BOOK SYNOPSES

Yes, Decision Games is getting into the book publishing business. Its two lead items are War in Europe: Strategic Opportunities and Alternate Histories.


INDEX

  • War in Europe: Strategic Opportunities
  • Alternate Histories
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    WAR IN EUROPE: STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES

    War in Europe: Strategic Opportunities is a new analysis of World War Two in Europe, written by Strategy & Tactics editor-in-chief Joseph Miranda (myself, thank you very much). War in Europe reexamines many of the premises about the greatest war of all time and comes up with some startling conclusions. When examined in light of the perspective of the war itself, many of Hitler's so-called "insane" decisions were not quite so inane. For example, Hitler's original campaign plan for Operation Barbarossa, which called for capturing the Ukraine at the expense of Moscow, may have bee right all along and Hitler made an error in allowing his generals to talk him into going for the Soviet capital in the autumn 1941, an offensive which overextended and attrited the German Army for no real military gain.

    War in Europe gives an integrated military-political look at the war. It looks at the motivation behind Hitler's strategic decisions by examining his book, Mein Kampf, as well as the various geopolitical concepts which were dominant in Germany in the 1920s and '30s. The real problem with Hitler's conduct of the war, the book concludes, is that Hitler's underlying political goals lacked any connection to reality. For example, Hitler believed that the German people needed the great spaces of Russia to expand into as their numbers grew. Yet in the course of the war, the Nazis had to actually import foreign labor into the Reich itself in order to make their war economy work. The end result was that it would be the Nazis themselves who shifted the Eastern population westwards.

    War in Europe uses the research that has come out into the open since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It turns out the Soviets did much better in World War Two than it is generally credited for, but Cold War politics often made an objective valuation of the Red Army difficult. The Red Army actually developed many modern military concepts such as operational level warfare and deep operations.

    War in Europe includes an extensive analysis of the air war in Europe. Despite the general belief, the Luftwaffe was not intended for close air support. It was an instrument of what the Germans termed Operational Air Warfare, and its success in this role was behind many of the German victories in 1939-42. An interesting point is that from the invasion of Poland in September of 1939, to the end of the Balkans campaign in May 1941, the Luftwaffe, unlike the German Army, was continually engaged with the Allies. While German land forces could refit and reorganize during the gaps between the Polish, Western, Balkans and Barbarossa Campaigns, the Luftwaffe could not recover from the attrition it sustained in the first two years of the war, and therein lay a primary reason for the German military defeat in 1943-45.

    War in Europe also has chapters dealing with varying historical alternatives, including "what if" the Germans had tried to take Moscow in the summer of 1941, "what if" the Allies had invaded France in 1943, and "what if" Hitler had been assassinated. Needless to say, much of the research that went into writing War in Europe is also being used design the next generation of Decision Game's wargames.


    ALTERNATE HISTORIES

    Alternate Histories is an anthology of ten incredible stories of wars that might have been. The authors are all wargamers/military historians and they give a hard edge of reality to one of the hottest science fiction genres out there‹alternative history. The stories include:
    The Scythian War. Rome's last great general fights ferocious barbarians, corrupt patricians and dissolute youth in order to prevent the Fall of the Empire. Author: Joseph Miranda.
    Kepler's Army. Famed astronomer Johannes Kepler assembles a 17th century think tank to lead a revolution against the forces of darkness. The story contains an interesting description of the military technology of the 30 Years War period. Author: Joseph Miranda.
    1815-A Narrative of the Defense of France. The crowned heads of Europe are trembling. Napoleon has defeated the combined Anglo-Allied Prussian army at Waterloo and the French are once again on the march. Author: Lt. Colonel Bill Gray.
    The Emperor's Riverboat. In still another alternative universe, Napoleon has fled to America. There, he makes his stand against the British at the Battle of New Orleans with the help of the latest in military technology. Author: James L. Cambias.
    No Man's Land. It's 1920 and Leon Trotsky commands the dreaded Bolshevik shock armies in an invasion of Germany. General J.F.C. Fuller makes a last ditch effort to stop the Reds using his new Tank Corps‹with an assist from T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), Ernst Junger (author of the Storm of Steel), and Emma Goldman (the famous anarchist). Author: Joseph Miranda.
    Uncle Sam and Uncle Ho. December 7th 1941‹the United States ambushes the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, starting a chain of events that leads to an alliance with a Vietnamese rebel by the name of Ho Chi Minh. Author: James Joseph Chapman.
    Warhammer. Hitler is dead, Goering is Fuehrer, and the Third Reich unleashes its arsenal of wonder weapons against the Allies. At stake, the fate of the world. Author: David Vierling.
    Pigs Will Fly. The President of the United States launches a most unconventional airborne invasion of the Ayatollah's Iran. Mission‹free American hostages. Author: David Vierling.
    The Revolution Will Be Televised. The Soviet Union has won the Cold War but an intrepid band of rebels leads the fight for freedom with a secret weapon capable of controlling the minds of mankind. Author: Joseph Miranda.
    Total Victory. The United States goes to war with Iraq again‹but this time the tables have been turned by an Iraqi secret weapon. Author: Mark Walker.

    These stories include military history, high drama, and not a little satire. There is also room in here to inspire some "what if" wargames.


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