From Publishers Weekly
Having laid out the course of "the war that came early" in 2009's Hitler's War, Turtledove focuses on turning his characters from stock military figures into specialists. In this version of WWII, the Nazis fail to take Paris. The German war machine, apparently fed by infinite soldiers, turns not only to the western and eastern fronts but also north to Denmark. The novel most fully shines when the characters are allowed to strive for their full potential: Czech sniper Vaclav Jezek adopts an antitank rifle as his favorite weapon; German pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel ingeniously modifies his aircraft; Soviet soldier Chaim Weinberg becomes a Party propagandist; and the Goldman family tries to achieve a semblance of normal life in Nazi-ruled Münster. The war is always present, though, and there's plenty to satisfy fans of military strategy, tactics, and armaments.
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*Starred Review* Continuing on from Hitler’s War (2009), it is now 1939, and both Germany and Russia are faced with wars on two fronts. Sergeant Fujita fights to cut off Vladivostok, while Russian pilot Sergei Yaroslavsky fights the Germans and their Polish (!) allies outside Warsaw. British Sergeant Alistair Walsh acquires a pet cat and an unreasonable familiarity with Norwegian weather as the German invasion of Scandinavia leaves the peripatetic Peggy Druce marooned in Sweden. Meanwhile, one of the few real-historical characters, Stuka pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel, earns the Knight’s Cross for discovering how to turn the lumbering dive bomber into a lethal tank-buster. In Spain, Chaim Weinberg learns that the dialectic he knows so well can be as effective a weapon as a rifle, and in Shanghai, marine corporal Pete McGill learns that it may be a long, hard road to marrying his beloved, White Russian refugee Vera. And so it whirls on, the suspense building inexorably, thanks to two of Turtledove’s gifts, in particular. One is for portraying so much of the action from the viewpoint of the grunts, or even civilians, who know little of what the Great Ones are up to until the consequences are all over them. The other proceeds from the first and is for envisioning WWII unraveling like an endless ball of yarn in the paws of an intelligent kitten. Keep reading or miss something exceedingly fine. --Roland Green