1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What a mess.,
This review is from: Himmler's War (Kindle Edition)
This book fails on so many levels. Firstly, It arrived three months after I ordered it with no explanation.
As an alternate history, the book takes a plausible premise, in which Hitler is killed by a random allied bombing raid, and without his interference and insistence on static defence, the forces of the Reich organise a much stiffer defence against both the allies and the USSR. The actual idea of the defensive plan is mostly sound, essentially where they fall back to Germany's Natural borders and build stiff defensive lines whilst using jet fighters to harry the allied approach. The letdown is the fact that this seems to be the only plausible piece of alternate history in the book. They somehow find a way to make peace with the USSR (after murdering 30 million of it's citizens no less), actually buy hundreds of T-34s of them, mange to somehow plant a nuke right in the middle of Moscow and blow it up (seriously conroy, skorzeny was a commando, not a magician), and in the end nothing they do makes the slightest difference as their first engagement with the Americans bruises them so much they surrender. And that's not all. The british are portrayed as trying desperately to stop fighting the war (because they're "tired" of it), the Russians just can't wait to betray their allies and the Americans appear to be Morally righteous liberators and the only partner willing to actually do anything, most of which seems to be slogging through countryside talking about women and setting each other up, occasionally blowing superior german tanks away with ease. The book has so little actual combat it feels more like a family drama that happens to be set during the war, and Conroy's obsession with romances and half baked sex scenes manages to fill more of the plot that the actual history does. His characters are the same characters that you will find in every single novel by this author.. The beleaguered green mid ranking officer, his experienced superior and sidekick, the grumpy guy, The love interest, The token Bad guys, The token young character on the bad guy's side forced into the war unwillingly and desperate to get home, The eager Axis patriot who hates the regime and will inevitable betray them. All are simple renames of the same characters that Conroy has used in every book that he's ever written, and all are more interested in getting their love interest than actually... oh don't know, fighting the war. The plot is even largely the same, in which America will take a resoundant pounding for three quarters of the book then spin around and win the war in a blow at the end. And even the climax consists of one man getting blown up in a tank.
So, as you will doubtless have gathered by now, I didn't enjoy this. It reeks of the same Jingoism and American centric re writing of history that defines all of Conroy's work, but this one is all the more insufferable due to the sheer dislocation from reality, and the complete lack of the "war", and indeed the "Himmler" in Himmler's war.