Battlefield: Ukraine- An Excellent Book about Mechanized Warfare
I’ve been planning on reading Battlefield: Ukraine for a while now. I saw it somewhere online about a year ago and added it to my reading list, hoping I would get to it soon. I finally did, and decided to jump away from the next Ted Halstead book, which would follow The Saudi-Iranian War, in favor of reading Battlefield: Ukraine by James Rosone and Miranda Watson.
And I am very glad I did. Not because Halstead’s books aren’t fun to read and interesting. They are. But Battlefield: Ukraine takes modern military thrillers to a whole new level. The story is superb, the action scenes are wonderfully written, the characters are lifelike and believable, and the message is one we all need to hear.
The basic plot of Battlefield: Ukraine is that a new US president, who’s supposed to be somewhat like Trump, if a bit less tempestuous, decides to take the level of US support for Ukraine up a notch as a way to combat allegations about his ties to Russia. He allows US special forces and combat advisors to work with Ukrainian forces to push back against the rebels in the east and, for reasons you’ll have to read the novel to find out, disaster breaks out.
Then, Russia, tired of living in a world where the US is so much more powerful than it, decides to start a war over Ukraine. At that point, the novel moves to a faster pace as NATO and Russian forces battle on the ground, in the air, at sea, and in the cyber realm.
As it’s part of a series, the book ends before the war concludes, but is well enough written to stand alone. I can’t read to read the next book in the series.
What makes Battlefield: Ukraine even better than other books about a similar subject, such as The Red Line, is that it’s completely believable.
In most other books about a modern war between the US and Russia or US and China, the events leading up to the war don’t seem particularly realistic. A rogue element in the military of one or more of the countries takes over for…reasons, it turns out one head of state is a crazy person, or the countries are depicted as being destined for war. It might make sense in a novel, but doesn’t align with events in the world as we know it. Xi and Putin are calculating realists, not delusional tin-pot dictators or armageddon-obsessed Iranian theocrats.
But in Battlefield: Ukraine, the war starts largely because of miscalculations and misunderstandings. As with World War I, missteps, a lack of diplomacy, and unforeseen events all combine to push the respective nations over the brink. Neither the US president nor the Russian head of state are crazy or hell-bent on war. Instead, they’re both just trying to do the best with the hand they’re dealt and end up inadvertently starting a war. I thought that that way of framing the start of the conflict made the book far better than its competition.
Similarly, the way Rosone and Watson describe the war is without par, other than perhaps the works of Tom Clancy. The battles are believable, the geopolitics of the war are aligned with what’s happening in the real world (especially their depiction of the Ukrainian Civil War), and how the conflict progresses makes sense both in the world of the novel and in our world.
Finally, I liked Battlefield: Ukraine because its fair to Trump and delivers, in the last few chapters, a stinging rebuke of what we think of as the “Deep State“- the men and women who are forever embedded in the military and intelligence agencies that leak like a sieve when they disagree with administration policy and often act counter to the administration’s interests.
The book isn’t about Trump or the Deep State. I have no idea what the political leanings of the authors are, although I suspect they might be at least somewhat conservative. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they are able to portray Trump, through the in-book character President Gates, and his struggles with military brass and intelligence agency staff in a fair light, which is rarely done.
Overall, Battlefield: Ukraine is fantastic. If you’re interested in military thrillers and reading about military technology, then I would highly recommend that you order a copy ASAP.
By: Gen Z Conservative