Rommel is Dead: A World War II Alternative History
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As 1941 comes to a close, Europe is at war. Meet German General Heinz Guderian as he battles a resurgent Soviet Army at the very gates of Moscow during the worst winter in 100 years. Owing to General Erwin Rommel’s providential battlefield death in Africa, Heinz is able to personally avoid dismissal by Hitler and the thrashing the Soviets subsequently dish out to the hated German invaders. Heinz is immediately immersed into a military and political quagmire that is the Mediterranean Theater and German dictator Hitler’s divide-and-control strategy. Heinz’s poor health issues must be subordinated to the need to save his Italian and German African troops from destruction at the hands of the British. Moreover, all of them face an uncertain future due to troop and equipment losses in Russia that almost destroy Germany’s ability to wage an offensive war. A supporting cast of Italian and German characters join Heinz in trying to survive the British onslaught on the ground, air, and sea. Heinz quickly learns to rely on the able but quirky Major and Lutheran Pastor, Wilheim Bach. Wilheim not only provides outstanding practical military achievements but also moral guidance he volunteers to Guderian as regards the kind of war Hitler is waging. Together they forge a plan where military and personnel resources are shared with Axis forces engaged in fighting Russians. Brooding Italian Lieutenant Gian Bindy must face his fears and control his urge for revenge as he and his unit are challenged again and again by overwhelming and impossible situations. In one desperate situation, Gian is saved by the highly skilled and inventive Italian pilot Giuseppe Cenni, who later challenges Gian’s motivations for fighting. Gian also partners with an opinionated Admiral countryman as all three Italians find themselves deeply involved in the fighting in Russia. As the winter of 1941-1942 ends, the whole world is at war and, thanks to Hitler, the Axis have yet another powerful enemy. The only positives Axis propaganda can point to are a few stable defensive fronts and an increase in U-boat sinkings of merchant vessels off the American coast.As 1942 progresses Heinz must struggle with many difficult issues, including even his own health. He must try and turn the Italian Military into a potent force and convince them to complete preparations to take the British held island of Malta. He must try and save the Germany military from radical solutions sponsored by Hitler and his cronies that carry long-term military consequences. He is able to obtain the aid of friends, allies and some good fortune in his efforts. However, these friends begin to raise moral issues to Heinz that cause him to question Germany’s future roles and responsibilities in a post war world. That is if they can first survive the war.