Red Inferno: 1945 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
In April 1945, the Allies are charging toward Berlin from the west, the Russians from the east. For Hitler, the situation is hopeless. But at this turning point in history, another war is about to explode.
To win World War II, the Allies dealt with the devil. Joseph Stalin helped FDR, Churchill, and Truman crush Hitler. But what if "Uncle Joe" had given in to his desire to possess Germany and all of Europe? In this stunning novel, Robert Conroy picks up the history of the war just as American troops cross the Elbe into Germany. Then Stalin slams them with the brute force of his enormous Soviet army.
From American soldiers and German civilians trapped in the ruins of Potsdam to US military men fighting behind enemy lines, from a scholarly Russia expert who becomes a secret player in a new war to Stalin's cult of killers in Moscow, this saga captures the human face of international conflict. With the Soviets vastly outnumbering the Americans - but undercut by chronic fuel shortages and mistrust - Eisenhower employs a brilliant strategy of retreat to buy critical time for air superiority.
Soon, Truman makes a series of controversial decisions, enlisting German help and planning to devastate the massive Red Army by using America's ultimate and most secret weapon.
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|Listening Length||14 hours and 56 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 13, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #101,723 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#305 in Alternate History Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,349 in Alternate History Science Fiction (Books)
#1,461 in War & Military Fiction
Top reviews from the United States
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In this alternate history of World War II, Truman advances on Berlin
The action kicks off in April 1945. Eisenhower’s legions are steadily pushing their way eastward against collapsing Nazi resistance, while in the east Stalin’s armies are encircling Berlin and bombing it into rubble. Allied generals are pressuring Eisenhower to authorize a move to capture Berlin from the west instead. Although their commander demurs, mindful of the agreements at Yalta, the new American President, Harry Truman, impulsively decides otherwise. Acting against advice to the contrary, he asks Ike to send a token force of two divisions (about 30,000 men) to Berlin’s western reaches to “help” the Soviet forces, which are meeting stiff opposition from Nazis defending their capital city.
Truman reasons that by putting an American stake in the ground in Berlin he’ll make it less likely that Stalin will close the Allies entirely out of the German capital. After all, Stalin is violating the other principal terms of the Yalta Agreement. But the President’s decision is ill-considered. Stalin regards it as an opportunity to extend his borders even further into the west. For him, attacking that two-division force is to be the opening salvo into a massive push against the Allied armies to the west, thus engulfing all of Germany in the Soviet sphere of influence.
A large cast of historical characters
Conroy tells this tale through the eyes of a large cast of characters. Among them are historical figures including President Truman himself, Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, and other American generals and senior officials as well as Josef Stalin, Marshall Georgy Zhukov, Lavrentiy Beria, Vyacheslav Molotov, and others in the Soviet hierarchy. But much of the narrative power of the story is carried by the entirely fictional characters—the privates and sergeants and lieutenants and colonels on both sides as well as the fictional major general who leads that two-division force toward Berlin. Although this alternate history of World War II illuminates the Big Picture that prevailed in April 1945, it does so by revealing the humanity of those who experienced it on the ground.
It is an intriguing question that one would assume would get more coverage: what if the Soviet's pushed too hard after the defeat of Germany and went to war with the rest of the Allies? Conroy sets up the conflict fairly well and creates a few interesting characters but also some dull place fillers. The Russians get aggressive and trap an allied force in Germany as their main force pushes the Allies back further and further out of Germany. Much space is devoted to espionage in the West and the resistance the trapped U.S. force puts up behind enemy lines, including their respective love interests. Consideration is given to the Soviet advantage in men and tanks, with the Allies' reliance on air power and giving up space for time to bleed the Soviet advance. All ends in massive fireballs as the first atom bombs are used on the Soviet Army rather than the Japanese.
I have three criticisms of the book, but they don't affect my overall assessment of the story. First, I came across three references to Germany invading Russia in 1940, vice 1941. The second is that he doesnt really go into detail about how Allied Armies would have fought the Russian army and how they would have matched up with one another.
What I was hoping for more of was how the Soviet and U.S. (and British) armies would face off with each other. Conroy gives little space for a closer look at how the Allies would handle the T-34s. Their advantage over the Sherman is noted, but there is no discussion over how they would match up against British Fireflies or the newer, heavier tanks that the U.S. was already shipping to the European Theater. It also would have been interesting to see how Soviet and U.S. artillery would have matched up against each other. The Soviet's prized their artillery, but the U.S. had boiled it down to a masterful science. And would the Soviet's have truly had such a massive manpower advantage? Conroy depicts the U.S. as having no real reserves to send to fight the Soviets. The US Army Had 12 million men serving so Im sure we would have been able to send reserves over to Europe. Where did Conroy think they were going to get the troops for Operation Olympic (The invasion of Japan scheduled for late 45)? Second is the ability of the Red Air Force to compete with the USAAF and RAF in German skies. Did the 7th and 8th Air Forces just vanish? Russian aircraft couldn't have stayed in the air with Mustangs and P-38s for a day. Russian aircraft were designed for combat support, not air superiority. Conroy's Red Army moves huge armored columns across Central Germany without significant impedance from the air. What were the thousands of bombers from 8th Air Force doing? What were the many thousands of tactical bombers in 7th doing? Also, there is almost no naval discussion at all and the issue of the cutoff of lend-lease is barely noted.
The third is that General Patton is nothing more than a minor character is this book. When in the actual history of the immediate aftermath of WWII he warned about Soviet intentions and pushing an aggressive response. He also pushed strongly for rehabilitating former Nazis, which eventually cost him his position as Miltary Governor of Bavaria. I believe that in an actual Red Inferno, George S. Patton would have been ready and waiting for a attack and once it came he would have been kicking Soviet butt so much so that the Russians would have found out the reason why the German high command feared him so much. In any Alternate history book about a WW2 USA vs USSR conflict Patton, surely the go-to-guy for US-vs Red Army fantasy essentially has to have a major role.
If you are WW2 buff like me then you might find this book interesting to read. But be warned it takes a lot of liberties that most WW2 buffs will not like. If you want a great book about a USA vs USSR conflict you will not find it here. I recommind Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy. But overall the story is imaginative and very well done. Red Inferno 1945 is just perfect for a rainy afternoon.
Top reviews from other countries
This is an excellent read about how WW2 might've finished if Stalin - as was feared by the Allies- had torn up the Yalta Agreement and decided to turn the end of that war into the beginning of WW3 against Britain and the USA.
Obviously Robert Conroy had studied his material well before putting pen to paper.
Set against the real and the 'what if ....' which includes both real and fictional characters from that period, this is a book that I would thoroughly recommend reading.
Small quibble p.348 refers to fighting between Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan. There is no border shared by Armenia or Georgia with Kazakhstan nor history of animosity.
I believe the author meant to write Azerbaijan.
Some brief reflection of the damage that could ensue from a nuclear bomb but then it did save the world ? ? ?