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In real life anti-hero Reinhard Heydrich was a General of Police of Moravia and Bohemia and an SS-Obengruppenfuhrer, but at the start of the Man with the Iron Heart, he becomes Reichsprotektor, a job that launches him into command of the German resistance after VE-Day. By prior approval of his position and three years of preparation for his duties, he is situated to make life difficult for the Allied Forces.
Because forces inside of Germany are split between Allied commands, Reinhard Heydrich's job is made much easier. This is of great concern to the local soldiers and to the many at home whose son's die during non-combat peacekeeping duties as well as prolonging their duties. The political battle carried on by Diana McGraw is sad, annoying and rings true. As a character, Diana McGraw shows the most growth and showcases the political process well.
The near misses, the potential hazards, and the hunt for Reinhard Heydrich provides for ample interest and an exciting plot. Less fun is the realistic lack of coordinated defense against the German Resistance. With the country returned to civilian activities, military planning lacks adequate attention to the problem. Some of the more interesting turns this novel makes involves the use of stored up ammunition and the pre-war research into weaponry, especially nuclear bombs. The risky role that scientists play during war is also much highlighted and food for thought.
Overall, Reinhard Heydrich makes a crafty strategist dedicated to a return to Nazi power and a reduction of shame for the Germans. He truly deserves the title role of the Man with the Iron Heart and he stops at nothing to cause difficulties for the Allied Forces and to due his duty for Germany. Because of the believability this German officer makes as the head of the German Resistance, this alternative history has much to teach about the country, the changing role of the military and about war. Most readers of war, history, and alternate worlds will find this book by Harry Turtledove's a real treat
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