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Watch on the Rhine (Posleen War: Sidestories #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,718 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The invaders are coming: the Posleen, a seemingly unstoppable horde who have conquered one star system after another, literally feeding on their conquests. Earth's dubious allies, the Darhel, have given the humans a number of highly-advanced technological devices, including a process for rejuvenating the aged, which has returned to service trained and proven soldiers who o ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Baen (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Aunque en primer lugar figura como autor John Ringo el autor de este libro es Tom Kratman, escrito como una historia complementaria a la desarrollada en Estados Unidos. Parte de una idea realmente preocupante: si pudiésemos rejuvenecer a la gente y necesitásemos soldados para enfrentarnos a una invasión alienígena dispuesta a comernos, ¿a quién llamarías? Y en Alemania ¿recuperarías a los SS?

La historia a partir de ahí es previsible porque se tiene que adaptar a la cronología que le impone la s
Jorge Garcia
The fundamental outlines of this story are as follows: hostile aliens invade the Earth. The action is centered on Germany, who calls SS troopers into new bodies to help defend themselves. As such, it's a "hold the line" story where people do what is needed to survive against a hostile alien threat, in the vein Independence Day, War of the Worlds, etc.

However, all of this is ruined by two things:
1) The author's political views are very much on board here. Liberals, greens, pacifists, etc are depi
Very interesting alternative history/sci fi. Starts with an admittedly sensitive subject, and handles it very well, in the context of a truly brutal war. His handling of factions among the humans and aliens is fascinating. It does close with some very satisfying conclusions - and I'll avoid spoilers by leaving it at that.
Closed minded folks will not be able to tolerate his views on several subjects, tho.
I really liked this one, which surprised me. I expected the Nazi related story to be, well, a huge negative. It wasn't. It was really well done, and showed the tension between the various former Nazi soldiers based on each individual.
Timothy Maguire
Let's open this review in proper Goodreads' tradition and open with a Gif:

What's both unfortunate and insane about Watch On The Rhine is that that single question above asks more more about the Waffen SS than the entire novel manages to do.

There's a small scene in Watch On The Rhine that I found summed up the novel's problems in unintentional fashion: A minor character asks his German friend why the Germans killed Jews during World War Two. The answer? 'We don't know'. It's emblematic of Watch O
From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An axiom of military science is that an army reflects the society it protects, but what happens when that society is confronted with a crisis its dominant ideology can't solve? In this provocative addition to the Posleen War series, a galactic civilization genetically predisposed toward pacifism offers humanity advanced technology so that we can defend ourselves (and them) from the only other sentient species capable of violence—think "Mongol horde in spac

Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This is the seventh book of a ongoing saga. I only have bought this one since the stories are unconnected. A book with few interesting points but the book is very poor. If one hand you've got the revival of old SS's that they are seen as deamons but at the same time as heroes and admired for their bravery.
Persons like myself that love the militar history of the Second world War knows that the SS were in their majority Waffe-SS, fighters as the Werhmacht. Only a small part controled the Prisons a
Sep 09, 2012 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of military sci-fi; WWII
Please note: This review originally posted 2/13/2007. Please do not judge by my current review standards.

I was originally reluctant to read this book, as it sounded like it would be a bit darker than I tend to like in sci-fi - even military sci-fi. However, I was delighted to find that this was not only well-written, but a truly terrific story. How far would a people go to make sure they would and could survive against a superior force with little time to prepare? Would they resurrect the Waffen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As described by another reviewer, this book is disturbing. No doubt.

It was supposed to be disturbing. The point was to shake the view that all members of the Waffen SS were identical monsters. The point was - in the same way that The Killer Angels made the point - that on both sides of any conflict are human beings that under other circumstances could be brothers in arms.

It was also about redemption and forgiveness. How people who have shown weakness, complicity, or selective blindness in the fa
I was disgusted by this book in more than one way. It's not that much the overload of graphic physical violence, the butchering (literally!) of supoorting characters. it's not even rehabilitating wiews on Waffen SS. What disgusted me the most was thet author used the novel as a vessel for his right-wing-anti enviromentalist-pro liberal capitalist political wiews. Oh my, if we ban dirty technologies, if we don't allow our youth to be humiliated by various military sadists, we will be unable to re ...more
The SS are brought out of retirement to be the good guys. A woman is so entranced by an SS recruit that she totally forgets her fiancé and goes for the recruit (subtext: women cannot resist the raw power!) and dies gruesomely in the next chapter (subtext: she's still a worthless slut!) Oh, and those damn liberals who cut the defense budget should have known that we need a strong army for the invading hordes of aliens.
Will Williams
hands down my favorite book he's ever written. and that's saying a lot cause I love all his books. but the blending of a modern day alien invasion with the rejuvenation of the vile ss.. just perfect!
William Bentrim
Watch on The Rhine By John Ringo & Tom Kratman

This book is by my count the 7th of the Posleen War series. None of the characters we have seen in previous books are in this book. This book details the Posleen War in Europe.

This book stand alone better than Calley’s War which I reviewed here. The lack of previous characters helped the stand alone feature. The authors provided sufficient back story to pick up and go. I found this book more depressing than the previous books. Since I haven’t re
Kathy Davie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is part of Ringo‘s Legacy of the Aldenata universe. It deals with the defense of Germany during the Posleen War. In what initially seems like a Faustian bargain, the Germans rejuvenate a whole bunch of old SS soldiers to form the cadre for their elite defense forces. They even resurrect the SS unit names and eventually the infamous double flash insignia. Much thoughtprovoking discussion ensues. The authors treat the subject matter in an adult manner. It’s a tricky subject, but they pul ...more
Nachman Kataczinsky
The book would have been very good but for the rehabilitation (or attempt to rehabilitate) the SS. The authors seem to believe that the SS were extremely brave fighters and generally good men. Historically both assumptions are wrong. The Waffen SS fought not any better than regular Wehrmacht units, though they were, generally much better equipped. They were also not "generally good men" as the book depicts them. These were people indoctrinated in Nazi race theories who mostly believed that they ...more
Disturbing. I don't quite know how else to describe it. I rather like some of John Ringo's other work, but this one crossed a line I'd rather not seen crossed. I picked it up thinking it would be something different than it was. I almost didn't finish it. The extreme-right, anti-Green/anti-liberal subtext made my skin crawl. Nazis as protagonists are one of those subjects I really do not want to be reading about for fun ... possibly reading about at all. I suppose if the authors wanted to provo ...more
I really enjoyed this book, and was happy to find that Kratman didn't bring as much raging racism into this one as in other collaborations.
Dec 04, 2014 Gunnar rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Best of the series, and a deeper story than the earlier books. More like this, please.
Dale (Aus)
This was okay, good characters and some unusual exploration of the past.
Wilco Roos
Disturbing, but still a good read. After suspending my instant revulsion for choosing the SS as focal point, when reading the book it gets clear that it tries to hammer down the point that when the faecal matter hits the rotary impeller you can no longer ignore the means to overcome the tide off disaster, whatever the means. Happily this part off history won't need so much more time to become extinct because old age will solve that problem ;-) So the dilemma of having anything to do with ancient ...more
Adam Yoshida
I love this book and, all told, have probably read it about a half dozen times (it's a light read that you can fly through in half an afternoon or so). Obviously, the authors set out to provoke in their choice of premise - the SS versus murderous human-eating aliens - but the writing is strong and the story if fascinating.

It asks a question that isn't asked enough in science fiction: how far would you go to survive under the worst possible conditions and, under such circumstances, who would be s
Steven Raszewski
More of the Ringo series of the Posleen invasion excellent stuff!
I read this because I kept getting recommendations on Amazon for the Posleen War series, and a friend gave me the book to check out the author. I like Ringo's writing style as well as his vast knowledge of things military, and the science fiction ideas, but I was a bit overwhelmed at times by the propaganda campaign, which got a bit preachy. I lean to the right, whereas he's far, far right. I would definitely read more of this series, it was entertaining.
Cara Schulz
You may think to skip this book since the main characters are revived SS troops and officers, but don't. This is actually one of the better books in the series. The characters are less cookie cutter and more developed. And it explores what would you be prepared to do if everything in the world was on the line? And how can good people do horrific acts. And what is a horrific act? Good battles and solid military action.
John Rust
John Ringo had one hell of a concept here. When the survival of humanity is on the line, how far do you go to preserve it? Answer, you're willing to bring back the SS. Ringo had some great flesh and blood characters, dealt with this controversial issue well, and had a lot of great action scenes and very cool alien-built weaponry. A definite winner!
Though the beginning was a bit slow, once I got into this alternative history novel I found it quite interesting. The idea of using the SS to train parts of the German Army for the impending alien invasion was a interesting concept the authors did a good job at using effectively. As a science fiction novel it was a fun, quick, exciting read.
Having read a few of the Posleen War books I was looking forward to reading this one. It did not disappoint. The idea of using ex-SS men to create a fighting force to beat the Posleen was good and again the key characters worked well. Will be reading more of the Posleen War series.
I enjoyed reading this ridiculously premised book, despite the fact that it stars a rejuvenated Waffen SS attempting to save the world from an alien invasion with a souped-up Panzer from hell. However, not everyone may be as forgiving as me. Silly, but good.
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John Ringo is a prolific author who has written in a wide variety of genres. His early life included a great deal of travel. He visited 23 foreign countries, and attended fourteen different schools. After graduation Ringo enlisted in the US military for four years, after which he studied marine biology.

In 1999 he wrote and published his first novel "A Hymn Before Battle", which proved successful.
More about John Ringo...

Other Books in the Series

Posleen War: Sidestories (3 books)
  • Yellow Eyes (Posleen War: Sidestories, #2)
  • The Tuloriad (Posleen War: Sidestories, #3)
A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War, #1) Gust Front (Posleen War, #2) Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1) Citadel (Troy Rising, #2) When the Devil Dances (Posleen War, #3)

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