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Never Call Retreat (Gingrich and Forstchen's Civil War Trilogy) (Gettysburg)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Never Call Retreat (Gingrich and Forstchen's Civil War Trilogy) (Gettysburg).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    William R. Forstchen(Author)

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After his great victories at Gettysburg and Union Mills, General Robert E. Lee's attempt to bring the war to an end by attacking Washington, D.C., fails. However, in securing Washington, the remnants of the valiant Union Army of the Potomac are trapped and destroyed. For Lincoln, there is only one hope left, that General Ulysses S. Grant can save the Union cause. It is August 22, 1863. Pursuing the Union troops up to the banks of the Susquehanna, Lee is caught off balance when news arrives that Grant, in command of over seventy thousand men, has crossed that same river. The two armies finally collide in Central Maryland and a bloody week-long battle ensues along the banks of Monocacy Creek. This must be the "final" battle for both sides.

"One of the best novels of the civil war."--"Publishers Weekly" "Colorful and imaginative historical fiction."--"Washington Times"" With each book in their ongoing alternate history cycle, Gingrich and Forstchen have gone from strength to strength as storytellers." -- William Trotter, "The Charlotte Observer"" "" The authors' research is impeccable... the reader is left believing it could really have happened this way." -- "Booklist""With each book in their ongoing alternate history cycle, Gingrich and Forstchen have gone from strength to strength as storytellers."--William Trotter, "The Charlotte Observer"" ""The authors' research is impeccable the reader is left believing it could really have happened this way."--"Booklist""

2.5 (11906)
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Book details

  • PDF | 640 pages
  • William R. Forstchen(Author)
  • St Martin's Press; Reprint edition (30 Mar. 2007)
  • English
  • 4
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By Parsifal610 on 29 May 2007

    Superior and intelligently written finale to this trilogy of alternative history. Gingrich's Congress background is used to good advantage to give insight into the political manouvering which must have gone on. Some of the little touches - the exchange between the Texan and the Iron Guard soldier and Lincoln's instruction to the band master in the penultimate chapter - are inspired.You can practically smell the cordite when reading some of the best written descriptions of this bloody conflict.If you have read the first two novels then I do not have to recommend this book to you. Like me you will have been camped outside your local bookstore waiting for this one.If you have only picked this up on a whim, put it back down immediately !!! Go get the first two and THEN settle down for one of the most enjoyable literary experiences ever in this genre.

  • By Miles Atkinson on 3 November 2012

    In this book, the authors' epic reworking of the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign is brought to an enthralling and highly believable conclusion. One of the standard criticisms of alternate history is something along the lines of 'Why bother with this stuff when there's so much real histtory out there?' The answer to that one is that the best alternate history reads like it really could have happened that way. The protagonists' choices are those that were open to their real-life selves. This book certainly hits the spot in that department. In fact, at various points I had to remind myself that I was reading an alternate history novel and not a novelisation of actual events.They key points to remember are that Lincoln is determined to preserve the Union and Lee realises that only by forcing Lincoln to discuss terms will the Confederacy gain its independence. This was the mindset of both men in reality too and this gives an added level of realism to the writing. In addition the industrial and economic scales are weighted massively against the Confederacy. The Army of Northern Virginia hasn't impacted Northern industrial capacity, which is still churning out the material needed to keep the Union armies in the field. Lee must somehow push his increasingly exhausted men to greater and greater efforts, since deep down, he knows that this campaign will decide the war. The action is fast-paced, but with enough tactical detail to please the most demanding Civil War fan.The Battle of Gunpowder River and the Confederate occupation of Baltimore have brought victory no nearer for Lee. As the book gets underway, he is horrified to learn that Grant's newly formed and equipped Army of the Susquehanna is advancing down the Cumberland valley, protected by a strong and effective cavalry screen. In the meantime, a smaller Union force under the command of Darius Couch is approaching Baltimore. If Grant cuts Lee's line of retreat back to Virginia then Lee will have to fight him on his terms, not Lee's. The strategic importance of the town of Frederick soon becomes apparent to both sides and the armies start to converge. Expect to see familiar faces (for instance one George Armstrong Custer) in unfamiliar situations and yet responding to then as per their historical selves.Critics of this book (indeed of the whole trilogy) are fond of saying that it's no fun, because the Confederacy still loses. Sure, there are some scenarios in which the South could have won the Civil War - but not this one. (Try Bevin Alexander's book `How the South could have won the Civil War` for some more plausible chances for a Confederate victory). Just because Lee's boys don't storm the Washington earthworks, it doesn't mean that this isn't credible alternative history.I'm not going to include any more spoilers about the end of this, except to say that if this had happened in reality the post-war reconstruction would have been very different. A great conclusion and one which makes this trilogy a must for both the serious alt hist fan and the Civil War student looking for something different.

  • By Mr. D. J. Walford on 8 February 2015

    This is a fine conclusion to Gingrich and Forstchen's trilogy and certainly describes an outcome that is not necessarily predictable. I was greatly impressed, yet again, with their novels on the US Civil War.August, 1863: The scene is set for a major show down at Monocacy Creek in central Maryland between General Ulysses Grant's forces and General Robert Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The winner takes all and the survival of the Union hangs by a thread as both armies battle it out over a hot week in August. Ultimately, by a slim yet convincing margin, Grant, Lincoln and the Union are victorious. Something you probably suspected anyway, but by no means expected.The authors have written an intelligent trilogy. As I've mentioned in earlier reviews, this isn't just a 'southern win' alternate history. Gingrich and Forstchen keep it real, acknowledging the fact that a Gettysburg victory for the Confederacy would not effectively compensate for a chronic lack of men and materials. Ultimately, the war would be too much for the South to win; a simple lack of resources was a severe handicap to Lee and the other Confederate Generals.I would recommend all three novels. Plenty of battle scenes, military planning, political maneuvering and human interest. Excellent entertainment.


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