Tuesday, April 14, 2015

OPERATION HERKULES (Malta Fulcrum Alternate History)

OPERATION HERKULES is a Novel of Alternate History work of fiction. It began with a question. Might WWII have gone differently had Hitler not made so many strategic blunders? Eventually I wondered what last, single blunder he might have avoided and still had a chance to win the war? From Dunkirk to Stalingrad I read all I could find on these mistakes and realized that of them all, the story of the siege of Malta and the blunder of omission, that of NOT seizing the island, was perhaps the least well known of Hitler’s gaffes, at least in the United States, and that as late as the spring or summer of 1942 he still had the chance to correct his error.

From this sprang the idea of this novel of alternate history. In it we’ll meet many well-known and some lesser known historical figures, but also purely fictional characters whose experiences reflect those whose ordinary lives were interrupted by extraordinary times. Kenneth Wiltshire, an American farm boy and volunteer pilot with the RAF, flies Spitfire fighters and fights for his life from Malta’s Ta Qali airfield. His English lover, the beautiful and mysterious Maggie Reed, toils in anonymity from Malta on Britain’s most vital wartime secret. Kuno

Schact, German Army officer, is drafted as a last minute replacement for the invasion. His dreams are haunted by fear that his two young sons will someday fight and die for the Third Reich. Roland Webster, Royal Navy gunnery officer; only combat gives him relief from remorse of his lost love Althea, killed in the London Blitz. Through their eyes and many others we’ll live the Axis invasion of Malta in June 1942 and follow their adventures in subsequent novels as WWII is refought from a new point of reality.

I have attempted to hew to a reasonable and plausible alteration of history. Neither side will come to possess alian technology, nor suddenly stumble on the secrets of high energy lasers. But from June 21, 1942, the day Tobruk in North Africa fell to Rommel and his Afrika Korp a single, simple change could have reshaped our history. Herewith, what might have come, had Hitler decided to take Malta, rather than not.

1) "The Gates of Victory"
With Malta in Axis hands Rommel and his combined German/Italian Afrika Korp receive the weapons, supplied and reinforcements needed to WIN the first Battle of El Alamein.
2) "Death on Frozen Seas" ( Tentative title )
With the fall of Malta and the Battle of El Alamein as backdrops, convoy PQ17 leaves Iceland bound for the North Russian ports or Murmansk and Archangelsk. DKM Tirpitz sails to confront them, but needing to prove German superiority over their Italian allies Tirpitz is brought to action by HMS King George V and USS Washington!
3) "HMS Ashanti" ( Tentative title )
One of the small 'back-stories' of the Malta Fulcrum WW2 Alternate History series, this book goes back to the sinking of the British Tribal Class destroyer in "OPERATION HERKULES" and follows her crews ordeal in the water and in Vichy French POW captivity in Algeria.
4) "Panzers Across the Volga" ( Tentative title )
Following the Battle of El Alamein Rommel is frustrated by Hitler's order to remain in a defensive posture. Rommel demands "A fighting command". Hitler obliges, ordering Rommel to exchange commands with Paulus at Stalingrad!
5) "Beautiful Maquis" ( Tentative title )
Follows the drama of Monique Covet, lovely French spy after she is released from Gestapo custody, turned as a double agent. Will she serve her new German masters or remain true to France?

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