Hitler's wholesale War (The 2021 War That Came Early, Book One) sale

Hitler's wholesale War (The 2021 War That Came Early, Book One) sale

Hitler's wholesale War (The 2021 War That Came Early, Book One) sale
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Product Description

A stroke of the pen and history is changed. In 1938, British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, determined to avoid war, signed the Munich Accord, ceding part of Czechoslovakia to Hitler. But the following spring, Hitler snatched the rest of that country, and England, after a fatal act of appeasement, was fighting a war for which it was not prepared. Now, in this thrilling alternate history, another scenario is played out: What if Chamberlain had not signed the accord?

In this action-packed chronicle of the war that might have been, Harry Turtledove uses dozens of points of view to tell the story: from American marines serving in Japanese-occupied China and ragtag volunteers fighting in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion in Spain to an American woman desperately trying to escape Nazi-occupied territory—and witnessing the war from within the belly of the beast. A tale of powerful leaders and ordinary people, at once brilliantly imaginative and hugely entertaining, Hitler’s War captures the beginning of a very different World War II—with a very different fate for our world today.

Review

“[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.”
Library Journal
 
“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.”
Booklist
 
“Turtledove [is] the standard-bearer for alternate history.”
USA Today

About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart, The Guns of the South, and How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Hot War books ( Bombs Away, Fallout, and Armistice); the War That Came Early novels: Hitler’s War, West and East, The Big Switch, Coup d’Etat, Two Fronts, and Last Orders; the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood and Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters—Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca—and two granddaughters, Cordelia Turtledove Katayanagi and Phoebe Quinn Turtledove Katayanagi.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One



20 July 1936—outside Lisbon

General José Sanjurjo was a short, heavyset man in his early sixties. He looked from the light plane to the pilot and back again. “Is everything in readiness?” he asked, his tone saying heads would roll if the pilot told him no.

Major Juan Antonio Ansaldo didn’t tell him anything, not right away. Ansaldo was pacing back and forth, his agitation growing with every stride. He watched as Sanjurjo’s aides shoved two large, heavy trunks into the airplane. “Those look heavy,” Ansaldo said at last.

“They hold the general’s uniforms!” an aide said, as if to a simpleton. “On the eve of his victorious march into Madrid, he can’t arrive in Burgos without uniforms!”

Nervously, Ansaldo lit a cigarette. Who was he, a major, to tell Spain’s most senior—and most prestigious—general what to do? He’d placed himself at the disposal of the Spanish state . . . which Sanjurjo would embody, once he flew from Portugal to Burgos to take charge of the rising against the Spanish Republic.

When he flew to Burgos? If he flew to Burgos! The city, in north-central Spain, was a long way from Lisbon. The plane, a two-seater, had only so much fuel and only so strong a motor.

“General . . .” Ansaldo said.

“What is it?” growled the man people called the Lion of the Rif because of his victories in Spanish Morocco.

“¡Viva Sanjurjo!” the general’s men shouted. “¡Viva España!”

Sanjurjo preened . . . as well as a short, heavyset man in his sixties could preen. “Now I know my flag is waving over Spain,” he boomed like a courting grouse. “When I hear the Royal March again, I will be ready to die!”

That gave Major Ansaldo the opening he needed. “General, I don’t want you to die before you get to Spain, before you hear the Royal March again.”

“What are you talking about?” Sanjurjo demanded.

“Sir, those trunks your men put aboard—”

“What about them? They’re my uniforms, as my aides told you. A man is hardly a man without his uniforms.” At the moment, Sanjurjo was wearing a light gray summer-weight civilian suit. He looked and acted quite manly enough for Ansaldo.

“They weigh a lot.” The pilot gestured. “Look at the pine trees all around the airstrip. I need the plane’s full power to take off. I have to make sure I have enough fuel to fly you to Burgos. I don’t want anything to happen to you, Señor. Spain needs you too much to take chances.”

General Sanjurjo frowned—not fearsomely, but thoughtfully. “I can’t fly into Burgos like this.” He brushed at the gray linen of his sleeve.

“Why not, your Excellency? Why not?” Ansaldo asked. “Don’t you think the people of Burgos would be delighted—would be honored—to give you anything you need? Aren’t there any uniforms in Burgos? God help the rising if that’s true!”

“God help the rising.” Sanjurjo crossed himself. Major Ansaldo followed suit. The general took a gold case from an inside jacket pocket and lit a cigarette of his own. He smoked in abrupt, savage drags. “So you think we’ll crash with my uniforms on board, do you?”

“When you’re flying, you never know,” the pilot answered. “That’s why you don’t want to take any chances you don’t have to.”

Sanjurjo grunted. He took a couple of more puffs on the aromatic Turkish cigarette, then ground it out under his heel. “Luis! Orlando!” he called. “Get the trunks off the plane!”

His aides stared as if they couldn’t believe their ears. “Are you sure, your Excellency?” one of them asked.

“Of course I’m sure, dammit.” By the way José Sanjurjo spoke, he was always sure. And so he probably was. “Spain comes first, and Spain needs me more than I need my uniforms. As the pilot here says, there are many uniforms. Por Dios, amigos, there is only one Sanjurjo!” The general struck a pose.

The aides didn’t argue any more. They did what Sanjurjo told them to do. Wrestling the trunks out of the plane’s narrow fuselage proved harder than stuffing them in had been. It took a lot of bad language and help from three other men before they managed it.

Major Ansaldo wondered how many kilos he’d saved. Fifty? A hundred? He didn’t know, and he never would—no scale was close by. But now he would fly with the kind of load the light plane was made to carry. He liked that.

“If your Excellency will take the right-hand seat . . .” he said.

“Certainly.” Sanjurjo was as spry as a man of half his age and half his bulk.

After Ansaldo started the motor, he ran through the usual flight checks. Everything looked good. He gave the plane all the throttle he could. He needed to get up quickly, to clear the trees beyond the far edge of the bumpy field.

When he pulled back on the stick, the nose lifted. The fixed undercarriage left the ground. The bumping stopped. The air, for the moment, was smooth as fine brandy. A slow smile spread across General Sanjurjo’s face. “Do you know what this is, Major?” he said. “A miracle, that’s what! To fly like a bird, like an angel . . .”

“It’s only an airplane, sir,” said Ansaldo, as matter-of-fact as any pilot worth his pay.

“Only an airplane!” Sanjurjo’s eyebrows leaped. “And a woman is only a woman! It is an airplane that takes me out of exile, an airplane that takes me out of Portugal, an airplane that takes me away from the hisses and sneezes and coughs of Portuguese. . . .”

“Sí, Señor.” Major Ansaldo knew how the general felt there. If a Spaniard and a Portuguese spoke slowly and clearly, or if they wrote things out, they could generally manage to understand each other. But Portuguese always sounded funny—sounded wrong—in a Spaniard’s ears. The reverse was also bound to be true, but the pilot never once thought of that.

And his important passenger hadn’t finished: “It is an airplane that takes me back to Spain, back to my country—and Spain will be my country once we settle with the Republican rabble. It is—what does Matthew say?—a pearl of great price.” He crossed himself again.

So did Juan Antonio Ansaldo. “You have the soul of a poet, your Excellency,” he said. General Sanjurjo smiled like a cat in front of a pitcher of cream. Ansaldo did, too, but only to himself; a little judicious flattery, especially flattery from an unexpected direction, never hurt. But he also had a serious point to make: “I’m glad you chose not to endanger the plane—and yourself, a more valuable pearl—with those trunks. Spain needs you.”

“Well, yes,” Sanjurjo agreed complacently. “Who would command the forces of the right, the forces of truth, against the atheists and Communists and liberals in the Republic if anything happened to me? Millán Astray?”

“I don’t think so, sir!” Ansaldo exclaimed, and that wasn’t flattery. Astray, the founder of the Spanish Foreign Legion, was a very brave man. Colonial fighting had cost him an arm and an eye. He still led the Legion, whose war cry was “¡Viva la muerte!”—Long live death! Men like that were valuable in the officer corps, but who would want such a skeletal fanatic leading a country?

“Bueno. I don’t think so, either.” Yes, Sanjurjo sounded complacent, all right. And why not, when he held the rising in the palm of his hand? He couldn’t resist throwing out the name of another possible replacement: “Or what about General Franco?”

“Not likely, your Excellency!” Again, Major Ansaldo meant what he said. No one had ever questioned Francisco Franco’s courage, either, even if he wasn’t so showy about displaying it as Millán Astray was. But the plump little general was no great leader of men. With Sanjurjo’s personality, he could stand beside—could, at need, stand up to— Mussolini and Hitler. Franco? Franco had all the warmth, all the excitement, of a canceled postage stamp.

“No, not likely at all,” General Sanjurjo said. “Once I get to Burgos, the true business of setting Spain to rights can begin.”

“Sí, Señor,” Ansaldo said once more. The light plane droned on: toward Spain, toward Burgos, toward victory, toward the birth of a whole new world.

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4 out of 54 out of 5
268 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Martin Zaehringer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Serviceable, like a Panzer II
Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2021
Turtledove''s writing is serviceable, which is frustrating. I went looking for an alternative history of World War II which would focus on the leaders. This series is not it. Turtledove focuses on regular people with only an occasional cameo by the major figures. That''s... See more
Turtledove''s writing is serviceable, which is frustrating. I went looking for an alternative history of World War II which would focus on the leaders. This series is not it. Turtledove focuses on regular people with only an occasional cameo by the major figures. That''s fine, and sometimes refreshing. Although I have issues with how Turtledove sees the wars progressing, this is his universe and there is a logic to the story''s development. And the author certainly has done his research. But the most frustrating aspect of his writing is he repeats EVERYTHING. These six books could be reduced to three if he didn''t feel the necessity of constantly reiterating that which he has previously written ad infinitum. I understand that as each volume begins, he may feel a need to reintroduce the characters and their experiences, but he keeps it up throughout each book. It is as if he doesn''t trust the intelligence of the reader. How many times do we have to be reminded about ersatz coffee or how bad the cigarettes are, or where the radioman sits in the Panzer II? And it''s like that for everything: rarely does a Stuka take off that we are not reminded how slow and vulnerable it is. Or the kick of an anti-tank gun against the shoulder (We know! You told us a dozen times already). Turtledove''s writing also swings from really clean, crisp thoughtful paragraphs to ones that are clumsy and sophomoric: was there an editor involved in this, who could have red-lined some of these with a note, "Tighten this up? " Or, "You''ve already said this - A LOT." A positive aspect of his story is that protagonists die. Sometimes suddenly. Four volumes in a someone you''ve been caring about stops a bullet with his head and the story moves on.
Such is war. On a small point, Turtledove does a good job with the sex scenes. All too often male writers of historical fiction are dreadful when it comes to sex: either it''s cringingly pornographic or it''s the literary equivalent of a teenage boy trying to unsnap a bra. Turtledove does a fine job with it; it''s there. Sometimes it''s reserved, sometimes it''s blunt, but he''s not writing as if he''s trying to excite you or get it over with. If someone knows of an alternative history about World War II in which the major players are presented like this, I''d enjoy hearing about it.
7 people found this helpful
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Hans Rigelman
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lots of Action but Loose Plot
Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2017
Based on the supposition that WWII could have started in 1938 after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, the book immediately starts following various characters around their particular corner of the world. This includes the Spanish Civil War, an American woman stuck in Germany,... See more
Based on the supposition that WWII could have started in 1938 after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, the book immediately starts following various characters around their particular corner of the world. This includes the Spanish Civil War, an American woman stuck in Germany, German Luftwaffe and Panzer pilots, French and British soldiers, as well as a few American marines caught in China while the Japanese are on the move. It was a little difficult for me to get hooked on any particular character or storyline as the book jumped to the next story without developing much sense of purpose. But who''s to say war doesn''t happen that way "anyhow."
One person found this helpful
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Northman
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Harry Turtledove: Alternative History at its Best!
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2014
First of all, I like Harry Turtledove and I love alternative history novels! I became a big fan years ago when I "discovered" him when I read the book "How Few Remain" about an alternative history if the South had won the "War Between The States". I... See more
First of all, I like Harry Turtledove and I love alternative history novels! I became a big fan years ago when I "discovered" him when I read the book "How Few Remain" about an alternative history if the South had won the "War Between The States". I read that entire series, and then, a few years later, I read it again!

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.
5 people found this helpful
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Rev. Richard Goth
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Quickly falls into bad habits
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2014
While the book starts with an intriguing premise, the caricature representation of Hitler in the opening scene boded ill for me. This first volume of the inevitable series was the best to read for me, and unfortunately the good professor falls into his bad habits rather... See more
While the book starts with an intriguing premise, the caricature representation of Hitler in the opening scene boded ill for me. This first volume of the inevitable series was the best to read for me, and unfortunately the good professor falls into his bad habits rather quickly - repetitive descriptions of the quality of tobacco, bread and coffee; riotous (mainly Soviet) drinking bouts; endless waiting in trenches and foxholes; carbon-copy bombing missions and tank battles; and frequent voiding of bowels and bladders in combat.

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!
13 people found this helpful
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John Jennings
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2021
I normally like Turtledove’s work. That said, this is the experiences of a bunch of different characters from different sides experiencing the war from their own very limited perspectives. The book might get better in the second hundred pages. I will never know because the... See more
I normally like Turtledove’s work. That said, this is the experiences of a bunch of different characters from different sides experiencing the war from their own very limited perspectives. The book might get better in the second hundred pages. I will never know because the first hundred pages were really dull.
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Kat
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
a madman''s war
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2021
An attack on a German in Czechoslovakia causes World War II to start in 1938
and we watch people from on all sides from Germany, Japan, and Russia as they
fight to win the war. Adults 18+ only for violence, sexual situations and swearing.
Must read.
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Show-Me
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent history, above-average writing
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2016
As someone who has read a great many books about the Second World War, it''s easy to see that Turtledove knows his history, whether it''s people, politics, weapons, or plain warfare. The research done for this book must have been tremendous, and each detail as it relates to... See more
As someone who has read a great many books about the Second World War, it''s easy to see that Turtledove knows his history, whether it''s people, politics, weapons, or plain warfare. The research done for this book must have been tremendous, and each detail as it relates to the time period is extremely well done.

That said, the writing can be a little stale at times. Characters repeat the same ideas many times over, but in different wording. The constantly changing point of view can become a bit tired - right as you were getting invested in the story of one character, he disappears for the next 30 pages.

Still, this is a great book and well worth both the price paid and the time taken to read it! I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the history involved.
One person found this helpful
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Paul's Corner
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What if strikes again!
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2020
I''m an alternate history fan and turtledove was my entrance to the genre, so I am biased. I have gone back to reading other series he published and this has gripped me. Its light enough to pick up and put down bit makes you think.
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Top reviews from other countries

M. Notman
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pedestrian
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2013
Things i liked- Wide ranging, the battles and locations seem well researched, it doesnt do what a lot of American war novels do and pretend it was USA!! vs everyone else, some of the characters are ok and its generally fairly well written. The Problems- ALL of the soldier...See more
Things i liked- Wide ranging, the battles and locations seem well researched, it doesnt do what a lot of American war novels do and pretend it was USA!! vs everyone else, some of the characters are ok and its generally fairly well written. The Problems- ALL of the soldier characters come across like WW2 american army grunts, regardless of the army they are in. The Japanese army certainly wasnt like that, the British wasnt and the French had way more panache in their running away/surrendering! Also it drags incredibly slowly, you could easily cut half of the repeated visits to the Czech soldier as they are all pretty much identical. Ditto with the Soviet/Luftwaffe pilots. Sorry to say i got rather bored.
2 people found this helpful
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M. H. Newton
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2014
An enjoyable read, very much in the author''s usual, easy to read style. The only disappointment is that it does not seriously depart from what actually happened a year later than when the book is set, so it''s similar to reading a novel based on reality. I would have...See more
An enjoyable read, very much in the author''s usual, easy to read style. The only disappointment is that it does not seriously depart from what actually happened a year later than when the book is set, so it''s similar to reading a novel based on reality. I would have preferred a few more departures and twists. It did have me hooked though!
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24229540
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent what if!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2015
Turtledove uses a tried formula to present a what if scenario. Using specific individuals set throughout the operational area, from a wide spectrum of society, he develops the overall strategic situation describing the individuals tactical situation. Works for me!
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Mr. Geoffrey Calvert
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you like HT, then you will like this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2013
As with HT''s other alternative history books, a knowledge of what in reality happened is what makes HT''s alternative history track enjoyable. Not just war stories, but politics and social matters as well. Hitler''s War is the first in this series and after reading it, I have...See more
As with HT''s other alternative history books, a knowledge of what in reality happened is what makes HT''s alternative history track enjoyable. Not just war stories, but politics and social matters as well. Hitler''s War is the first in this series and after reading it, I have bought the rest of the series. it will take me time to finish them. It is probably better to read them all before giving a final opinion. However, it has started well and worth four stars. Enjoy!
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2019
Really enjoyed this. A range of good characters in both sides. Wide ranging counterfactual history which all made sense.. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
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