Under False Flags: A Novel
Forced into the brutal Battle of the Bulge of 1944, two soldiers on opposing sides find the courage to desert a war gone sour.
For both American GI Wendell Lett and German seaman Holger Frings, the relentless bloodbath of World War II has become a treacherous prison and a curse. Just as Wendell Lett meets Heloise, a wise Belgian woman who offers him a chance of deliverance from the physical and emotional carnage of war, he is pushed into a reckless false flag mission. At the same time behind enemy lines, Frings becomes a forced volunteer for a similar German operation that takes him to a breaking point. The two enemies’ destructive fates collide in the surprise Ardennes counteroffensive of 1944—the Battle of the Bulge—and both have to finally confront the war that betrayed them.
As Lett tries to find his way back to his beloved Heloise, he and Frings team up to desert their savage overseers while the battles rage around them. In Under False Flags, the absurdity of war is brought to brutal light as each side—whether friend or foe—attempts to disguise their cannon fodder in enemy uniform. This is a gritty war tale that turns conventional notions of valor, heroism, and prestige on its head.
"Under False Flags is a piece of raw meat cut out of real life. From its opening on we are thrust into the brutal, climactic front lines of WWII's Western Front. From Normandy to the Ardennes, we are there with the dogface GIs and their increasingly desperate adversaries ... Blastingly realistic, impeccably researched."
—John Enright, author of Fire Knife Dancing
"The author clearly brings forth the thoughts, fears, and hopes that run through a soldier’s mind. The dangers and horrors of being a soldier, a civilian living under occupation, or a resistance fighter are well-defined in this book. I liked how the GI narrative voice ... kept the realism alive."
—Historical Novels Review, Historical Novel Society
"The author has depicted war with all of the savagery and horror of duty on the front lines, not the mythologized John Wayne version." —Jim Chambers, Amazon Top 10 reviewer
"[Anderson] has a stingingly strong way with prose, pausing at times for a bit of poetic reverie that enhances the bite of the tale. He has the gift and we will be hearing more about him." —reviewer Grady Harp