Sunday, October 24, 2021
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Review of Battlefield Pacific by James Rosone and Miranda Watson

Battlefield Pacific: A Great Book about Modern War and Subterfuge

Battlefield Pacific is the fourth book in the “Red Storm” series of books that Rosone and Watson have written. It is preceded by Battlefield Ukraine, Battlefield Korea, and Battlefield Taiwan, all of which are also great books that show real problems with the US military’s ability to fight a major war and what such a major war might look like while also being exciting and fun to read.

However, Battlefield Pacific is somewhat different than its predecessors. With a few small exceptions, they are generally about the US political home front, air campaigns, and land combat. Most of all, they are about mechanized land warfare. Battlefield Pacific, however, is almost entirely about subterfuge and naval combat. Although some ground campaigns are in the book, its primary plot hinges around Russian plots and Sino-American naval combat in the Pacific.

That change of pace, I think, was a good decision on the part of Rosone and Watson. They’re great writers and their realistic, vivid depictions of mechanized warfare always hold me in rapt attention. But, after three books, the predictable combat scenarios were about to get somewhat stale. Only so many tank battles in Eastern Europe or desperate American defenses against Chinese human wave attacks can happen in a row without them blurring together.

Additionally, by focusing on naval combat and subterfuge, Rosone and Watson are able to take Battlefield Pacific in a more unpredictable decision than the previous books. We can all imagine what might happen if hordes of Russian tanks swept into NATO’s flanks or if the Korean Peninsula degenerated back into a state of war. Similarly, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be somewhat predictable.

But a massive Sino-American naval battle that rivals the largest and most destructive of those described in The Two-Ocean War? Now that’s unpredictable. What would happen if a depleted but energetic American fleet took on the fleet China has spent decades building? Could we win?

Those questions are what Battlefield Pacific hinges on. Could the American Navy stand up during its darkest days and defeat its most powerful foe?

And Rosone and Watson’s depictions of naval combat, especially of ships defending themselves against volleys of missiles and submarines stealthily hunting each other and opposing fleets in the depths of the Pacific, are just as excellently done as the sections on land combat. They’re gritty, well-researched, and edge-of-your-seat exciting.

The other tremendously good aspect of Battlefield Pacific is how Rosone and Watson envision Russian subterfuge and Spetsnaz (Russian special forces) attacks happening. What if Russia turned a high-ranking British politician into one of its agents? What if Spetsnaz and GRU agents used Antifa agents to attack our leadership while also using Special Forces teams to target our vital infrastructure? Could the West stand up to the strain of such attacks?

The picture Watson and Rosone of such a no-holds-barred war is a dark one. The US (and West generally), despite what we might want to imagine, is not well-prepared for such a war. Our leftist politicians are sympathetic to the techno-communism advocated by the Red Chinese. Our woke militaries are full of leftist officers that have focused on gender issues rather than warfighting. Our populations are so fat that about ~30% of American youth couldn’t make it through basic training. Were we to find ourselves in a fight, all of those problems would come back to bite us in the ass. Rosone and Watson do a commendable job of depicting why those problems would cause major issues.

Overall, Battlefield Pacific is an excellent book. The change to naval combat is a welcome one, the Russian sneak attacks on the US are as terrifying as they are exciting, and the multitude of surprising moves in the book keep the reader engaged. If you want to read a great novel about modern war, look no farther than Battlefield Pacific.

By: Gen Z Conservative

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