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Red Inferno: 1945

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  923 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
In April 1945, the Allies are charging toward Berlin from the west, the Russians from the east. For Hitler, the situation is hopeless. But at this turning point in history, another war is about to explode.

To win World War II, the Allies dealt with the devil. Joseph Stalin helped FDR, Churchill, and Truman crush Hitler. But what if “Uncle Joe” had given in to his desire to

Paperback, 353 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Ballantine Books
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Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Man in the High Castle by Philip K. DickFatherland by Robert   HarrisThe Eyre Affair by Jasper FfordeThe Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove
Best Alternate History Novels and Stories
129th out of 402 books — 791 voters
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. DickFatherland by Robert   HarrisWatchmen by Alan MooreJonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna ClarkeNew Yesterdays by Jim L. Wright
Best Alternate History
85th out of 242 books — 517 voters

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Community Reviews

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3 stars.

As purely an entertaining read, it met that goal, but as an alternate history, it fell incredibly flat. There were simply too many wild assumptions that didn't make sense.

First, the author stated several times that Germany invaded Russia in 1940 (in actuality, it was 1941). Not an egregious error, but it showed that there wasn't any sort of research was conducted in preparation to writing this book. An editor should have caught this one.

Second, the way that the author portrays the Americ
Mar 14, 2016 Dave rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2014 Ben rated it it was ok

I mean, I know what he's trying to say and do, but the execution is just...crap. Many other people have given their summaries (and seriously, why does everyone on here write a summary before they give their opinions? There's already a summary right up there!) so I'll skip that part. There are several gaping flaws contained within that I'll point out:

1. Nukes. (view spoiler)
Sebastian Breit
Jun 21, 2011 Sebastian Breit rated it liked it
Well, my first Robert Conroy novel. I had heard mixed reviews of some of his earlier works, but that did not keep me from getting my hands on Red Inferno: 1945. You see, I am German, which makes my Kraut-Sense tingle with delight whenever an author of alternate histories with some repute - such as Robert Conroy - sets out to twist the actual events around and make history diverge from what we know has happened. An interesting point of divergence (POD) can make for some truly great stories, ...more
One of the major “what ifs” novel by Robert Conroy.

In April 1945, advance elements of the U.S. Army reached the Elbe River, a mere sixty miles from Berlin, and some units actually crossed it. As far as they could tell, there was nothing of substance between them and the capital of the Third Reich. The Germans had largely pulled back and were concentrating on defending Berlin from the Russians, who were massing on the Oder River to the city’s east.

Eisenhower did not give Simpson permission to mo
Tamer Sadek
Oct 27, 2010 Tamer Sadek rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2013 Mark rated it liked it
Red Inferno 1945
By Robert Conroy
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published In: New York City, NY, USA
Date: 2010
Pgs: 353


1945. The collapse of Nazi Germany. What if Stalin had chosen to take what he wanted rather than stop where he and his allies had agreed? Americans and Europeans caught in the crucible, enemies becoming allies as a new conqueror roars across the battle scarred landscape of Western Europe. Behind the scenes in Moscow and Washington. Politics in warti
Nov 21, 2016 Lem rated it it was amazing
Well considered alternative history. Makes ya think how different todays world could be based on a single decision made long ago.
Christian D.  Orr
May 22, 2016 Christian D. Orr rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Military fiction buffs, military history buffs, alternate history fans
RIP and God bless, Robert Conroy, you will be missed. This is the third of Conroy's alternate history novels I've read (the others being "1901" and "1945"), and while they haven't been as skilled as, say Harry Turtledove in terms of technical accuracy or in conveying the horrors of the battlefield, they're nonetheless highly readable, fast-paced and engrossing. Once again, the author skillfully mingles real-life historical figures (Truman, Patton, Stalin, Marshall, Chuikov, Zhukov, Galland, ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Stephen rated it did not like it
Only my second foray into speculative fiction. The first being the endearing and phenomenal ‘The Man in the High Castle’ by sci-fi genius Phillip K. Dick. I don’t usually like buying books that I know nothing about, only having the blurb on the back and the praise by newspapers, magazines and websites I have never heard of to go on. Whether it was a lapse in judgment or I was just feeling dangerous that day, I decided to take a risk and buy it.

Red Inferno offers a very intriguing ‘what if?’ scen
Dec 31, 2014 Robert rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I hate movies that give the entire plot away in the trailer. It's actually a pet peeve of mine and has made me largely avoid trailers in some cases. On a similar note, I also hate when fiction books give away the entire plot of the book on the jacket and unfortunately Red Inferno: 1945 is one of those books. The reader could glance for a minute or two at the back of the book with it's description and walk away with roughly the same amount of knowledge that I had after reading it. Sure, there's a ...more
Sep 09, 2012 Speesh rated it liked it
Shelves: second-world-war
The 'What if?' premiss of Red Inferno is a good one and given the state of affairs in the final months of WWII, one that was entirely possible.

What if, Conroy wonders, while they rushed to capture Berlin, hopefully capture Hitler alive and at the same time exact the maximum possible revenge for the atrocities committed against them - both real and imagined - the Russians had decided the chance and opportunity was there to continue on past Berlin? What if they had decided to continue the war past
Joe Stamber
Jan 22, 2013 Joe Stamber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-2013
What if The Allies were on the cusp of beating the Third Reich in 1945 when the mighty Red Army turned on them, ordered by a greedy Stalin to banish them from mainland Europe so he could claim it as part of Communist Russia? What a brilliant idea for a novel. And yes, for those reviewers who complain about inaccuracies... it's a NOVEL. There are no facts in a novel, it's all up to the author.

Rant over, ha-ha. I've never been to Germany or Russia, neither have I been involved in a war as either a
My concern with Robert Conroy is that with the exception of his first novel 1901, every subsequent novel is a thinly veiled plot ripoff of a prior alternate history novel. 1945 was Death is Lighter than a Feather by David Westheimer, 1942 was Harry Turtledove's Day of Infamy series, and 1862 was Harry Harrison's Stars and Stripes Trilogy. Red Inferno happens to be a very close copy of Bill Yenne's A Damned Fine War, which was itself a really awful book. Conroy however is original in that he ...more
Aug 03, 2013 Bob rated it it was amazing
Very interesting premise for a story. What would have happened if Josef Stalin decided to continue beyond Berlin to take the rest of Europe? Could be have done it? They certainly had the manpower and the technology for the time.

That is exactly what Robert Conroy explores in this historical fiction. The book begins after the death of FDR as Truman takes power. The cold war is at the very beginning, and tensions are high as people do not trust the USSR. Rumors have circulated about his violent moo
Jun 11, 2015 Natalie rated it liked it
Robert Conroy's Red Inferno: 1945 poses an alternative history: what if Stalin decided to wage war on America immediately after defeating Hitler? Told through alternating view points, readers experience both the American and the Soviet perspective as relations between the two countries spiral downwards. Suspense yanks the reader forward at every opportunity. Conroy explores this alternative universe with vigor; the premise of the novel is great.

The downside: the novel falls into a few cliche tr
Dec 20, 2013 Christopher rated it really liked it
Always a fan of alternative history and Robert Conroy is one of my favorites in this genre. Once again he did not disappoint.

The best alternative history is one that is based as closely as possible on true events and that is what Red Inferno does. In 1945 the Allies stopped their drive east at the Elbe River. This is a political as well as strategic bone thrown to the Soviets. As historians know, Germany was stripping the Western Front and sending everything to the Eastern Front in order to hol
Silvia Cattaneo
May 09, 2015 Silvia Cattaneo rated it it was ok
As many reviewers have said, the premise of the book is intriguing, but the actual story is a bit flat. I never really felt "into" it and did not develop any attachment towards the characters. The things I disliked the most were probably three:
1. there were too many characters and the constant jumping from one to the other - whether they were minor or major ones in relation to the main plot line - made the reading "bumpy";
2. the characters felt so grossly simplified and one-dimensional they seem
Jacob Hardin
Oct 07, 2010 Jacob Hardin rated it really liked it
It's 1945. The United States is winning World War II. Then, Russia attacks the US, breaking their alliance. Now, America must defeat the USSR to keep them from conquering all of Europe. The US is outgunned and outnumbered, though. It will be tough for them to take on the massive Russian army. In one particular part of the book, a small group of soldiers of several different nationalities are caught behind enemy lines. They do all they can to help by doing things like pouring dirt into enemy gas ...more
Juan Navarro
Apr 28, 2015 Juan Navarro rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlie Ruthven
May 04, 2013 Charlie Ruthven rated it really liked it
I never would've chosen picked this book out myself but I am so pleased I skimmed the first chapter before my husband returned it to the library. I read the first few pages with an open mind but was completely engrossed less than 20 minutes later. The war with Russia enfolded so logically that I had to double-check history to make sure it didn't actually happen. I cared about each and every one of the characters. Each of their plights were so vivid and captivating that I never once rushed ...more
Bob Smith
Aug 01, 2013 Bob Smith rated it liked it
Good idea to write about. Good historical backgrounds and research. Good writer. Too unoriginal of a storyteller. The author seemed to suffer from Hollywood-movie-syndrome. If you ever read this book, you just know who is going to die and who has "important character immunity". There's no surprise in the book with some main character dying or the "good side" not winning. The book could have also improved by taking out the cheesy love story found in one too many Hollywood movies. However the ...more
One of the bigger 'what-ifs' of WW2. One I have not yet wargamed, but I suppose I should someday.

This book spent most of its time on characters on or near the battlefield, or in Washington and Moscow. While I did agree with his vision on how the war might have played out, I wanted to see more inside various headquarters, planning the battles.

Maps would have helped a lot.

And, once again, a lack of editing by a knowledgeable person cost the author some credit with me. Not once, not twice, but at l
Mar 21, 2015 Justin rated it liked it
This book makes for an appealing "what-if" look at the end of the Second World War in Europe. It is entertaining, filled with action, and not coldly analytical as some war novels can be. My only major criticism is that, while the book is well-written, the dialogue is not. I often found myself looking at the dialogue -- stepping out of the reading suspension of belief that I normally experience -- and thinking that the dialogue is stilted and artificial. This doesn't stop the novel being worth ...more
Nachman Kataczinsky
Nov 30, 2014 Nachman Kataczinsky rated it really liked it
Overall an interesting book. There are several weaknesses, like in almost every book. The author is obviously not an expert in military equipment or weapons. He seems to think that a bazooka (or any other anti-tank rocket) will bounce off armor if it's to thick to penetrate. This is funny. He also doesn't know that even WWII era bazookas had a fuze that armed them only a safe distance from the shooter so as not to kill the operator by a rocket exploding next to them.

Besides these small things I
Mar 24, 2012 Mark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: alternate history buffs
Enjoyable alternate history look at "what if the Russians had attacked the Allies at the end of WWII?"... it's a bit gory in parts & filled with "soldier" language - which is realistic but off-putting to some.

I think of Conroy's books as alternative versions of Herman Wouk's WINDS OF WAR - they follow a lot of plotlines that intersect w/historical events & figures... but they aren't terribly deep.

Still, I'm looking forward to reading more of his works.
Sep 19, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
A very good what if novel with a different twist on the end of WWII. This book provides the reader with a very plausible scenario that could have played out in reality as easily as it did in the book. The characters are also very well fleshed out with many players on all sides, at the front and in the political arena. If a person likes reading the alternate history works of Harry Turtledove this will be a definite Goodread.
George Ashmore
Sep 20, 2011 George Ashmore rated it it was amazing
I have read all of Mr Conroy's alternate history novels and loved them. He keeps getting better as a writer and conceiver of interesting book ideas. i just reread this one as the local library is a bit slow in getting new ones but don't regret the time spent--it is facinating if you know anything about history. Waiting for his next ones.
Randall Mccoy
Feb 15, 2015 Randall Mccoy rated it liked it
Not a work of literature, but interesting nonetheless. Conroy does a fine job of weaving a descriptive what-if tale. I especially like the way he pieces together all the various characters and perspectives from high ranking leaders to generals to sergeants to refugees from both sides. A bit predictable at times, but he still keeps it interesting despite a few technical inaccuracies.
Jun 15, 2010 Kathleen rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: Gunfighter
Red Inferno is about an alternate history in which WWII ends with the US and other allies at war with Russia, and dropping atomic bombs on Russian targets.

I like both history and alternate history, and had read a positive review of this, so that's why I read it. It wasn't all that exciting for me, though. Fans of war novels might feel differently.
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Robert Conroy was a best selling author of alternate history novels. His 1942, which is set within a Japanese conquest of Hawaii, won the prestigious Sidewise Award for alternate histories.

After taking early retirement from automotive management, Conroy decided to combine his loves of history and writing. After discovering that Kaiser Wilhelm had plans to invade the U.S., he wrote his first alter
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