Friday, May 3, 2013

Favorite Authors: Harry Turtledove

Harry Turtledove is a science fiction and alternate history writer. Recently I read his book, The Man with the Iron Heart, a fiction novel set in 1940's Germany.

In his story, an SS General, Reinhard Heydrich survives an assassination attempt in 1942 by two Czech rebels (in reality, he dies in the attack, and two towns were destroyed and had many of their residents killed in retaliation).

After the failed assassination attempt, he starts to realize that the Nazi empire will indeed lose the war against the Allies and Russia, and he begins stashing weapons, and secretly recruiting troops in order to start a guerrilla warfare campaign after Germany is invaded.

His tactics are brutal, suicide bombers with vests packed with nails, bombers driving truckloads of TNT into buildings, and clusters of artillery shells used as roadside bombs. The Nazi militants are rather successful in their attacks, and the death toll keeps rising after the war is "officially" over, and it leads to a growing anti-war movement led by a Indiana House Representative, and a mother who lost her son in the fighting.

It was an interesting "what if" scenario, but I'm wondering just how plausible it really would have been. There was an attempt to carry out such a resistance, but it was poorly planned,  mostly ineffective, received little civilian support, and mostly died out as early as 1945. Would it have fared better if it had better planning and  better leadership?

If I have any history enthusiasts out there, let me know what you think.

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