Alternate-history yarn from fantasist Niles (War of Three Waters, 1997, etc.) and collaborator/war-gamer Dobson. The authors' big what-if: What if the 1944 bomb plot to assassinate Hitler had succeeded? Well, in this scenario Colonel Count von Stauffenberg's bomb kills Hitler, but the conspiracy behind the bomb, frail at best, makes crucial mistakes and fails to seize power. Instead, as General Rommel lies barely alive in a French hospital after an allied strafing raid, the wily and brutal Heinrich Himmler seizes power, swiftly demolishes the opposition, then conducts secret negotiations with the Soviet Union for a separate peace. The Desert Fox, however, survives his wounds; Himmler, recognizing his capabilities if not his suspect loyalty, places him in charge of defending Germany against the Allied advances conducted by tank commander George Patton and his enthusiastic young colonel, James Pulaski. Meanwhile, skilled intelligence officer Colonel Günter von Reinhardt becomes the real force behind the German negotiations in Moscow. He agrees to cede Greece, Romania, and Norway to the USSR, give them access to V1 technology, and withdraw from central Europe. Rommel abandons southern France, and prepares new defenses in the French mountains and along the Rhine. With the debilitating Eastern Front now neutralized, can Germany and Rommel muster sufficient strength in the west to defeat the Allied advance? Can the Soviets be trusted?
Intriguing and well handled, with broad appeal for military what-if fans, WWII buffs, armchair war-gamers, and the like.