The Last Carrier or something like that

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Flocculencio, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Flocculencio Fabian Socialist Donor

    Jan 12, 2004
    I vaguely remember reading a book, one of a series called 'The Last Carrier'or something of the sort. It was meant as ASBish FH at the time but I think I can now call it ASBish AH.

    Basically the premise is that an American expedition to the Arctic in the 1970s finds a stranded WW2 Japanese supercarrier hitherto unknown to the rest of the world. This supercarrier is the biggest vessel ever built- the crew. equipment and pilots have survived through some sort of plot convenience.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese government launches some strange satelittes that destroy any form of modern military technology (e.g. jet fighters, ICBMs etc.). This means that the Chinese army with it's overwhelming manpower advantage is the world's newest superpower.

    The book focuses on carrier missions against the Chinese and (I think) some sort of Pan-Arab coalition fighting against NATO, Japan and most of the rest of the First World. I'm not too sure what the Russians were doing.

    Now I know it's a ludicrous premise but I was wondering if I had just dreamt it or has anyone else read these books?
  2. Landshark The Falcon!

    Jan 1, 2004
    The United Kingdom
    I've never read them but I have heard of them. It was over on the Naval Fiction Board at It must have been a couple of years ago at least, a new poster turned up and starting talking about this series and that he was trying to write a continuation of it for the board. He posted for a while but then dropped out of sight, as he seemed quite young I think that school or college (or possibly girls) began taking up more of his time than fiction. I am sure these books exist though, several of the regulars at WS1 knew of them and IIRC I looked them up at Amazon.
  3. David Howery Fear my adamantium chainsaw

    Jan 1, 2004
    I think the series you are referring to is "The Seventh Carrier"... so called, because the ship was supposed to be the seventh carrier at Pearl Harbor, but it got stuck in the iceberg instead. I missed the first book in the series, but did read a couple of the later books. I thought the whole thing was kinda silly, as it was painfully obvious the author was trying to recreate the conditions of WW2 and ignore all the inconvenient advances of modern technology. Getting rid of the satellites was a neat trick, but he has this silly agreement among all the combatants to not use fire control radar... why the heck would they all agree to that? Even without satellites and jet engines, modern technology could still do better than WW2 era planes and guns. Furthermore, the Chinese who launched those wacky satellite killers supposedly to guarantee themselves superiority through their vast numbers... do nothing the whole series. The war is always Japan and the west vs. the evil Arabs (who seem to have suddenly tripled their population, as they have an endless supply of pilots). Qaddafi is one of the main instigators of the whole mess, IIRC...
  4. Sargon Grand Master of the Stronghold Donor Monthly Donor

    Jan 2, 2004
    Stronghold City, Empire of Sargon
    I have all bar one of these books. The author is Peter Albano, an American, who served in Korea. IIRC the guy on the Naval Fiction board trying to write a follow-on said he was the son of the author, I even had a short correspondence with him for a while, he said his name was Nathaniel Albano, and his warships1 board name was General Nat. He did seem very young, and as Landshark says, he probably disappeared due to college stuff, although I recall he was somewhat over-enthusiastic with his fiction, and it sometimes did not go down well. A shame, since that might have been a reason that contributed to him leaving (if indeed it is the same person Landshark is referring to as I am).

    I found the books quite interesting, although I had a hard time accepting that the Chinese satellite system (which was supposed to instantly shoot down any jet or rocket, thereby making certain aircraft, weapons and launch vehicles impossible to use) would have remained in orbit for so long. I'm sure work would have begun on high energy weapons, or gauss guns to knock them out of orbit. However, it was basically a plot device to get WW2 ships and aircraft back into operation, with the premise that since third world countries had more of these than anyone else, they would become the new powers in the world (the first book came out in 1983 I think). I thought the fact that the Chinese hardly appeared in the books at all, despite them kicking the whole thing off (as a means of ensuring peace in the world would you believe!) was not really plausible.

    In addition I found the sex and violence to be very graphic (sometimes unecessarlily so) all centred around the Israelis and the Arabs, and the Arabs being led by Colonel Gaddafi, the Arabs realising that the nukes that Israel has are now useless, and deciding to attack using oil money to buy up loads of hardware (with not much success in those attacks). A Japanese cruise ship is held hostage, and the hostages are all eventually executed.

    The Seventh Carrier (built on the fifth 'Yamato' class hull, but stretched to give extra speed and bigger hangar storage - think IJN Shinano on steroids - is trapped behind a barrier of ice near the Aleutians (it was supposed to be the 7th CV in the Pearl Harbor strike force, but was supposed to be very secret, and so needed to hide somewhere out of the way). The crew survived off fishing and by using the equipment on the ship to provide fresh water. They maintained their equipment, and performed hard training, thereby being in superb physical condition for their age (due to their healthy diet as well).

    In 1983, the ice breaks down, and they head for Pearl thinking the war is still on, not believing stuff they pick up over the airways. They nail a Russian aircraft on the way (a Bear I think), and a small US civilian ship capturing a guy from it who tries to tell them the war is over. They approach Pearl and attack flying low under the radar (the guy they picked up told them about this), sinking BB New Jersey, and blowing up an 'Iwo Jima' class amphibious assault ship. They then head back to Japan. For some reason, the Japanese government manages to convince the US government not to sink the carrier. They arrive to a rapturous reception in Tokyo Bay, the last surviving Imperial warship. The guy they captured is beheaded on the orders of the commanding Admiral who is about 100 years old. The guy's son (a US naval officer) is allowed on board, and is told that his father has been beheaded. The first book ends there.

    The second book gives a reason for the beheading (can't recall it right now, and the guy's son joins the crew, in time becoming known as the 'Yankee Samurai'). The Chinese launch their satellites, and the 7th carrier (IJN Yonaga) is the only CV left in the world with a working airgroup. The Arabs go wild with terror attacks, kidnap some Japanese, so the Yonaga is sent to sort them out. But the Admiral commanding Yonaga refuses to take any orders except directly from the Emperor himself (who is still Hirohito at this time). Since Japan's constitution forbids the military to get involved overseas, the ship is registered with the National Parks Department as a cultural relic (I kid you not!) under direct control of the Emperor and the cabinet! (yes, is is hard to believe....). The Emperor orders the ship to rescue Japanese hostages. Anyway, the ship attracts an international crew of pilots from around the world who join the Japanese airgoup as they suffer from attrition, the elite group being made up of a Japanese ace and his two British wingmen flying Seafires. The Arabs attract mercenaries who they pay $1,000, 000 dollars per kill to or something, and a load of ex-Nazis and others froma pariah states join up flying WW2 German and Russian planes. The Arabs mange to lay their hands on some warships (a couple of 'Kiev' class , some old WW2 carriers waiting to be scrapped, some old CAs and CLs from third world countries) and go to war. The Japanese modernise the old pre-dreadnought BB Mikasa (Togo's old flagship that is currently a museum) and send her off to Israel to perform land bombardment, breaking up infantry and tank attacks by the Arabs.

    There are 11 books in the series, and author is fascinated by very graphic sex and violence. To be honest, his depiction of brutality on board IJN ships is not accurate, and is more in tune with the IJA, the IJN was far more civilised in that regard, although the officer training at Etajima (Japan's Dartmouth/Annapolis) was indeed quite hard and harsh. The books are very pro-Israel and anti-Arab, and very pro-US and pro-Imperial Japan (yeah I know, how can Imperial Japanese being good pals of democracy work out?? Well it does, somehow...) The British are portrayed somewhat as fools for sending their carrier force to the Med to be bombed to bits (I did not find that plausible given past British experience in the Med), and the Europeans mostly stay out of it. The Russians don't do much, and the Chinese do nothing at all. The author has a seeming admiration of the Japanese and the US guy's brutality which he describes with apparent glee. The good guys seem every bit as bad (in terms of gruesome acts) as the people they are fighting. Probably because it is a dirty war with a a lot of hate on both sides.

    There is some sort of agreement between the superpowers not to get directly involved in the war between Japan/Israel and the Arabs (at least in the first few books), and not to sell advanced tech to either side (such as certain types of radar, homing torpedoes etc) Yonaga ends up being escorted by a destroyer flotilla made up of 'Fletcher' class DDs crewed by mercenaries and volunteers who want to get their own back on the Arabs. Later on a old sub joins the fleet, and towards the end of the series, the repaired New Jersey joins up as well.

    (Disclaimer: I'd like the members of this board to note that I have no view about US/Europe/Israel/Arab stuff, I'm merely describing the contents of the book. I never discuss my views about that sort of thing on any board ...mostly because I don't have any and I'm not a political animal, being not from left, right, centre, up, down, or from Mars :) )

    Anyway, hope this has jogged a few memories ;)

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2004
  5. JRD2102 New Member

    May 10, 2010
    I have nine of the books. As far as I know and according to all web sources I can find that is all there is. If there are 11 I would love to know what the other two are. I have found one major error in the novels. Japan's carrier operatrions were very different from the U.S. They for one did not have a landing signal officer but a set of ligfht that guided the pilots in. This is a good series though he is no Harry Turtledove.
  6. bekosh The Zen Vorlon

    Apr 2, 2004
    Seventh Carrier
    1. The Seventh Carrier (1983)
    2. The Second Voyage of the Seventh Carrier (1986)
    3. Return of the Seventh Carrier (1987)
    4. Quest of the Seventh Carrier (1989)
    5. Attack of the Seventh Carrier (1989)
    6. Trial of the Seventh Carrier (1990)
    7. Revenge of the Seventh Carrier (1992)
    8. Ordeal of the Seventh Carrier (1992)
    9. Challenge of the Seventh Carrier (1993)
    10. Super Carrier (1994)
    11. Assault of the Super Carrier (1996)
  7. edvader Member

    Feb 13, 2004
    Interesting.I saw a book with the same title but it involved the last surviving American nuclear carrier after WW3.Probably a coincidence, however.Any one hear of this book?
  8. The Kiat I'm going to Nixonland!

    Aug 16, 2009
    The Left side of the State.
    Yeah, I heard of them, but that was so long ago.... :(
  9. hopper2cool Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Willamette Valley OR
    I read the first book like 15 years ago and thought it was OK if implausible.
  10. nandalf nandalf

    Jul 31, 2005
    I still have some of them,i liked mostly because of the air battles with WW2 planes.
  11. DD951 Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I remember reading one of the books a long time ago, back when I was in junior high (local library had a copy & it looked interesting from the cover)- but I wasn't all that impressed. Even my 14-year-old self thought it was pretty implausible and far-fetched, nor was I that impressed by the writing- struck me as being the typical junky technothriller that one finds at the checkout stand at the grocery store amongst all the other junk put next to the register in order to entice shoppers to buy a couple more things on impulse.
  12. Mr.Saint New Member

    Jan 20, 2016
    I recently got the rest of these books. My brother had the 1st and 3rd and then I ended up buying the rest for like less than $15 dollars all together. I'm on #6 but I made the mistake of flipping through #10 and saw some very...very disturbing stuff.

    Truthfully I wished the series had ended earlier, now I can barely look at it.
  13. rob2001 Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2013
    I have all but the second book, myself. I enjoyed those books.
  14. Mr.Saint New Member

    Jan 20, 2016
    I enjoyed them right up until I spoiled the ending for myself. I don't really mind, but the graphic nature just shot through the roof faster than any series I've ever read.

    I admit the concept might be a little ridiculous but I guess that's the joy of it.