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.
The eagerly awaited conclusion to Birmingham's popular Axis of Time trilogy (after Designated Targets and Weapons of Choice) deftly explores how a temporally displaced 21st-century naval battle group changes the outcome of WWII, both militarily and socially. In 1944, the Germans and the Japanese may be close to developing an atom bomb, while the swift Russian advance in the east threatens to engulf all of Europe. Admiral Kolhammer and his future warriors, veterans of 20 or so years of the war on terror, can be just as ruthless as the Axis. How the social changes inspired by Southern California's multicultural "zone" will fare in the face of opposition from the followers of the outed (and self-slain) J. Edgar Hoover remains an open question. Since the western Allies are left facing a Soviet Union that refuses to accept the judgment of history, it's clear that the author has the makings for a sequel. Alternate history fans can only hope Kolhammer and crew will soon be back. (Jan.) Copyright (c) Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
January 30, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Final Impact by John Birmingham
D-Day. 3 May 1944. 0300 hours.
The lead helicopter hammered across the English Channel at the edge of its performance envelope, close enough to the waves that Lieutenant Gil Amundson thought he could feel a fine mist of sea spray stirred up by their passage through the darkness.
The seven men in his chalk were quiet, each alone in his own cocoon of anticipation and fear. Amundson could hear Sergeant Nunez beside him, reciting rapid-fire Hail Marys, working through a set of rosary beads in what looked to the young cavalry officer like record time. Across the cabin Private Clarke was nervously tapping his heel on the steel plating of the floor, the tempo increasing until it sounded like one of those rock-and-roll drummers. Then he'd curse, punch himself on the leg, and go still for a moment before starting all over again.
On either side of him a couple of the boys were dozing fitfully. Or at least pretending to.
That's how it went the whole way across. Each man playing out what might be his last hour as he saw fit. Some checked their equipment, before checking their buddy's. Some leaned over to get a view of the invasion fleet as it headed for the coast. Corporal Gadsden craned his head skyward, the bulky lens of his Gen2 Starlite goggles tracking his gaze as he picked out Dakotas, gliders, Mustang night fighters, and, at one point, a squadron of Sabers miles overhead, all screaming toward France.
Amundson forced himself to go through the plan again. The rapid insertion, the assembly point for his platoon, the mental map of their objective.
He used what little space he had in the chopper to perform a set of isometric exercises, lest his butt fall asleep before they jumped into Hitler's front garden. He stretched his arms and legs and craned his neck from side to side, a full extension in each direction, which gave him a clear view of the rest of the cav squadron as it thundered toward the enemy in 132 Hueys, with another forty Cobra gunships riding shotgun.
It seemed that the demonic roar of so many engines, the great thudding of all those rotors, could surely be heard in Berlin itself. But as quickly as the thought came to him, it was gone.
A quick glance forward through the armored glass canopy revealed the firestorm that was engulfing the Pas de Calais. So much high explosive had been dropped on that small region of France, it would be a wonder if anything bigger than a flea still lived down there. There'd even been talk back in England that Ike might bust a nuke over the krauts, although Amundson doubted that. They hadn't been outfitted to fight in radioactive terrain.
That wouldn't stop the Nazis, though, he supposed. Axis Sally had been taunting the Allies for weeks now, claiming that the Reich was just waiting for them to set foot on the Continent, giving them an excuse to use the first of their many, many A-bombs. Amundson glanced down, then back at the lead elements of the great fleet headed for the beaches of Calais. At least his squadron was probably too small a target to justify the use of such a weapon.
No, they were probably just gonna get chewed to bits by German jet fighters.
Ah, screw it.
He figured the same doubts were gnawing through every man in the operation. Eisenhower himself was probably being tortured by the same sort of fears. Ever since the Transition, so much was known, but so much more was unknowable.
There was one person who didn't seem to give a shit, though, and she was sitting directly across from him. She was a civilian, but she'd seen more combat than any of them. Maybe even anyone in the whole squadron. Amundson knew a few guys who'd fought in the Pacific, but almost everyone else in the Seventh had never fired a shot-not in combat. Nor had they come under fire themselves.