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Peace Company Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
In this novel, in 2715, the Gamemaster has inserted a Team on Bayard to disrupt its peace. The Team is nominally working for the Ranchers and against the Fishermen. Their first task is the sinking of a ship, the Celestine Auphan.
The Team uses a rocket propelled torpedo to assault the vessel. After the first strike, the survivors of the temporary transfer crew flee on a rubber raft, but the permanent crew tries to beach the ship. Another torpedo hits a reef and explodes prematurely, but the hydraulic shock causes the ship to sink faster and it goes down in a depth of thirty meters. The Team tries to kill the survivors, but Air-Sea Rescue is already on the scene, so the Team flees to the other side of the strait.
In this story, the helmsman Paul Rebenc starts planning recovery of the Celestine Auphan. He is assisted by the boatswain Nils Bergstrom and crew members Julian Geesink, Roman Talgas, and Joseph Vasi. The engineer Katie Holloran is recovering from electrical burns in the hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy in Havre des Dames.
Back on Earth, Sergeant Major John B. Parkes is reporting to Company Group Fourteen, Seventh (New Frontier) Brigade, Peace Force. Parkes is the senior enlisted man in the Field Squadron. His equivalent in the Support Squadron is Sergeant Major Maria Camilla "Dozer" di Leone, an old friend. The Group Sergeant Major is Hatcher, who is within two years of retirement.
Lieutenant Katherine Forbes-Brandon is the Naval Liaison for Company Group Fourteen. Parkes meets Forbes-Brandon when he reports for duty. She is the Officer of the Day and neither is impressed with the other on first acquaintance. She is handsome, although her jaw is a little too broad, and she is obviously British. Dozer says that she has a good grasp of the book knowledge for her duties and is learning the rest fairly rapidly. Still, Parkes is puzzled by her incongruities.
Lieutenant-Colonel David MacLean is commanding officer of Company Group Fourteen. He is a former enlisted man who worked his way up. MacLean gets along with his troops and isn't afraid of higher command. He should be a good man to work for.
Major Jesus Desiderio Vela is the commander of the Field Squadron, the man for whom Parkes works. Vela is a genuine legend in the Peace Force. He had commanded a battalion of Hrothmi -- an alien species -- before joining the Peace Force.
The Mediator Arthur Goff is the only civilian in Company Group Fourteen. He is responsible for dealing with the governments on Bayard. He is aware of his lack of knowledge of military affairs, but has a wide -- and sharp -- understanding of practical politics.
This story has Company Group Fourteen transported to Bayard to settle the conflicts there. They are aware of the presence and providence of the Team, but do not know where the Team is located. After arrival, they quickly learn that the local Union representative has conducted aerial reconnaissance of sectors north of Havre des Dames and thus has warned the Team of possible bases and observation posts.
The command group soon decides to locate themselves elsewhere. A pathfinder team is quickly dropped south of Havre des Dames. Within twenty-four hours, the base is secured and buildings are being assembled from the cargo drones. Aircraft flying in the vicinity are being intercepted and scanned for weapons.
The story has two main themes: the conflict between the Peace Forcers and the Team and the relationship between Parkes and Forbes-Brandon. The Peace Forcers outnumber the Team and have much greater firepower, so the Team has to operate in guerrilla mode. Meanwhile, Parkes is reconsidering his rejections of promotion to officer rank; after all, becoming an officer would bypass Article 46, which forbids intimate relationship between officers and enlisted.
Despite the back cover, this novel is not about mercenary troops. The Peace Force is the military arm of the Peace Union, the supergovernment over Earth and the colonies.
The story has one small irritant: use of "Goff" in place of "Garron" in at least two sections. Chief Warrant Machinist Rufus Garron is the senior nonofficer aboard the Navy ship Ark Royal. If this book is ever reprinted, these misuses should be corrected.
This tale depicts military matters in a very realistic manner. The strategy, tactics and logistics are consistent with the mission of the Peace Force. So are the daily relationships among the noncommissioned officers. This is a good combat SF novel.
Highly recommended for Green fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of military matters, guerrilla warfare, and interpersonal relationships.
-Arthur W. Jordin