DEEP WAR by David Poyer – Review


DEEP WAR by David Poyer
DEEP WAR by David Poyer

USA –  -( My first David Poyer book was Hunter Killer. I spotted it at my local library, and the jacket cover depicted a naval conflict with current stealth aircraft flying over the fleet. That book pretty much scared the heck out of me. So, I found the book Onslaught that was written just before Hunter Killer, wanting to get a better grasp of the main characters.

The author of these books is Captain David Poyer, US Navy retired. He is a Navy Academy graduate and knows what he is talking about when he writes naval fiction. All reading Hunter Killer did was reinforce my concern factor about a war in the Pacific with the Chinese.

DEEP WAR by David Poyer

Deep War came out, and I read it in two days. And, yes it increased my fear factor about the Han Chinese and their threat to the south Pacific and the US.

I still have contacts in the US Department of Defense and contacts who work at watching the Han Chinese, so I discussed some the Captain Poyer’s fictional concepts about war with China. Their response was Captain Poyer’s writing for entertainment was extremely close to potential real-world scenarios. Scenarios that can and most likely will get Americans killed in the near future.

To quote Kirk Douglas playing a Navy Commander, in the epic 1965 movie In Harm’s Way, about WWII in the Pacific, “we’ve got ourselves another war, a gut-busting mother-lovin’ naval war.” Captain Poyer’s, Deep War is assuredly about another gut-busting Pacific naval war, and the US is having a hard time holding its own against the Han Chinese.

The South Pacific is a long way from the shores of the mainland of the US. The Chinese are fighting their side of the war from their home real estate which means their supply lines are much shorter. The US and its allies are fighting the gut-busting naval war with their supply lines thousands of miles in their rear. A rear area that does not appear to be as safe from the enemy as it was in WWII.

Captain Dan Lenson is the primary character in this series of books. There are also four other characters who have ongoing subplots in the series. Subplots, might not be accurate. There are five different storylines running concurrently throughout the books to include Deep War.

In the three Poyer books, I have read, Captain Lenson and the US Navy are working hard trying to stop the aggression of the Han Chinese, but they are not winning the war. In fact, by the time you start reading Deep War, the US and its allies have been at war with China for two years

One of the characters is a young illegal alien male from Mexico. The US does not want to activate the draft and force its precious youth into an unpopular war, so instead, it forces the illegals living in the US to either join the US military or be deported. Nothing is so patriotic as letting foreigners fight your war because for three generations in the real world we have given our youth a pass in defense of the US.

Of course, I am mixing reality and fiction, but then again that happens all the time in life.

There is no sending the womenfolk to the safety of the rear area to roll bandages and bake Anzac biscuits for the boys on the front lines. The women are dying just as fast and sadly just as hard as the men in uniform. There is no rear area when your ship is being attacked on all side by Chinese high tech missiles designed to kill something as big as an aircraft carrier.
My real world, biggest fear, is not that New York or LA are nuked but that the power grid goes down. That is just what the Han Chinese accomplish in Poyer’s books. They attack the internet, they go after the banking industry, and cell phone communications, all, of course, need electricity.

The US is more developed and therefore more dependent on all the tools and toys that must have electricity to work. Yes the US Navy tries real had to take out the Han Chinese power supply, but when you live in a mud hut outside the main cities, you don’t necessarily notice when the power is out.

At one point in Deep War, there is a staff meeting of very senior military and civilian political leaders. They talk about how sorry they are that the Federal government had to suspend the 1st and 2nd amendments. Just as the first responder system in the US is failing miserably to meet the desperate needs of unprepared citizens, the first thing the people in power want to do is disarm their people. I closed the book and put it down for a couple of minutes after reading that line.

I know it is fiction but the idea of taking Americans firearms and oh-by-the-way they placed citizens in internment camps if they spoke out against the war and the president, this also made me have to stop reading. I am reading Deep War as a form of entertainment, and the idea of taking away our civil rights was just not entertaining, so I closed the book.

Of course, I went back and finished the story, but I will reiterate, too much of the Deep War storyline cuts to close to a potential reality in a time of real crisis.

Of course when they stopped forcing illegal’s into the US military and implemented a total male and female draft, then, the government sends troops into crowds of Americans to suppress the draft riots. So I guess the lesson learned here, is don’t give up your firearms just because some elected officials want your guns. Once you are disarmed SWAT can do whatever they want to you even if you are not the bad guy.

The Han Chinese are the bad guys in Captain Poyer’s latest books but, way too many Americans suffer at the hands for their leaders, with the caveat that “the government is here to help.” Do not believe it. Remember Roosevelt locked up a lot of Americans during WWII in concentration camps on US soil because they were of Japanese descent.

President Woodrow Wilson incarcerated Americans who were of his very own progressive liberal mine set. Supporters who helped put him in office. He locked them in federal prisons during WWI because they spoke out about his sending our troops to France. He called their verbal actions sedition and a threat and locked them up as if they were bank robbers and murders.
Deep War was not the end of Captain Poyer’s continuing story about our latest war in the Pacific. So far we are not doing so well, and the Han Chinese are winning. I await the next book in the series.

In the meantime, I suggest you read Deep War and perhaps go back a couple of books and discover the earlier storyline of the Marines and Sailors fighting this fictional war that could be an outline for the real thing.

Deep War is an entertaining read, but it is also a training manual for potential conflicts in our near future. I would like to think I am too old to get recalled to active duty, but in the book, everyone who could stand on their own two feet gets recalled into uniform and are expected to fight and die if needed in Captain Poyer’s story. Too close to reality perhaps?
Read it, learn and be afraid. It is fiction but to easily it could become a reality.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
[email protected]

Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]


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Roy D.

“I thought there were one billion Chinese.”

“There were.”


One of the main reasons the President wants to cut back on Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan is that we’ve been wearing out our equipment and forces, and depleting our precision weapons stocks. Pulling back most of our forces should allow us to build up precision weapons supplies, albeit not to the levels we would need for a major force on force battle with the Chinese. China hasn’t fought at sea in the modern era. I suspect that although they are emboldened by all of the weakness the US has shown at sea recently, they realize that they aren’t proficient enough… Read more »

Wild Bill

@JDC, Good info. Not being a squid type, it is foreign to me. How do we destroy the Chinese logistics mechanism?


@Wild Bill 34 years a Squid, aviation type. Retired 12 yrs. We will have to hammer their supply ships and oil tankers, much like we did the Japanese in WWII. Hopefully we’ve got a plan to seed all those islands with rockeye type anti-personnel mines from cruise missiles, then put Marines on them to use as our own Forward Operating Bases. Defend them with SSM and SAM;s. They have very limited amphib capability, but they are getting better. Having taken over their own island airfields, we can surround them with our ships, and do the reverse of their plan…use their… Read more »

rich z

Make sure there are NO China made chips in our military equipment. It’s too easy to slip something in that no-one knows about.


Are talking about Feinstein’s 20y govt paid chinese spy of a limo driver?

James Groner

Although there was bitter sentiment toward the 1st & 2nd amendment, this book seems to illustrate just what could transpire in present day America. It is in fact, scary how close we are to the mentality of characters in this book. Reading this book might be exactly what is needed to make up the sleeping American population.

John Thiel

Too bad Major Van Harl didn’t go back and start at the beginning of the Dan Lenson series. To jump on the caboose and try to review the locomotive is disingenuous.

Major T. J. "King" Kong

With Chinese admirals calling for our carriers to be sunk to keep us out of the South China Sea, I hope our country has the courage to remove all of China’s artificial islands with nuclear weapons as soon as our first carrier is sunk.

Dr Jim L Davis

And what do you think the Chinese will be doing at the same time. If you are really ex-military then you should be aware of the fact that China is a Nuclear Power with missile capability to hit any target in the U.S. or any in the world for that matter.

Wild Bill

@Dr Jim, We are all aware that China has nuclear weapons, and that the Chinese will use them no matter what we use. For example: We use our “God Rod” space based non-nuclear weapons, and The Chinese retaliate with nuclear weapons. The Chinese are in this to win. So the question becomes do we prefer Chinese tyranny, Moslem theocracy, or a Civil Rightless existence under our home grown democrat socialists? There are so many arrayed against us.


Fear not, the GLBT led US Military will make quick work of the ChiComs….


Yea sure… They’ll all beat the chicoms to death with their deadly rainbow colored wet noodles… thirty lashes each.
TP-piercing wet noodles. : 0

Wild Bill

@Bigal, you have a terrific sense of humor. Just the notion of the GLBT crowd using their “weapons” … I almost fell out of the chair, laughing!
Maybe we could air drop the entire GLBT crowd over there and they could “reprogram” the Chinese.


Long ago I read fiction like that. Just like the movies, tv, and pop-music radio. There’s way too much predictive programming in fictional media. I did however think it interesting until I read the sly commie divisive line; “One of the characters is a young illegal alien male from Mexico. The US does not want to activate the draft and force its precious youth into an unpopular war, so instead, it forces the illegals living in the US to either join the US military or be deported.” Especially while an anti-2A leader is in office trying to build a ‘Wall’.… Read more »

Christopher Landreneau

China will not make the deadly mistake of starting war with the US unless we neuter our Navy & nuclear deterrent. Now more than ever we need to insure our defenses are 2nd to none to let adversaries know that if you attack us you will be totally annihilated.


that’s bold talk from a one eyed fat man.

Roy D.

“Fill your hand, you son of a b….!”


Greetings to a fellow fan.