Authors: Colin Gee
, to you
my oldest friend, thank you.
The cover image work has been done by my brother, Jason Litchfield, and his efforts have given the finished article a professional polish beyond my dreams. Thanks bro.
Wikipedia is a wonderful thing and I have used it as my first port of call for much of the research for the series. Use it and support it.
My thanks to the US Army Center of Military History website for providing
the out of copyright images
. Many of the images are my own handiwork
All map work is original, save for the Château outline
which derives from a public domain handout.
Particular thanks go to Steen Ammentorp, who is responsible for the wonderful
site, which is a superb place to visit in search of details on generals of all nations.
The site had proven invaluable
many of the biographies dealing with the Senior officers found
If I have missed anyone
or any agency
I apologise and promise to rectify the omission at the earliest opportunity.
This then is the second offering to satisfy the ‘what if’s’ of those times.
Book #1 - Opening Moves [Chapters 1-54]
The correlation between the Allied and
forces is difficult to assess for a number of reasons.
Neither side could claim that their units were all at full strength, and information on the relevant strengths over the period this book is set in
is limited as far as the Allies are concerned
and relatively non-existent for the
I have had to use some licence regarding force strengths and I hope that the critics will not be too harsh with me if I get things wrong in that regard. A
Rifle Division could vary in strength from the size of two thousand men to be as high as nine thousand men, and in some special cases
could be even more.
Indeed, the very names used do not help the reader to understand
unless they are already knowledgeable.
A prime example is the Corps. For the British and US forces, a Corps was a collection of Divisions and Brigades directly subservient to an Army. A
Corps, such as the 2nd Guards Tank Corps, bore no relation to a unit such as British XXX Corps. The 2nd G.T.C. was a Tank Division by another name
and this difference in ‘naming’ continues to the
Army, which was more akin to the Allied Corps.
The Army Group was mirrored by the
Going down from the Corps, the differences continue, where a Russian rifle division should probably be more looked at as the equivalent of a US Infantry regiment or British Infantry Brigade, although this was not always the case. The decision to leave the correct nomenclature in place was made early on. In that, I felt that those who already possess knowledge would not become disillusioned, and that those who were new to the concept could acquire knowledge that would stand them in good stead when reading factual accounts of WW2.
There are also some difficulties encountered with ranks. Some readers may feel that a certain battle would have been left in the command of a more se
nior rank, and the reverse case,
seem to have few forces under their authority. Casualties will have played their part but, particularly in the
Army, seniority and rank was a complicated affair, sometimes with Colonels in charge of Divisions larger than those commanded by a General.
It is easier for me to attach a chart to give the reader a rough guide of how the ranks equate.
The Second book in the ‘Red Gambit’ series.
This book is dedicated to two men with whom I was fortunate to serve in my former uniformed years
within Royal Berkshire Fire Brigade
as it was
Divisional Officer Ken Reed, footballing expert and man’s man
was the finest leader of men I encountered in
years in t
he service; a
courageous and humble man
I greatly admire.
Without him I might have been left floundering in the early days.
‘Hit it where it shines’
Woolhouse, gnarled ex-London fireman
and snooker player
tood up and was counted
. You acted
my back was to the wall. Harry, you
honesty and integrity
and I never got to say thank you
o I say ‘thank you’ now.
Although I never served in the Armed forces, I wore a uniform with pride
carry my own long term injuries from the demands of my service. My admiration for our young servicemen and women
serving in all our names in dangerous areas throughout the world
As a result,
is a charity that is extremely close to my heart. My fictitious characters carry no real-life heartache with them, whereas every news bulletin from the military stations abroad brings a terrible reality with its own impact, angst and personal challenges for those who wear our country’s uniform.
Therefore, I make regular donations to
and would encourage you to do so too.