Carrier Killer

...Asia @ War 29, from Helion & Co

Title: Carrier Killer
Author: Gerry Doyle & Blake Herzinger
Publisher: Helion & Co
ISBN: 978-1-915070-64-7

Number 29 in the Asia @ War series from Helion & Co takes on a really interesting subject, with China's Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles (ASBM) and their Theatre of Operations in the early 21st Century. A 70-page soft-cover book and this time filled with full colour photos throughout, along with the usual section of artwork pages in the middle of it, and a number of informative maps showing the region and the ranges of the various weapons.
It opens with an introduction that sets the scene and historical context that gets us to where we are today. Much of it revolves around the status of Taiwan, how the modern PRC (Peoples Republic of China) believes Taiwan should become a part of the PRC while the USA supports the continued existence of the independent Taiwan. Part of that support is provided by the large supercarriers of the US Navy, hence they are viewed as a significant threat by the PRC. We are taken through the story of how China has developed long-range ASBMs, the DF-21 and the DF-17, designed to target the large carriers. It isn't that simple though, as the US has taken up the challenge to develop new ways of defending against these weapons and put these all together and it makes for interesting reading. Amidst the photos there are inland ranges, on the edge of the Gobi Desert, where carrier shape/size targets have been made for testing their missiles. The photos, of US carriers and airpower, along with photos of the missiles and their mobile launchers are all well covered.
Over the years I have not concentrated much attention on the Chinese military. For most of the Cold War they used Soviet designs, often built under licence, and it is only in more recent times they have developed their own Chinese produced weapons. There are lots of aspects to this story and I found this really interesting reading, not only the Chinese ASBM development, but the US Navy counter measures as well. Plenty of details in here to interest modellers as well, but overall I learnt a lot from this one, fascinating reading about a part of the world I think we have overlooked for too long perhaps.
Thanks to Helion & Co for our review copy.

Robin