For those interested, I’ll be doing the May/Option Zulu livestream tonight. I won’t be alone this time, either, as I’ll have fellow author Mike Kupari and our friend Coop LoPresto joining me. Tune in at 2100 EST.
The lead elements of the PLA assault took their time approaching the university. Hank was up on the top floor, all too aware that he was a lot higher up than he wanted to be if the shelling started in earnest, watching as the first armored vehicles edged out of the trees and began spreading out across the fields to the north of the campus. Mostly painted in the weird blue, green, and gray PLAN marine camouflage, the first ZBD-2000 light tanks and ZBD-05 amphibious assault vehicles crept out onto the open ground, PLAN marines using the vehicles for cover as they advanced. They were moving more slowly and cautiously than Hank had expected. Maybe they’d taken more losses on landing than they’d anticipated. That slow, cautious advance wasn’t going to help them as much as they might have hoped. A tank’s main gun thundered off to his left as one of the dug-in M60A3s opened fire at what amounted to point-blank range for a tank. The Taiwanese had been upgrading their aging M60 and M48 tanks over the last few years. That particular M60A3 down there was covered in reactive armor and sported a 120mm main gun, instead
Approximately 13 hours before Grex Luporum Team X, assigned PSD duties for Wenzeslaus Gorman, takes contact on the bridge over the Ochtum. The Jacqueline Q might have changed her digital identifier so that she now appeared to any nautical tracking programs as the Maureen, but there hadn’t been the time nor the available equipment to change the lettering on her bow. They didn’t know that the PLAN had fingered her as the privateer she was, but as things stood, it wasn’t a great idea to take chances. So, she was well out at sea, south of Taiwan, while Hank Foss and his section rode the Zodiacs toward their target. Hank had essentially pulled rank as the section leader and had appointed himself coxswain. That was normal, but there was an added benefit on a long transit like this. He was still taking a beating, and he’d been soaked to the bone for the last two hours, but he wasn’t getting knocked around nearly as badly as Brule and Carrington up in the bow. Riding the bow in a Zodiac Combat Rubber Raiding Craft for a three-hour over the horizon transit to target was beyond miserable. The ocean around them
A large part of the Maelstrom Rising series has been aiming at how a next world war wouldn’t necessarily look like most people think. Power Vacuum drives that home, as it becomes clearer that Thunder Run was far from the end in Europe. The European Defense Council Has Fallen… …But Peace Has Not Come to Europe Will the Chaos Only Spread from Here? The thunder run into Germany has left Matt’s team battered and borderline combat ineffective. The Triarii don’t have the reinforcements for them to stand down, however. Commitments in the US and the Western Pacific have stretched them thin. And with Europe in chaos, there is no rest to be had. Jihadis have struck repeatedly, sowing bloodshed and confusion where possible, and it appears the Turks are involved. The Russians are pushing in the east, and they may have operatives in the heart of Western Europe as well. The European Defense Corps hasn’t stood down, either. And a new NGO that’s arrived to help might be the most dangerous enemy of all… *** Hybrid Warfare. It’s become something of a buzzword. There are books written about how it became a buzzword (One in particular, that proved to be a massive waste
I hate PSD work. One of the benefits of being in the Grex Luporum teams is that we can be mobile and unpredictable, moving quickly and often invisibly through the AO to get the mission done. When the mission is to act as a Personal Security Detachment, escorting a public figure, though, especially one who might end up becoming the next Prime Minister of Germany, it gets harder to stay unpredictable. Which was why I wasn’t all that surprised when the lead vehicle blew up just short of the bridge over the Ochtum. The armored Land Rover disappeared into a boiling black cloud that slammed out of the trees on the side of the road, the heavy thud of the detonation traveling through the ground toward us. I caught a glimpse of the vehicle a moment later, slewed halfway around with its back wheels against the median, the armored glass starred and a few hundred frag holes punched into the doors, as I keyed my radio. “Contact, right.” The Land Rover that had been hit cracked its doors, the Germans who formed the bulk of Wenzeslaus Gorman’s official PSD sticking their MP7s out through the “V” and covering down on
New Russian Military Exercises in Serbia Recent reports indicate that what appears to be an entire Russian airborne battalion from the 7th Guards Air Assault Division has entered Serbia and is conducting joint exercises with the Serbian Army near the Hungarian border. So far, there have been no border crossings, but there are reports of live fire near the border. Hungarian Defense Forces are on high alert. Serbian relations with the West soured considerably following the Fourth Balkan War, in which Western forces intervened in the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo for the second time. The aftermath of that war saw Serbia drawn far more firmly into Russia’s orbit. With Russian forces pushing along the borders of Slovakia and Poland, ostensibly to create a “security buffer zone” between Russian-occupied territory and the war that erupted in Slovakia last year, this new movement presents a matter of some grave concern. Chinese Naval Forces Shift Focus Following reports of violence on and around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, including the reported—though vehemently denied by PLAN spokesperson Bai Guanting—sinking of several PLAN destroyers and severe damage done to the PLAN aircraft carrier Shandong, it appears that the
A couple weeks ago, I announced the pre-order for the Triarii unit patches. Well, they’re out of preorder, since the first run just got here yesterday. The pre-orders are going out today. The Triarii were named after the third rank of the Republican Roman legions before the Marian Reforms. While Marius effectively turned the legions into a heavy-infantry-centric professional force, there was a greater variation in the ranks of the citizen-soldier army that preceded it. The basic unit was the maniple, which was deployed in three lines: hastati, principes, and triarii. The hastati were younger, poorer, lighter-armed and armored front line troops. Principes were better-equipped spearmen who formed the second rank. The triarii were the veterans, oldest and wealthiest, with the best and heaviest armor and weapons. They were the final effort, the last ditch when the ranks ahead of them had broken. It was that historical example that led Colonel Santiago to name his paramilitary NGO “The Triarii.” Dedicated to stepping in where the government was either breaking down or deliberately ignoring its responsibilities for political purposes, the Triarii were to be the last ditch defense of the Republic as it had been founded. The helmet in the center
So, given the expressed interest, I started working on getting some Triarii patches made. I went a bit of a different route this time, but the end results are on the way, and they’re awesome. Unlike the Praetorian Security patches, these are embroidered, and only in green. Most of that was a cost measure, since I still have an awful lot of Praetorian patches in stock. If we sell enough, maybe we can do a run in tan. I still don’t have them in hand, but they should be here the week after Christmas. The preorder, however, is up, so if you order them now, I’ll get them out as soon as they get here. I’ve seen at least one homemade Triarii badge, so now’s the time to make it official. Preorder your patch here.
There’s a Shadow War going on… …And now the Triarii know it Now it’s time for the next move Hank and his section took a beating in West Texas, but they accomplished their mission and secured a strategic asset against a daring attempt to seize it. And in the process, they found out who’s really behind the war. Now it’s time to strike back. The government doesn’t want to admit Chinese involvement, despite what the Triarii and the Texas Rangers uncovered. So, once again, the Triarii must act on their own. Destination: The South China Sea Mission: Take the war to the People’s Republic of China But will that be more easily said than done? China has been pushing extra-legal territorial claims in the Spratly and Paracel island chains in the South China Sea for years. They have built artificial islands on reefs and shoals to beef up their claims, while simultaneously bullying their neighbors in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan, militarily and economically. They have even attempted to keep the US Navy out of international waters, claiming vast swathes of ocean as “security zones” around their ships. They have used irregular forces in the form of People’s
“Contact, starboard side, five miles and closing at fifteen knots!” The warning crackled over the intercom speaker in berthing. Hank Foss rolled out of his rack, grabbing for his gear and his rifle. He’d been halfway expecting this alert for days now. Shrugging into his chest rig, he slung the modified M5E1 in front of him as he climbed up out of the berthing, clattering up the metal-grated ladderwell along the starboard side before turning through a narrow hatchway and into the modified command center that they’d built out of about half the galley. Space aboard the Jacqueline Q was at a premium, as large as she was. The Triarii command center consisted of three laptops on a table, with charts, maps, and printed imagery tacked up on the bulkheads. Right then, Cole Spencer, Hank’s second in command and his closest friend, was studying the laptop that showed their current drone overwatch feed. “What have we got?” Hank was tall and spare of frame, with a lean, hatchet face and black hair starting to show some gray at the temples. Having retired from the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant before joining the Triarii, he was surprised there wasn’t a