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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it but...
This is another great alternative history story from Robert Conroy, and like the previous two its set in World War 2. This time however its in Europe.

SPOILER ALERT!! Stalin launches a massive attack on a US corps that was advancing towards Berlin and then crosses the Elbe and moves westward towards the Rhine, the US Army and Air Corps desperately fight a hard...
Published on 1 Mar 2010 by SJ SMART

versus
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very American war
Robert Conroy has dicovered a alternate-history formula and by God he's sticking to it; Date in the title (check), USA v. whoever (check), USA faces defeat before last minute turnaround (check), USA wins and the world is better for it than in our timeline (all present and correct). Its not that he's a bad writer, and if you don't mind the formula or haven't read his other...
Published on 9 April 2010 by D. P. Evans


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very American war, 9 April 2010
By 
D. P. Evans (Dublin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
Robert Conroy has dicovered a alternate-history formula and by God he's sticking to it; Date in the title (check), USA v. whoever (check), USA faces defeat before last minute turnaround (check), USA wins and the world is better for it than in our timeline (all present and correct). Its not that he's a bad writer, and if you don't mind the formula or haven't read his other books, its not a bad read, but it would be nice to see something more original from him.

I'd also reccomend Niles & Dobson's Fox On The Rhine as a slightly better alternative to this if its "USA v. Soviet Union in 1945" you're looking for

Fox on the Rhine
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well, it was okay but it ain't Tolstoy, 4 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
This novel is set in an alternate 1945 in which the Soviets attack the Western Allies after the Amercans make a drive for Berlin. It tells the story from various perspectives, most are American but a few are German and Russian. I found the story readable but followed a formula progressing to the envitable US victory.

All through the story the Americans are brave and determined, they face overwhelming odds against a brutal and savage foe, oh you get the idea... The French are portrayed poorly and De Gaulle becomes an American stereotype of a typical Frenchman. The same is true for the British who only get mentioned when they collapse under Soviet onslaught. In such stories it's always the allies who fold, never the US heroes!

This is a book written for the American market and so the US forces are at the centre of it which is fair enough, the Soviets as baddies and everybody else as bit parts. Like I said, it all works to a bit of a formula. The The love angle between half German-half Canadian refugee and the all American hero is a bit tiresome and some of the sections, such as the heroine taking a shower were irrelevant to the main body of the story and slowed it down somewhat. It needed a good editing.

Having said that it was easy reading and I knocked it out in just a few days, so it couldn't have been that bad.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK but only just, 15 April 2010
By 
J. N. Bullock "JNB" (Northumberland, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
This is the second of Mr Conroy's books that I have read and several parts are a good read. The idea of the Russians attacking in to western Europe in 1945 were not too far from reality. However I again get the impression that Conroy does his research at comic book store. He seems not to have noticed that there were several nations fighting in western Europe in 1945. The Brit's and Canadians had been in the war for well over 2 years before Mr Hitler declared war on the USA in December 1941. (Please note that that is not a dig at the great contribution made by the USA in WW 2 ... no European should ever do that). It would be nice however if Conroy had noticed the several million others who were taking part at the time his book is set.

As to the plot well it has a trace of "it could have happened" and the action bits are good but it could have been so much better if a little more thought and a lot more research had gone into it.

Can I recommend this book, well not really, not if you have to pay money for it.

JNB
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read but....., 19 Mar 2010
By 
Barry Curran (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
Robert Conroy's latest effort is worth reading but its major weakness is the way in which he concentrates almost exclusively on the Americans' efforts to stop the Soviets. And what happens to Montgomery is laughable. He clearly lacks an understanding of what Montgomery did during the war. I also get the feeling that he was simply not interested in expanding the role of the British and the other Allies.It's just a shame that the Alternate History market is dominated by the Americans.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough, but what about the Allies?, 2 Mar 2010
By 
Guy Roberts (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
A fairly well-written and enjoyable piece but I wish writers like Conroy would remember that the British were fighting Hitler for well over a year before America could be bothered to enter the war and Churchill was warning the USA about the dangers of communism (which FDR ignored) while 'Uncle Joe' was getting wonderful coverage in the American press. His condescending attitude to the British is extremely irritating and he virtually ignores the Canadians and other allies altogether. Mr Conroy might want to read a little more history before trying to write another book.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it but..., 1 Mar 2010
By 
SJ SMART "Smartie" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
This is another great alternative history story from Robert Conroy, and like the previous two its set in World War 2. This time however its in Europe.

SPOILER ALERT!! Stalin launches a massive attack on a US corps that was advancing towards Berlin and then crosses the Elbe and moves westward towards the Rhine, the US Army and Air Corps desperately fight a hard rearguard action and make the Soviets pay dearly for every inch of Germany they take. The Soviets and their leadership are painted as utter ruthless brutes (which for Stalin is totally accurate) and the Soviet forces murder rape, plunder and torture their way through Europe.

However their is quite a few dull scenes where the German characters and American characters talk and endlessly discuss the war, their romances, the future, etc which i guess happens in wartime but I would rather be reading about the battles that are happening, so please Mr Conroy can you edit down/out some of these scenes, they dont seem to add anything for me to the story and I would much rather read more about Patton and of course the British forces.

Interestingly the Allies make a peace deal with Germany (But Hitler is dead at this point and Berlin taken by the Soviets) and some Allied units are working with German ones and using German equipment like the ME262 Jet fighter and the Tiger and Panther tank.

However the one annoying aspect is that the rest of the Allies are virtually ignored. Churchill is in a couple of scenes but he is just in the room and doesnt say anything in these scenes, Trueman, Marshall or Eisenhower hold centre stage. Monty is mentioned as are the British Army but we dont get to hear much about them except how useless Monty was, which was possibly true. De Gaulle has one scene and again the French are mentioned, mostly as left wing rioters! Canada is often mentioned but not its forces. In the end the British and French are seen as minor points in an American story, how the Americans won the war, again.

I can see that Conroy has set the story in American, Russian and German units so the others arnt mentioned but its just a shame that the British, French, Canadian, Polish, Dutch, Belgian, Italian, Czech and other Allied units didnt get in to the story. So I liked it and I am sure the majority of readers who like his work and this genre will too, but just wish the British, Canadians, Poles, French, etc could have had a bigger part!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recycles much from his earlier work, 3 Mar 2010
By 
Mark Klobas (Tempe, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
This book is Conroy's fifth alternative history novel, yet in many respects it reads like his third one, 1945, given how much he borrows from it. Though the setting is different - with the premise being a clash between Soviet and American forces in Germany at the end of the Second World War in Europe - the elements are all too familiar to anyone who has read Conroy's earlier work. As in the earlier novel, they will encounter green lieutenants, beleaguered but determined generals, men trapped behind the lines cooperating with OSS agents, a duplicitous Soviet Union, and a plucky man from Missouri attempting to address it all. Even the ending is essentially the same, though this is less of a surprise as all of Conroy's novels seem to conclude with an "and-the-world-was-left-a-better-place" sort of wrapping up.

This is not to say that this is not an enjoyable book, as fans of Conroy's alternate novels will find the author firing on every cylinder that he has within these pages. But it seems that with the fifth novel (and his third consecutive one set in the Second World War) Conroy has reached something of a creative dead-end and is beginning to recycle earlier ideas in a slightly refreshed setting. In his 'Acknowledgments' section at the end of the book he expresses his hope that this will not be the last alternative history novel he writes; if he does publish another, it will hopefully be after he puts more time into giving readers something new and different, rather than just warming over his earlier work.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Shame, 3 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
I have read the authors other novels and as with them this is a very good book
but like the other 2 reviews on here I was very disapointed in the the treatment of the British contribution
it was like we where not in the bloody war at all.

The British people fought on our own for nearly 2 years until the Americans bothered to turn up something that gets forgotten in history and fiction as well
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Criticisms are mostly unfair, 25 May 2011
This review is from: Red Inferno 1945 (Paperback)
Most of the reviews here remind me of the hostile comments "Band of Brothers" or "Saving Private Ryan" received. With the exception of some Royal Navy personnel manning the landing craft Omaha beach was a purely American affair. Do you seriously want Royal Marines depicted winning it? The movie was made by Americans primarily for a US audience. Likewise with "Red Inferno" its written by an American, about Americans primarily for Americans. If this is going to offend you save your money & buy something written by a Brit (I'd recommend 'Seelöwe Nord: The Germans Are Coming or Fatherland in fact both are far superior to Red Inferno]

The book is fairly compact at approx 350 pages long so the battle focuses in just two locations: Potsdam where the remains of two US divisions who initially attempted to reach Berlin (which initiated the war in the first place) are surrounded by a second & third echelon Soviet force & some US units in the Rhur taking on the main Soviet thrust west. In the real WW2 the Americans had their sectors, campaigns & invasion beaches and we had ours. It was relatively rare that US & British soldiers ever fought side by side so its entirely reasonable that there's no Brits/French/Poles etc caught up in these two battle zones.

Likewise many of the claims that 'the book is historical nonsense' are themselves nonsense. We generally revere General Montgomery. My grandfather who served under him won't have a word said against him. However the fact remains that the majority of high ranking US officers and politicians hated his guts, In the book after 3 weeks solid fighting against the Russians he's outflanked & replaced by General Alexander its no surprise Eisenhower Patton Bradley etc are delighted. Equally the real Harry Truman disliked and distrusted Churchill. The real Eisenhower didn't bother to inform Churchill or Monty when he suddenly changed his thrust towards Berlin south into Bavaria and onto Hitlers 'Eagles nest'. This US hostility to the Brits may not win many British fans but its 100% accurate and fair play to Robert Conroy for not trying to make Truman more 'Brit friendly' than he really was. Likewise the depiction of De Gaulle is criticised by one reviewer as being 'a sterotypical frenchman'. This is the same De Gaulle who blocked Britains entry to the EU, pardoned most French collaborators & withdrew French forces from NATO command. Damn right he wouldn't have rushed French troops into battle with Soviet Forces to help out the Americans!

The idea that British & French communists would riot in support of the USSR isn't far fetched either. Allegedly Stalin threatened to unleash the French communist resistance against us if we made trouble over Poland. The Greek communist resistance DID have a nasty little war with British troops (including a serious attempt to blow up Churchill in Athens) and between Sept 1939 & Germany's invasion of Russia in May 1941 (when the USSR & nazi Germany were allies) the British communist party organised strikes and campaigned against the war. Only when Hitler attacked Russia did they change tone & suddenly backed the war.

Its probably not spoiling it too much to suggest nuclear weapons are important at one point. Its historical fact that Stalin knew more about the US bomb development than Truman did (courtesy of spy Klaus Fuchs). During the Potsdam conference Truman was surprised when after telling Stalin about the successful 'Trinity' bomb test Stalins only reply was 'thats lucky'. The reason Stalin wasn't surprised is that he knew before Truman that the test worked.

Where I will fault it is Conroy's assessment of US weaponry vs German & Soviet. He's far too inclined to downplay allied equipment and exaggerate the effectiveness of German & Russian tanks. The T34 in this book is almost unstoppable and apparently 'is impervious to US bazookas and anti-tank guns'. A T34 weighed barely 30 tons. A bazooka or US 57mm AT gun could effortlessly penetrate the side armour of the much heavier Panther and did so on many occasions. In this book US troops throw away their bazookas and use German panzerfausts against the T34's with great success. The real panzerfaust was mass produced by slave labourers and was often so badly made it didn't detonate. Real T34 crews protected their tanks against them quite effectively by welding bits of bedstead and mattresses to the tank as the Panzerfaust warhead needed a hard strike to detonate. Likewise at one point Gen. Adolf Galland (one of the few senior German characters I rather liked in real life) shows up with a flight of Me262 jets which he uses with great success against the Russians. In real life the jet engines on the Me262 were so badly made (again, slave labour, inadequate supplies of special alloys) that they had a lifespan of just 15 hours in the air. Realistically Galland's jets aren't going to be much use for long. In a particularly stupid comment General Patton (who in real life refused to supplement his 30 ton Shermans with 45 ton M26 pershings because they were too slow and heavy) adds 100 55 ton Panthers & 50 60 ton Tigers to his tank force. The Germans only had 36 Tigers in Normandy for the whole D-Day campaign and made a total of 1600. Production ended in June 1944. Where exactly did this 50 come from in May 1945?

Some other faults are that characterisation is 2D at best and there's rather too much made of a romance between a US officer & a German/Canadian refugee. The fate of the civilians caught up in the fighting and seige of Potsdam would obviously be meaningful in real life and does give the book a bit more depth but the relatively short length of it doesn't allow for this sort of change in pace and is a bit messy.

All in all its not a bad book at all & has some clever touches. Historically its pretty good, but not perfect but all in all is a bit too hollywood mini-series in style. Its enjoyable enough but is 2nd class alternative history.
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4.0 out of 5 stars hoofing read, 8 Mar 2014
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Another great what if from Conroy. Excellent use of historical charachters. A believeable scenario of what could have happened and how it could have happened
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Red Inferno 1945
Red Inferno 1945 by Robert Conroy (Paperback - 23 Feb 2010)
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