On the eve of America's greatest victory in the Pacific in World War II, a catastrophic event disrupts the course of World War II, forever changing the rules of combat. The impossible has spawned the unthinkable. A military experiment in the year 2021 has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll.
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A military experiment in the year 2021 has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll—and what was to be the most spectacular U.S. triumph of the entire war.
Thousands died in the chaos, but the ripples had only begun. For these veterans of Pearl Harbor—led by Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and Spruance—have never seen a helicopter, or a satellite link, or a nuclear weapon. And they've never encountered an African American colonel or a British naval commander who was a woman and half-Pakistani. While they embrace the armada's awesome firepower, they may find the twenty-first century sailors themselves far from acceptable.
Initial jubilation at news the Allies would win the war is quickly doused by the chilling realization that the time travelers themselves—by their very presence—have rendered history null and void. Celebration turns to dread when the possibility arises that other elements of the twenty-first century task force may have also made the trip—and might now be aiding Yamamoto and the Japanese. What happens next is anybody's guess—and everybody's nightmare.
Originally published on 2004-06-01.
Nuclear warheads, rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s, computer-guided missiles–all bets are off as the major powers of 1942 scramble to be the first to wield the weapons of tomorrow against their enemies. The whole world now knows of the Allied victory in 1945, and the collapse of communism decades later. But that was the first time around.
With the benefit of their newly acquired knowledge, Stalin and Hitler rapidly change strategies. A Russian-German ceasefire leaves the Führer free to bring the full weight of his vaunted Nazi war machine down on England, while in the Pacific, Japan launches an invasion of Australia, and Admiral Yamamoto schemes to seize an even greater prize . . . Hawaii.
Even in the United States the newcomers from the future are greeted with a combination of enthusiasm and fear. Suspicion leads to hatred and erupts into violence.
Suddenly it's a whole new war, with high-tech, high-stakes international manipulations from Tokyo to D.C. to the Kremlin. As the world trembles on the brink of annihilation, Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt, Hitler, and Tojo confront extreme choices and a future rife with possibilities–all of them apocalyptic.
Originally published on 2005-10-25.
In the year 2021 a multinational fleet–experimenting with untested weapons technology–pitched through time, crash-landing in 1942. The world is thrown into chaos as Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill, Tojo, and Stalin scramble to adapt to new, high-tech killing tools, and twenty-first-century ways of war.
For "uptimers" like Britain's Prince Harry and the men and women who serve aboard the supercarrier USS Hillary Clinton, war is a constant struggle with their own downtime allies, who are mired in ignorance and bigotry.
As the Allies counter the Nazi assault and set off for the coast of France, Japan begins to buckle, soon every battle will be played out in a lethal dance of might and intelligence, unholy alliances and desperate gambles, and each clash will be fought with the ultimate weapon; knowledge from the future.
Thanks to the historical records, all sides know that two superpowers will emerge, while the losers will be pounded into submission. But time has shifted on its axis, so none know who will survive, or how peace will take hold in a world turned upside down. These are the questions that John Birmingham brilliantly answers in his critically acclaimed adventure of war and imagination.
Originally published on 2007-12-26.