This article originally written by Wanderlust in March 2010.
US author Robert 'Year Number = Book Title' Conroy has rapidly made himself a fixture of alternate history fiction. His nickname should be self-evident from the titles of his books: 1901, 1862, 1945, 1942, and the daring 1945 Red Inferno, which sounds more like an expansion pack than a novel.
In the year 1901, Kaiser Wilhelm is not a happy man. He looks enviously upon the other European empires, envying…well, their Empires. He decides the time has come for Germany to to expand overseas, and to do this, he sets his sights on the American-held Philippines. His demands are rebuffed, and so he embarks upon what the author has us believe are genuine OTL battle plans for a German invasion and occupation of New York and the surrounding environs.
Despite the German Army apparently consisting of lecherous, bullying homosexuals and people who are so machinelike and efficient they 'make love using a metronome', the Kaiser's super-efficient army smashes aside all opposition and makes landfall to seize New York, and America's financial capital. Just to make sure that they're the bad guys, they go about shooting, raping and burning everything in sight. Probably not in that order.
America is in dire straits. The bulk of her Army is in the Philippines, the rest are armed with obsolete Indian Wars-era Trapdoor Springfields, and can never match up to the might of the Professional German War Machine1).
…Or can they?
With James Longstreet pulled out of retirement, with massively increased recruitment of black soldiers and officers, with psychopathic Apache Indian Volunteers, with America's first ever submarines, America fights back. With modern uniforms and weapons, the latter supplied by Britain, the new American Army takes to the field - though really, for an army of single-shot breech-loaders vs bolt-action magazine rifles, they weren't doing too badly anyway. The Germans are thrown back into the sea in a series of stunning defeats as plucky America rallies, and the kaiser can do nothing but wail and gnash his teeth as his citizens knock up a gallows and set about their apparent German destiny of proto-Nazism. Meanwhile, the two (2) sympathetic German characters decide to emigrate to America, for as we're constantly told, the only good German is an American German!
Following the US Navy's boarding of the British ship Trent in late 1861, Great Britain declares war on the Union while not quite committing to an alliance with the Confederacy. Britain is a sea power but very limited on land. She knows that Canada is vulnerable to attack and recognizes the need for a quick and satisfactory end to the war. She needs to convince the Confederacy to fight much of her land war for her. In Washington, Lincoln is convinced that a reluctant McClellan must attack towards Richmond before the Royal Navy strangles the U.S. As a result, a very different Civil War ensues…
Actually I've just copied that from Amazon. But I have it on good authority, reading posts by 67th Tigers, that plucky America rallies and drives the dastardly Brits back into the sea, for after all… the only good Brit is an American!
Similar to Harry Turtledove's Days of Infamy, in that the Japanese are able to invade and occupy Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor raids. And then America rallies, drives the dastardly Japs back into the sea, the only good Jap is an American Jap, etc…
In this novel, Japan decides to fight to the death at the end of World War 2, as the Japanese Army has launched a coup against the government. I've not read this one either, but it generally seems well-received compared to the other books and it doesn't seem to set itself up for a 'plucky America rallies and saves the day' ending. Hurrah!
Not yet released. Who wants to bet it involves Soviet Russia carrying on after Berlin, and having to be stopped by the plucky America, the only good Russian is an American Russian, etc?