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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Title for Alternative History
Buyer beware! "If The Allies Had Fallen" is not a new book. It is a reissue under a different title and in a different format of the 1997 "What If ? Strategic Alternatives of WWII ". This is a reprehensible practice on the behalf of the publishing trade, and to my mind blatantly dishonest. Doubly so in this particular case, as the new title is now also misleading, since...
Published on 19 May 2010 by Mr. G. R. Whiting

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sharp practice
I have the original 'What If...' book and its sequel. It is tantamount to fraud to republish the original under a different title. I nearly bought this from another retailer and thought I'd check with Amazon first. It's a good book but I've given it one star to show my disgust. Hooray for people power and the interweb!
Published on 22 Feb. 2011 by Comfort Man


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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Title for Alternative History, 19 May 2010
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This review is from: If the Allies Had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II (Hardcover)
Buyer beware! "If The Allies Had Fallen" is not a new book. It is a reissue under a different title and in a different format of the 1997 "What If ? Strategic Alternatives of WWII ". This is a reprehensible practice on the behalf of the publishing trade, and to my mind blatantly dishonest. Doubly so in this particular case, as the new title is now also misleading, since many of the scenarios discussed by the various authors would have been to the Allies advantage, if the suggested courses of action had been adopted.

At least the original title was descriptive of the content, an overview of some the very many decision points in the period 1938 to 1945, that were available not only to the Axis powers, but to Allies as well.

That said, the essays are readable and well presented and the decision points argued from a knowlegeable and professional historian's view point rather than that of a populist writer presenting us with yet another and unnecessary "Hitler has won" fantasy.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sharp practice, 22 Feb. 2011
This review is from: If the Allies Had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II (Hardcover)
I have the original 'What If...' book and its sequel. It is tantamount to fraud to republish the original under a different title. I nearly bought this from another retailer and thought I'd check with Amazon first. It's a good book but I've given it one star to show my disgust. Hooray for people power and the interweb!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series of WW2 historical counter-factual essays, 31 Mar. 2011
By 
Tim62 "history buff" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: If the Allies Had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II (Hardcover)
This book is a serious collection of essays by (mainly) American military historians, who assess the chances of events in WW2 happening other than they did in our time line.

From the chances of a successful assassination of Hitler; Britain sueing for peace in 1940 with a victorious Germany; Hitler not diverting his panzers on their drive to Moscow in 1941; the Japanese launching a second strike against Pearl Harbor, or the A-Bomb not working in time to be dropped in 1945 - there's alot to choose from.

Unlike fictional 'what ifs' the historians here are pretty scrupulous, and clearly state the the further one goes from the point of divergence - the harder it is to work out the exact course of events.

I do agree that the publishers have been a bit naughty in changing the tile for this re-issue. If the Allies Had Fallen is not an accurate title, as the chances of a Germany victory are confined to one of the book's 17 chapters. But don't let this put you off. If you are a serious student of counter-factual history (rather than some latter-day sad Nazi fantasist who actually wishes we were living in some ghastly Nazi Festung Europa)
- then this book is for you.

True, in the end the authors don't weigh the chances of Germany winning very highly beyond 1942/43. But that is because of one simple fact. Germany's chances of winning a global conflict against both the USSR and the USA (plus the rest) were just that - slim. Thankfully.
And if you do like you counter-factual history, you should also check out:

Hitler Triumphant: Alternate Histories of World War II (Greenhill Military Paperback)]](Greenhill Military Paperback)]]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Book Format, 22 Feb. 2014
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A book written by historians for historians. However, they were not primarily writers. The book has a boring and repetitive formula.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It could have happened - I don't remember the war ..., 12 July 2014
By 
J. C. CRONIN (UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: If the Allies Had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II (Hardcover)
It could have happened - I don't remember the war - too young. Who knows what kind of world I might have grown up in !
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too long, 30 April 2015
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Good, but the chapters are a bit too long.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some new ideas, but a disappointing read, 2 July 2010
By 
William J. Read (Stafford, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: If the Allies Had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II (Hardcover)
Readers hoping for a really innovative approach to the counterfactual history of World War II will be disappointed by this re-print of a 1977 work. The ideas expressed by the wide range of authors involved in the project rarely waver from the straightforward and the mundane, and concentrate in great detail about many aspects of the war of minimal importance.

Some wider issues are either ignored completely, or dismissed out of hand. For example, the possibility of a negotiated peace with Hitler in 1940 is dismissed as "repugnant", and not assessed in the necessary depth. Churchill's many mistakes and strategic errors are covered well, but a modern assessment of him as a war-monger from first to last, is not examined.

Completely missing from this volume is even one essay that could be termed "revisionist" in the genuine sense of that word. The Axis powers and their policies are assumed to be totally evil; nowhere are even marginal benefits seen for any successes that these powers enjoyed during the war.

Overall a disappointing book, which can be read with interest, but which falls short of its ambitious aims.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly obsolete and dissapointingly lazy, 13 Nov. 2011
By 
John Dallman (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: If the Allies Had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II (Hardcover)
This is a very disappointing book. The concept is fine - a collection of short essays on turning points in WWII, and other courses of history leading from them, but the execution is badly flawed. As other reviewers have pointed out, it's hardly fresh or original, and that seems to stem from its being a 13-year-old collection, reprinted under a new title. Any sort of speculative fiction will reflect the ideas and preoccupations of its time, and our views of international relations and war have changed significantly since 1998.

However, there is a worse problem in many of these essays: hindsight.

When writing counterfactual history, it is important to distinguish between considering better courses of action with hindsight, and considering what the participants at the time could reasonably have thought and decided, without the benefit of historical knowledge. Too many of these essays fail to make that distinction. They fail to consider the secrecy that excluded the atomic bomb from planning the conclusion of war, as well as the uncertainty over its functioning and effects. They assume that it was obvious that radar would be practical and effective, and mounted in every ship and large aircraft, before the war started. They fail to consider the political and psychological reasons for the Axis nations to start and enlarge wars. Those are capable of comprehension, with study, and while they are repulsive and irrational, neglecting them is lazy history.

This book may serve as a set of exercises for the aspiring constructor of counterfactuals, but most of its conclusions have to be treated with immense care. It is a trap for the unwary.
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