The beginning of the end of War lies in Remembrance
This is a historical epic of World War II set in two volumes, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk. It follows the Henry family and their friends around the world during the war. In effect, it is a "sight-seeing" tour, in which we are shown the war from as many perspectives as the author can manage. It has been called a World War II version of War and Peace and both volumes were later made into TV miniseries.Tropes include:
Absent-Minded Professor : Aaron Jastrow. While he could be pardoned for not believing rumors of the Holocaust, he could at least have figured out that being in Europe during a major war might not be be prudent.
Ace Pilot: Warren Henry is a pilot though not technically an ace.
America Wins the War: Not quite; the role of the Soviets is acknowledged and Victor visits the USSR. But most of the main characters are Americans.
The Contribution of the British Commonwealth is made aware particularly in the early years of the war. Victor makes it a key point of making sure how vital it is to keep the British going if the war is to be won.
Ambadassador : Victor, in the first volume. In much of the second too.
The Dead Have Names: Wouk breaks off his account of the Battle of Midway to list all the members of the three American torpedo-bomber squadrons that were wiped out.
So long as men choose to decide the turns of history with the slaughter of youths — and even in a better day, when this form of human sacrifice has been abolished like the ancient, superstitious, but no more horrible form — the memory of these three American torpedo plane squadrons should not die. The old sagas would halt the tale to list the names and birthplaces of men who fought so well. Let this romance follow the tradition.
Humble Hero: Victor is perfectly willing to let others get the glory as long as the war is won..
Insufferable Genius: Von Roon, a German staff officer whom Victor translates years after the war. He is exasperatingly full of Moral Myopia(and even Moral Myopia about other people's Moral Myopia), contemptuous of his enemies, and determined to show in a very calm and professional manner how it was all everyone elses fault. After reading him, you dislike him not just as a Nazi, but as a person. That, of course, was the author's intention.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Slote, Natalie's former boyfriend helps her to get married to Byron, and even gives them his luxurious hotel room to spend their wedding night in, even though he still loves Natalie.
I Am Spartacus: Leslie Slote, a normally timid diplomatic flunky is travelling with some neutral diplomats through German territory. When an SS officer demands to separate Jews from the group, Slote, with a gloriously imperious display appeals to international good manners, and then announces that either all of the group would be treated as Jews, or none.
Malignant Plot Tumor: Byron's search for Louis takes over the whole second half of the final episode, to the point that V-J Day, ie the end of the war, is only indicated by a briefly glimpsed newspaper headline.
Obligatory War Crime Scene: Subverted. On a submarine patrol Byron's captain sets up a shot on a ship with a red cross insignia. Byron asks permission to stand aside from this and take notes to report it to authority. Then the captain fires and the ship explodes massively, being an ammunition ship disguised as a hospital ship. It is not made clear how Byron's captain guessed or if he was just incredibly lucky.
The scenes at Auschwitz in Chapter Two. If you need further elaboration a trainload of Jews is carted into the camp while the weakest of the Jews already there are pressed into guard duty. The men, women and children believe they are there for work, when they are sent to sanitation, stripped bare, forced into the gas chambers and executed, before being dumped in carts to be covered in lime and buried. Himmler is shown this to demonstrate disposal being a problem, and he authorizes medical experiments on the women as well as every effort to build crematoriums to be built by Jewish slaves before they are liquidated.
The Other Darrin: Several roles were recast between the two miniseries, often with bigger names like John Gielgud, Jane Seymour, and Robert Morley.
Overt Operative: Victor spends the first part as a Naval Attache(polite term for an embassy's official spy)in Berlin. Justified in that the right to keep an "in-house" spy as long as he is not to obnoxious about it is common diplomatic custom. However he does little more exciting then going to VIP entertainments and taking notes. In so doing, he did manage to predict the German-Russian alliance.
Real Men Love Jesus: Victor is a good churchgoer. More in a "Respectable '40's American" sense then in a "fanatic" sense, but a very devoted Christian nontheless.
Sympathetic Adulterer: subverted with Natalie. She offer's herself to a Nazi guard to protect her baby. The guard however taunts her by saying he could have her any time he wanted but didn't feel like it at the momment.
Pamela is a sympathetic attempted adulterer. Rhoda is an U Nsympathetic adulterer-she has a rather unlikable personality to begin with.
Leslie Slote originally appears as a diplomat, who's cowardly and aware of it. After he finds evidence about the Holocaust, and can't do anything to help the Jews by diplomatic means, he eventually resigns and becomes a member of a paratrooper squad.
Worthy Opponent: While America is still neutral Victor comments to a German naval officer that he seemed so familiar a specimen of a naval officer that Victor might have met him in the last war. The German officer wryly replies "Maybe we did."
Ye Goode Olde Days: Nostalgia for World War II? Come on. Yet we all know it exists and the book runs on it. To the point of having the cover decorated by a cluster of forties style family photos.
However, despite that it is never hidden that these were a nasty time. After all the author is a Jew and so are several of the characters, and Jews did not have it so well then.