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Second Front: The Allied Invasion of France 1942-1943, by Alexander M. Grace Sr.

Discussion in 'Biographies and Everything Else' started by ColHessler, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    The subtitle of this is "An Alternative History".

    Length: 274 pages, including bibliography

    Most alternative histories for World War II deal with how the Axis could have done things differently to win the war. It made me look for one where the Allies do something differently to end the war sooner.

    Mr. Grace starts us with American destroyers pulling into Marseilles in December of 1942 to offload Rangers to take over gun positions the Vichy men left unguarded, followed by American transports sailing in and offloading troops. We then are taken back to the first and main deviation from our timeline. In Mid-1942, the American Chiefs of Staff approach FDR with a plan called Operation Haymaker. It involves American forces landing in southern France instead of North Africa. We send Patton, (yes, Patton) to negotiate with Vichy to let us sail in, provided we arm them to fight the Germans.

    From there, we get some transposing of events in time and place, such as the Clermont Gap instead of the Falaise Gap, and Rommel attacking in the winter of 1942-43 on the Massif Central instead of the Ardennes. We get the 20 July bomb plot moved up a year, and succeeding. The Free French liberate Paris a year sooner. Patton invades Germany, and Montgomery lands in Italy north of Rome.

    The Allies also land the Polish II Corps in the Polish Corridor to help the Home Army uprising, and land the 82nd Airborne to liberate Chelmno concentration camp. We finish with a democratic Poland and Czech Republic, Tito siding with the west, and Germany in one piece.

    Grace spun his tale in a coherent, if breathless fashion. It comes at the cost of spelling names wrong, Polish names ending with "y" instead of "i", and ships changing names, Vittorio Venento becoming Via Veneto. There is also a case where a Pole talks about possession of "real estate", which I don't think they'd have learned in England. Maybe I'm wrong.

    The floor is open for discussion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I find this story totally unbelievable, if for no other reason than politics. Patton invades Germany while Monty and the Brits take a back seat in Italy? I don't think so unless the USA and Britain are fighting our own different little wars. Monty would have just finished beating Armee Gruppe Afrika at El Alamein while the U. S. Army hasn't engaged the Germans at all. Not even believable.
     
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  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    1942 was. far too early. The operationns in Italy. Helped made it easier although locally there were also. BIG problems.
     
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  4. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    I think of my 12 year old self reading this and thinking it great. I sure wouldn't come up with something so outlandish now, I hope.
     

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