The Great War: Breakthroughs

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The Great War: Breakthroughs
Author Harry Turtledove
Country United States
Language English
Series Great War
Genre Alternate history novel
Publisher Del Rey Books
Publication date
August 1, 2000
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 496
ISBN 0-345-40563-3
OCLC 44039794
813/.54 21
LC Class PS3570.U76 G743 2000
Preceded by The Great War: Walk in Hell
Followed by American Empire: Blood and Iron

The Great War: Breakthroughs is the third and final installment of the Great War trilogy in the Southern Victory Series of alternate history novels by Harry Turtledove. It takes the Southern Victory Series to 1917.

Plot summary[edit]

Its 1917, the Great War has proved very costly for both the United States and Confederate States. After the seemingly endless stalemate that had been the first two years of war, the U.S. began to slowly gain the upper hand, proving able to build and field armored forces more quickly and in greater numbers than the CSA. Their mobile 'barrel' offensive proved decisive, as weak Confederate lines were unable to resist George Custer's advance towards Nashville. In the east, the U.S. was finally able to liberate Washington D.C. from Confederate forces, though leveling most of the city in the process.

The war in Europe was drawing to a close as Russia underwent the Red revolution, French soldiers rose in mutiny, and the United Kingdom was cut off from important food shipments from South America.

By late July 1917, the CSA was in such dire condition that the country was forced to ask the USA for an armistice. The defeat was bitter and costly for the Confederates, as the United States forced punitive terms on the South. For example, Kentucky was readdmitted into the US and Sequoyah was put under occupation. Also, the western part of Texas became the new US state of Houston with its capital at Lubbock, a northeastern portion of Arkansas was annexed into Missouri, a part of northwestern Sonora was added to New Mexico, and northern Virginia north of the Rappahannock River was annexed into West Virginia.

One Confederate submarine captain committed a war crime when he torpedoed and sunk a U.S. destroyer after the U.S.-C.S. armistice took effect, an incident soon to become notorious in postwar politics.


Jackie Cassada in her review for Library Journal said "alternate history's grand master displays his acute knowledge of American history as well as his keen imagination as he paints a vivid portrait of a past that could have been."[1] Publishers Weekly said "although a complete and skilfully executed tale in itself, this epic story leaves enough plot threads dangling to demand a fourth novel to tie them up."[2] Don D'Ammassa reviewing for Science Fiction Chronicle said in this novel "the author concentrates more on fictional characters caught up in the conflict, and while it may not provide as many amusing alterations of historical fact, it makes for a much better story. Fans of alternate history, military SF, and riveting adventure fiction should all find this one entertaining." [3]


  1. ^ Cassada, Jackie (May 15, 2000). "The Great War (Book review)". Library Journal 125 (9): 129. ISSN 0363-0277. 
  2. ^ "THE GREAT WAR (Book Review)". Publishers Weekly 247 (30): 74. July 24, 2000. ISSN 0000-0019. 
  3. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (October 1, 2000). "The Great War: Breakthroughs". Science Fiction Chronicle: 57. ISSN 0195-5365.