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Review - Rommels Game: Victory at El Alamein & Towards the Caucasus, by Claude Stahl

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
Pronouns
He/Him
I can totally understand the frustration with what I myself have called the "Nazi Confederates Take Over The World" type of popular alternate history, but I don't think it's good to bash it too hard. Criticize specific works, especially if they have the all-too-common Wehrabooism or Leeabooism? Yes. But completely write off what's going to be many people's first ladder steps into alternate history as a whole? No.

So I think it's good to find examples of the genre that work as well as this book did.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Yeah, when CSA VS NAZIS: THE STEAMPUNK WARS* is the main thing, digging up the ones that are good is a worthy goal. Handy to see all the new angles people find too

* looks in wallet, hurriedly photoshops a model in a corset in front of two flags
 

MAC161

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Location
WI, USA
A good review all around, and an intriguing POD. There's an essay by John Keegan (far from the best source, I know) that discusses how a Rommel victory in North Africa would have tied into/led to a German invasion of the Caucasus, through the Middle East or Turkey and the Aegean/eastern Mediterranean islands; an interesting read, if kind of vague and unsatisfying in many spots. Perhaps Stahl's work might've benefited from his reading it (or maybe he did, but decided to cut such bits).

You're right about the "Great Man" mythology surrounding Rommel as well. AH-wise, it actually seemed to rear its head the most (along with the kind surrounding Patton) when I read the two-part Fox on the Rhine some years ago, where a (mostly) successful July 20 Bomb Plot eventually leads to him leading the Ardennes offensive--and then surrendering and pairing up with Patton to advance on Berlin. Interesting scenario, but to me it seemed like the authors were too wrapped up in wargaming and their idolization of the two lead characters for it to be anything beyond the "meh" level of AH writing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_on_the_Rhine
 
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