Turtledove attempts to deliver again and thus far in this tread he seems to be doing so. He attacks the question: what if WWII started a bit earlier, ..Show More »with the Allies declaring war instead of handing over Czechoslovakia? Thus far, much of the gist of WWII seems to be following as it did in our history, but several events are developing that allude to some interesting turns. The ending is a cliffhanger. This book has the feel of another great Turtledove saga, and those can often go on for 7 or more books, so beware before getting too deeply into this.
Even if you don't hear stem-winder lectures (sermons) so often nowadays about the Munich betrayal of Czechoslovakia ("peace in our time" was never qui..Show More »te the same, even as a prayer), there are abstract arguments - Britain had only just begun to build modern fighters, would the German army command have taken action to dump Hitler, was the German build-up itself ready to fight, etc.
Harry Turtledove makes you forget whatever you thought you knew, including real WW II history, and his cast of seriously developed characters live a story where neither you nor they know how it will turn out, let alone details.
His trademark effortless mastery of details runs from the motor, armor and weapons on a panzer Mark 1 or Mark 2, or the early anti-tank weapons (think a .50 calibre machine gun pretending to be a rifle; and here I found the LAAW and 3.5 inch rocket frustrating ;-) through Jewish life in Hitler's Germany. He invents Czech soldiers who fought hard in their own country, and escaped to fight in France - imagine "Good Soldier Schweik' with the same character but with his own country and fighting to keep it.
I just finished the second volume, and will re-audit the first, because Turtledove's prose and imagination richly reward the second reading.
We see the perspective from an American in Berlin, two jewish families in Berlin, a Czech sniper u..Show More »sing an anti-tank weapon as a sniper rifle, an International, an infantry company led by Awful Arno, Theo Hossbach and his Panzer III, and Stuka pilot.
Also is the Russian view from Ivan, and others.
This tale is engrossing, funny and gives an insight into Spanish civil war that I did not know.