It is that time again. Brannigan’s Blackhearts is back with Enemy of My Enemy, so that means a guns post. And since this one goes down in Azerbaijan, there’s a lot of Eastern Bloc weapons. (Also, because of the difficulty in finding good, royalty-free images of some of these guns, I’ll be embedding videos about them for the most part.) Shamil Mashadov and his Aswad al Islam brethren are armed with AK-203s in the beginning. The 200 series AKs are improvements on the 100 series, the 203 being specifically chambered in 7.62x39mm, and currently entering service with the Indian Army. Apparently, the Russian Army decided to forego the 200 series in favor of the AK-12 and AK-15, which are somewhat more expensive. They’re also carrying RPG-26s to use on the guard towers around their target. Specialist Owens is manning an M240B in one of those guard towers. Once the Blackhearts get on the ground, the weapons the Spetsnaz loan them–at least to begin with–are bog-standard AK-103s. The Spetsnaz don’t use them, but since the Blackhearts are–as always–supposed to be deniable, they get the 103s. Like the improved 203 that the Chechens use, the 103 is chambered in 7.62×39. This is a longer video, For the
Some of you have already noticed the new covers for the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series in the sidebar. While I know a few have been getting close to despair that the series was ever going to continue, never fear. The facelift (to include descriptions on the Amazon pages) was all I was waiting for–well, that and the need to get some serious work done on Maelstrom Rising. Now that the cover revamp is done, I can get back to work on Enemy of My Enemy. In fact, I already have. It’s coming along nicely, and is already up for preorder. It’ll be out in December. A new terror mastermind is on the rise… …And the Blackhearts might have a chance to stop him But is the opportunity a trap? Abu Mokhtar al Shishani wants to be the next Osama bin Laden. And if he takes delivery of the five former Soviet backpack nukes making their way across Central Asia, he just might accomplish that goal. But no one knows where the nukes are. The Russians have located the money that al Shishani intends to buy the nukes with. And since they have a mutual enemy, they’ve approached the US for help to seize it.
The U.S. teeters on the precipice… …Chaos reigns, as enemies foreign and domestic circle like sharks. Can any part of the Republic be saved? Hank and his section have been reconstituted in the aftermath of the coastal fighting that has seen many—though not all—of the Chinese invaders beaten back. The plot to control the West Coast ports and a good deal of the infrastructure has failed. But the lights are still off. And desperation is spreading like wildfire. America—what remains of it—has been hurt. Badly. And the Triarii are at the forefront of the efforts to try to stabilize the situation. Because the US will need some kind of stability before the external enemies that have nearly brought it to its knees can be confronted. Fortress Doctrine is in effect. But the Triarii are spread as thin as their allies. Hank will have to adapt quickly to a new form of warfare. And outmaneuver enemies he doesn’t even know exist yet… Some of you are probably already aware, as the Kindle version would have downloaded during the night. But Fortress Doctrine is live today, on Kindle and paperback. Research for this one got into some stuff that I hadn’t done a
The fact that the Triarii trucks were running blacked out probably saved their lives. Most of the stream of fire went high, bullets cracking over Bishop’s head, though a few smacked into the hood, front fender, and frame with earsplitting bangs. Two rounds punched through the windshield, spiderwebbing the glass. A hammer blow hit Reisinger in the helmet. He almost lost control of the vehicle as his head was smacked partway around, throwing his NVGs off. “Fuck!” The bellow was the only way Hank knew that his driver was still alive. He’d heard the impact and seen Reisinger’s head jerk under the blow, but unless they dealt with that belt-fed, they were all dead. Bishop hadn’t waited, but immediately opened fire. The Mk 48 roared for a second, before Reisinger jerked the wheel as he got hit, throwing Bishop’s aim off. Shell casings rattled off the truck’s roof as it swerved hard to the right. Hank reached out to grab the wheel, more afraid of a rollover than getting shot. But Reisinger was still holding onto the wheel, and rapidly getting control again, though he was still swerving toward the right-hand shoulder. He was clearly not happy. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,
It was starting to get chilly as the last of the sunset faded away. Hank Foss didn’t shiver as he walked down toward Overwatch Three, but he could feel the desert chill sinking into his bones. The nearness to the river only accentuated it. It wasn’t near freezing yet, but mid-forties in the desert at night can still sap body heat quickly. Getting old. He had to admit that he wasn’t quite as robust as a retired Gunny as he’d been as a hard-charging Lance Corporal. The cold bit a little more, his knees ached a lot more, and it took more effort to get up, whether in the morning or the middle of the night. But I ain’t dead yet. And there’s still work to be done. The gravel crunched underfoot as he and Huntsman walked down Paul Estevez’s driveway. The Rio Grande river valley was deathly quiet in the winter evening, making the sound of their footsteps strangely loud. Even the wind was barely a whisper. A coyote yipped and howled in the distance, but there was no telling how far away it was in the otherwise unbroken desert silence. The lights were off. Texas had fared somewhat
To: [email protected] From: [email protected] Subject: Current Situation Brief Sir, As requested, I’m including an overview of the last month’s significant events. As you are well aware, the Stateside situation is still volatile, and while we have troops in contact overseas, the information we are getting from Poland is necessarily sparse. As we continue to build our own radio mesh network, that should change, but the Transatlantic gap will still throttle information, simply due to the nature of long-range HF comms. So, the bulk of this report will focus on the CONUS situation. Both coasts and many of the major Midwestern and Southwestern metro areas continue to present significant operational and logistical challenges. While we have eliminated several of the IED cells that had all but brought long-range transport to a halt in many states, we still assess the threat on many major interstates as high. Another truck bomb was detonated on I-5 just south of Tacoma two days ago as of this writing, killing at least fifty people, wounding close to a hundred more, and destroying three semis loaded with food and medical supplies. The IED cells, however, while a significant threat, are not the only factor.
So, the teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War has raised some eyebrows. Also, it has apparently infuriated some Communists. Which is all to the good. It’s essentially a series of clips from an interview with KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov in the ’80s, discussing Soviet “Active Measures,” the subversion campaign used by the KGB against the Soviet Union’s adversaries, the chief one of which was the United States. The trailer has also been censored in China, ostensibly because of Tiananmen Square footage (though one might wonder if the Chinese, who have also practiced subversion and propaganda to a greater extent than some might realize, might be censoring it for other reasons, as well). I’ve been effectively tuned out of the Call of Duty franchise for a while. I’ve heard some good things about the Modern Warfare reboot (or whatever it is) from last year, but it hasn’t been in the budget (either looking at money or disk space). This surprised me, though. (Especially after Activision/Blizzard bent the knee to the PRC last year.) That a major media company might actually be calling out Communists, and in a much more real-world context, is fascinating. The trailer provides a few
I admittedly haven’t worked out a lot of the details of the Fourth Balkan War. It’s part of the background, though largely as combat experience for a number of the veterans who form the backbone of the Triarii. The general sweep is that it was, essentially, NATO’s last gasp, trying to defuse a powder keg situation between Kosovo and Serbia, based on news reports a couple years ago about Kosovo seeking to build it’s own army–to Belgrade’s rather strident objections. In-universe, obviously, the powder keg was *mostly* defused. Though it was a lot nastier than most people Stateside got to see. Yet, looking at the overall real-world situation in the Balkans right now, as Shirvan of Caspian Report outlines it, the Fourth Balkan War could very easily have turned into the flashpoint that started the Maelstrom Rising series. Not only do you have a large Muslim population–and while it seems to have been mostly supplanted by Chechnya in the popular consciousness, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a prime recruiting ground for Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Daesh–but increasingly Russian, European, and Chinese interests have turned toward the Balkans. It is still possible that a flare-up in the Balkans now would see
I do a lot of research for my writing, particularly the military thriller writing. Unlike some authors, who take long vacations as “research” (I can’t afford to, and so much of the on-the-ground stuff is extrapolated from Google Earth.), most of my research is directed toward history, current events, and warfare. I’ve got an ever-increasing military professional reading library, from which the following words of wisdom come: “It is often said that guerrilla warfare is primitive. This generalization is dangerously misleading and true only in the technological sense. If one considers the picture as a whole, a paradox is immediately apparent, and the primitive form is understood to be in fact more sophisticated than nuclear war or atomic war or war as it was waged by conventional armies, navies, and air forces. Guerrilla war is not dependent for success on the efficient operation of complex mechanical devices, highly organized logistical systems, or the accuracy of electronic computers. It can be conducted in any terrain, in any climate, in any weather; in swamps, in mountains, in farmed fields. Its basic element is man, and man is more complex than any of his machines. He is endowed with intelligence, emotions, and will.
And it’s time for our second release of the month. Strategic Assets went live at midnight. A few people of the paperback persuasion have already ordered it, since the paperback went live several days early. They retook Gdansk… …At a terrible cost for both sides. Where and when will the next blow fall? Winter is setting in, and Eastern Europe is hurting. Russians prowl on one side, while the European Defense Council’s forces sit on the German side of the border, strangely quiet. Matt and his team have recovered from the wounds they received in Gdansk, but as low-intensity warfare continues, the question remains: What is the EDC waiting for? The Triarii are sure that the same people who launched the war aren’t giving up. They’ve already killed thousands. Power is their only goal, and the EDC won’t simply leave the Americans and Poles in peace. They can’t. Too much blood has already been shed. So, Matt and his team get a new mission. Go deep into enemy territory and find out what is happening. Before the next hammer blow ends the war for good… Getting back to Grex Luporum Team X in Europe, this one’s a little different from