The Man Who Won the War
|Genre||Short Story, Alternative History|
|Publisher||The Atlantic Monthly Company|
The Man Who Won the War (1936) is a short story by Robert Buckner. The story tells of an exiled British Naval Officer, Roger Bradman, who "really" won the First World War. Before the start of the story, Buckner writes a short paragraph explaining why none of the story can be "legally" proven. This short introduction suggests the story is fictional. Buckner writes "Neither the official records of the Belgian War Office in Brussels nor the British Admiralty Archives in London contain whole proof of what I am about to tell".
"The Man Who Won the War" records the oral account of Roger Bradman to Robert Buckner in 1927. Both passengers on the Brussels Express, they engage in conversation that leads to Buckner stating that America won the war. Bradman soon offers an alternative account of recorded history, in which he is the saviour of the Allied Forces.
The described event took place on the late night of October 28, 1914 and the early morning of October 29, 1914. Bradman was the commander of HMS Firedrake, a scouting destroyer, in the North Sea near the Belgian coast. After observing a flash signal from the coast, Bradman ordered an investigating party to go to shore with him accompanying. There they found a small group of Belgian soldiers and devised a plan to stop the advancing German army. The plan was a success and kept the Germans from marching all the way to Paris. They believed that news of this decisive action would have been so devastating to the Allies that it would have been the collapse of them.
Problems with the story
According to the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Buckner wrote the story after spending time with Cecil Brandon, upon whose life the story is modelled. However, the role of Cecil Brandon in the creation of the story is not revealed.
- "Biography of Robert Henry Buckner". Retrieved 2007-12-26.