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Hitler's War (The War That Came Early, Book One) Paperback – June 22, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Alternate historian Turtledove (The Man with the Iron Heart) brings the deprivations of war to life in this vision of a very different WWII. After Konrad Henlein is assassinated in Czechoslovakia in 1938, France and England refuse to condone Hitler's plans for annexation, so he invades instead. American Peggy Druce, caught behind the lines, gets a firsthand look at the period military hardware and nationalistic mindsets that Turtledove so expertly describes, though readers looking for more characterization or plotting may be disappointed. Action in the Spanish Civil War and on the Mongolian border muddy the waters, possibly setting up for a clearer plot in subsequent volumes. Until Turtledove reveals more of the direction this scenario will take, there is little to differentiate it from many of his other novels. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“[Harry Turtledove’s] mastery of the ever-widening ripples that small changes make in history is unchallenged, his storytelling always gripping, and his research impeccable.”
“Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life and will make most readers hope this is the beginning of another saga.”
“Turtledove [is] the standard-bearer for alternate history.”
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Top customer reviews
Sure, there is good research but also some dreadful howlers about the technology of war. Almost all artillery is described as a 75 or an 88 or a 105 for instance. Tank battles become a hackneyed tussle between superior German training/tactics and superior Allied armour plate/poor training/poor tactics.
Some good suggestions have been made by other reviewers on how to improve these: Dated chapter headings and place names at the start of chapters would be a start. A couple of basic maps would be another . Even with a background in history and good knowledge of eastern Europe I was baffled at times by the flow of the action. I can't be too hard on the good professor, I wish he would spend more time on writing fewer volumes. in short, this series could have been wrapped up in three installments.
On more thing irked me: the awful spoilers printed on the cover. For God's sake don't read the cover!
Well, this is a similar book based on what "might have been" if the talks between Chamberlin and Hitler had broken down and Czechoslovakia had not been "given" to Hitler in the infamous concession of the Western European powers to appease Hitler's demands. Instead, the "inevitable" war begins a year or so early with Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia instead of Hitler's invasion of Poland on Sept 1st(?), 1939. This "minor" change in history causes major changes with who invades who and when.
This is only the first of several books of this series. If you like alternative history, you will enjoy this book. I did. I would have given it 4 1/2 stars if I could. The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars is that, at least so far, it just doesn't seem quite as good as his Gold Standard "How Few Remain" (IMO). I may change my mind after reading Book 2 or 3.