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

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,121 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In the dark days after the events in the book Gust Front, but before the primary invasion, the Chancellor of Germany faces a critical decision. Over the years, with military cutbacks, the store of experienced military personnel had simply dwindled. After the destruction of Northern Virginia, he realized that it was necessary to tap the one group he had sworn never, ever, t ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 2nd 2005 by Baen (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Timothy Maguire
Jan 16, 2015 Timothy Maguire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No-one
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
...more
Jorge Garcia
Dec 14, 2013 Jorge Garcia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Michele
Feb 15, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
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.
Xan
Jul 16, 2015 Xan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Marijan
Jun 18, 2013 Marijan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Andy
Nov 25, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
...more
Jim
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
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

...more
Matthew
Dec 02, 2010 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katy
Jun 03, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Oddmix
Aug 13, 2007 Oddmix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
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
...more
Jon
Mar 27, 2011 Jon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nancy
Apr 24, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking alt history / sci fi. Raises the question to what lengths would you go through to save humanity. In particular if you could make anyone young again would you put limits on which solders you would "rejuv"
Will Williams
Jun 01, 2014 Will Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Chip Hunter
Dec 29, 2016 Chip Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was glad to see the Posleen War Saga get back to its roots with this installment, especially after the bitterly disappointing previous books (The Hero and Cally's War). Where both of those books took us away from the broader 'defense of the Earth' scenarios, into more personal tales, WATCH ON THE RHINE delivers a story more in line with Gust Front, with masses of alien invaders nearly overwhelming Earth's best defenders and the desperate fight and tough decisions necessary to prevent total ann ...more
William Bentrim
Sep 21, 2009 William Bentrim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Andreas
Oct 03, 2011 Andreas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Kathy Davie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kamas Kirian
Absolutely awesome. I have yet to read anything bad by Ringo. The new Tiger tanks aren't quite full Bolos, but the Germans are working on it. Bringing back the SS because the rest of the citizens have gotten so soft? Brilliant. I guess we'll see just how soft the Germans are in real life with the current muslim invasion they are dealing with.

I really liked Brasche, Muhlenkampf and Schultz. Indowy Rinteel was a nice contrast to the other characters. I was quite happy to see the one government of
...more
Mike Hedley
This is my first Ringo boook, and I have mixed feelings about it. It is eminently readable, a "ripping yarn", yet aspects of the story are annoying. The two sides are black and white, and while I have no problem with the premise of resurrecting SS soldiers, the depiction of left-wingers as traitors to a man (and woman) was problematical. I didn't think the prose was all that good either. Phrases such as "for the nonce" should appear once or maybe twice at the most, not repeatedly. I was dismayed ...more
Daniel
Jun 25, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, military
If there is ever a book I have read that most clearly got started over a few drinks, this book is it. I imagine it went something like: "I bet you I can write a story where the nominal good guys wear Sigruden (the Lightning bolt of the SS)" "Hah, good luck with that" And with that we have this book, which started as a short story and became this full length novel. Where the fricking remainder of the SS is rejuvenated to help Germany fight off the oncoming Posleen horde. Now in all fairness I sha ...more
Greg
Jun 13, 2007 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Daniel
Jul 04, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another sidestory novel about the Posleen War, which John Ringo lavishly pens. The really interesting part of this story is the fact that there are so few seasoned warriors amongst Earth's forces, rejuvenation is employed. Soldiers who were young during World War Two, most significantly some Nazi battle hardened soldiers are rejuvenated. The combining of these two radically different types of soldiers makes the read in this book worth it. There are pages that draw a smile as well as brea ...more
Wilco Roos
Jan 09, 2012 Wilco Roos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
Jun 02, 2012 Adam Yoshida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Cara Schulz
Oct 28, 2013 Cara Schulz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-sci-fi
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.
Stefan
Jun 15, 2009 Stefan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
John Rust
Apr 07, 2012 John Rust rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Andrew
Apr 21, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat disturbing take on the Posleen war.
More of an exploration of human nature than the main books in the cycle. It even delves into the psychological makeup of the Posleen and other alien species.
Interesting and worth reading but somehow uninvolving.
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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.
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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)

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“The skinheads never got anywhere, Hansi," continued the general, "because this is Germany and the assholes never learned to march in step . . .” 2 likes
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