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The Red Line

Review of The Red Line:

This book, “The Red Line” by Walt Gragg, might be one of the best military history novels that I have read. It was such a page-turner that I couldn’t put it down. I think it is such a great book because of the level of realism in it, and the interesting plot. It has all the elements of a great book, and Gragg is able to tie them together seamlessly to create an excellent story that’s fun to read and very informational.


For those of you who are Tom Clancy fans, “The Red Line” will not disappoint. It is like a modern version of Clancy’s “Red Storm Rising.” Like Clancy, Gragg has meticulously researched the technology and tactics he mentions in it, so that all combat mentioned seems hyper realistic. It’s almost like an after action report.

Whenever he mentions military technology like the F-35, Stinger missile, or M-1 Abrams tank, he does so in a way that highlights his knowledge of the subject matter and helps the reader understand more about the aforementioned equipment. Additionally, his ability to use that knowledge to drive the story is brilliant. Each new section of plot is made possible and realistic by the tactics and technology that Gragg mentions.


The plot in this book, made realistic by Gragg’s immense knowledge and brilliant writing style, is terrific. Rather than the dry or non-existent plot found in many military history novels, this one drives the action along at a fast pace and draws the reader in. I can’t overstate its appeal. The relationships between characters and character development helps the reader understand the world Gragg created and feel a connection with the characters. It made me worry about a resurgent Russia like the one in the novel.


The Red Line is such a great book in part because of what I described above, but also because it speaks to a deep fear in many Americans. What is the deep fear that many Americans hold? A deep fear of Russia. They fear the Russian defense budget, or Russian trolls on Twitter and Facebook, or Russian meddling in the 2016 election. All three areas are cause for worry, but I don’t think we should fear them as much as we do, especially with the advances we’re making in autonomous weapons, as described in Army of None.

Especially the Russian defense budget. As I pointed out in “Russian Defense Spending,”  Fear is a corrosive influence that will eat us away and make our leaders make bad decisions. Which is what Churchill was commenting on about democracy, as you can see in my “Winston Churchill on Democracy” post.

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For example, tensions are now higher with Russia than they have ever been. In our efforts to view this situation through the lens of the last Cold War, we may have created a new Cold War. But now that new Cold War is with Russia and China.

The Red Line only describes a new Cold War with Russia. Not a new Cold War with China. But, it is still definitely worth reading. When America and Russia go to war in it, it shows what the worst case scenario could look like for our new geopolitical situation. That war would be devastating.

By: Gen Z Conservative


Get “The Red Line” here-

Get “Red Storm Rising here-

Read more about the F-35, an important piece of equipment in the book, here:

The truth about Russian defense spending:

Winston Churchill quote about Democracy: