Book Review – Ian Slater’s “WW III”
In continuation of the warfare theme of the past few articles, the other day I finished reading Ian Slater’s book, WW III.
Set in 1990 and in the classic days of the United States versus the Soviet Union, NATO versus Warsaw Pact, Slater’s WW III takes us readers into a hypothetical world war. And unlike many “thrillers” that bring forces to the brink of war before tensions are lowered, this book takes that next step and actually goes to war. And unlike many of those other books, WW III has an extremely short title.
The action in WW III starts in the Korean Peninsula. North Korean forces launch a devastating aerial attack on airbases and military targets in the south before North Korean tanks and forces steamroll down from north of the 38th Parallel. Thanks to North Korean special forces sabotaging everything possible to aid their comrades, the North Koreans have the U.S. and South Korean forces on the run, taking prisoners left and right and nearly pushing the rest of them into the Sea of Japan.
Not long after open war breaks out in Korea, Soviet forces launch a massive attack into West Germany through the strategic Fulda Gap. The inferior but numerous Soviet tanks take a massive beating from the American M-1 tanks and American artillery shield, but as we read, the Soviets are able to keep pushing the U.S. and NATO forces further and further back into West Germany.
The military action isn’t just focused on Korea or in Western Europe. As we see, supply convoys crossing the northern Atlantic are quite vulnerable to mine fields and attacks from Soviet submarines. And both of those turn out to be quite deadly.
We also see the human element of the war, from prisoners of war in Korea to nurses on hospital ships to even the family of a deceased sailor in England. While this helps complete the story, it can slow down the pace of the action and make things rather dull at times. Casualties are a major part of every war, but I’d rather read about commanders reading intelligence reports and making plans for the next attack rather than reading about a nurse who falls in love with a dying patient.
Don’t get me wrong though.
Ian Slater’s WW III is still an entertaining read and gives a feeling of satisfaction, especially during the U.S. military raid against Pyongyang, creating a serious rift in that theater of the war.
Could the book have been better? Sure.
It pretty much wasn’t the end until the American forces saw some offensive combat action. Hopefully the later books in the series have more American military action, especially involving stealth warfare and being on-board the B-52 bombers during bombing runs.
While Slater’s WW III is a good novel, it isn’t a great one. For a great World War 3 novel set in the same time period, I suggest you check out Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising. Now that was an awesome WW 3 book!
In the meantime, it’s time to start another book and continue with this fun hobby!
These reviews and much more are available at my other website, Chamber of Reviews!