Please join George T. Chronis as he tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Sudetenland, from March 16-27.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Sudetenland is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it be taken by force. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within major hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.
Général Gamelin appeared satisfied with the progress marked on the main campaign board illustrating the disposition of French units committed to Offensive Sarre. At least that was the conclusion of the général’s adjutants who were reliably quick to sense the slightest sign of irritation in the normally unruffled demeanor of their chief of staff. What he had wanted, Gamelin had achieved: a springboard into Germany should he choose to press the attack. Of course, Gamelin had yet to make that decision but this was something he by rights kept to himself. Colonel Petibon, the général’s chef de cabinet, knew Gamelin’s mind yet was just as secretive. For now, Gamelin was content to finish bringing up his reserves while allowing advance units to probe the German lines for weakness. Outside of Petibon, Gamelin’s intentions were something of an enigma to the général’s staff. Out of earshot there was a lively debate whether the chief of staff would turn out like McClellan in Virginia; raising a great army he was unwilling to commit to battle; or Marshal Davout, who’s wise prudence never impeded his boldness of action.
“Fine, fine… everything is as it should be,” Gamelin moved away from the board. “Now what of the British? Any word?”
“No developments,” Commandant Huet supplied like a shipping clerk checking off items ordered yet not delivered. As one of Gamelin’s primary adjutants, Huet had a full list of topics to stay current on. The British were at the top of the list.
“High time for Chamberlain to get off the pot. What more does he need? The Czechs are mounting a spirited defence against all expectations. Hitler has already been denied the easy victory he coveted. Now is the moment for us to settle the matter,” Gamelin allowed his growing impatience to show.
“A shame the prime minister appears set on denying himself a role in the final outcome,” Petibon coveted the sole disposition of spoils that might lie ahead.
Much of Gamelin’s strategic goals had hinged on what the British did or did not do. Three weeks prior the général had sincerely believed that his freedom to choose an aggressive offensive against the Germans required, at the very least, commitment of Royal Air Force squadrons to the battle. Gamelin accepted that London was hard-pressed to raise an expeditionary corps of any consequence. Yet France’s glaring need was for far more aircraft than she could raise herself. On the ground, Gamelin was in a far better position to move forward without British ground troops. The French chief of staff’s analysis had long been that without the promise of fresh reserves from the United Kingdom, the depth of any French penetration into Germany should be limited. Push too deep into the middle of Germany and he risked the Wehrmacht sweeping through Belgium to outflank the French lines, which is why Gamelin had always sought British support opposite the Low Countries. But that was before the Czechoslovak’s amazing battlefield success in their border mountains. The bulk of Hitler’s available divisions were tied down and suffering significant rates of attrition. Those regiments would be difficult to extricate from action to shift west. That gave Gamelin more aggressive options, and he was flirting with availing himself upon them.
A runner from the headquarters wireless section hurried into the room and approached Huet. The adjutant took receipt of the message and dismissed the clerk. An eyebrow raised as Huet read the details.
“What is it?” Petibon, who was aware of everything that went on around the général, inquired at once.
“Editors from the major newspapers are calling, sir. Their correspondents are reporting by telephone from the Sarre that units of the 3éme Brigade de Chars have accepted the surrender of Saarbrücken. They seek confirmation on this great victory,” Huet felt like whistling but did not dare.
“Which regiments of the 3éme Brigade?” Petibon sharply cross-examined the messenger.
“Such details were not provided,” Huet answered truthfully, although there was little doubt about who was leading this attack.
“Damn that man! Those were not his orders,” Gamelin pounded a fist onto the table.
“Of course, if true, it could be argued that Delestraint’s regiments never operated beyond their artillery cover,” Petibon thought to soften Gamelin’s ire. “Which means they have not violated the principles of the Methodical Battle.”
“Do not attempt to sugarcoat the matter. We both know this is de Gaulle’s handiwork. That rogue is attempting to force my hand – a great victory indeed,” Gamelin would not put it past de Gaulle to have delivered engraved invitations to the correspondents corps.”
“Général, how would you advise we respond to these inquiries?” Huet returned to the topic at hand. “If we say nothing the editors will print whatever they wish.”
“Quite correct,” contemplating a plan of action permitted Gamelin an avenue to calm himself. “Until we get confirmation from General Georges’ command, issue a communiqué: The campaign in the Sarre is continuing as planned.”
Praise for Sudetenland
“Chronis impresses with such a challenging and intriguing debut effort, well written, impeccably researched.” — Melinda, Unshelfish
“Anyone that is looking for a thorough and rewarding read will enjoy Sudetenland.” — Diana, BookNerd
“The plot moves quickly along keeping you intrigued with well defined characters and great imagery to help immerse yourself in the story… I adored the way George managed to weave together the tragedy of war, depression and politics with romance, love and hope.” — Jennifer, pirategrl1014
Buy the Book
After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland© is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.
Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.
Sudetenland Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, March 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, March 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, March 24
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, March 26
Review at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus
Friday, March 27
Review at Genre Queen