Red storm rising - By Tom Clancy


It is impossible for Larry and me to thank all those who assisted us in so many ways in the preparation of this book. Were we to try, we would leave out the names of people whose contributions were more than merely important. To all those who gave freely of their time, answering endless questions, then explaining their answers at length--we know who you are and what you did. All of you are in this book. Particular thanks, however, are due to the captain, officers, and the men of FFG-26, who for one marvelous week showed an ignorant landlubber something of what it means to be a sailor.

From time immemorial, the purpose of a navy has been to influence, and sometimes decide, issues on land. This was so with the Greeks of antiquity; the Romans, who created a navy to defeat Carthage; the Spanish, whose armada tried and failed to conquer England; and, most eminently, in the Atlantic and Pacific during two world wars. The sea has always given man inexpensive transport and ease of communication over long distances. It has also provided concealment, because being over the horizon meant being out of sight and effectively beyond reach. The sea has supplied mobility, capability, and support throughout Western history, and those failing in the sea-power test--notably Alexander, Napoleon and Hitler--also failed the longevity one.

--Edward L. Beach, in Keepers of the Sea

Author's Note

This book began sometime ago. I got to know Larry Bond through an advertisement in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, when I purchased his war game, "Harpoon." It turned out to be amazingly useful, and served as a primary source for The Hunt for Red October. I was intrigued enough about it that I drove to a wargamers' convention that summer (1982) to meet him in person, and we ended up becoming close friends.

In 1983, while Red October was in pre-production, Larry and I started talking about one of his projects: "Convoy-84," a macrowargame or "campaign" game which, using the "Harpoon" system, would fight out a new Battle of the North Atlantic. I thought this was fascinating and we began talking about building a book around the idea, since, we both agreed, no one outside the Defense Department had ever examined in adequate detail what such a campaign would be like with modern weapons. The more we talked, the better the idea got. Soon we were fiddling with an outline and trying to find a way to limit the scenario to a manageable scope--but to do so without removing any essential elements from the stage. (This proved to be a problem without a really adequate solution, despite endless discussion and not a few violent disagreements!)

Although Larry's name does not appear on the title page, this book is his as much as mine. We never did figure out the division of labor, but what Larry and I accomplished was to complete a book as co-authors when our only contract was a handshake--and have a whole lot of fun doing it! It is for the reader to decide how successful we have been.


The Slow Fuse


They moved swiftly, silently, with purpose, under a crystalline, star-filled night in western Siberia. They were Muslims, though one could scarcely have known it from their speech, which was Russian, though inflected with the singsong Azerbaijani accent that wrongly struck the senior members of the engineering staff as entertaining. The three of them had just completed a complex task in the truck and train yards, the opening of hundreds of loading valves. Ibrahim Tolkaze was their leader, though he was not in front. Rasul was in front, the massive former sergeant in the MVD who had already killed six men this cold night--three with a pistol hidden under his coat and three with his hands alone. No one had heard them. An oil refinery is a noisy place. The bodies were left in shadows, and the three men entered Tolkaze's car for the next part of their task.

Central Control was a modern three-story building fittingly in the center of the complex. For at least five kilometers in all directions stretched the cracking towers, storage tanks, catalytic chambers, and above all the thousands of kilometers of large-diameter pipe which made Nizhnevartovsk one of the world's largest refining complexes. The sky was lit at uneven intervals by waste-gas fires, and the air was foul with the stink of petroleum distillates: aviation kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel, benzine, nitrogen tetroxide for intercontinental missiles, lubricating oils of various grades, and complex petrochemicals