A detailed and intelligent look at the execution of a surprise attack on West Germany as seen from the Soviet viewpoint--by a former U.S. Army intelligence officer. The time is the near future. The Soviet government is faced with the last moments in which Soviet planning, manpower, and equipment will be capable of beating the constantly improving weapons technology of the West. And they seize the moment. Massing their troops in silence and stealth on the West German border, the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact countries launch a surprise attack on West Germany and the NATO defense forces. Author Peters tells the story exclusively from the Soviet side, limiting the action to the armies facing the NATO troops in north-central Germany. It's a very successful device that allows the reader to see Soviet planning and personalities as they would affect a land war far more effectively than the superepic approach. There's no Moscow and no Washington. Just the war. Peters gives us an aristocratic general with a genius for planning; another general who is a crude throwback to the Cossacks; a political officer who almost succeeds as a military leader when thrown into battle; a Jewish staff officer whose loyalties are totally Soviet; an artillery lieutenant colonel whose heart is on the farm; and various younger officers and enlisted men. And, wonder of wonders, they are all real people. There are none of the cardboard ninnies that are the curse of so many military novels. First-rate military novel that can be read and appreciated by a general audience. Outstanding battle scenes and, above all, a superb understanding of war.