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  1. I first encountered Anthony G Williams through his NON-fiction writings, specifically about military hardware. He seemed to be kind of Ian V Hogg's natural successor. The central idea of this book is that a modern British Military historian goes to sleep one night in 2004, and wakes up what is to him the next day... except it's in 1934. The guy has in his head a vast amount of information about WW2, potentially a chance to avoid a huge number of mistakes - a Steamer trunk full of "second chances". All he needs to do is get close to someone influential, and convince them that he's not an escapee from an asylum, but a major strategic asset. Writing this book must have been FUN. It's the kind of thing one does after a night out at the pub, with like-minded friends. Williams is clearly an authority (as one would know from reading his non-fiction) able to make informed comments about everything from small arms to aircraft via tank design, naval architecture.. strategy... Even him working out a plan to make contact with the right people is quite ingenious. Assuming that the reader already HAS some knowlege of military issues, reading the book gives you a chance to participate in "the game". What would YOU advise in the same position? Do you agree with the advice that WIlliams' character gives? An interesting twist to the story emerges when it becomes clear that the Germans have a similar "time traveller" offer THEM advice too. Replaying WW2 with the benefit of hindsight becomes a completely different game if the enemy is ALSO doing it. But how many of Germany's stupid mistakes were hard wired into the Nazi psyche? Germany invaded Russia BECAUSE the Nazis wanted to murder the maximum number of Jews; Auschwitz wasn't an unexpected side effect. I bought the book several years ago, and have re-read it three times, because it's fun to re-play the game. Apparently there were sequels in the pipeline, detailing what happens if you play the game from an American or Soviet viewpoint. Interestingly, WIlliams' advice was - where possible - to keep the USA OUT of the war in Europe, and NOT to share British technology with the Americans. One teensy suggestion tha Williams offers is that the UK should adopt 9mm 9x25 (Mauser "Export") ammunition for pistols and sub machine guns.It would (in my view!) have been a vast improvement over 9mm Parabelum.
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