WWII meets FORCE XXI
Published on February 28, 2006 By Sturgee In Fiction


I actually read this book several months ago, but just finished it's sequel, so I figured I'd drop a review of this one first, and then another review for the sequel. Anyway, a couple of buddies at work recommended the book to me, and I think it was pretty good. It's not the deepest book out there, and if you just want a light read and are into military history and military technology, you might like it. It's essentially the plot of the movie "The Final Countdown", which for those who don't remember the movie, was essentially the story of a modern aircraft carrier getting caught in a time warp, and popping out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during WWII.

This book is along the same lines, but it's a small fleet that gets sent back in time, and they come from about 15-20 years in the future from now. Yeah, it's kind of science-fiction-ish, but not overly so (other than the whole time-travel part). All of the military technology that they talk about in the book is either currently being field-tested, prototyped, or is on the drawing board. For example Metal Storm is referenced a lot in the book, and as you can see by the video, it is a working prototype right now.

There were a couple of things that rubbed me about the book however. 1) It portrayed pretty much every single male of the 1940s time period as racist and sexist. While I don't doubt that there was a fair amount of racism and sexism in that day, I don't believe it was quite as prevalent as is portrayed in the book. I don't know that as fact, because I wasn't in the U.S. Navy in the '40's, so I can't definitively debunk it, but it just seemed a little over the top. And 2) the percentage of senior officers in the "future military" that are women. Now, before the femminazis come and get me, let me explain. I have no problem with female leadership in the military. I've known some damn good female NCOs and officers in the military (and some shitty ones, but that goes for the males too). BUT, it is pretty much fact that a smaller percentage of females make it to field grade positions within the military. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that a smaller percentage of women stay in the military as a career compared to men. Therefore, percentage wise, the farther up the rank structure you go, females make up a smaller and smaller percentage of the population of leaders, providing smaller pools from which to promote from. Granted, there is also some of the "old-boy" system still floating around, but with the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action programs alive and thriving in the military, this has been greatly reduced. Now, I don't doubt at all that there will be a larger percentage of women in senior leadership roles in the future, but in this book, they comprise what seems like 50% of the senior leadership positions. Again, not that they can't do it, because they can - they just don't. So, to me, it just seemed a bit unrealistic...kind of took the believeability of the story away for me a touch.

Other than that it was a pretty fun read. Again, if you like military history, and military technology stuff, and you have some free time to kill, it might be worth the read.

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