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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2022 11:40 a.m. PST

Reading Ghost Fleet last night--near-future US vs China, with the usual hints about what we're doing now which we might regret later. Of course it has a long lineage, from the Battle of Dorking through When William Came, The Riddle of the Sands, the Third World War 1984 (with sequels) Red Storm Rising, Ralph Peters' Red Army and works by Poul Anderson and Robert Heinlein. Almost always, they're either a war an Anglophone country almost loses, or they focus on the occupation.

But has anyone read or heard of a "future war" story of this sort where the threatened or occupied nation wasn't English-speaking? I'm curious from a scenario point of view, naturally, but also wondering whether memories of historical defeat or tyranny are too strong and recent to leave space for invented ones.

Also, did anyone--other than Lea, Bywater and Heinlein's Sixth Column--write such things in the runup to WWII? Looking for anything with a European and not a Pacific focus. (And noting that It can't Happen here and Heinlein's "If this goes on" focus domestic tyranny rather than foreign conquest.)

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2022 9:26 p.m. PST

I had an instructor in college who collected interwar era novels about a potential major war. He said he had two or three, but they were rather rare. I don't know if any of them were in non-English languages. This was back during the Ford administration, so I don't remember any titles. One involved a European power taking over all the European navies, then sending them across the Atlantic to fight the United States. Through judicious use of our aircraft carriers, we were able to eliminate several of their battleships, creating an opportunity for the American battle fleet to engage on more or less even terms.


Arjuna10 Dec 2022 6:00 a.m. PST

Before World War I, Invasion Literature (Wikipedia) was apparently a popular genre, which is now even treated academically:
Crimson Nightmares: Tales of Invasion and Fears of Revolution in Early Twentieth-Century Britain

Thatblodgettkid10 Dec 2022 2:43 p.m. PST

Greiber, that novel you mention might have been The Red Napoleon by Floyd Gibbons. I read it in my mid-teens (this would have been the mid-'70's). If I remember right--and there is no guarantee I do--a Communist general of Mongol derivation unified Eurasia by force, then launched an invasion of North America. The American navy beats the Eurasian navy, and ultimately the Communist Eurasia falls apart. I don't know what became of my copy, I know I haven't seen it since I joined the Army in 1981.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2022 3:14 p.m. PST

Link to a Wikipedia article on The Red Napoleon
Thank you all. Emile Driant seems to be almost the only non-Anglophone, then.

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