WINGMAN THE FINAL STORM BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1989.

The United Americans have achieved some relative stability and decide it is time to seek some much needed justice. They raid Bermuda where the traitorous Vice President still runs the New Order regime. Brought back to the states a huge trial is put on in Syracuse. There Hawk Hunter and others under hypnosis have told their stories about their experiences during the war. Hunter is the main character and starts out on Christmas Eve at Cape Canaveral where he has just been accepted to the space shuttle program. Only a surprise gas attack on Western Europe cuts his training short. Joining his friends at Rota, Spain they wage a brutal air war with the forces of the Warsaw Pact. A war that is eventually won but a stab in the back by the traitor VP sees America defeated and her forces destroyed.

The trial is interrupted by the Soviets who demand the return of the VP. They have now rebuilt their nuclear capability and as a demonstration detonate a nuke over Syracuse. Now Hunter must fly a mission to the Soviet base in Kazakhstan in a souped up B-1 bomber. This mission will determine whether America is free or the Soviets dominate the world.

This installment of the series is a prequel of sorts that shows us what happened during the initial opening of WWIII. An epic fight that sees Hunter in these massive air battles. The goal to distract the Soviets enough for them to use these super hi-tech weapons against the invading army. It you want a realistic depiction of a Soviet invasion you should read Harold Coyle, Tom Clancy or Larry Bond. If you just want an over the top fun battle that sees A-10 Thunderbolts and AC-130 gunships sink an aircraft carrier. Massive air battles involving all types of fighters under the sun. Goofy types of advanced drones taking out entire divisions then this is the book for you.

This was the last hurrah for the Soviets as the enemy of Hunter and the United Americans. After this they ceased to be a threat. The new threats after this were Nazis, KKK, Asian Mercenary cults and submarine Vikings.

WINGMAN THUNDER IN THE EAST BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1988.

Hawk Hunter is back from the Middle East after defeating Victor Robotov aka Lucifer and his invasion of Europe. Now he has the deal with the Soviet backed Circle that controls the eastern half of America. The western forces now known as the United Americans first have to liberate Football City formerly St. Louis, They first have to make sure they rescue ten thousands POWs that the Circle are using as hostages. This involves a convoluted plan to use old prohibition era tunnels to get them to the Mississippi and float them out on inner tubes. Then Hawk and his friends infiltrate the Family in New Chicago and manage to take over that organization of criminals. They then set the Family army against the Circle army and destroy both of them. Finally they move east to continue their victories.

Yet they have to hurry for the Soviets have hired a mercenary army in Scandinavia that is coming to reinforce the Circle. They also have to stop a massive iconoclasm from happening in Washington D.C. The Soviets plan to burn thousands of books, sports equipment and American flags to destroy American culture and demoralize the people. Hunter has to lead a general revolt and stop the evil Soviets from their diabolical plans.

This book sees the Circle finally being defeated and America reunited. It also has Hunter get an upgraded F-16 or an F-16XL. Once again Hunter and friends fight against overwhelming odds and come out on top. I love how they manage to come into the mafia controlled New Chicago and take over. Maloney has a real talent for making his villains so loathsome. Most are sexual perverts into underage girls. I will say that he was way ahead of his time in the whole cancel culture thing. Sure the whole plot of the Soviets is a bit goofy and seemed really so at the time. Yet destroying American culture to destroy America has never been more alive and well. This was a really enjoyable book filled with over the top action and villain. Not to mention a good dose of American patriotism thrown in.

WINGMAN THE CIRCLE WAR BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1987.

After the defeat of the Family, Hunter and his buddies settle down with the Pacific American Air Corp(PAAC) which consists of the west coast of the former United States. Yet stuff is happening. Hunter discovers the Soviets sneaking 50 Yak-38 VTOL fighters into the country. There are reports of mysterious goings on all over the country. Strange lights over the great lakes. Cavalry troops attacking from the Badlands. It is soon discovered that the Soviets have infiltrated thousands of surface to air missiles(SAMs) into the Badlands that center part of the country destroyed by a sneak nuclear attack. They also have Mongol cavalry to guard them. While this is going on Victor Robotov a terrorist and possible Soviet agent has organized the eastern part of the country into The Circle. With thousands of recruits they march to link up with the Soviets in the Badlands. Then they plan to conquer the Western Democracies. The only hope is for Hawk Hunter to retrieve five black boxes that will power a flight of special B-1 bombers. Along the way in New York he manages to also find a Stealth fighter and rescue his girlfriend Dominique. Then it is a great battle between the forces of good and evil.

The second book in the series has Hunter once again save the good guys almost single handedly from the evil Soviets and their puppets. Another fun adventure as we get to explore the kooky world of the New Order. In this one Hunter goes from Hawaii to the Grand Canyon. He manages to use a jet pack to fly up to the World Trade Center(it exists in this time line) and rescue his girlfriend and get the necessary components to save the day. Yes the logic is a bit sketchy and the plot is downright goofy but it is fun goofy. Maloney writes a very fast paced and interesting story with larger then life characters in a larger than life world. You get a good feeling to see the bad guys get put in their place. Definitely another winner in the series. On a side note I remember a computer game called Harpoon. A very realistic naval warfare simulation at the time I loved playing. I remember that the Yak-38 was a real piece of shit in the game. Had a very limited range and weapons. Somehow I think that plane was overrepresented in the book.

WINGMAN BY MACK MALONEY

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Copyright 1987.

It has been two years since America lost WWIII to the Soviets. They won on the battlefield in Europe soundly defeating the armies of the Warsaw Pact. Yet the Vice President was a Soviet mole and had the President and his cabinet assassinated. Then he turned off the star wars shield and the Soviets were able to obliterate the ICBM fields in the Midwest. What resulted was the New Order. The U.S. was to destroy all its advanced aircraft and other military equipment. The country is broken up into various independent nations and Free States. All broadcast TV and radio was banned and so is any mention of the United States and the American flag. Hawk Hunter is a fighter pilot who has been living on a mountain in New Hampshire since the great stab in the back. One day he gets a message from his old commander General Jones. Jones is head of the Airforce for the Northeastern Economic Zone which is made up of New England. He is offered a job and the chance to fly the last F-16 in existence.

Naturally he accepts but soon trouble is on the way in New Order America. The Middle Atlantic Conference known as Mid-Aks have been steadily conquering territory. With traitors in the Zone government they manage to launch a successful coup and Hunter and the Zone air force are forced to flee. Hunter eventually hooks up with Louie St. Louie the founder of Football City. Formerly St. Louis, Football City is now the gambling capital of he continent. Their main attraction is a football game played all day for most of the year. Yet the forces of evil are gathering to destroy this bastion of freedom. The Family the Mafia has taken over Chicago and build up a mercenary army. With Soviet advisors and financing they are about to conquer Football City. Hunter is tasked with building up an air force from scratch to defend the city. It ends in a spectacular battle.

This is one of my favorite series from the eighties. It is like Top Gun meets the Road Warrior. I have heard it described as a comic book in book form and that is a very accurate description. Apparently after the war the older aircraft were overlooked so everyone uses old jet fighters from the fifties and sixties. Hunter has the only modern fighter in America. This is a character that is larger then life and fighting opponents that are larger then life. Now it is a bit absurd for people to go cruising around in a jet fighter like it was a Toyota. In real life such a complex piece of machinery needs a crew of twenty and mounds of spare parts to operate. You don’t really care because this story is just so fun. The series continued well into the nineties before morphing into a sci-fi series called Starhawk. Then the author revived it a few years ago so the series has a popular following. Personally one of my favorites.

TANKWAR IV: FIREBRAND BY LARRY STEELBAUGH

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Copyright 1991.

It is several days into WWIII and there is a tenuous truce. The First Guards Tank Corp has failed to successfully withdraw to a more tenable position thanks to Captain Max Tag and his supertank Xm-F4 No Slack Too. This didn’t come without a cost. Their driver Wheels Latta was killed. Fortunately they find a replacement in Tag’s girlfriend Lt. Giesla Ruther. Yet they still have their orders to continue to harass the trapped unit. So with his supertank, two advanced Bradleys and some Rangers he continues his attacks against the Soviets. They manage to destroy a recon battalion before the Soviets surrender.

So this book sees the war in Europe come to an end. The Soviets due to internal rebellion see the hardline government overthrown and a new democratic one take it’s place. You can tell that this series was already running out of steam. It has this supertank very overpowering and it is endless skirmishes with the Soviets. Naturally they achieve an overwhelming victory each time. Yet you get this sense reading this that it is pointless. The Soviets are clearly defeated so why bother? The book came out literally two months before the Soviet Union actually collapsed so it was already becoming highly improbable for this scenario to happen, I actually thought this was the last but I found out that there were two more books for this series future.

TANKWAR III: FIRESTORM BY LARRY STEELBAUGH

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Copyright 1991.

The Soviets have resorted to a tactical nuclear strike on NATO forces in southern Germany. NATO responds and devastates the Soviet divisions. A truce is called for units to withdraw from contaminated areas. General Kettle though wants to punish the First Guards Tank Army which was the unit that launched the strike. The army is trapped between lake Constance and contaminated fallout areas. So Captain Max Tag with his supertank XM-F4 No Slack Too is given the job of harassing them. Because of the truce he will be operating without any support. Although he gets two super enhanced Bradley APCs and a company of Rangers to help him out. So begins a series of hit and run attacks against the army. Yet the commander a Colonel Yeshev has his own formidable tanks in the new T-80B.

For the third book the author ups the stakes by going nuclear. This seems to have hurt the Soviets more than NATO. After this we have units deserting. We are also introduced to the Soviet perspective in this book. Colonel Yeshev gives up a look at how hardliners took over. He is someone who is a sympathetic character and not some cartoon caricature that sometimes populate these type of books. We get plenty of over the top action as the No Slack Too causes mayhem with the Soviets. Needless to say the T-80Bs do not live up the the hype that the book hints at. It ends with them successful in preventing the Tank army from withdrawing but they do lose the driver Wheels Latta.

TANKWAR II: FIREBALL BY LARRY STEELBAUGH

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Copyright 1990.

World War III has started with a Warsaw Pact invasion of western Europe. Sgt. Max Tag has managed to get the experimental tank back to NATO lines. Now he finds out his new mission from General Ross Kettle the commander of NATO. First he gets promoted to captain. Then with the newer XM-F4 No Slack Too he is to go back behind enemy lines to gather intelligence and hit rear area command and supply. They are also to go after units that are bringing up tactical nukes. So Tag and his tank are reunited with the Jagd Commandos and American supply company. Operating from an old mine and working with the local resistance they manage to take out a rear area HQ and many of the units bringing up tactical nukes. Only they don’t succeed in getting them all and a nuclear attack is launched against the NATO armies in southern Germany at the end of the book.

So the second has Tag and his supertank going behind enemy lines. They reunite with the units that helped them including his girlfriend Giesla. It must be great to be in a combat unit and have your girlfriend along for the occasional sex during those rest periods. Somehow I don’t think the real world works that way but this series was not set in the real world. You also get a new character introduced in Sgt. N. Sain. A hashish smoking rock musician who was visiting during a USO tour and now commands a Bradley. He was in the reserve Army and has his two keepers Mad Dog and Rabies. He spouts all this goofy new age mumbo-jumbo. This came out in December of 1990 which by then it was obvious that the Warsaw Pact was a Humpty-Dumpty that wasn’t getting put back together again. Still it was an enjoyable action series that you just suspended belief to enjoy. Ends with a big cliffhanger of a nuclear strike to give the reader a sense of much more serious stuff to come.

TANKWAR BY LARRY STEELBAUGH

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Copyright 1989.

It is the near future and hardliners in the Soviet Union have taken over. They have reasserted themselves in Eastern Europe and tensions are about to break out in open war. Sgt. Max Tag is testing out a new prototype of tank. The XM-F3 No Slack is on maneuvers near the Czech border when the war starts. They find themselves trapped behind enemy lines. Luckily they hook up with some Jagd Commandos a specialized unit of West Germans in light attack vehicles that are to harass the Soviets rear lines. They also pick up some American rear echelon supply company also trapped behind the lines. This motley group has to fight its way through the Warsaw Pact forces to the NATO lines.

This series just came out one month before the Berlin Wall came down so the idea soon became a bit dated. Yet this is a pretty solid little military action series based on what seemed like a very credible scenario. It had a decent run in the early nineties. You have this super-dooper advanced tank with anti-air missiles, monopolar carbide armor, advanced computers, laser targeting and radar. Not the mention it can go 80mph. The crew is your typical stereotypes that you get in these type of series. Fruits Tutti the loader who is an Italian from the Bronx that’s also a genius with computers. Wheels Latta a hillbilly that was a moonshine runner in his civilian life is the driver. Naturally he uses his driving perfected from evading revenuers to evade the Soviets. Then there is Ham Jefferson the gunner who is your token black guy.

You also like many men’s adventure series the romantic hot girl for the main protagonist. This this case a Lt. in the Jagd Kommandos who is the sister of his best friend. Naturally they have the obligatory very graphic detail sex scene during one of the lulls in fighting. We find out that Max Tag’s manhood is so big she has to use both hands to lift it. Yes it is that big. The story gives everything from the groups perspective and we don’t get a big perspective on the war in general which I think was a good idea. Gives a more intimate feel to the story. We do get some flashbacks to show Tag’s past. Like his time growing up in Montana and a fight with the local biker gang that leads to him finding out about his father’s service in Vietnam. His past experiences in fighting off an Yemeni-Iranian invasion of Oman and another in Honduras fighting a Communist coalition. Naturally they make it back to fight WWIII another day.

C.A.D.S. #12 TECH ASSASSINS BY JOHN SIEVERT

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Copyright 1991.

The C.A.D.S. under Colonel Dean Sturgis have successfully rescued President Williamson from The Lenin. What they didn’t know is he has already been brainwashed while a prisoner. Programmed to find the nuclear reactor at Hardbase Alpha and then wait for the miniature nuclear bomb implanted in him to go off. So Sturgis and his men must fight other guards at the base who were ordered by the President to stop them. After a whole bunch of fights that take up the first third of the book they manage to stop the President. They get the bomb taken out of him and have him deprogrammed. This incident has given the President the idea that a new Continental Congress should be convened to declare a second Declaration of Independence.

Needless to say evil Supreme Marshal Veloshnikov goes nuts over this idea. Aboard his new super sub The Leonid Breshnev he begins an all out attack on the free communities scattered across a devastated post-nuke America. Such units as Supreme Soviet Death Division, Black Raskolnikov Brigade and my favorite- Sergeivitch Ivanovsky Bolkenskvo Spetnaz Brigade for the Utter Destruction of American Freedom and National Sovereignty. Yow what a mouthful. So the C.A.D.S. have to come to the rescue. They meet the Soviets in a big endless battle that takes up the second half of the book. After endless fighting the C.A.D.S. come out victorious. At the end the congress meets and broadcasts via a giant holographic image up in the sky. Veloshnikov sits in front of the TV glowering and thinking up his next brilliant plan to destroy America.

We never do find out his brilliant plan for this was the last in the series. It’s a bit ironic that the books ends with him saying “Death to America. Long live the Soviet Union.” This book came out December of 1991 the year that the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. So that event pretty much sounded the death knell for books like this. In this case it was probably a mercy that the series was finally put out of it’s misery. Although it may have been heading there anyway. I gave up on this series with the last book. Only recently did I find this book at Half Price to complete my collection. I didn’t miss anything all those years.

This was a really bad book. I mean it is filled with a constant stream of such cringe worthy dialogue as “Attack these putrid Yankee scum suckers, brave comrades,” or “Your doltish American taunts fall on deaf ears, craven imperialist lackeys.” Now this series started out pretty good. A solid if absurd little post-nuke action adventure. Now like most of these series they tend to go off in some very weird tangents. Which it was doing under it’s original creator Ryder Syvertson. It took the replacement with David Alexander to bring the series to a whole new level of crap. Still his crappy writing was good for a few laughs. Although it was probably good that the series ended before my brain turned to complete mush from reading too much of this.

C.A.D.S. #11 DEATH ZONE ATTACK BY JOHN SIEVERT

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Copyright 1991.

The C.A.D.S. under Colonel Dean Sturgis are on the offensive. They attack Fortress Kerensky which lies on the ruins of St. Louis. After defeating the invaders by creating an artificial tornado they take the fortress intact. Seems the Soviets are not doing well. So Marshal Veloshnikov the evil leader decides to hold a bogus peace conference. President Williamson goes to meet the puppet Soviet premier at Colonial Williamsburg. Williamsburg has been converted to the first Communist theme park called Stalinland. Sounds like something the Antifa crowd would enjoy. Anyway it turns out to be a set up. The puppet premier had a small nuclear bomb implanted in him. The President escapes but is captured and taken to the giant saucer sub Lenin. Also the Soviets launch a two prong attack from Siberia into Alaska and Mexico into the Southwest. C.A.D.S. manage to stop both. Then they go to the Lenin and rescue the President.

OK so this book was just nuts. It had the typical endless scenes of fighting with high tech helicopters, jet fighters and hovertanks with lasers and missiles against the super C.A.D.S. Also a special appearance by the Greysuits who are clearly inferior. There is very little wasted on plot and character development. The President’s capture is casually devoted one whole sentence. Don’t want to get too wordy about stuff not involving high tech fights. He does have a moment where Veloshnikov stops on an island in Nova Scotia with the President to have a talk. Its whole purpose seemed to show how truly evil Veloshnikov is. He takes the time to bash a baby seal to death with a rock. Then takes an assault rifle and slaughters all the others just for fun. Yes this guy kills baby seals for the fun of it. How evil can you get? Also the giant sub Lenin has all of a sudden lost it’s traditional sub shape and become a giant saucer. The C.A.D.S. easily manage to destroy it and free the President. Of course evil Veloshnikov escapes in his mach 20 escape craft and plots how to destroy the evil Amerikanski.

Now surprisingly the editor must have woken up for the glaring grammatical errors weren’t present in this book like the past two. In fact this had some of the most glorious passages to date. For instance the description of the deaths from the artificial tornado.

First their eyeballs squirted from the sockets of their skulls. Then their teeth flew out of their gaping mouths. Finally all the blood in their veins emptied out through their noses, eyes, dicks and assholes.

Wow what a visual. There’s more.

Clapping his hands on full servo power, Sturgis send a miniature sonic boom thundering in their direction. The supersonic clap shattered the Russians’ eardrums and made blood squeezed from their rupturing brains spurt from their nostrils with such fantastic pressure that it blew their noses clean off their faces in a shower of sticky red glop.

But wait. There’s still more.

A second supersonic clap and the eyeballs of the hapless Russians squirted from their socket, hanging uselessly down their faces on twisted white nerve threads. A third and final thunderclap from Sturgis and their hearts exploded in their chests, causing their bodies to explode.

Well nothing like being thorough. The book had writing like this throughout. It was glorious to read such incredible descriptive writing. Oh and one final little quote I enjoyed. A Greysuit has one final curse before he buys it.

The colonel muttered a Ukrainian peasants oath that damned the American to a thousand lifetimes in hell picking dirt from between the devil’s toes and sucking the eternally shitting assholes of the damned.

Now there is a curse that is creative. Go ahead and use it instead the more pedestrian “Go to Hell” or “Fuck you”.