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Fictional Warships - Novels

Graham1973

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John Winton, HMS Leviathan, 1967

HMS Leviathan
Third Audacious Class Aircraft Carrier ?
Details as per the real ships, circa 1960s.
Note: Name is that of a Majestic Class Carrier scrapped incomplete in 1968.

Plot Summary: A new captain has come to a troubled ship, can he turn things around?

Note: Two cover pictures are attached. The 1978 cover is from the first paperback release by Sphere Books which is clearly trying to present the novel as an action/adventure story, which it is not. However the 1984 cover is much more appropriate to the plot. Neither is credited.
In the book, H.M.S. Leviathan is described as having a flight deck of 900 feet. Therefore she is longer than an Audacious class, which had 808- foot flight decks. Her length is more akin to a Malta class; however, she cannot be a Malts class, because they were designed with single hangars, and the book describes Leviathan as having a double hangar. She must be, therefore a (fictitious) Leviathan class.
Thanks for the suggestion.
 

Graham1973

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Paul E. Erdman, The Crash of '79, 1976

Iran

Iranian navy in the novels 1979 is stated to consist of 39 combatants including the following

Unnamed
2 x Kitty Hawk Class Carriers
Details as per the real ships
Note: Stated to be USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) & USS Constellation (CV-64) 'under lease' to the Imperial Iranian Navy, what the Iranian's have named them is not given in the novel.

Unnamed
5 x Spruance Class Destroyers
Details as per the real ships
Stated to have been built for Iran by Ingalls Shipbuilding, other dialog in the novel references the four ships that became the US Kidd Class as being under construction. The Iranian class name and the individual names of the ships are not given in the novel.

Saudi Arabia

Unnamed
3 x 'Missile Destroyers'
Possibly equivalent to the Kidd Class
Stated to be on order from the US at the same time as the four ships that became the Kidd Class following the Fall of the Shah.
No other details provided.

Note: In the same dialog that mentions the three destroyers under construction by Ingalls for Saudi Arabia reference is made to the US Navy having six equivalent ships and the South Koreans two such on order from Ingalls as well.

Plot summary: How the Four Day War (March 19, 1979 - March 23, 1979) destroyed the world economy.

Note: The novel opens with a prologue set in December of 1984, the story proper takes place in 1978/79. The author was best known for a series of 'financial thrillers' written between 1974 & 1997, at least three, of which this novel is the first, dealt with either global or US economic collapse scenarios. The novel itself is firmly in the category of 'Future of the Past'. Other novels exhibiting this 'future of the past' quality I've covered are 'Seven Days in May' (1962) (Charles W. Bailey II & Fletcher Knebel), 'Thirty-Four East' (1974), 'The Hastings Conspiracy' (1980) (Both by Alfred Coppel), 'North Star Crusade' (1976) (William Katz), 'Side-Wall' (1982) (David Graham), 'CV' (1985) (Damon Knight), 'The Phoenix Odyssey' (1986) (Richard P. Henrick), 'Debt of Honor' (1994) (Tom Clancy) 'Rites of War' (1998) (Cyn Mobley) and 'End Game', 2011 (Matthew Glass), along with what is probably the most well known 'alternative history' sequence, 'Raise the Titanic' (1976), 'Vixen 03' (1978), 'Night Probe' (1981) & 'Deep Six' (1984) (All by Clive Cussler) which are set in an alternative 1980s (The novels are set between 1987 ('Raise the Titanic') & 1989 ('Deep Six').) with many differences from what actually happened, most notably Canada being absorbed by the United States (Something Cussler quietly dropped in later novels.).
 
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Graham1973

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Bill Knox, Whitewater, 1974

United Kingdom

Marlin
Fishery Protection Vessel
Crew: 24
Length: 180ft (55 m)
Weight: 400 tons
Engines: 2 x 2000hp Diesels
Speed: 30 knots (Max)
Armament: None fitted, provision exists to fit weapons in wartime.

Snapper
Fishery Protection Vessel
Same details as Marlin.

Henrietta Appleyard O'Hagan

Fishery Protection Vessel (Requisitioned)
Fishing Boat (Drifter)
Described as 'Big' and a typical type used on the East Coast of Scotland
Note: Name is that of the Skippers mother.

Plot summary: What starts out as a simple courtesy visit to a Highland Wedding turns into a hunt for a killer...

Note: This is one of a long running series centered on the Marlin and her crew.
 

MJBurmaster

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As I recall, although not into book form, there were some internet writeups for a post WW1 scenario of Imperial Germany, successful in the war, protecting its colonies in Vietnam against the Japanese. There were some Konig class battleships mentioned. I had penned an insert with the USN battlecruiser squadron of Constellations as the beginning to USN response to the upcoming war to protect the Philippines and presage any Orange Plan action. What happened to the writeups I do not recall.
 

Graham1973

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Welcome to the thread, MJBurmaster. If you ever find those writeups I look forward to seeing what you came up with.
 

DWG

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If we push the boundaries a little, to book format but not novels, Avalanche Press have Janes style guides to the "Fleets of Imperial Germany" and "Fleets of Imperial Russia" due out as supplementary material for their Second Great War series of naval wargames (same system as their Second World War at Sea historical games).

SGW is basically WWII kicking off roughly to schedule, but after the Woodrow Wilson peace efforts in 1916 led to a WWI ceasefire before any regime change or economic ruination and with the Allies as the Revanchist aggressors (which I find slightly distasteful). So you have updated WWI designs, including those cancelled late in WWI, and a couple of decades of inter-war building for both sides, with a different treaty system, and limited development of aviation compared to OTL. The "Second Great War" sourcebook describes the political background, but never gets down into the nitty-gritty of designs.

Also covered in the SGW games so far, but not the supplementary material: France, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and a handful of British and Italian designs, with Austro-Hungary, Sweden and the Baltics announced, and UK, Turkey and Persia promised, with slightly more nebulous promises of the US and Japan at some point in the future. The Dutch fleet had appeared before the SGW storyline settled, was written into it, but are now OOP/promised for a second edition (as already happened with the Austro-Hungarians).

Avalanche also have a second AH timeline "The Long War" in which Plan Z happens and the RN responds with a more extensive rebuild programme, with coverage of the USN vs IJN announced, but that doesn't have any text format supplements.

Their WWI system Great War at Sea (from which SWWAS is a spinoff) has a bunch of supplements covering semi-speculative late war designs (basically pre-history for SGW), a supplement in which Italy stays loyal to the Triple Alliance and teams up with the Austro-Hungarians against Britain and France, and another looking at the Chinese fleet plan c1908 and late WWI Sino-Japanese hostilities. Three WWI era Confederate States Navy supplements are now out of print. It also has older games covering the USN's Plan Red (1920s war with the UK), and the bizarre Plan Crimson, which postulates a US-Canada naval building race on the Great Lakes. OOP games covered Plan Black (USN vs Germany), Plan Gold (USN vs France), and Plan Orange (USN vs IJN)

A lot of the background to all of these, including details on the ships, is also up as part of their Daily Content line on their website: http://www.avalanchepress.com/
 

Graham1973

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Dale Brown and Jim DiFelice, Dreamland: End Game, 2006

India

INS Shiva (ex-Kiev)
Kiev Class Aircraft Carrier (Modified)
Details identical to the INS Vikramaditya (ex-Baku), save that the armament adds SS-N-19s and SS-N-9s. Where these are mounted is not specified, presumably under the forward flight deck. Aircraft carried include Su-33s
Note: Conversion into a conventional aircraft carrier of the Kiev similar to the one carried out on the Baku. The authors used the same name for a modified Kilo Class (Pr. 877) Submarine in the August 1997 set novel 'Dreamland: Pirahna' (2003). This novel is set in January 1998.

INS Calcutta
Delhi Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.

China

Deng Xiaoping
Aircraft Carrier, class not specified
Description: "The nickname "flattop" fit Deng Xiaoping perfectly. Unlike nearly every aircraft carrier since the CV-1 Langley, the Deng Xiaoping did not have an island. Her surface and antiair radars were located at the sides of the craft, adjacent to but not on the flight-deck surface.

The Deng Xiaoping's flat deck was shaped like a fat V, with elevated ramps at each head. The arrangement allowed the carrier to launch two J-13s almost simultaneously and still have space to land planes behind them..."

Airgroup: 36 x J-13 Fighters (Fictional, 2 have been configured for nuclear strike under the code name 'Tai-Shan'), 4 x Ka-27 'Helix' Helicopters, 6 x Z-8 Helicopters (Copy of the French Super Frelon, 4 of them are configured for Airborne Early Warning, 2 are configured for Search-and-Rescue)
Armament: Pili (eng: Thunderbolt) missiles (Described as an anti-Cruise Missile derivative of the LY-60, speed is Mach 4 and the range is given as 20km), if any other anti-air missile is carrried it is not specified. At the aft end of the ship are sponsons fitted with 1 x 57mm and 2 x twin 37mm on either side of the stern. No other armament details are specified.
Note: In the succeeding novel 'Dreamland: Retribution' (2007) the events involving this ship are mentioned, but for unknown reasons the carriers name is changed to Khan.

Iran

Mitra
Covert Operations Support Vessel (Converted Oil Tanker)
Has been converted into a mini-sub support vessel.
No other details provided.

Parvaneh
Mini-sub (Class)
Crew: 6
Length: 8.40m
Beam: 1.65m
Draft: 1.35m
Engine: Electric driving lateral & vertical waterjet thrusters
Speed: 10 knots (Max)
Note: Described as a militarized version of a civilian mini-sub called the 'Nautical Adventure 2000' made by a unidentified German firm. Used in a manner similar to the WWII X-Craft, carrying combat divers close to targets that can be dealt with either by limpet mines or hand carried missile weapons (RPGs.)

United States

USS Abner Read (DDL-001) (Novel gives the pennant in the form DD(L)-001)
Littoral Destroyer (also referred to as a 'Littoral Combat Vessel')
Armament 2 x 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) (Single turrets), 2x 20mm Phalanx ?x VLS (SM-2 & Harpoon), ?x TT, radar & towed sonar array, ?x heli/UAVs, 1997
Note: This first ship appears in an earlier novel 'Dreamland: Satan's Tail' (2005) and appears to have been based on the Zumwalt Class. The backstory is that the ship is the US Navy's attempt to match the capabilities of the US Airforce's EB-52s.

'Pirahna'
Experimental Unmanned Underwater Vehicle.
Described as looking like "...an oversized torpedo with extra sets of fins on the front and rear."
Fitted with nose mounted sensors including, optical, thermal and current sensors in addition to passive sonar. Capable of tracking targets up to 75km from the UUV.
Speed: 50 knots (Max), 36 knots (Cruise), propulsion system is designed to be extremely low noise at all speeds.
Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
Product of joint USAF/USN program to apply technologies developed for USAF drones to aquatic applications. Can be controlled from aircraft using relay buoys.

Note: This fictional UUV appears in the earlier novel 'Dreamland: Pirahna' (2003).

And for the aircraft mavens.

China

J-13
A fictional two seater copy of the Su-27 intended for carrier use.

Plot summary: The year is 1998. Tensions between India and China are rising again, as in 1997, outside forces seem to be pushing the two states towards nuclear war. The United States again finds itself forced to act to prevent the outbreak of all out war.
 
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Graham1973

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Duncan Long, Grim Reaper, 1990

United States

USS Patrick Henry (DDG-??)
Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer (Flight I)
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Explicitly identified as this class by the author. At the time the story is set the name would not have clashed with a serving US warship as the previous holder, the George Washington Class Submarine USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) had been scrapped in 1984.

USS Thomas Jefferson (DDG-??)
Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer (Flight I)
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Explicitly identified as this class by the author. At the time the story is set the name would not have clashed with a serving US warship as the previous holder, the Ethan Allen Class Submarine, USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618) had been scrapped in 1985.

USS Oklahoma (SSBN-???)
Ohio Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Explicitly stated to be a member of the Ohio Class by the author.

And for the Aircraft Mavens

United States

CONCOP
Attack Helicopter
Manufacturer: Reed-Dallas
Nationality: United States
Description: "...an impressive machine ... carried more armament than many larger helicopters. ... Its rotors were mounted high and toward the front of the helicopter, which allowed them to be tilted forward for a maximum speed and range nearly a quarter greater than most larger helicopters."
Length: "...barely fifteen meters long..."
Crew: 2 (Pilot, Gunner/Navigator)
Controls: Fly-by-wire
Armament: 5.56mm Mini-gun (Four barreled gatling weapon, nose mounted.), 1 x Rocket Pod containing 24 x 2.75 inch rockets (right pylon), 4 x AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles (left pylon)
Sensors: Nose mounted FLIR and Laser Designator (Like the Mini-gun, this is slaved to the gunners helmet motions.)
Electronics: Doppler Inertial Navigation System, flight control computers.
Note: Other electronics and sensors are not specified. While the name is clearly an acronym what the acronym stands for is never revealed.

Plot summary: The year is 1990, a chance find in Antarctica has unleashed a biological nightmare dating back to WWII.

Note: This is the second in a series of nine 'gung-ho' action novels based around the US 160th Special Airborne Operations Regiment (aka 'The Night Stalkers'), originally published in the 1990s, the books have been re-issued in eBook form by the author. Other volumes in the series I have covered are 'Sea Wolf' (1991) and 'Avenging Storm' (1992). The plot for this one is heavily based off a 1980 novel entitled 'The Gold Crew' by Thomas N. Scorita & Frank M. Robinson, which was filmed as 'The Fifth Missile' in 1986.
 
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Graham1973

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John Wingate, Target Risk, 1978

United Kingdom

HMS Audacity
'Frigate', class not specified (Possibly a Type 21, given the 'A' name.)
No other details provided

Non-Warship but interesting.

Planeka Shipping International Ltd.

NS Leviathan
Oil Tanker (Ultra-large Crude Carrier)
Length: 1475 ft (449.6m)
Beam: 226ft (68.9m)
Draft (Fully laden): 104ft (31.7m)
Displacement(Empty): 88,025 tonnes, Displacement (Fully laden): 674,025 tonnes
Carries: 586,000 tonnes of Crude Oil
Crew: 38
Engines: Nuclear/Steam Turbine, 4 x reactors each of which produces 34,000hp (Four shafts/propellers)
Rudders: 4 (One for each propeller, the design of the rudders is described as being based on the rudder design of the Batillus Class of ULCCs)
Speed: 17.8 knots (Fully laden), 19.2 knots (In ballast)
Note: The forward island (Containing the bridge) is located 100ft (30.5m) from the bow. The ships helipad (Large enough to take a Westland WS-61 Sea King Helicopter) is located on the port side.

NS Goliath
Oil Tanker (Ultra-large Crude Carrier)
Same details as NS Leviathan

Note: Both ships were built in the US under a subsidy scheme designed to keep US shipyards in operation. The ships are registered in Panama.

Plot summary: The story of the 'Leviathan Affair'.

Note: Author John Wingate is (was?) a British writer of nautical fiction whose career began in the late 1950s with the publication of the 'Boys own Adventure' - style series 'Submariner Sinclair' (I've covered the second volume of the series 'Jimmy-The-One: A Submariner Sinclair Story' (1960) in this thread along with his later 'The Sea Above Them' (1975).) In the early 1980s he wrote a trilogy covering the naval aspects of World War III. The third volume, 'Submarine' (1982) has been covered in this thread.
 

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Graham1973

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A return to 'Boys Own Adventure'...

James Shuster, H.M.S. Outcast and the V.I.P., published in Leonard Matthews, Super Story Book for Boys, 1976

United Kingdom

HMS Worthy
W & Z Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Based on the ships name and the year the story is set (1944)

HMS Outcast (ex - HMS Dauntless)
'Destroyer' Class not specified
Displacement: 1500 tons
Main Battery: 4 inch guns, Other armament unspecified.
Described as being a WWI era vessel still in service
Note: Former name clashes with the D Class Cruiser HMS Dauntless which was in service 1918 - 1945 (Scrapped 1946). Hypothetically the renaming could have ocurred due to the launch of the D Class Cruiser, there is historical precedent to this. This would imply the ship was launched/commissioned prior to 1918.

Japan

Various Unnamed Warships.

United States

Various Unnamed Warships.

Plot summary: A tongue-in-cheek story involving a blowhard US Senator who when inspecting the British Pacific Fleet, decides to pick a ship at random to take him to his next destination.

Note: Locating this story in time is pretty easy, it has to be set after the creation of the British Pacific Fleet in November 1944.

The contents of this volume derived from children's magazines published by IPC in the years prior to this compilation coming out (One amusing/ironic misprint sees an illustration taken from a story aimed at girls printed next to an unrelated story, the image depicts the heroine entering a lions cage....). Other stories from similar compilations I've covered are 'The Ship That Vanished' (1967/1979), 'The Straggler' (1977) and 'Depths of Fear' (1982). The story covered is actually part of a series focusing on a rattle-trap British destroyer that manages to avoid disaster in various amusing ways. I have memories of at least one other Pacific set story, but no idea of the title of the collection it appeared in.

Later:I have discovered the series in question, in fact started life as a comic strip in Fleetway publishing's 'Hurricane' comic book which was printed between 1964 - 1965 after which it was merged into another Fleetway comic book 'Tiger'. After this merger 'Hurricane' annuals continued to be printed in to the 1970s.
 
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Graham1973

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Anthony Molloy, Hoist The Black Pennant, 2015

United Kingdom

HMS Waterloo
Battle Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Flagship 31st Escort Group. The name is that of a Battle Class Destroyer that was broken up on the slips in 1945 without being completed.

HMS Atrebate
Tribal Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.

HMS Iceni
Tribal Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.

HMS Lugi
Tribal Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.

Note: All the Tribals associated with the 31st Escort Group (aka Special Force Orca.) have been refitted with 4 inch high angle guns replacing the 4.7 inch guns and a Squid mortar replacing Y Turret. As far as can be determined HMS Waterloo is a standard member of the class.

HMS Antler (ex-U-491)
Type VIIC U-Boat
Details as per the real ships.
Note: See the entry for 'Dead Reckoning' (2013) for her backstory.

HMS Canute (ex-S-???)
S-Boat
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Captured by 31st Escort group as a replacement for units lost in the Mediterranean.

Germany

Schwerin
Koenigsburg Class Cruiser
Details as per the real ships

Z-85
Type 1936A Class Destroyer
Details as per the real ships.
Note: The Pennant is well outside the range reached for destroyer pennants by the Germans during WWII (The highest was Z-51, assigned to an experimental diesel powered destroyer, designated Type 1942 that was ordered in 1942, but never completed and scrapped post war.), another Type 1936A with an out of range pennant number Z-84 appeared in the authors 2013 novel 'Long Day's Night'.

U-423
Type VII U-Boat
Details as per the real ships
Note: Pennant clashes with that of a Type VIIC U-Boat sunk in June of 1944. The submarine in the novel is sunk in February of 1944. Author explicitly identifies it as a Type VII.

S-585
S-Boat
Details as per the real ships

Unnamed
2 x Type 1936A Class Destroyers
Details as per the real ships

Plot summary: As 1944 moves on the 31st Escort Group find's it's specialist skills deployed in support of Operation Bodyguard, the deception campaign that will protect the planned landings in mainland France.
 
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Graham1973

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Returning to comic strips...

Ron Carpenter, The Coffin Sub (Published in Action (UK Comic Book)), 1976

United Kingdom

HMS Conquest
T-Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships.
Note: This class identification is based on the artwork. Name does not fit the class.

HMS Defiant
'Battleship', class not specified
No other details provided.

Italy

Intrepido
'Destroyer', class not specified
Main battery: 6 x 4.7inch guns (Twin turrets. Turret layout is A, B & X)
Other Armament: Depth charges, other armament not specified.
No other details provided, other than the ship has two funnels.
Note: The comic strips artist appears to have based this ship and several other Italian destroyers that appear in the comic strip off either a British or American design. The main battery is based off what the Italians actually fitted their WWII era destroyers with.

Germany

U-75
U-Boat, type not specified (Probably a Type VII)
Note: The pennant clashes with a Type VIIB that was sunk in the Mediterranean by HMS Kipling in 1941.. In the comic strip, this submarine is sunk by HMS Conquest in an underwater duel somewhere between 1941 and 1943.

Plot summary: A submarine sunk in 1941 is salvaged and placed under the command of the only surviving member of her crew. Driven by his loss the captain takes dangerous risks in his quest for vengeance.
 
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Graham1973

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Kevin Miller, Raven One, 2014

United States

USS Valley Forge (CVN-??)
Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
Details as per the real ships.

USS Tinian (LHD-??)
Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship
Details as per the real ships.

USS Stout (DDG-55)
Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer
Real ship, details as in service.

USS Richard Best (FFG-?)
Oliver Hazzard Perry Class Frigate
Details as per the real ships

And for the Aircraft Mavens

Iran

MiG-35 'Flatpack'
Details as per the MiG 1.44, had it gone into production.
Note: In the novel it is stated that the Russians had built five aircraft before cancelling the program. In real life only one aircraft was completed. While the full details are not given in the novel, it is safe to assume that the Russians sold all five aircraft to the Iranians.

Plot Summary: The year is 2008, a US carriers operations in support of the occupation of Iraq are abruptly switched into high gear as the Iranian's decide to up the ante in the Gulf.
 

Graham1973

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Edwyn Gray, Diving Stations, 1984?

United Kingdom

HMS Rapier
S Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships.

HMS Firefly
Insect Class Gunboat
Details as per the real ships.
Note: In WWI the name had been used for a member of the Fly Class of Gunboats, which was captured by the Turks while serving as part of the Tigris Flotilla in 1915, the ship was recaptured by the British in 1917 and disposed of in 1924, after having being paid off in March of 1918.

Japan

Suma
Chidori Class Torpedo Boat (5th member of class)
Details as per the real ships
Note: The author continually refers to the ship as a 'destroyer' and states that it did not receive the post-1934 stability modifications unlike the other members of the class. The name itself was used in real life for Insect Class Gunboat HMS Moth following it's capture by the Japanese.

Plot summary: A fictionalized account of the last days of Hong Kong prior to the Japanese entry into WWII.

Note: I have covered one other novel specifically dealing with this part of WWII history, Douglas Reeman's 'Sunset (1994)
 
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