One of the major “what ifs” novel by Robert Conroy. In April 1945, advance elements of the U.S. Army reached the Elbe River, a mere sixty miles from Berlin, and some units actually crossed it. As far as they could tell, there was nothing of substance between them and the capital of the Third Reich. The Germans had largely pulled back and were concentrating on defending Berlin from the Russians, who were massing on the Oder River to the city’s east.
Eisenhower did not give Simpson permission to move toward Potsdam. But what if the American armies actually had attempted to enter Berlin? Instead of the fretful peace that presaged the Cold War, there is the strong probability that Stalin would have unleashed something like an “Operation Red Inferno” against the Allies in the spring of 1945.
This book is based on that scenario.
The book starts when the Nazis are defeated and of course Hitler soon commits suicide. That much remains unchanged. But as Stalin decides to take over all of Europe right away (you can guess the reason for his haste, if you think hard), the tables are turned. Amusingly, Germans become new Allies and somehow they are tolerated in the Allied Army and Air Force. Of course, SS are not amongst them.
One of the major strategic drawbacks in Hitler’s assault of USSR was that he couldn’t destroy or capture Baku oilfields of Russia. Conroy has not forgotten them here.
Swiss give up their neutrality in order to prevent from being overrun by the Reds. Japan is almost a footnote here and is inconsequential.
I don’t want to reveal much of the plot and ruin the book for anyone, so I would conclude my review by saying that this book would not disappoint fans of alternate history.3.5 stars.