A well crafted tale of alternate history.

As I have mentioned numerous times, alternate history is one of my favorite fictional genres.  Peter Tsouras is one of my favorite authors and I have read almost all of this works.  Most of his works are edited anthologies by military historians, but he has written several single title works that were really well done.

This year I was eagerly awaiting his new work on the Battle of Stalingrad and it was well worth the wait.  Now this is alternate history for real grognards.  Tsouras has a keen grasp of military history and writing fiction and combines them both to great effect.  The forward by my favorite grouchy military analyst Ralph Peters
is also equally excellent as a primer of what good alternate history should be.  Tsouras introduces some very interesting points of departure (that point where history changes) to arrive at his ending of the book, which I won't spoil but needless to say, I read this book with the same voraciousness I usually reserve for JD Robb or Brad Thor.  Tsouras does a magnificent job of writing what reads like narrative history with little anecdotes from various historical figures and fictional characters to draw you into a scenario that very easily could have happened, demonstrating--as good alternate history always does-- that history is not an inevitable tide of events, but a wandering current that could have changed course with the smallest of twitches.

So, as usual, I would have liked a couple more maps as the book wanders into some fairly unknown geography, but the ones provided were good enough to give the reader a scale of the vastness of warfare on the steppes and mountains of Russia in the summer of 1942, truly the last opportunity for the Germans to,  if not win World War 2, at least conclude it on favorable terms. 

This is a book that only die hard military grognards will love, but if you have ever picked up some David Glantz, or are already a Peter Tsouras aficionado, then this book is an excellent addition to your library.