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Redcoats' Revenge: An Alternate History of the War of 1812 Hardcover – Nov 1 2008

2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (Nov. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574889877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574889871
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #984,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.”—Col. David Jablonsky, (ret.), distinguished fellow, US Army War College
(Col. David Jablonsky, (ret.) 2008-09-11)

“Colonel David Fitz-Enz has written a fascinating full-length story of ‘what might have been’ in the War of 1812. That he has made it into an entire book, rather than taking the more conventional option of writing only a chapter, is a feat in itself: but even more remarkable is that he manages to sustain the dramatic tension until the very last page—and the dénouement is as unexpected as it is thought-provoking. Along the way, the author quietly teaches us a great deal about many diverse and unfamiliar subjects, such as the technicalities of transporting horses by sea, or the methods for laundering money on a large scale in the conditions of 1814. Overall, it is a book that is well worth reading.”—Paddy Griffith, noted historian and former instructor, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
(Paddy Griffith 2008-09-25)

“A rousing good tale, which makes a ‘what if of history’ come alive.”—Joe Ryan, president, Living History Foundation, and fellow, Company of Military Historians
(Joe Ryan 2008-11-13)

“Col. Fitz-Enz conjures an intriguing retelling of very plausible roads not taken in the War of 1812, by bringing Old Hickory and the Iron Duke to epic collision on the same battlefield to decide the fate of the young republic. It is a bold tale, well-told, and breathing fire.”—Peter Tsouras, author of Britannia’s Fist: From Civil War to World War—An Alternate History
(Peter Tsouras 2008-11-13)

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plot is interesting, however the narrative falls short
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fun read, but I have a pretty hard time accepting some of the events that transpired in the book (not sure what to say without giving up spoilers).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b47a804) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b47cf90) 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
HASH(0x9b6166f0) out of 5 stars Great Book May 9 2009
By CubHawk - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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
HASH(0x9b616654) 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
HASH(0x9b5e5108) 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.
HASH(0x9b48078c) out of 5 stars Outstanding Alternate History of the War of 1812 July 28 2013
By Ronald C. Tobin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most novels of alternate history have concentrated on the American Civil War and on World War 2. Many of those were quite good. It was most refreshing, however, to see an author tackle this very much forgotten war, the War of 1812. The pivotal turning point here is that the Americans lose the decisive Battle on Lake Champlain. That, and the British Commander is the far more able Duke of Wellington. The historical figures were very believable and acted appropriately for the changed conditions. Andrew Jackson was his mercurial best and lost due to defections among the militia. Many people in the United States do not realize that the New England states came very close to seceding at that time and this makes that outcome more plausible.

I recommend REDCOATS' REVENGE to any serious student of history who is interested in an all too plausible 'what if' about what really was an important conflict.