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Fox on the Rhine

There have been a number of third Reich alternate histories published recently and Fox on the Rhine attempts to follow that tradition.  Following a plot to kill Hitler (which failed in OTL), the authorsí hypothesise Himmler taking control by out-manovering the army generals behind the plot.  Himmler immediately attempts to save the Reich by making a truce with the soviets and placing Rommel in command of the western front.  The book, which is very detailed, rockets along towards a surprising conclusion.  (which, incidentally, is the conclusion John reaches in If the July 20 Plot Had Succeeded)

The book has a massive wealth of technical and character details.  Itís sometimes hard to tell which characters are real and which are made up.  Rommel, the most detailed character, comes across as a super-smart commander of the German troops.  Patton is also praised, while Monty is degraded and Stalin is a manipulating toad.  Some bias there?

I do have some doubts about the truce with the soviets.  Even with Himmler in the driving seat, many elements of the German military would be unhappy about a truce with Ďuntermesumí, while even Stalin might not be able to pull off a truce with the foe that heís spent ages building hatred for in the hearts of the soviet people.  Popular unrest is probably a null-factor in soviet politics, but it might have other consequences; Polish groups might abandon communism, partisans might continue the war without Stalinís permission, military leaders might consider a coup díetat, etc.  Stalin might also try to hit the Japanese while the truce is on, while occupying Norway and Greece is likely to provoke a reaction from the allies, such as a blockade and perhaps war. 

(Much to my relief, there is a short section with the soviets twisting the screws on Germany, although no attack on Japan.)

Few other minor quibbles:  why have Rommel do what he does at the end, instead of marching to Berlin?  Would the jets have really been that effective?  (The allies of OTL managed to counter the jets fairly quickly.)   

Other than that, well worth a read. 

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