Mon. Jan 27th, 2020

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

Fictionalized Facts

4 min read

At first, it looks like there is a certain arrogance in the title and subtitle of this work. Threads of THE WAR by Jeremy Strozer has the last two words capitalized indicating that this war was truly “the war to end all wars.” While that was the popular sentiment describing WWI, veterans of later wars and different forms of sacrifice might take issue with the presumption made by this title. Just in case the reader misses the message, the subtitle claims this work is a collection of historical short stories that are personal truth-inspired flash fiction of “The” 20th century’s war. Putting those possible claims aside, it is valuable to read the author’s introduction. Strozer has a different definition of “The War,” one that stretches from 1898, powers through WWI and WWII, and concludes with the residual after effects that still flare up around the world today.


Above the Din             Pearl Harbor. Look at the historical context after the fictional reenactment between father and son.

Couples Retreat           This is about the amusing aspects that occur because of war. Without war, this could never have happened (on this scale).

Big-Dog Fight             A factual account of the downing of a German plane. A fictional reconstruction of what may have been going on in the mind of a German crewmember prior to death. The interesting issue alluded to is the reluctance of some combatants to fire even when they themselves are under fire.

Old Dogs                     The Goose Step is familiar to war aficionados as a German military affectation. Here, Strozer imagines how Italian crowds may have reacted to its first appearance in an Italian military context.

The March                   Italy was never quite taken seriously by Germany as a valuable and competent strategic partner. Here Strozer imagines an incident, based on a historical fact, f why this may have been so. There are many links in this story leading to actual photos and a video.

PTLPTA                      This is a fictional account of the origins of “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” It is a good account as any other as far as possibilities go.

The Imperial                A factual account of strategies used by Woody Guthrie to defuse a situation which would have resulted in racial violence. This incident is fictional as far as the thoughts of the participants, but you get the idea.

Tondelayo                   A fictional account told from the mental processes off an explosive charged bullet. The fact was that these types of incidents (unexploded ordinance) happened.

Slavery                        Slavery practiced by the Germans created groups of factory workers. That was the fact. This fictional account tells of one man’s revolt.

Nishi                            The facts are the internment of Japanese and Japanese- Americans without cause during WWII. The reaction of actor John Barrymore might be a mixture of fact and fiction.

Tank vs. Battleship      Fact: French ships were scuttled to prevent their capture by German tank units. Fiction: The ship is telling the story here.

Enemy Honor              An excellent factual account of British ships that were sunk but not considered sunk. Mussolini, untrained in photography, believed the British ships not sunk and thus still a threat to Italian ships which then remained at anchor. A nice deception operation with some details guessed by the narrator, an Italian submariner initially ordered to attack and destroy British ships but who ultimately saved British lives by warning officers of the presence of bombs.

Over the Top               A fictionalized account is seen through the eyes of an inexperienced ship’s navigator about a factual account of a ship that almost went “over the Falls.”

The Offer                     An account of a refused “bribe.” That the money was offered is fact. Individual responses of proposed recipients are told with poetic license.

Boise City                    The only American city bombed during WWII, fact. The feelings of the temporary navigator, assumed.

Flatcar                                    A factual sad account of children killed by war. A fictional musing by one of the abandoned children who also perished.

First Line of Defense  A factual account where the first line of defense was alcohol. But four drunks against a naval armada landing was not going to go well for the drunks. As with most alcoholic memories, some fiction accompanies the account of the drunks.

I found these stories very entertaining. I am a student of history with a few credentials that say so. These selections are of easily overlooked incidents during the examination of the big picture. I gave this five Amazon stars due to the novel’s structuring of side-by-side contrast of fact and fiction. At risk of criticism for finding anything about war entertaining, the writing of the fictional accounts captured my interest completely.

And yes, even though no one asked, I was in a war.


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