander in Chief-Western Theater after briefly serving as second in command. After the coup, he is made Deputy Minister of Defense and Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces.
Mikhail Eduardovich Sergetov: Energy Minister and non-voting member of the Soviet Politburo. After the coup, he becomes acting General Secretary.
Ivan Mikhailovich Sergetov: Alekseyev's aide-de-camp and Sergetov's son. Promoted to major during the war.
Major Arkady Semyonovich Sorokin: Soviet VDV officer whose daughter Svetlana dies in the Kremlin bombing. Later recruited by Alekseyev for the coup.
Boris Georgiyevich Kosov: Chairman of the Committee for State Security (KGB). Mastermind of the coup, only to be killed in revenge by Major Sorokin.
Marshal Andre Shavyrin: Chief of the General Staff. Later executed by the Politburo for failing to bring favorable results on the war.
Marshal Yuri Rozhkov: Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Army. Executed along with Marshal Shavyrin.
Marshal Fiodr Borrissovitch Boukharin: Commander of the Kiev Military District. Later promoted to the head of the General Staff after Shavyrin and Rozhkov's execution, then forced into retirement after Alekseyev's Coup.
Andre Illich Chernyavin: Spetsnaz officer assigned to sabotage the NATO command post at Lammersdorf.
Vigdis Agustdottir: Icelandic civilian rescued by Edwards from rapist Soviet soldiers in Iceland
Patrick Flynn: Associated Press Moscow Bureau chief
Ibrahim Tolkaze: Militant Islamist of Azerbaijani descent working as an oil field engineer. He and his confederates Rasul and Mohammet instigate the road to war by infiltrating the oil refinery where Ibrahim works, murdering multiple technicians and triggering numerous pipe ruptures that set the entire refinery and adjacent oil field ablaze. All of them are killed when security forces storm the control room.
Gerhardt Falken: Alleged West German Federal Intelligence Service agent behind the Kremlin bombing