1918: The Great War, as it was already known, had reached an inflection point. The course of the war and the future of European civilization now rested on one decision: Would Germany, having prevailed in the east against a Russia crumbling into revolution and chaos, now attempt to crush her British and French enemies in one last desperate offensive before the emergent American Army arrived in its overwhelming force? Or could a small band of patriotic Germans led by a General and a Crown Prince use high position and influence to persuade their unyielding leadership to simply declare victory and withdraw homeward, leaving their opponents to justify a continuing and increasingly senseless slaughter?
Who Desires Peace…, the first book in the Great War Won trilogy, chronicled the schemes and adventures of the conspirators laying the foundations for their peace offensive. Book Two, …Should Prepare for War, began with the unleashing of Germany’s armies as peace talks with Bolshevist Russia fail. Several calls for a peaceful resolution to the war prove inconclusive, including an intrepid mission to meet face-to-face with the American General Black Jack Pershing. Finally, the tenuous state of inaction along the Western Front was shattered by first, an unexpected offensive, then a fierce German counterattack stopped only by the courage and vigor of the new American Expeditionary Force at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood.
Thus is set the stage for the final showdown between America and Germany in this Book Three, A Power of Recognized Superiority, opening with a devious scheme to disrupt the Allied rear with a flood of influenza-stricken prisoners and a distaff Fifth Column subversion by the radical Rosa Luxemburg and her unlikely comrade Estelle Vandenberg culminating in their arrest and imprisonment and an audacious rescue. Then Pershing’s American Expeditionary Force enters large-scale combat for the first time in the Saint-Mihiel salient and then the Meuse-Argonne sector. As the latter offensive slogs on bloodily, Germany begins to falter, then crumble, but her foes find themselves in desperate straits of their own as morale, manpower and a continuing slaughter take their toll.
Finally, an unexpected rapprochement brings the War to End All Wars to a fitful end, each power reckoning the loss of young men and treasure as their peoples ask themselves, Why?
So ends this fascinating, character driven, fictional rendered trilogy of “The War to End All Wars”. I cannot express enough about the cast of characters the author has either created, or the historical personages he imbued with such realism that one cannot help but think that this was what really happened. The depth of research done to pull together the various major parties involved; Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Black Jack Pershing, Woodrow Wilson, a young version of George Patton (I confess to hearing George C. Scott’s voice when Patton speaks 😊), etc; and in my mind the never at a loss for words Winston Churchill. I am not an expert on WW1, but I’m pretty sure that the author managed to touch upon every aspect of the doings of 1918; e.g. the influenza outbreak, the rise of the Bolsheviks, the rise of America as a super power, the effects on the German people, resulting in multiple plot lines which are seamlessly woven together in a captivating, page turning epic. My only real regret is that it took me three years to read the trilogy; not the author’s fault by any means, but because I have managed to acquire a huge to be read pile due to my humble, yet seemingly popular reviews. So, my fellow readers, it is without hesitation that I highly recommend The Great War Won in its entirety. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐