Fictional Warships - Novels

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William Katz, North Star Crusade, 1976

United States

USS John Hay (SSBN-???)
Ethan Allen Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships
Note: Explicitly identified as this class by the author.

Russia

Unnamed (K-343)
Delta Class Submarine
Launched: 1971
Details as per the real ships.

Dostoyny
Krivak (Pr.1135) Class Frigate
Details as per the real ships
Note: Referred to as a 'Destroyer' in the novel. Name in novel is close to that of a real member of the Krivak Class named Dostoynyy.

Svirepy
Krivak (Pr.1135) Class Frigate
Details as per the real ships
Note: Referred to as a 'Destroyer' in the novel. Name in novel is close to that of a real member of the Krivak Class named Svirepyy.

Plot summary: A US submarine is hijacked by a group that believes starting World War III will save the world from the Soviet Union.

Note: While the novel includes a large number of real ships, there are three Los Angeles Class Submarines that appear in the novel, USS Indianapolis (SSN-697) (Launched: 1977, Commissioned: 1980), USS Boston (SSN-703) (Launched: 1980, Commissioned: 1982) & USS Houston (SSN-713) (Launched: 1981, Commissioned: 1982) that are the keys to pinning down just when this one is set.

Given that the story cannot take place before the USS Boston & USS Houston were commissioned, the story is set no earlier than October 1982. The author guessed wrong when he missed out on predicting the fall of the Shah of Iran but got it right when he guessed that Yuri Andropov would become the leader of the Soviet Union. And that is what makes novels from this period interesting, seeing just how close authors predictions came to reality. Other novels exhibiting this 'future of the past' quality are 'Thirty-Four East' (1974) & 'The Hastings Conspiracy' (1980) (Both by Alfred Coppel) , 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, or the scrapping of the Iowa Class Battleships, which is also referenced as a planned US action in 'North Star Crusade'.

I have covered in this thread a number of novels covering this kind of plot (Government loses control of a nuclear missile submarine.), 'Two Hours to Darkness' (1963), 'The Triton Ultimatum' (1977), 'Poseidon's Shadow' (1979), 'Sons of God' (2008), 'Warhead' (2011) & 'Merlin's War' (2016). The cover is by sci-fi artist Chris Foss.
The ship to ship actions in this book are described well and it includes the old US flagship missile cruisers.
 

Graham1973

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With thanks to Hood, for help with checking out one piece of equipment.

Mack Tanner, Target: Intruder, 1990

United States

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
Real ship, details as in service 1986 - Ongoing

USS Miami (SSN-755)
Los Angeles Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1990 - 2014
Equipped with a BLD-1 Magnetic Anomaly Detector
Note: Author gives the pennant as SSN-722, that of USS Key West.

USS Chicago (SSN-721)
Los Angeles Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1984 - Ongoing

USS Helena (SSN-725)
Los Angeles Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1987 - Ongoing

USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23)
Oliver Hazzard Perry Class Frigate
Real ship, details as in service 1982 - 1998.

USNS Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO-190)
Henry J. Kaiser Class Oiler
Real ship, details as in service 1987 - 1996, to Chile 2009.

USS McNamara
Oliver Hazzard Perry Class Frigate
Details as per the real ships
Note: Explicitly identified as such by the author, although he refers to it as the 'FFG-7 Class'. Name sake is probably Robert McNamara, US Secretary of Defence 1961 - 1968.

USS Bonita
Sturgeon Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships.
Fitted to carry a DSRV, in the novel she is carrying USS Mystic (DSRV-1)
Note: Explicitly referred to as a member of the Sturgeon Class by the author. The name was last used for a Barracuda (Cold War) Class Submarine in service 1952 - 1958.

USS Kentucky
'Cruiser' (CG or CGN), class not specified
No other details provided
Note: There would have been no clash with the name of any other ship in service when the novel came out, but after 1991 clashes with an Ohio Class Submarine.

Fictional Electronic system

BLD-1

An 'electromagnetic interferometer' designed to give US submarines the same capacity to detect magnetic anomolies as aircraft fitted with magnetic anomaly detectors. In the novel it is being fitted to Los Angeles Class Submarines either as they are being built or when they are refitted.

Norway

HNoMS Stavanger (F303)
Oslo Class Frigate
Real ship, details as in service, 1967 - 1998.

United Kingdom

HMS York (D98)
Type 42 (Batch III) Class Destroyer
Real ship, details as in service 1985 - 2012

HMS Cardiff (D108)
Type 42 (Batch I) Class Destroyer
Real ship, details as in service 1979 - 2005

Russia

Admiral Gorshkov
Typhoon (Pr.941) Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships

Leninskaya Pobeda (Eng: Lenin Victory)
Sierra (Pr.945) Class Submarine
Details as per the real ship.
Note: Russian name obtained by running the English language name the author gave through Google Translate.

Krasnyy Urozhay (Eng: Red Harvest)
Alfa (Pr.705) Class Submarine
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Russian name obtained by running the English language name the author gave through Google Translate. In real life the members of the Alfa Class were unnamed.

Plot summary: It is the 1990s, individual crew members on ships of several navies on both sides of the Iron Curtain have gone berserk causing serious damage before they die. The only clues, all have Scandinavian ancestors and all carved runes spelling the word 'Ragnarok' into the weapons they used. Maybe the US Navy shouldn't have codenamed their latest plan to prevent a first strike Operation Thor's Hammer as they seem to have inadvertantly unleashed forces they little understand...

Note: The author seems to have been inspired by the US Navy's original report into the explosion aboard the USS Iowa in 1989 (It's referenced several times in the opening chapters.), one which was retracted the year after this story came out when it was determined that the claims a crewman had deliberately caused the explosion had little to stand on.
 
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Graham1973

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Richard P. Henrick, Ice Wolf, 1994

United States

USS Springfield (SSN-761)
Los Angeles Class Submarine (688i Sub-class)
Real ship, details as in service 1993 - Ongoing

United Kingdom

HMS Turbulent (S87)
Trafalgar Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1984 - 2012

HMS Spartan (S105)
Swiftsure Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1979 - 2006
Note: Does not take part in the story. Stated that the Captain of HMS Turbulent in the story was aboard her during the Falklands War during which she clashed with an unidentified submarine.

Germany (WWII)

Ice Wolf (ex U-????)
Type XXI
Launched/Commissioned: January 1945
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Since escaping Germany at the end of WWII the submarine has been stored in a secret facility in Antarctic waters codenamed 'Thule'. The submarine has been updated where possible with modern (1990s) systems, for example the original batteries have been replaced with fuel cells. In the 1990s the submarine is controlled by the Thule Society a group dedicated to reviving the Third Reich by exotic means...

Thule Base (aka 'Ice Lair')
Underground Submarine pens and attached accommodation facilities located on Thule Island (also known as Morrell Island).

Plot summary: A joint USN/RN exercise stumbles across an attempt to turn the recent reunification of Germany in an appalling direction.

Note: This is the second of Richard P. Henrick's novels to be published by HarperCollins prior to his involvment in the film 'Crimson Tide'. While it's likely that, like the preceeding novel 'Ecowar' (1993) it was originally intended to be published by Zebra Books, the authors previous publisher, HarperCollins went to town and chose SF artist John Berkey to supply the striking cover. For further details on the authors history see the entry for 'The Phoenix Odyssey' (1986).
 

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Graham1973

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I've updated the entires for the four novels in the 'Amanda Garrett Quartet' ('Choosers of the Slain' (1996), 'Stormdragon' (1997), 'Seafighter' (1999) & 'Target Lock' (2002)) by James H. Cobb with the better-than-average CGI covers provided for them by UK Ebook publisher Silvertail Books. I have recently learned that this publisher has obtained the rights to issue the fifth volume in the series 'Phantom Force' which was never published in English while the author was alive.
 

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Tom Willard, Strike Fighters , 1990

United States

USS Valiant (CVN-85)
Nimitz Class Carrier
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Author explicitly identifies the ship as being of the Nimitz Class. Certain refrences in the novel indicate it was involved in one of the Gulf of Sidra incidents, of which there were three, one in 1981, one in 1986 and one in 1989 (Most likely it's the last of the incidents the author is referring to as it took place closest to the novel coming out.) as well as an action in the Persian Gulf, most likely Operation Praying Mantis which took place in 1988.

Russia

Kiev
Kiev (Pr.1143) Class Aircraft Carrier
Real ship, details as in service 1975 - 1993
Note: Author identifies the ship as a 'Minsk Class' Aircraft Carrier for reasons unknown. There is no such class.

Plot summary: Terrorists seize a ship owned by the United Nations and make demands that no one could say 'yes' to.

Notes: This is the first novel in a nine book action novel series about which I've been able to find out little. Published between 1990 and 1992, the series rode the boundary between action novel and techno-thriller. The striking aviation based covers used for the series were all by artist Attila Hejja. The seventh book in the series 1991s 'Strike Fighters: Blood River' is covered earlier in the thread.
 
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Dilandu

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Note: Author identifies the ship as a 'Minsk Class' Aircraft Carrier for reasons unknown. There is no such class.
Purely technically, "Minsk" was Project 1143.2 carrier-cruiser - a subclass of basic Project 1143 "Kiev"-class. Truth is, that each of "Kiev"-class ships was different from each other, so they could be, in theory, considered as different classes.
 

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Note: Author identifies the ship as a 'Minsk Class' Aircraft Carrier for reasons unknown. There is no such class.
Purely technically, "Minsk" was Project 1143.2 carrier-cruiser - a subclass of basic Project 1143 "Kiev"-class. Truth is, that each of "Kiev"-class ships was different from each other, so they could be, in theory, considered as different classes.
Thanks for the clarification, it's just I've never enountered the Kiev Class Carriers being referred to as 'Minsk Class Carriers' before and going by the second novel the author thinks biological & chemical warfare are the same thing...
 

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A return to 'self-published on Amazon' fiction.

Lewis Norris, Evil Intent, 2020

United Kingdom

HMS Calliope
Three Decked Ship of the Line (Sail)
Details as per typical members of that type of ship in RN service.
Note: There was a sixth-rate HMS Calliope in RN Service which was converted into a chapel ship in 1860. The authors description makes it quite clear that this is not that ship. She is identified as the flagship of the RN Channel Squadron.

HMS Rattler
Steam Sloop
Real Ship, details as in service 1842 - 1856
Note: The author provides sufficient detail to confirm it's the 1842 HMS Rattler, most famous for her tug-of-war with HMS Alecto, that the author is refering to. The ships service is fictionally extended into 1859. Historically her successor commissioned in 1862.

Note: Both of these ships feature in scenes set in 1859.

HMS Thunderer
Ironclad Frigate
Details identical to HMS Warrior (1860).
Note: It appears that this ship is a fictional replacement for HMS Warrior as the first ironclad warship constructed for the Royal Navy.

France

La Gloire
Ironclad
Real ship, details as in service (1859 - 1879)

Plot summary: The story takes place between the years 1859 and 1860. The plot covers various intrigues surrounding the opening phases of the ironclad era.

Note: I'm not sure what the author was trying to do with this novel. All the elements of a good thriller are there, but it feels more like a period melodrama. This is a pity as the section covering the attempt by HMS Calliope & HMS Rattler to spy upon the La Gloire in Brest leads to a fairly effective naval action sequence.
 
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The entry for the novel 'Shadow Hunter' (1989) by Geoffrey Archer has been updated with details of the fictional naval weapons that appear in it.
 

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Chet Cunningham (Pen name: Keith Douglass), SEAL Team Seven: Payback, 2002

United States

Unnamed
Pegasus Class MKV (SOC/PBF) (Fictional Class)
Length: 85ft
Beam: 17ft
Engines: 2 x 4500hp TE94 Diesels (Uses water jets instead of propellors.)
Speed: 45knots (Max)
Crew: 2 + 1 x 8man USN SEAL Squad
Note: A militarized version of the 'go-fast' boats often used by drug smugglers. In the novel it's stated that 28 such vessels are in service with the US Navy at the time the novel is set, which appears to be around 2002 the year it was published. The US Navy uses them for covert insertions into hostile territory. In the scene the ship appears in it's being used to intercept pirates off the coast of Puerto Rico.

USCGC Reliance (WMEC-615)
Reliance Class Cutter
Real ship, details as in service 1964 - Ongoing.

Korea (Peoples Democratic Republic of)

Nanjin 531
Nanjin Class Frigate (Modified)
Length: 334ft (104.8fm)
Armament: 2 x 100mm guns, 4 x 57mm guns, 16 x quad mount 12.7mm mgs (Most likely a North Korean copy of the DShK.), 6 x SSM-1 missiles (Most likely copies of the SS-N-2 'Styx' missile) and 9 x navalized SCUD Missiles.
Other details as per the real ship.
Note: This is an actual member of the Nanjin Class, a photograph of the ship can be found on Wikipedia. In the novel it is disgused as a freighter. The ship as described in the novel is 16ft (4.87m) longer than the standard members of the class and this may be connected to the missile fit out.

Plot summary: Two years previously the North Koreans tried and failed to absorb South Korea, to regain lost 'Face' a plan is put into motion to attack the nation most responsible for that failure...

Note: As I've mentioned in previous entries, this series and the 'Carrier' series were created by J. Andrew Keith who with his brother William H. Keith, are both well known in Science Fiction Gaming circles for their work on the Traveller RP-G. There's strong evidence that both shared the 'Keith Douglass' pen name for these series. Also linked to the two series was Chet Cunningham, a career pulp action fiction writer with dozens of novels under his own name and various pennames stretching back to the 1960s. This is the first novel I've read in either series that his name can be conclusively linked to. The 'A' plot is competent, but the 'B' plot in which a member of the team is blackmailed by the owners of a crooked casino into smuggling drugs for them and desperately struggles to find a way out of the mess with his position on the team intact is more interesting.
 
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An update. Several of the Douglas Reeman entries have been updated with the bizarre covers created for the 2022 eBook re-issues.
 

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Kate Dewar, The Lone Wolf, published as Commando Comics Nº.5343, 2020

Germany

U-1213
U-Boat, type not specified (Most likely a Type VII)
No other details provided.
Note: Mentioned in dialog, does not take part in the plot. The pennant number was not used by the Germans during WWII.

U-1215
Type VII U-Boat
Details as per the real ships.
Note: Class assignment is based on the illustration. The pennant number was not used by the Germans during WWII.

United States

Various Unnamed Warships

Plot summary: As a U-Boat tries to return to base, strange things happen aboard and it becomes clear that someone is not who they say they are.
 
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Dee Henderson, Undetected, 2014

United States (Navy)

USS Nevada (SSBN-733)
Ohio Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1986 - Ongoing.

USS Nebraska (SSBN-739)
Ohio Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1993 - Ongoing.

USS Ohio (SSGN-726)
Ohio Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1981 - Ongoing. The conversion to an SSGN occurred in 2003 with the work being completed in 2006.

USS Seawolf (SSN-21)
Seawolf Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1997 - Ongoing.

USS Connecticut (SSN-22)
Seawolf Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 1998 - Ongoing.

United States (Coast Guard)

USCGC Vincent
Coast Guard Cutter, class not specified
No other details provided.

Fictional Naval Equipment

United States

Unnamed

A software package that enables 'Cross-Sonar' (From the description in the novel this appears to be an expansion of Bi-Static sonar techniques (See Wikipedia: Link.)) in submarines fitted with it. The process allows detection using disguised active sonar pulses to locate targets at distances of up to 200miles(322km) and in high noise environments.

Russia

Gepard (K-335)
Akula III (Pr. 971M) Class Submarine (Note: Novel misidentifies the submarine as an Akula II (Pr. 971U) Class Submarine.)
Real ship, details as in service 2001 - Ongoing.

Korea (Republic of)

Son Won-il (SS072)
Type 214 Class Submarine
Real ship, details as in service 2007 - Ongoing
Note: First member of a nine ship class, construction is split between Hyundai & Daewoo.

China (People's Republic of)

Unnamed
Submarine (SSN), class not specified
Crew: 87.
No other details.

Plot summary: One of many pieces of 'Christian Fiction' published in an attempt to get the target readership (In this case readers of 'Chick lit'.) to accept God. The story follows the relationship between a submarine commander and a genius who's ideas on submarine detection ultimately threaten to leave the submarine community facing the blank, unnappealing face of 'square one' even as North Korea creates a tense situation in the Korean Peninsula.

Note: In the background to the female romantic lead, reference is made to the 2005 collision between the USS San Francisco (SSN-711) and an uncharted seamount as one of the drivers for her quest to improve submarine detection capabilities. The same event is also used as the basis for the crisis event that concludes the novel in which a Chinese submarine trying to involve itself in the Korean Peninsula situation hits a seamount the Chinese didn't know about.
 
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