Setting: Earth, during the late 1930's in an alternate version of World War II
First Sentence: Theo Hosbach lay on a con in a military hospital in Cambrai.
This novel is the second in Harry Turtledove's "The War that Came Early" series.
In this version of World War II, Hitler attacked France in 1938. Because Germany was not quite ready for war, the Blitzkrieg bogged down. England, France and England are mired in a trench war reminiscent of World War I. On the eastern front, Germany and Poland are allies fighting against the Soviet Union. In Asia, Japan and the Soviet Union are at war. Japan has conquered China. The United States is neutral, but American citizens are involved in the war.
Turtledove uses a wide variety of characters to tell his tale. Among them are:
- A German sniper, and a Czech sniper out to nail each other,
- An American woman trapped in Germany,
- A French soldier leading a machine gun crew,
- A German pilot with ideas about how to make his dive bomber more lethal to tanks,
- A British infantry sergeant fighting in Norway,
- An American marine stationed in Shanghai,
- A Japanese soldier fighting the Russians in Siberia,
- A Jewish girl and her family trying to survive in Nazi Germany.
I liked this novel. The fun of reading alternate history novels is to see how history plays out in the author's imagination. Turtledove's plot is different yet plausible. In this novel, he has delivered an enjoyable story.
West and East
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