Seen through the eyes of ordinary citizens caught in the maelstrom, this is a you-are-there chronicle of battle on land and sea and in the air. Here are terrifying bombing raids that shatter homes, businesses, and the rule of law. Here are commanders issuing orders that, once given, cannot be taken back. And here are the seeds of rebellion sown in blood-soaked soil. In a war in which sides are switched and allies trust one another only slightly more than they trust their mortal enemies, Nazi Germany has yet to send its Jews to death camps, and dangerous new nationalist powers arise in Eastern Europe.
From thrilling submarine battles to the horror of men fighting men and machines all through Europe, Two Fronts captures every aspect of a brilliantly reimagined conflict: the strategic, the political, and the personal force of leaders bending nations to their wills.
More by Harry Turtledove See more.
Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, Book Five)
Alpha and Omega. Harry Turtledove. What would happen if the ancient prophecy of the End of Days came true? It is certainly the last thing Eric Katz, a secular archaeologist from Los Angeles, expects during what should be a routine dig in Jerusalem. But perhaps higher forces have something else in mind when a sign presaging the rising of the Third Temple is located in America, a dirty bomb is detonated in downtown Tel Aviv, and events conspire to place a team of archaeologists in the tunnels deep under the Temple Mount.
It is there that Eric is witness to a discovery of such monumental proportions that nothing will ever be the same again. Harry Turtledove is the master at portraying ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, and what is more extraordinary than the incontrovertible proof that there truly is a higher force controlling human destiny? But as to what that force desires. Bombs Away: The Hot War. Book 1. In his acclaimed novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove has scrutinized the twisted soul of the twentieth century, from the forces that set World War I in motion to the rise of fascism in the decades that followed.
Now, this masterly storyteller turns his eyes to the aftermath of World War II and asks: In an era of nuclear posturing, what if the Cold War had suddenly turned hot? Bombs Away begins with President Harry Truman in desperate consultation with General Douglas MacArthur, whose control of the ground war in Korea has slipped disastrously away. MacArthur recognizes a stark reality: The U. The only way to stop the Communist surge into the Korean Peninsula and save thousands of American lives is through a nuclear attack. MacArthur advocates a strike on Chinese targets in Manchuria.
Almost instantly, Stalin strikes U. As the shock waves settle, the two superpowers are caught in a horrifying face-off. Will they attack each other directly with nuclear weapons? What countries will be caught in between? The fateful global drama plays out through the experiences of ordinary people—from a British barmaid to a Ukrainian war veteran to a desperate American soldier alone behind enemy lines in Korea. For them, as well as Truman, Mao, and Stalin, the whole world has become a battleground. Strategic strikes lead to massive movements of ground troops.
Cities are destroyed, economies ravaged. Reviews Review Policy. Published on. Flowing text, Original pages. Best For. Web, Tablet, Phone, eReader. Content Protection. Learn More. Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. Continue the series. See more. Book 6. We're FIVE novels in, and nothing much of consequence has happened. Oh, and Poland has been Germany's only reliable ally so far.
Soviet front? Yeah, that fucker hasn't moved in four novels, either. I just don't get the essential point of this entire series: why does it exist? Worldwar was about humanity fighting back an alien invasion; that's a pretty great hook. While the last chunk of that series, Settling Accounts, got a little too close to being a straight mirror of World War II, the sheer familiarity of our United States half-turned into a genocidal dictatorship carried it all forward. I had to look up the series on wiki to figure out how many books had been released and I'm frankly stunned that I've already read four and half novels in this series.
Major characters have died and the impact on the plot and the reader has been "meh" at best. And I think I know why. In Worldwar and The Southern Victory, a large number of the major characters were, well, prime actors on the events happening. Worldwar had FDR, Stalin, the alien emperor, etc. These characters were huge figures that made massively important decisions throughout the series, so those chapters riveted the reader and moved things along nicely.
You felt like you were privy to the major decisions and how they came about, and therefore were vested in how the plot rolled forth. Five novels on, and every single goddamned character is some lowly shlub upon whom the action is just imposed, rather than them having any impact on it. The major plot points, such as "what the hell is happening in this war thingy", are mentioned via lame, forced recaps of the "So I heard that I just That said, it's going to take an awful lot of positive reviews of whatever he starts next for me to bite.
View 2 comments. Aug 03, Cindy rated it it was ok. I paged through a lot of this and didn't miss anything it seems. I had thought this was the last book in the series but it isn't. Not sure how many there will be! I really like some of the characters but don't understand why some of them are still around Peggy comes to mind - she seems to be just there! And I really wish some of those who died didn't since I liked them a lot! So it's slow, it's wordy, it's repetitive but I'll I paged through a lot of this and didn't miss anything it seems.
So it's slow, it's wordy, it's repetitive but I'll still read book 6 when it comes out Jun 29, Eric Hunter rated it it was ok. The war goes on; people continue to say, and do, the same things. Some people die, but few people get wounded significantly. New equipment comes to the front, but so what? Jul 05, Leons rated it it was ok Shelves: alternate-history.
I really can't explain my compulsion to keep reading this series. Turtledove's style has become so bland that even when something happens, it seems like nothing. At some points, I was seriously comparing this to Crossroads of Twilight. Not a good thing. However, on finishing, I have to admit it was not that bad. It's just that a lot of the important stuff happens off screen. Remember when Turtledove used to write his books using a mix of real historical characters of importance and average peopl I really can't explain my compulsion to keep reading this series.
Remember when Turtledove used to write his books using a mix of real historical characters of importance and average people so you could get both the insiders view and the view of the average person? In this series, it's nobodies all the way down, and that only feeds the repetitious droning that passes for Harry's writing these days. Of course things don't look all that different to a grunt from Germany or one from Russia.
So, anyhow, after coming to their senses and realizing that they just jumped into bed with their worst enemy in "The Big Switch", France and England switched back in "Coup d'Etat". So of course, now they're going to dither around and ever so slowly start thinking about actually kicking the Germans out of France. This whole series was irrevocably tainted by the absurdity of the Big Switch and it doesn't improve at all here.
Nothing makes any sense, historical characters are replaced by ersatz counterparts who do exactly the same things. Also, the Manhattan Project gets killed by some efficiency expert. Feb 17, Alexander Seifert rated it it was ok. The same exact complaints I had about the fourth book apply to the fifth one as well. While I still found it enjoyable to read about the characters I actually like, I found the pages wasted on pointless characters come on, Peggy became useless after we found out about what Herb did to further alter history. I read this and the fourth book within the same month, which probably was a bad thing since it may have exacerbated the issues of repetitiveness and somewhat boring viewpoints in many of the The same exact complaints I had about the fourth book apply to the fifth one as well.
I read this and the fourth book within the same month, which probably was a bad thing since it may have exacerbated the issues of repetitiveness and somewhat boring viewpoints in many of the characters. That said, I do look forward to seeing how he resolve this all in the last book. Oct 25, David R. This is the fifth alternate history novel of a series that imagines WW2 began a year earlier.
And this one came off like filler to me. There's a lot of the usual endless vulgar dialogue by minor figures, many of whom are dreary cardboard cutouts. There's really no action otherwise, apart from subplots involving doomsday weapons developed by the Japanese and not developed by the Americans. I assume these subplots will be developed in the sixth novel. Sep 17, Ian Hakes rated it it was ok. More of the same story, and not a whole lot of apparent progress in the overall plot.
I wonder if Harry T. The sheer number of story lines that he needs to cover makes this alternative history series unwieldy. I'm enjoying the different points of view, for the most part, but I just don't see where this is going to go from here. This edition seems like it could be anywhere from the penultimate book, to fifteenth from the finish. Sep 09, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: military , harry-turtledove.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In Hitler's War, Harry Turtledove began a new alternate history of the Second World War, one in which the conflict started in when Britain and France decided Hitler was being too obvious a budding supervillain in invading Czechoslovakia, and declared war on him for want of anything better to do. The following years have seen the powers of the world enter into conflicts and alliances with one another, and drop out of them, with ease.
Every dramatic derivation from real life has been reversed In Hitler's War, Harry Turtledove began a new alternate history of the Second World War, one in which the conflict started in when Britain and France decided Hitler was being too obvious a budding supervillain in invading Czechoslovakia, and declared war on him for want of anything better to do.
Every dramatic derivation from real life has been reversed, to the point that the series has been a disappointment. But in Two Fronts, Turtledove has produced a military action-adventure novel that's enjoyable regardless of how similar is setting is to our own. In , the situation is thus: Germany is in the midst of a two front war, fighting Britain, France, and the Soviet Union while simultaneously throwing men and material into Africa to bail Mussolini out after Il Duce discovers his new Roman Army is still no match for the crazy Scots defending Egypt.
In the east, Japan os still trying to conquer China in total, and is now merrily engaged in a war against the United States, which it initiated by sneak attack. Sound familiar? That's pretty much the situation of reality's World War 2, but with one notable exception: the United States is not at war with Germany.
Two Fronts covers the year in the history of the war that came early, and is is not progressing as one might expect -- but the war which is taking place is interesting in its own right, even if it makes little sense.
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It is an in-between novel, in which there aren't any major obvious happenings -- though there are a few subtle happenings which will have major consequences for savvy readers -- but there is an awful lot of fighting. Turtledove's cast of characters is as strong and varied as I've yet seen from him, with viewpoints from all theaters, countries, and branches of the service: whatever military action readers look for, it's here.
Tanks, infantry, sea, special operations, even a little aviation are included. Two Fronts sees a few interesting changes hovering around the sides of the action, both involving superweapons. Not only do the Japanese begin to introduce biological warfare into their struggle with the United States dropping rats filled with the Black Death into Hawaii , but a little project in Tennessee named after Manhattan loses its funding. The implications as the war goes are enormous, but then again I've been saying that for four novels, so who knows?
I belatedly realized in reading this that The War That Came Early isn't so much about a logical series of events that builds off of the war starting in rather, that alteration is only one of many. Turtledove seems to be using the early war as a way to turn the Second World War into a sandbox, in which he can explore what-if scenarios like the failure of the Manhattan Project, or the introduction of 'secret weapons' into the field of combat. While I'd prefer the aforementioned logical buildup, this approach has its own merits: it's like the airships and steam-powered cars in The Two Georges, an interesting take at what-might have been.
It is World War 2 with different toys. This is only problematic in that sometimes the plot doesn't make sense. For instance, in this , the United States is only fighting Japan. While it's also sending some resources to Britain and some to Russia to help fight Hitler, the majority of its industrial capacity should be free to be focused squarely on Japan, a Japan which should be weakened by the fact that it decided to invade Russia first.
And yet, instead of the United States slowly but surely checking the Japanese advance and swinging a few punches of its own, it's floundering. Maybe its industrial capacity simply hasn't hit full war-time mobilization yet since it doesn't have the added challenge of taking on Hitler, but this amateur-hour performance on their part is bothersome.
Two Fronts is perplexing because I like it. I didn't expect to like it, because it didn't address the fact that this history isn't very 'alternate' despite the early start. It may be that the differences are more subtle than I'd expected, and their consequences will take longer to be noticeable as a result.
Despite the fact that the general sequence of events is unchanged I genuinely enjoyed the variety of military action presented here, especially since Turtledove didn't repeat himself too much. The exception: he has decided infantrymen do not like artillerymen, who can kill them without risking being killed in turn.
He saw fit to tell the reader this several times. I'm starting to wonder if he doesn't do this on purpose. Perhaps this World War 2 with a twist was just the light reading I was looking for this weekend. Nov 11, Bjoern rated it liked it Shelves: reads , alternate-history , military , historical-fiction.
Mr Turtledove is undoubtedly one of the masters of military storytelling in our days. So it shows also in this book, the experiences and opinions as seen through the eyes of the G. Maybe even up to vietnam. This is his strength, here the novel shines brilliant like the light of the sun!
Still, having an authentic atmosp Mr Turtledove is undoubtedly one of the masters of military storytelling in our days. Still, having an authentic atmosphere and a realistic cast is not everything in writing about an imaginary variation of the Great War Using exclusively small figures without any kind of overview even those characters that are officers are low down in the food chain and so "theirs is not to question why" leaves it woefully obvious in this meanwhile fifth volume of the otherweise excellent series that Turtledove has no real way to show the bigger context of it all, the real troop movements and advantages or disadvantages of the various armies And why there's still so much emphasize on the front in Spain between the marionette governements for fashists and communists i really don't know.
Later in the conflict, the Slovak Hlinka Guard stages a pro-Nazi rebellion, and many Slovak soldiers — even if not joining this uprising — fight only half-heartedly and tend to desert en masse. After German forces cut Czechoslovakia in half and are joined by Hungarian Army troops invading from the south and Polish Army troops from the north, Czechoslovak resistance crumbles, with the country's leaders forming a government in exile in Paris.
A considerable number of soldiers mostly Czechs, with some anti-Fascist Slovaks and Ruthenians also escape to France, where they will play a significant role later in the war. The outbreak of the European war comes just in time to breathe new life into Republican Spain , which had faced imminent collapse. France reverses its former " Non-Intervention " policy and a flow of munitions across the Pyrenees helps the Republic win the Battle of the Ebro and reunite its territory which was cut in half by the Nationalist rebels some months before; the International Brigades , which had been on the point of being withdrawn from Spain, remain there "for the duration".
Subsequently, however, Spain becomes a backwater, forgotten by the rest of the world with the spotlight turned elsewhere; both Spanish sides are starved of supplies by their respective patrons, who need the munitions for higher priority fronts. The Spanish war becomes stalemated, with neither side able to make any decisive move.
Sanjurjo turns his attention to conquering Gibraltar , the British enclave ceded to Britain in perpetuity by Spain under the Treaty of Utrecht in Spanish Nationalist troops suffer great losses from the naval artillery of the moored British warships, but with the aerial support of the German Condor Legion , British resistance is overcome and the Royal Navy ships are forced to withdraw into the open sea. The conquest of Gibraltar is a fillip to Spanish national pride and to Sanjurjo's personal reputation, and might have strategic implications for later stages of the war in the Mediterranean.
However, by depriving the British of a highly valued strategic asset, Sanjurjo irrevocably ties the Spanish Nationalist cause with that of Nazi Germany, foreclosing any chance of surviving in power after a German defeat. The Nationalists aim to finally conquer the city, while the Republicans — who deploy to Madrid the International Brigades — seek to push them away decisively and end any further threat to the Spanish capital. After having taken a minor part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, the staunchly anti-Communist Polish government openly moves to the side of Germany, considering Adolf Hitler to be a more tolerable neighbor than Joseph Stalin.
Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, Book Five) by Harry Turtledove - Penguin Books Australia
Consequently, Polish-Soviet tensions grow until finally erupting into open war, with Stalin accusing Poland of oppressing its Belarusian minority and launching an invasion with the proclaimed aim of liberating these people the true objective is to regain formerly Russian territory which the Soviet Union had to cede to Poland in following the Soviet-Polish War. The Poles ask for German aid, becoming Hitler's formal ally, and receive some military assistance, mainly in the form of Luftwaffe fighters. The Soviet advance stalls, due to the staunch Polish and German resistance and the harsh mid-winter conditions.
Though not committing ground troops en masse , Germany finds itself fighting a two-front war , its nightmare from the First World War — which increases the urgency of quickly winning a decisive victory on the Western Front. It also means that for the time being Germany can spare no resources for the conquest of Denmark and Norway.
Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, Book Five)
While air raid regulations and wartime rationing become part of daily life in both London and Berlin, in neutral Copenhagen life goes on as usual. For some years previously, there had been a power struggle within the Japanese military and political establishment, with the Japanese Navy arguing for a war aimed at wrestling control of the Pacific from the United States Nanshin-ron , while the generals — particularly those of the powerful Kwantung Army — preferred an attack on the Soviet Union Hokushin-ron as an extension of Japan's ongoing conquest of China.
The Soviet Union's entanglement with Germany and Poland tips the balance in favour of the Kwantung generals. The Japanese shift from an undeclared , low-intensity border war with the Soviets along the Mongolian border to an all-out invasion of Siberia , with the clear strategic aim of cutting the Trans-Siberian Railway , the sole, long extended supply line to Vladivostok. Cutting the line would mean that the city — and the entire Soviet Far East — would swiftly become untenable and fall into Japanese hands.
Well aware of this, the Soviets fiercely contest the Japanese advance north of the Amur River and hold the invaders away from the vital railway line. Meanwhile, the Americans present in Japanese-occupied China at the American Legation in Peking and elsewhere are worried about the increasing arrogance and expansion of the Japanese Empire. However, decision-makers in Washington, D. In the winter of world attention shifts away from the other war theatres to the Western Front, where the German Army launches its bold effort to implement the Schlieffen Plan of , using the armoured striking force they lacked in the previous war, and knock France altogether out of the war.
The Germans begin by launching a massive surprise attack on the neutral Netherlands. The Dutch Army , caught completely unprepared, resists as best it can, but German bombers inflict heavy damage on defenseless Rotterdam , and rather than have more of their cities suffer the same fate, the Dutch government surrenders after five days.
Belgium , which earlier refused to let French and British forces deploy on its soil, belatedly allows this after the Germans invade. After three weeks of fighting Belgium is overrun and King Leopold — never enthusiastic about waging the war — surrenders. However, though the French are repeatedly driven back, the force of the German Blitzkrieg is not as overwhelming as it would have been had the German arms industry received another year of producing more advanced tanks.
With the war launched in , they have to rely heavily on the Panzer I , a light tank intended originally for training. Also, with an active Eastern Front against the Soviets, the Wehrmacht can't concentrate all of its forces in the west. Much of the Allies' armaments are inadequate or obsolete as well, with artillery antedating World War I and air forces still having many biplanes which on some occasions are able to hold their own against more modern types.
Still, the Allies are not broken, and wage a fighting retreat deeper and deeper into France. Though Dunkirk and other Channel ports are conquered by the Germans, making communications with Britain difficult, the British Expeditionary Force remains united with its French ally, as well as with some Belgian forces continuing to fight despite their country's surrender, and with highly motivated Czechoslovak exiles.
The continuation of bitter fighting and the absence of the expected French collapse causes disappointment among German officers, who feel that Hitler had acted precipitously in launching the war. A conspiracy of conservative officers is foiled by the Gestapo , with the conspirators executed or sent to the Dachau Concentration Camp.
In the aftermath, a widespread witch-hunt is launched throughout the German Army, targeting many officers who had not been involved in the conspiracy at all. This increases the feeling of frustration and disaffection in the German ranks, added to the increasing fatigue of the ongoing hard fighting.
The Germans advance southwards, capture Verdun without the massive toll exacted there in the previous war, advance farther south than in the Battle of the Marne in and penetrate into the outskirts of Paris. The French capital is heavily bombed, with the Eiffel Tower destroyed.
Still, though neither Daladier nor Chamberlain are inspiring war leaders, resistance continues with the defiant proclamation "Paris is the front, here we will stop them". The Allies also start deploying armour effectively, having learned from their German opponents and with the French command at last listening to the advice of their best armour expert, Colonel Charles de Gaulle. The German forces prepare for a decisive push, to surround and conquer Paris, but are confronted by a massed force of determined French and British troops, as well as Czechoslovaks and African Black soldiers from the French colonies.
The exhausted German soldiers are stopped and the Allies — to their own soldiers' surprise — manage to start pushing them back. The Germans are in a predicament, with no strategic achievement to show for the months of grueling fighting, overextended and their flank threatened by French forces at the Maginot Line , by-passed but not defeated. With Nazi Germany already straining its resources for external war in November , there is no nationwide Kristallnacht involving pogroms and burning of synagogues.
Still, discrimination and persecution of Jews becomes ever more intensive and oppressive. Even Jews completely assimilated in the German culture, who thought of themselves as Germans and as patriotic Germans are driven beyond the pale, not allowed to join the Army even when they want to and when they had served with distinction in the previous war nor being allowed to use the air raid shelters when Allied bombers start arriving overhead.
The conquest of Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France expose an increasing number of additional Jews to the racist brutality from which German Jews have suffered since The Jews have no clear idea how far the Nazis intend to go, but they have many reasons to feel foreboding and start assuming that they could count themselves lucky to be still alive at the war's end. Both locked into two-front wars , neither Germany nor the Soviet Union makes significant progress against the other in Eastern Europe. There is little change in the Spanish front in this book, and German Jews become forced to wear the Yellow Star even as Polish Jews are fighting alongside German soldiers.
Cold weather and mosquitoes take their toll on the Japanese soldiers, and skirmishes with Soviet partisans are commonplace. Despite the distance from the industrial areas of Russia, Soviet forces still maintain modest air and artillery superiority, though their accuracy is often doubtful, causing many casualties on both sides. Japanese attacks on Vladivostok proceed much like their attacks on Port Arthur in , suffering tremendous casualties for very little ground gained.
The Germans have slowly introduced the Panzer III , a tank with thicker armor and a turret large enough for the whole gun crew. Panzer IIIs prove formidable against their French counterparts, but their arrival is delayed by a lack of resources and the diversion of most German armored units to the Eastern Front in Poland.