30 January 2007
| 4/5 |
Axis of Time
| Alternate history, Science Fiction|
John Birmingham books, Alternate history books
Final Impact is the third volume of John Birmingham's Axis of Time trilogy.
Final Impact Wikipedia
Picking up two years onwards from the end of Designated Targets, Final Impact is the last novel in the Axis of Time trilogy. The supercarrier The Big Hill has been refurbished with more conventional steam catapults which replaced her less reliable fuel air explosive catapults. Her carrier air group is replenished with A-4 Skyhawk jet-powered attack aircraft, many of which are flown by 'temps, contemporary pilots. Admiral Kolhammer returns to sea at the head of a new Task Force with the Clinton at its core after two years of administering the Special Administrative Zone-California.
Many characters have died in the intervening time period, from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, by his own hand to Commander Dan Black, one of the main characters of the story who asks for a return to combat and dies during the re-takeover of Hawaii, when his plane crashed during take-off from Muroc Airfield, California. D-Day has begun a month early and the Third Reich is crumbling as the Allies invade France. They invade Pas-de-Calais instead of Normandy, using Normandy as the subject of the dis-information campaign. Paul Brasch's (who is now a Major General) cover is blown and he is extracted by the British. Adolf Hitler has a seizure and suffers permanent brain and muscle damage; with the T4 program in mind and believing it is for the good of the Reich, Heinrich Himmler suffocates him. The USSR rejoins the Allied side and surges through the Western Front and the Eastern, having used the intervening two years to train huge armies as well as outfit their troops with advanced technology, including AK-47s and MiG-15s. However, before a full-scale invasion of the Home Islands of Japan can begin, the Soviets drop an atomic bomb on Litzmannstadt (that is, Łódź, Poland which in reality was colonized by the Nazis in 1939, ethnically-cleansed and renamed.)
The Axis powers react as much as they can: Himmler authorizes the use of anthrax in an synthesized form which will hang around for months halting a Russian advance. The USSR takes two more blows when a massive kamikaze strike cripples their Pacific Fleet, and the A-bomb building facility in Kamchatka is destroyed - both hits scored by the Japanese.
The U.S., having secretly completed the Manhattan Project a few months before and built up - with a large amount of help by thousands of people from the future Multi-National force - a large enough stockpile of bombs to take on Germany, Japan and the USSR at the same time, if necessary, obliterate Berlin using three nuclear weapons. In response to the U.S. blast on Berlin and the Japanese destroying the Soviet Pacific fleet at Kamchatka, the Soviets nuke Tokyo, killing the Emperor. The Axis Powers give in to unconditional surrender, ending the war in July 1944, but the damage has been done. The USSR has pushed into Asia securing gains in Persia, Afghanistan, Korea, Indochina and is probably going to share occupation of Japan with U.S. and Australia; in Europe the USSR has gone around Germany and has taken all of Eastern Europe including Greece, plus Northern Italy and chunks of Vichy France and Austria. With the war over, most of the main characters move into the private sector and start anew.Vera Atkins, British agent
Thomas Blamey, Commander-in-Chief, Australian Army; Commander-in-Chief Allied Land Forces, South-West Pacific Area
Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister
John Curtin, Australian Prime Minister
Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, British ambassador to the US
Bernard Montgomery, General, commander of British forces in France
Philip Mountbatten, Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Navy
Kim Philby, Soviet agent in hiding; aids Skorzeny's commandos.
Archibald Wavell, General, commander of British defences
Prince Harry, younger brother of the 21st century British King, a Special Air Service Major, age 38.
Elizabeth Windsor, 'future' Queen
Walther Bothe, physicist
Wernher von Braun, rocket scientist
Kurt Diebner, physicist
Walter Dornberger, German army rocket scientist
Hermann Göring, Chief of the Luftwaffe
Otto Hahn, physicist
Werner Heisenberg, physicist
Heinrich Himmler, SS Chief
Adolf Hitler, Reichschancellor
Ernst Kaltenbrunner, SS Security Service chief
Günther von Kluge, Field Marshal
Karl Albrecht Oberg, SS commander in Paris
Otto Skorzeny, legendary Waffen-SS commando
Albert Speer, Head of Armaments
Franz Stangl, SS Gruppenfuhrer
Kurt Zeitzler, Army Chief of Staff
Hirohito, Emperor of Japan
Hideyoshi Obata, General on Saipan
Takijiro Onishi, Admiral of the tokkōtai (Kamikaze) squadrons
Hiroshi Ōshima, General and ambassador to Germany
Asaiki Tamai, Commander of a kamikaze unit
Isoroku Yamamoto, Grand Admiral of the Combined Fleet
Seki Yukio, Kamikaze pilot
Henry Arnold, General, United States Army. Commanding officer in charge of the U.S. Army Air Force.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, General, United States Army. Supreme Allied Commander of the European Theater of Operations.
Leslie Groves, General, United States Army. Director of the Manhattan Project.
W. Averell Harriman, ambassador to the USSR
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Captain, United States Navy. Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Armanno, a Halsey-class guided missile destroyer.
Ernest King, Commander-in-Chief, United States Navy. Chief of Naval Operations.
Douglas MacArthur, General, United States Army. Commander of Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations.
George Marshall, General, United States Army. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Joseph McCarthy, 'future' United States Senator (killed in combat)
Marilyn Monroe, 'future' actress.
George S. Patton, General, commander of US forces in France
Elvis Presley, 'future' rock star.
Jackie Robinson, 'future' baseball player with the U.S. 761st Tank Battalion
Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States.
Raymond Spruance, Admiral, United States Navy. Commander of the Combined Pacific Task Force.
Henry Stimson, U.S. Secretary of War.
Lavrenty Beria, Head of NKVD
Ivan Konev, General, Red Army
Igor Kurchatov, physicist
Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov, People's Commissar of the Navy
Georgy Malenkov, CPSU member
Lev Mekhlis, political chief of the Red Army
Vyacheslav Molotov, Foreign Minister
Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the CPSU
Semyon Timoshenko, Defense Minister
Ivan Stepanovich Yumashev, Admiral, Sea of Okhotsk
Georgy Zhukov, General, Red Army