The Weekend Warriors
Reading James Burke’s The Weekend Warriors means I’ve now read all ten of the alternate history conventional World War III series I’d identified. So how is it?
Telling the story of National Guard soldiers and their families during a 198X Fuldapocalypse, Burke uses some plot devices I’ve thought would have worked, like using fictional unit designations. He also aims for characterization and doesn’t hesitate to show the duller parts of military life. The result is something that tries to be something fuller than just tanks exploding…
…With an emphasis on tries. A lot of the high-level military details are anachronistic and in some cases outright “off”. The most jarring example to me was how the Soviets would focus on NORTHAG (which would be true) and thus do nothing but special forces operations in the American sector at the beginning of the war (which would not be). The action suffers from the same rough prose as the rest of the work and sometimes devolves into listing armaments in full.
Because of this, it comes across as being like a somewhat worse Chieftains-a tale of a conventional World War III that’s ambitious, but erratic and unpolished in execution.