The Big Switch (The War That Came Early, Book Three)
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In 1941 Winston Churchill was Hitler’s worst enemy. Then a Nazi secret agent changed everything.
What if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. Instead, three years pass, and with his genocidal apparatus not fully in place, Hitler barely survives a coup, while Jews cling to survival, and England and France wonder whether the war is still worthwhile. The stage is set for World War II to unfold far differently from the history we know—courtesy of Harry Turtledove, wizard of “what if?,” in the continuation of his thrilling series: The War That Came Early.
Through the eyes of characters ranging from a brawling American serving with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain to a woman who has seen Hitler’s evil face-to-face, The Big Switch rolls relentlessly forward into 1941. As the Germans and their Polish allies slam into the gut of the Soviet Union in the west, Japan pummels away in the east. Meanwhile, in the trenches of France, French and Czech forces are outmanned but not outfought by their Nazi enemy. Then the stalemate is shattered. In England Winston Churchill dies suddenly, leaving the gray men wondering who their real enemy is. And as the USSR makes peace with Japan, the empire of the Rising Sun looks westward—its war with America about to begin.
“No, not the camps.” Anastas’ joke had worked almost too well. “Far Eastern Aviation. They’ll make me a pilot so the Japanese can shoot me down.” “Oh.” Yaroslavsky kissed him on both cheeks and gave him a hug. “Well, stay as safe as you can, you crazy bastard. I hope I see you after the war.” “That would be good. Or maybe we won’t have to wait so long. Who knows? Who knows anything nowadays?” Mouradian slung the duffel over his shoulder and went out into the cold again. The stone-faced noncom
in the Baltic’s close confines than in the North Sea or the wide, wild winter waters of the North Atlantic west of the British Isles. And things were … better. That only illuminated the vast gap between better and good. Some of the waves the harsh winds stirred up here were big enough to send deluges of frigid seawater down the hatch at the top of the conning tower and into the U-30. Besides drenching the sailors, the water shorted out electrical equipment, gave the pumps a workout, and even
At the same time, he clapped a hand to the wounded part. It came away bloody. Sure as hell, he’d got shot in the ass. Trousers still at half mast, he rolled behind a big, thick elm. Bullets could penetrate an amazing amount of wood, but he didn’t worry about that. All he wanted was to keep the lousy Boche from seeing him any more. Besides, that last bullet had penetrated him. He pulled up the khaki trousers. He didn’t bother with the belt. Holding the pants up with one hand, he hobbled back to
to put her foot down and quit going. Bits and pieces of it stuck to this day. She could come out with chapter and verse from Micah (in the King James version, of course; her folks seemed to think that was what God had used to talk to the Hebrews): “ ‘But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.’ ” She sighed wistfully. “Boy, that’d be swell!” Herb smiled, whether at the quotation or at the old-fashioned slang she couldn’t tell. “It would,
beer couldn’t do it, maybe this would let her forget everything that wasn’t right here, at least for a little while. They lay back on the blankets, and the world did seem to disappear—in green. Anyone could come up and see them. Anyone could, but no one did. Isidor reached under her skirt. He’d tried that before, but she’d always slapped his hand away. Now … Now she discovered she didn’t want to. Before long, he got where he was going, and gently began to rub. And, amazingly soon, Sarah got