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  • My first book has begun!

    Please let me know what you think, and please be kind. This is a new process for me, and I'm looking for some tips/critique/insight. Thanks so much and enjoy! It's entitled 'Darkest Days'. Here's an excerpt from the opening chapter:

    PAS-DE-CALAIS, FRANCE
    JUNE 6, 1940

    “Therein lies the fulfillment of German destiny, for there has been no invasion of Britain since William the Conqueror in 1066. Are you aware of this, Herr Reichsmarschall?” asked Adolf Hitler, while looking through field glasses at the white cliffs of Dover of England, to Albert Kesselring, the newly appointed Reichsmarchall and head of the Luftwaffe after the tragic death of Hermann Goering in an airplane accident four days prior. “Of course, Mein Fuhrer. Except times are different now. William the Conqueror had no tanks, airplanes…..just raw courage, wooden boats, and iron determination. I know this well, as I had a keen interest in him as a youth.” replied Kesselring. “Ahh Albert” Hitler said “You are a man after my own heart. There is no other man that I would trust more than you to carry out Operation Hermann.” By this time, Hitler was studying Kesselring, who was taking his turn in looking trough the field glasses. Deep down, Hitler, while overcome with sadness at the loss of his dear friend and comrade from the very beginning of his ascent to power, knew that Kesselring was the right man at the right time for this position, while Goering, aside from his prominence, was simply not competent. No vision, no will, no….iron determination. Kesselring enjoys the advantage of being a likeable fellow, beloved by his troops, and follows orders. Hitler could also take more heed in Kesselring’s advice, as he was a man of particular and intricate strategy, and of little ‘talk‘. Something that, again, separated him greatly from Goering.

    In the previous three weeks, the world was witness to the complete and utter annihilation of, what was, the world’s largest standing army in the French Army….not to mention the humiliating and complete defeat of the British Expeditionary Force, as well as the Belgian and Dutch armies. Almost 600,000 French, British, Belgian, and Dutch troops were now marching into POW camps. In a plan differing from the famous ‘Schlieffen Plan’ of World War One which had German armies swooping around with the intent of assaulting Paris from the north, freshly promoted General Erich von Manstein’s plan was particularly bold. Panzers, supported by the Luftwaffe, were to strike through the Ardennes and drive directly to the English Channel like a sickle cutting through wheat, hence the term coined by von Manstein ‘Sichelsnchitt‘ or ‘sickle-cut‘. Once the Channel was reached, the drive began along the coast to the southwest to capture the vital ports of Brugge, Dunkirk, Calais, and Dieppe while the Whermacht was pressing on the Belgian and Dutch armies from the north. The French and British were taken by complete surprise, and were systematically annihilated as they were unsure how or where to effectively respond, as they were still focused on old Great War tactics such as trench warfare.
    “Mein Fuhrer, Herr Hess and General von Manstein have arrived!” exclaimed an aide.

    Hitler, by this point, was beaming. “Erich! Congratulations! You have done it! There is a reason why your plan was chosen, and that is because all of the other plans that were submitted to me lacked drive and daring. Is there anything our army cannot do? After all, who would have thought that we could push three thousand panzers through the Ardennes? Nobody! And certainly not the French or the British!” “Yes, Mein Fuhrer“ von Manstein replied with his usual candor, “The goal of the Schwerpunkt was to hit them in their softest, weakest spot, and drive there with all possible force. Their tanks, while far superior to our own panzers, are spread thin across the entire front while our panzers have all been focused at the critical point and, additionally, we have the luxury of radio whereas they do not, so that means we will always have the tactical advantage.”

    Those close to Hitler knew that he was in very rare form, but even he could not hold in the joy of crushing his two oldest adversaries that so humiliated Germany after the Great War. However, the war was not over yet, as two very important tasks remained: the final victory over France and Britain. German armies were now pressing at the gates of Paris and beginning their drive to the south of France, while mopping up around the Low Countries.

    “Herr General, all of Germany smiles upon you! Come, let us take a walk. I would like you, along with Herr Kesseling, to together formulate a plan to bring us final victory. Do you see that?” Hitler asked while pointing across the Channel to the cliffs of Dover in the distance “That is victory. The Romans did it. The Vikings did it. The Normans did it….and now we will do it.”
    'The Most Dangerous Man in Europe'

  • #2
    This looks like fanboy alt history/fantasy with no basis in the historical record.

    Killing Goring in a plane crash is not going to rectify the structural problems of the luftwaffe nor solve the problem that the Royal Navy massively out numbers the Kriegsmarine.

    It will be more plausible if you introduce dragons and vampires.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been working on a novel for 5 years.

      (If I could only learn to read faster, I might finish it some day.)


      Philip
      "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
        This looks like fanboy alt history/fantasy with no basis in the historical record.

        Killing Goring in a plane crash is not going to rectify the structural problems of the luftwaffe nor solve the problem that the Royal Navy massively out numbers the Kriegsmarine.

        It will be more plausible if you introduce dragons and vampires.
        Hey, it's my book, and I'll write it as I please. But I assure you that I am not some naive beginner when it comes to this. I've always been into revisionism and with the mountains of books I've read on the subject, I've always pretty much noticed the same result...the Allies always winning no matter what happens in the stories. Well what if the Axis win? That's what I'm examining had things gone differently in the author's perspective.

        Anything can happen in fiction, so let's not be so harsh, hmm? Like I said, I'd be open to suggestions and thoughts which is why I chose to post here. Leave the sarcasm out, if you would please.
        'The Most Dangerous Man in Europe'

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Otto Skorzeny View Post
          Hey, it's my book, and I'll write it as I please.
          Right on!

          Although not my subject it is very readable. Personally I like your style.
          You can tell that you are not some kind of beginner.
          All I can do is applaude your work so far...and just keep on going

          There is no better way to spend your time here on earth than in creating!

          If you don't do anything, you won't achieve anything.



          Greets,
          Stratego
          Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

          It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

          Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

          BORG

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Stratego View Post
            Right on!

            Although not my subject it is very readable. Personally I like your style.
            You can tell that you are not some kind of beginner.
            All I can do is applaude your work so far...and just keep on going

            There is no better way to spend your time here on earth than in creating!

            If you don't do anything, you won't achieve anything.



            Greets,
            Stratego
            Thank you for the kind words, I will be sure to provide updates!
            'The Most Dangerous Man in Europe'

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Otto Skorzeny View Post
              Hey, it's my book, and I'll write it as I please. But I assure you that I am not some naive beginner when it comes to this. I've always been into revisionism and with the mountains of books I've read on the subject, I've always pretty much noticed the same result...the Allies always winning no matter what happens in the stories. Well what if the Axis win? That's what I'm examining had things gone differently in the author's perspective.

              Anything can happen in fiction, so let's not be so harsh, hmm? Like I said, I'd be open to suggestions and thoughts which is why I chose to post here. Leave the sarcasm out, if you would please.
              Good for you.

              Just a little constructive criticism, alternate history is a better term for what you're writing than revisionism. Revisionism to me smacks of history writing of the sort that David Irving indulges in. Not that I'm comparing what you're writing to that.

              I do hope you post more of this. An interesting premise.
              Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

              Comment


              • #8
                I like it thus far...Kesselring would've been a better Air Force leader than Goering, that's for sure. Keep up the good work!

                -Matt
                SGT, 210th MP Battalion, 2nd MP BDE, MSSG

                Fervently PRO-TRUMP, anti-Islam and anti-Steelers!

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are serious about turning this into a book, you are going to have to put a lot of effort into characterization. There is plenty of alt. history floating around on the internet and plenty of it reads like your except above, a just-so-story.

                  If you actually expect to have a book length draft that regular people (not NAZI fan-boys) will read and appreciate, you have to create characters that the reader can understand and sympathize with or have at least some emotional connection. That is a bit hard to do with well known historical personalities as the existing body of historical and biographical work limits the amount of dramatic license you can take before suspension of disbelief falls apart.

                  The usual way around this problem is to center the story on lower ranking characters who may be acquainted with the leadership but who are responsible for significant decisions of their own. That gives you the freedom to shape your story through their actions and emotions.
                  Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                  Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                  • #10
                    I have one I have done, but have been editing for 24 years. I have 2 others I've been working on for 5-6 years, and one I've been working on 8 1/2 years. One that is sort of an autobiography I've been at it 4 years. I just never get the urge to write when I want. I hope you do better at it than I.
                    This bass guitar kills TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
                      If you are serious about turning this into a book, you are going to have to put a lot of effort into characterization. There is plenty of alt. history floating around on the internet and plenty of it reads like your except above, a just-so-story.

                      If you actually expect to have a book length draft that regular people (not NAZI fan-boys) will read and appreciate, you have to create characters that the reader can understand and sympathize with or have at least some emotional connection. That is a bit hard to do with well known historical personalities as the existing body of historical and biographical work limits the amount of dramatic license you can take before suspension of disbelief falls apart.

                      The usual way around this problem is to center the story on lower ranking characters who may be acquainted with the leadership but who are responsible for significant decisions of their own. That gives you the freedom to shape your story through their actions and emotions.
                      Indeed, I'm sort of using the Jeff Shaara book 'No Less Than Victory' as sort of my basis. What I posted here is merely the very beginning, as the plot has since moved to London now and I'm in the process of re-writing Churchill's 'finest hour' speech into the 'darkest days' (hence the title of the book) speech.

                      If there's any Churchill and/or British government of that era experts on here, please contact me...I have several questions for you.

                      Thanks again for the help and advice!
                      'The Most Dangerous Man in Europe'

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Otto Skorzeny View Post
                        Indeed, I'm sort of using the Jeff Shaara book 'No Less Than Victory' as sort of my basis. What I posted here is merely the very beginning, as the plot has since moved to London now and I'm in the process of re-writing Churchill's 'finest hour' speech into the 'darkest days' (hence the title of the book) speech.

                        If there's any Churchill and/or British government of that era experts on here, please contact me...I have several questions for you.

                        Thanks again for the help and advice!
                        Hopefully, you'll post the 'London' part at some point. It would be interesting to read.

                        Here are some thoughts I had a while back on how things might have gone under a different scenario.

                        Don't take it too seriously.


                        Philip

                        Originally posted by PhilipLaos View Post
                        Many people believe that Lord Halifax would have come to some kind of accommodation with the Germans. What would have been the likely course of World War II if he had done so and made (something like) the following address to the British people?

                        June 20th. 1940: Radio address by Prime Minister Lord Halifax to the British people.

                        My fellow countrymen and women,

                        I can announce to you today that I have received, by telegraph, assurances from Herr Hitler that the forces under the control of the German High Command will, from midnight tonight, turn eastwards from the shores of France. Thus, our armed forces, having fought so valiantly in the fields of France have, by the grace of God, been spared from the odious and hateful task of continuing the fight with our German cousins in a futile struggle on the seas, oceans and land. A struggle that would have brought upon this great nation and our Empire, a calamity unlike any it has known in its long and noble history. Had we continued upon this disastrous course, the citizens of our tiny and virtuous island would have suffered untold and futile slaughter on the landing grounds, slaughter in the fields and in the streets, and in the hills; a slaughter that, even should we have succeeded, would have left this great nation, and the far-flung resources of its Empire, exhausted, emaciated and unable to continue to resist the insidious and growing threat of international communism.

                        Therefore, I have agreed with Herr Hitler and the German High Command that, henceforth, we shall combine the armed forces of our two great Christian nations in a noble, valiant and unstoppable crusade by land, sea and air against the atheist hordes of Stalin and his henchmen. A struggle that we will execute with unwavering resolve until the red menace in the east has been rendered utterly defeated and exhausted, their ideology discredited, and its adherents no longer able to foment, incite and achieve their evil ambition of world Communism by means of their brutal and inhuman subjugation.

                        Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have now fallen into the grip of Stalin and the odious apparatus of Communist rule, we shall not flag or fail in this endeavour, for upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.

                        Stalin knows that, having now subjugated the Poles, the Finns and the Baltic states, he will have to break the German nation and its allies to achieve his immoral and vile ambition. If he succeeds, we may lose this struggle. But if we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted Godlessness. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, upon the inevitable and successful conclusion of our struggle, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their Finest Hour'.


                        Philip
                        "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Otto Skorzeny View Post
                          Indeed, I'm sort of using the Jeff Shaara book 'No Less Than Victory' as sort of my basis. What I posted here is merely the very beginning, as the plot has since moved to London now and I'm in the process of re-writing Churchill's 'finest hour' speech into the 'darkest days' (hence the title of the book) speech.

                          If there's any Churchill and/or British government of that era experts on here, please contact me...I have several questions for you.

                          Thanks again for the help and advice!
                          My two cents? How you write that speech depends on your plot. If you're going with UK with fight on write something reflective on the perils and hardships ahead but brimmed with confidence. If you're going for a German victory, then write sort of like a concession speech, but much more gloomy of course.
                          You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

                          -- Ataturk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Crackshot View Post
                            My two cents? How you write that speech depends on your plot. If you're going with UK with fight on write something reflective on the perils and hardships ahead but brimmed with confidence. If you're going for a German victory, then write sort of like a concession speech, but much more gloomy of course.
                            Yes, I'm getting at the last part of what you said. Stay tuned, it's going to be exciting!

                            And to whoever said 'alternate history' instead of 'revisionism', thank you for correcting me. That's what I meant and am getting at.
                            'The Most Dangerous Man in Europe'

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jeff Shaara's an excellent example...I read his Revolutionary War, Mexican War, and the Civil War trilogy...loved them all!

                              -Matt
                              SGT, 210th MP Battalion, 2nd MP BDE, MSSG

                              Fervently PRO-TRUMP, anti-Islam and anti-Steelers!

                              Comment

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