Watch on the Rhine (novel)

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Watch on the Rhine
Ring wotr.JPG
Paperback cover
Author John Ringo
Tom Kratman
Country United States
Language English
Series Legacy of the Aldenata
Genre Military science fiction
Publisher Baen Books
Publication date
August 2005
Media type Hardcover & paperback
Pages 496 pp
ISBN 978-1-4165-2120-4

Watch on the Rhine is a military science fiction novel by John Ringo and Tom Kratman, the seventh entry in Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series.

The novel focuses on the invasion of Europe by the alien Posleen, with an emphasis on Germany. Part of the technology brought to humans by the Galactics is the ability to rejuvenate old soldiers, so that countries can draw on their combat experiences. In Germany, this leads to the controversial decision to reactivate the Waffen-SS.

The book's title is a reference to the 19th-century German nationalist song "Die Wacht am Rhein".


The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published a scathingly negative review by Dietmar Dath. Summing up the novel's attitude as "cool retro-fascism from the future", the reviewer wrote that the authors' main aim (apart from propagating crude stereotypes about European countries) seemed to be to pontificate about the perceived failings of Western society, such as pacifism and environmentalism, to which the rejuvenated Waffen-SS appear intended to provide a positive contrast.[1]'s reviewer likewise expressed incredulity at the novel's ahistorical conceit of portraying the Waffen-SS as misunderstood patriots who disagreed with the Nazis' genocidal policies, and at the writers' "pandering to the wingnut extreme of the far right" by drawing analogies from protests against resistance to alien invaders to real-life antiwar movements.[2] Publishers Weekly described the novel as "audacious and deliberately shocking" in a starred review, adding that "Readers who can overcome their ideological gag reflex will be rewarded with an exciting view from "the other side of the hill."[3]


  1. ^ Dath, Dietmar (8 September 2005). "Weltretter Himmler". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Wagner, Thomas M. "WATCH ON THE RHINE". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Watch on the Rhine (Die Wacht am Rhein)". Publishers Weekly. 18 July 2005. Retrieved 9 November 2012.