Book Review: Third Reich Victorious
Like its companion volume, Rising Sun
claims ten German victory scenarios, and manages to deliver eight.
That’s better than the three from RSV, but are they any better?
The Little Admiral: What if Hitler had joined the German
navy? This AH presents the idea
of Hitler having discipline knocked into him by a petty officer and developing
an acute understanding of sea power and its relation to world politics.
He also has his Jew hatred knocked out of him, with the result of a far
more dangerous Germany. Building a small, but modern and competent navy to add to his
armed forces, he started WW2 with a pearl harbour style strike at Scapa Flow
and, after France falls, invades Britain. Albert
Einstein builds him a nuclear bomb and he users it on Moscow, ending the war.
I have grave doubts about this AH though, it strikes me as odd that a man
with less hate could run the nazi party or that he would tolerate what Scott
described as ‘a party of quacks and weirdoes’.
I don’t think that Hitler would have been able to build a carrier fleet
(even only three vessels) without warning the British and/or taking resources
away from Tanks and guns. Other
than that, an excellent and frightening piece of work.
Disaster at Dunkirk: This is probably the most
mundane AH in the book, even though it does have a few original features.
British get Halifax instead of Churchill and while the political battle
is fought, Lord Gort makes a final last stand with the BEF.
The Germany manages to put a small force ashore on to Britain and Britain
surrenders as a mini civil war breaks out.
I seriously doubt that last bit, but the rest is OK.
One thing that is missing is the massive disruption in the Empire that
would have resulted from a British disaster.
The Battle of Britain and Luffwaffe Triumphant
both explore airpower alternatives. The
first is an interesting reading of the alternate history of the Battle of
Britain, whereby the Luftwaffe leadership identifies key elements and centres of
Britain’s air defences and focuses on eliminating them before conducting the
next phase of the air campaign. However,
the limited real effect of the Luftwaffe makes it unusual that Britain would
just roll over for them. Further,
why would Britain be in the same position as Vichy?
They’re undefeated and they can secure their empire before the Nazis
can take most of it. The second
alternative examines the Allied bomber offensive. Starting the historical review
in 1943, the scenario explores many variables that actually plagued this
offensive- namely, flak and enemy fighters, both of which took a surprisingly
heavy toll on US and British bombers. Richard
Overy notes (in ‘why the allies won’) that the Germans really did not act
fast enough to plug the holes in their defences, so this AH explores them doing
The Storm and the Whirlwind: This is more plausible
than the little admiral AH, with the Russians striking first before Barbarossa.
This TL has Zhukov convince Stalin that the soviets can hit the Germans
before they hit first, while trying to force back the German over flights that
marked the coming of Barbarossa. Its
not a bad AH, but I saw the degree of German success in the battle to be
The Hinge: The
Germans win the battle of El Alamien and Known Enemies and Forced Allies
explore two different outcomes of battles.
The first looks at a German victory at El Alamein and the second at a
German victory at Sicily and a German failure to attack at Kursk.
The first is unrealistic, the Germans did not have the power to follow up
their victory, while the allies were preparing to launch Operation Torch to
drive them out of North Africa. One
more British defeat won’t change that. It
may change the power outcome of the war, but not the outcome itself.
The second one, however, has no attack on Kursk, therefore keeping the
German tanks intact for continuing the war, while the Germans defeat the allied
attack on Sicily. However, nether
outcome can stop the allies from wining eventually, as the A-Bomb was not far
Hitler’s Bomb: Explores the frightening prospect
of a Germany that uses its Jewish prisoners more effectively and manages to make
two atomic bombs. These are then
dropped on London and Moscow. The
US finally destroys Berlin and the Germans surrender.
However, I don’t see it as a reasonable AH, even with the bomb, as the
British air defence net was fully operational.
I think that the German bomber would have been shot down, its cargo being
destroyed on impact.
The remaining two are unrealistic. Into the Caucasus: Turkey Joins the Germans. Unrealistic. Rommel Vs. Zhukov is a follow-up to an AH written earlier, Disaster at D-Day. Now the ruler of the Third Reich, Rommel must clear up the remains of the Holocaust and hold the Russian forces back.