Harry Turtledove is among the best alternate history writers ever.
From his standalone novels to his ongoing series, he can take a place and time and mold it into his own vision of what could have happened.
In the World War, World War II is raging as it did in the history books. The US has entered the war in full force and D-Day has just happened(I think. Unsure on that).
Then, from the skies, decends an invasion force from a reptilian species of aliens. Only the Aliens develop 1000 times slower than us, taking an extrodinarily long time to develop new ideas into actual useable items. The last probe they sebt to earth arrived during the end of the Crusades. They think nothing big has changed since then. So they come with technology that is on par with the 1980s, which would utterly destroy the Crusaders. They find the world industriallized and more than that, they find technology frighteningly close to their own being used in this massive war. While they get over their shock, World WarII comes to a grinding halt and all the nations on earth sign cease fires. We may hate each other, but these lizards are more of a threat than the other side.
In the Great War saga, we go back even further, to first the 1880s, then WWI and beyond. The first change Turtledove makes is that the Confederacy did not lose the Civil War. In fact it won and in twenty years has also taken over Cuba, become close allies with France and Britain and are phasing out the 'peculiar institution'. After the second war in the 1880s, everything goes sorta like our history books tell it. Europe erupts into war and in North America, the USA sides with it's ally, Germany. The CSA with France and Britain. Now the continent is thrust into a massive war with the USA faighting not only the Confederates, but the British Empire in Canada. After the war, the Confederacy undergoes 'reforms' and in 1939... The next novel starts with World War II.
ANd now that I told you all that... be warned: There are over 50 major characters in each book and over 250 supporting characters. Do not be too intimidated, he starts off each section with a sentence or so reminding you of just who these people are. And the people will range from terrorist bombers to civilians to front line soldiers to even General George Armstrong Custer.
Harry Turtledove is one of my favorite authors. I have read both of the series you mentioned, and I am infact reading them a second time.
One mistake, however. When The Race invades in the World War 2 series, it is only June of 1942. So no D-day yet.
Geez, old thread
I definitely love Harry Turtledove, he is the best at what he does. I love the Derlavaian War series, i like the mixture between fantasy and WW2.
Ah. hadn't realized I had my timeline off. Eh, I haven't read teh books though... so no suprise my facts are off.