Zut! The French are the villains in this new futurotechnothriller by Navy veteran and military analyst Bond (Vortex, 1991; Red Phoenix, 1989)--who continues to write battle scenes good enough to keep the old disbelief suspended in a closet somewhere. The setup this time is an economic and military collaboration between France and Germany sometime after the defeat of President Clinton. The Common Market has given way to an unpleasant and unsatisfactory master-slave relationship between the two rich countries and still-poor Eastern Europe, as well as some unhealthy codependency with the Benelux countries and Scandinavia. Then France decides to ship its unwelcome guest workers off to Hungary to replace Hungarian workers in French-owned factories and at the same time sews up a dirty deal with the Germans to take over the continent. War becomes inevitable, and Poland, Slovakia, and the Czechs alone have the nerve to resist. But who cares? Their only friends are the Americans, best known for their dithering and political cowardice. Right? Wrong! America cares. With the help of rich industrialist Ross Huntington III, the President comes up with a tough plan to help those plucky countries hang on and, at the same time, punish the French for their decades of rudeness to tourists. Since France and Germany are old NATO powers, the battle that breaks out pits American-designed weapons and tactics against American-designed weapons and tactics. The Germans are gutsy and well organized, the French arrogant and craven. Trouble is expected from the Russians, whose president has been locked up by a reactionary general. Heroics are provided by, among others, a patriotic Hungarian cop, a Polish-American flyboy, a lovely American commercial analyst, a suave Russian colonel, and a former East German officer. Before everything is sorted out, the French will reach for their nuclear weapons. Rattles along at a nice pace. Gadgetry is subordinated to tactics, and that's to the good. Plenty of tank action for the WW II fans.