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The Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War
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The Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  192 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
This provocative alternate history looks at World War II from a new angle - what might have happened had the Germans taken Moscow in 1941. Based on authentic history and real possibilities, this book plays out the dramatic consequences of opportunities taken and examines the grotesque possibilities of a Third Reich triumphant. On September 30th, 1941, the Germans fight the ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 19th 2006 by Greenhill Books (first published January 1st 1980)
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What would have happened if the German Army HAD conquered Moscow at the end of 1941? This is the question that David Downing is trying to answer in this book.

This book is not a dry, theoretical essay about the possible consequences. Instead, the author has tried to write a history of the Second World War that both might and could have occured. Do not expect a work of speculative fiction (such as The Man in the High Castle), but a history book that would be written by historians after the end of
Peter Anderson
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-fiction
I start this review with the fact that I'm not a great fan of alternative histories. That said, David Downing's "The Moscow Option" was a really, really good read. Very few books a real "page turners" but this one is.

Downing covers an alternative version of the Second World War from early 1941 to the end of 1942. He includes the Russian front, the North African campaign and the War in the Pacific from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. From these points of real history is story begins to devi
Jacob Stelling
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History enthusiasts
Recommended to Jacob by: Teacher
When I recieved Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War as a Christmas present, I was a little bit dubious as to how good it would be, and how interesting a non-fiction title could be. As it was surrounding my area of interest, Modern History, I must say I found it an extremely riveting read. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in History.
This is a "What If" history that posits a Nazi victory in Operation Barbarossa - Moscow is occupied and the Russians are pushed back to the Urals. It's been years since I've read it but as I recall, the Allies still defeat the Axis, it's just at a much greater cost.
Steven Raszewski
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Published in 1980 this has got to be one of the granddaddy's of alternative historic fiction. A really good read. Presented as history of the war at the grand strategic level, the author had just about every bit of luck and little twist of fate go to the Axis and they still lose, rightfully so IMO. It was if you are playing Axis&Allies and need a die roll of six for a good result and the Axis roll 50 six's in a row. They still lose due to their terrible logistics vis-a-vis the Allies. This o ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Having loved his "Station" series, I thought I would give this book a go, though I had no idea of what to expect when I bought it.

Other reviewers have given an excellent summary of the book and it's "historical account" style.

At times, I found it a little difficult to picture all the military manoeuvrings, but I raced through the book.

Different and a good read.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Moscow option is a very realistic alterntive history
Steve Leitch
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting premise, but the story-telling leaves something to be desired. It also seemed to end inconclusively.
Kim Kerr
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
For what it is the book is an interesting look at a different world war. Don't expect character development or an amazing plot. Its like a well written history
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nicholas Smith
The Moscow Option is an alternative history of the Second World War and explores what may have happened if a few key historical decisions were made differently and what the consequences would have been. The key decision that is explored is the decision to march on Moscow instead of heading for the oil of the Caucaus. The others were related to Rommel's campaign in the Middle East and Japan's war in the Pacific against the US.

All other things being equal, the final outcome of the war (while not e
Russ Jarvis
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
The author presents an alternate scenario to WWII. The main differences are the German decision to attack Moscow directly and the Japanese discovery that the United States had broken their military code. The German aspect seems more believable than the Japanese account. I felt that the book sometimes got bogged down as too many pages were given to minute moves of army units. I was more interested in seeing the bigger picture and understanding the political, economic and industrial reasons why ce ...more
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Alternate history buffs
For those that love alternate history, I will rank this up there with the good ones. Written like a history accounting instead of a novel, it startes with Hitler having been injured in a plane crash and temporarily out of action. The German generals are allowed to pursue the Eastern Front campaign as they saw it. The author then starts building upon it from there. He even gives an accounting for how different things would have been in the Pacific at the same time if only the Japanese had done ju ...more
Balthazar Lawson
One of the problems with alternate history novels is that in the end nothing really changes, only the journey is different. That is much the case with book. This is not a novel as such, but a history text book about an alternate history of World War Two from the point of view of Germany and their war against Russia. The main change in events is that the German army continued their advance against Moscow and occupied the city. The consequences of this victory are what this book is about.

It's an i
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you have ever thought of an alternate ending to the Second World War, then consider reading this book. I was fascinated by the level of detail Downing provides. I won't spoil the ending, but advances made by the Germans and Japanese provided by Downing were entirely within historical context. It is amazing to me that such small changes in capabilities for the Germans and Japanese could have yielded such significant changes in the course of history.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed, well written, and well researched. An alt WW2, Hitler is in a coma for a few months, which allows the High Command to capture Moscow, and advance on other fronts. The allies still win, but the Germans are initially more successful.

Lots of military details, names, places, and things that go BOOM!
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
This is so well written. The goodies do win, of course (and that is almost too predictable... or is it just the reality of the situation?). Downing looks at all the theatres of War (USSR, North Africa and the Pacific) and at what could have gone wrong for the allies yet also how thing would have very likely turned out. Very interesting...
1000 Cutts
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Struggled through the first half but got quite into it in the second, ended a bit quick with no real explanation of what happened to the nazis. Not enough action from the front lines either...Go for the Forgotten Soldier if you want a good WWII book.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting, thought provoking "what if" book
Bonnie Spiegelberg
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Simon Marsh
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Benjamin Lowe
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Paul Hasbrouck
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Gregory Montanez
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Dec 27, 2015
Eral Goullet
rated it it was ok
Sep 29, 2016
Tom Watts
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David Downing is the author of a political thriller, two alternative histories and a number of books on military and political history and other subjects as diverse as Neil Young and Russian Football.
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