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Redcoats' Revenge: An Alternate History of the War of 1812 [Hardcover]

Col. David Fitz-Enz USA (Ret.)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2008 1574889877 978-1574889871
What if, on September 11, 1814, the United States had lost the close-run battle that Winston Churchill called the "most decisive" of the War of 1812? With a victory at Plattsburgh, would the British have eventually been able to regain control of their former colonies? Only one fleeting moment on Lake Champlain might have been needed to forever alter the young country's history and return it to the grip of King George III.

Redcoats' Revengebrings the most successful field commander in history, the Duke of Wellington, to North America in 1814. A coalition of eight European countries has recently defeated Napoleon. With the emperor's threat to England eradicated, Wellington releases the most powerful military juggernaut for service in the Western Hemisphere. His audacious plan sends him and his avenging veteran redcoats plunging straight south from Lake Champlain toward New York City. In Washington, the streets crackle with tension at the news of British ships on the Chesapeake. The White House is promptly evacuated and the capital left undefended when a diversionary force approaches the city and chokes off Baltimore.

President James Madison must now decide which of his generals is capable of successfully facing off with the Iron Duke. No friend of the tyrannical Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, Madison finally agrees that he may be the only commander with any hope of matching Wellington.Redcoats' Revengeis a vivid montage of the personalities and battles-real and quite possible-of the War of 1812. With its clever and compelling premise, this exciting alternate history will enthrall readers and reveal just how close the United States was to becoming a British colony once again.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc (Nov. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574889877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574889871
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #575,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Alternative history requires the deep knowledge of a subject if the author is to retain credibility in leading the reader along the border between fact and fiction. As he demonstrated in his best-selling non-fiction account of "The Final Invasion", Col. David Fitz-Enz possesses just such expertise on the War of 1812. The result is a well-written, fast-paced novel that entertains and informs by plausibly describing how in the war s latter years, far removed from the Napoleonic Wars denouement, the activities of the Duke of Wellington in North America could have decisively altered the history of both continents.

About the Author

, which won the Distinguished Writing Prize from the Army Historical Foundation. He lives in Lake Placid, New York.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent change of pace Jan. 21 2009
By Amerigo Vespucci - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Far too often, alternate histories devolve into heroic or technological fantasies whose plots are decided by who has the newest, shiniest toys. Even more respectable alternate histories like Britannia's Fist: From Civil War to World War: --An Alternate History devote far too much attention to the machines of the time period in question instead of the people involved. I was very glad to see that Redcoats' Revenge bucks the trend.

The story is a simple one: What if Field Marshal the Duke Wellington had accepted command of the Army of Canada in the War of 1812? The chain of events that follow result in Andrew Jackson being appointed commander of an American army thrown together to stop Wellington and their climactic meeting in a battle at Saratoga, New York.

Rather than tell his story in a novel form, following the story of a handful of characters deeply involved in events, Fitz-Enz tells his story as if it were presented in a history book. And the detail and backstory of the events involved are so terrific that it can be used as a history. In many ways, the book follows the style of Macksey's Invasion : the German invasion of England, July 1940 / Kenneth Macksey, but focusing more on the characters involved. From the start, we're given excellent backstories of the two generals involved and the historical courses they're set upon.

An author's note at the end of the book states that Fitz-Enz' goal was to use the story to encourage readers to delve into the actual history of events. It certainly worked for me. Although there aren't footnotes, he includes a nice bibliography at the end that gives a starting point for more reading.

I won't spoil any of the surprises in the book -- and there are some, since Fitz-Enz uses political machinations and individual characters to influence events, rather than calling upon mechanical dei ex machina to advance the plot. The ending is an interesting one, as events are brought to a conclusion while still leaving room for the reader to speculate about what happens next. There isn't a neat and definite resolution to events, as so often happens in alternate histories.

Overall, I'd strongly recommend this book to any alternate history reader who is tired of the normal course of the genre, or to any reader of history with an interest in the War of 1812. I sincerely hope that Fitz-Enz continues to write alternate histories, as he's shown a real talent for them here, and it'd be a shame to see him give up after just one book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book May 9 2009
By Robert J. Kurzer - Published on
Redcoats Revenge: An Alternate History of the War of 1812 takes the reader through a colorful and often overlooked chapter in our nation's history in a uniquely entertaining way. It is full of wonderful details and draws you into the intricate mosaics of life, warfare, equipment, travel, and especially the character of men, such as Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, The Duke of Wellington, and most most intimately, Andrew Jackson. The iconic names and dates that we've all studied in history class become "real" -- even in this bend-of-fate exploration. If events had followed this similar path we might, today, be sipping Twinings Tea instead of Coca-Cola.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Alternate History I've read Aug. 15 2011
By Nathan Johnson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As the title of this post states, this is the single best Alternate History novel I've ever read. Better than Turtledove, Gingrich's Civil War Series, and anything by Tsouras. This is very well reserached, teaches a huge amount about an obscure war, and reminds Americans how much power the British had in the 19th century.
Wonderful book, hell of an ending.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For what it is supposed to be. March 18 2010
By Dr. Fred - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A nice alternate retelling of what could have happened in the War of 1812. There is information on the British side of things that many readers may not be aware of. The side of the United States is well done. At times the book drags a bit in detail.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redcoats' Revenge alternate history Oct. 16 2009
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good story. Its always fun to "see" how things might have gone under other circumstances.

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