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In Other Trenches: Alternate Outcomes of the First World War [Kindle Edition]

Alexander Rooksmoor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

‘In Other Trenches’, in 14 chapters, is a collection of alternative outcomes that could so easily have occurred in the period of the First World War in place of the history we know. It considers a wide range of ‘what if?’ topics starting with there being no First World War at all. Amongst others it looks at the absence of the British from the war; the German invasion of the Netherlands; the Japanese as allies of Germany; a successful offensive at Gallipoli; the collapse of Russia in 1916; a sustained war between the USA and Mexico; widespread mutinies across British and French armies and the development of successful German tanks.

NOTE: This is the 2nd Edition which is now on sale. Responding to feedback from readers, the book has been thoroughly revised and re-written with the aim of being accessible to a broader audience.

NOTE: 'In Other Trenches' DOES NOT contain stories. It has chapters analysing different potential outcomes in history. It is closest in style to the ‘what if?’ collections edited by Peter Tsouras, Robert Crowley, Duncan Brack, Niall Ferguson and Andrew Roberts. It is suggested that you check them out if you are uncertain whether this one is the sort of book you are looking for.

The book draws on Alexander Rooksmoor’s two decades researching, teaching and discussing real history and its possible alternatives. Mixing thoroughly researched fact and well-written speculation it looks at both the detailed changes that could have occurred as well as much broader potential outcomes. This is a book that will fascinate anyone with an interest in why a central event of modern history unfolded the way it did. Fans of alternate history will find ‘In Other Trenches’ a book they cannot put down and will rush to discuss once they have finished reading it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 710 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Publisher: A.R.C. Rooksmoor; 2nd edition (22 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ILVJ4C0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #207,245 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Whilst exploring what did happen in history, I have always been interested, however, in what might have happened differently. This brings me into the other large area of my writing: 'what if?' stories and essays. I feel it is vital to avoid the sense that whatever happened was inevitable. To do that we give up any ability to decide our own futures and the futures of our societies, our countries and our planet. Thus, it is important test the outcomes of history and see if there were different paths that could have been taken. I am always surprised to find that some things people think were essential turn out not to have been that important and conversely, minor changes in history could have led to very different outcomes.

My books about alternate history come in two types. The ones with 'what if? stories' in the title are short stories, they are fiction. The books with 'alternate outcomes' in the title are books which analyse alternate paths in history, they are like history books about history that did not happen rather than being stories. Make sure if you are buying one of my books you get the right type for what you are looking for.

'What if?' history is always highly contested and even writing about different outcomes can lead you to come under attack. People dismiss what you write as being ill-informed, simply 'wrong' or even 'stealing' other people's 'what if?' ideas as if someone can patent speculation on what might have happened. Writing a 'what if?' book can be real fun, but you have to be ready for people to savage you simply on the grounds that they disagree with your particular take on a subject in a way you do not face when writing fiction. In my collections of 'what if?' essays, I have always been driven by a friend of mine, a keen reader of 'what if?' fiction, that sometimes he cannot engage with a story because he does not know enough about the real history to see what differences the changes make. Thus, I always provide background to allow the reader to drop into the scenario and not feel it is something that they are utterly unfamiliar with. Yet, in line with the principle of my crime fiction, I try to avoiding 'drowning' people in the detail. Then I explore how things could have gone differently.

I make no apologies for being challenging in what I write. I love it when readers disagree with me and put a different viewpoint. However, I feel it is unacceptable to tell me that 'no-one wants' that kind of book, let the readers judge for themselves. I also will resist being told that I 'should not write' the history of a particular country. I insist on the freedom to write about any time or place I choose. Everyone should have that right. If people are not interested in what I write, that is fine, but do not seek to censor me. Treat the readers as mature enough to make their own minds up, I do.

I have been writing since I was a teenager. I have always been interested in history and for much of my adult life have been researching and teaching history. This led me to write a series of crime novels set in 1920s Bavaria. Many people are interested in the Weimar period in German history 1919-33. It was a period of upheaval that opens up many opportunities for crime stories. Drawing on years of reading and teaching about German history this seemed to be a good starting point and so I created Kommissar Otto Braucher. I wanted him to differ from the detectives that I read in so many novels, living alone and with failed relationships. As a veteran of the First World War, Braucher like many men of his generation, has a lot to bear especially trying to enforce the law in the upheaval of 1920s Germany. Yet, he is a man of his time and place, a good Bavarian Catholic with a wife and four children; a keen hiker who enjoys hearty food and is loyal to his friends. This, I feel gives a broader dimension to the character and allows him to engage with a range of developments of the society he is living in.

My work has been particularly influenced by the writing of Leonardo Sciascia and Josef Skvorecky. Both men wrote crime novels in which a successful outcome for the detective was not a foregone conclusion. Living in societies in which wealth and influence can disrupt the rule of law, this is a correct portrayal. Thus, in my Braucher stories, despite his skills as a detective, the Kommissar will not always catch the perpetrator and even if he can, he may not be able to bring them to justice.

My knowledge of the history allows me to give an authentic context to the fiction and hopefully readers can get a feel for Germany of the time and the pressures it was facing; even the particular crimes that were possible, for example exploiting the hyper-inflation. However, one thing I have learnt as a writer is not to drown the reader in too much detail and accuracy has to be tempered by readability. These books are works of fiction for enjoyment, not lectures to gain new knowledge.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good 15 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Am excellent read. The author clearly lays out his aims and the narrative is linked well with explanation of why things might have happened, and underlines the 'fact' that just because something changes, it does not necessarily mean there are MAJOR butterflies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of thoughtful essays 20 Aug. 2014
By Ivo J. Steijn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great collection of What-if scenarios, explored intelligently. This is NOT a Harry Turtledove style alternate history fiction book, it's a collection of historical essays. As an example, in the chapter "What if the Treaty of Sevres had been enforced?" the first part of the chapter is a great summary of the aforementioned Treaty, its context and eventual fate. The section "Counterfactual" then explores the question posed in the chapter title, and does it very well.
Rooksmoor is a thoughtful and cautious writer. He makes clear what the constraints are that every counterfactual faces. Sure, Germany could have waged the 1918 Kaiserschlacht battles a lot better but in the end they would still have run into supply problems. So no wild leaps of the imagination here, just careful explorations.
I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I know a bit about WW1 and I could not fault any of the author's speculations. My only point of criticism is that while the book was spellchecked, there are a lot of "broken sentences" and other writing mishaps that a careful edit should have caught.
The highest compliment I can give is that I immediately bought the second volume. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, well thought out idea. 4 Aug. 2014
By Bruce - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some good, well thought out ideas bit I found it a bit hard going. I felt there were issues with the continuity but that might just be me.

The waste of manpower in WW1 has always seemed appalling to me and as i have got older I have always wondered why the leaders inflicted such misery on their own people.

The other challenging issue was how hidebound and connservative the military leaders were. However, an interesting view I read recently was that for the British at least many of the best and bravest of their military were sacrificed in the early part of the war to stem the German advances.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Butterflies..... 18 May 2014
By Norman J. Harris - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr. Rooksmoor shows us a dimension of historical analysis , aka alternative history, we rarely appreciate. He takes us through multiple alternative, mostly equally probable scenarios. He provides detailed descriptionsof the period to begin with and then takes his turn along the alternative. He is very honest, careful and imaginative. His attention to detail slows down what is otherwise an excellent read. He provides nascent authors an enormous catalog of stories to tell.

I'll be looking for his next work......
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Alternate History 25 May 2014
By Jack O'Neal - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Totally enjoyable discusses the ratification of a world with no WW1 like population changes, Russia and the communism. What if the Germans had ran out of raw material.

If you are a historian you will like this book
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good detail 20 Jun. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
interesting concepots and well researched alternatives. The various scenarios are not a stretch to imagine they could easily have become rality and changed teh world as we know it
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