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Blood of the Unknowns, John Sammon’s sequel to Guns at the Abyss, cleverly dovetails the left and right underpinnings of anti-war politics with the militarism advocated by the German government to combine under one centralized monarchy the disjointed and angular federations of all European nations. Threats to existing inter-governmental alliances arise as Germany unleashes an expansionary force to overtake France and Belgium.
The author’s latest novel concerns the fate of common men thrown to the wind as cannon fodder. Like grain to hungry scavengers, the thousands of human seeds fuel for a war strategy powered by warped thinking and political revenge. Blood of the Unknowns presents warfare from the boots-on-the-ground perspective of an intellectual German soldier whose frame of mind reveals the ugly truth to the human villainy, bigotry, and contempt within his ranks. Corruption, ingrained racism, intimidation by leadership of a compliant population, the hidden realities emerge on a battlefield designed to test the wild ventures of those guilty of uncontrolled ambition, poor diplomacy, technological arrogance, and faulty planning.
The conspiring, political hypocrisy introduced in book one, Guns at the Abyss, comes full circle in this new, stunning, action-driven sequel. Sammon sets us down to earth in this dirty, dangerous landscape of World War I trench warfare to expose the diabolical tyranny and wickedness of Germany’s would-be European leadership by peeling back the callous utilization of conscripted hard-working farmers, married men, fathers, tradesmen, bookkeepers, barbers, laborers, immigrants, and other commoners. In page after page of riveting, live-or-die combat among the scores of entrapped soldiers, most coerced to duty in the name of gallantry and national determination, the author interpretively lays bare from within the invincibility of imperialistic nations, in large part from malfeasance, spying, opportunism, civilian depravity, destruction, needless injury and body count, and loss of moral conviction among the rank and file.
Blood of the Unknowns offers a first-hand, front lines account as to why unjust wars serve no purpose for those sacrificed to die. And though lucky to survive, those who do have little choice but to live by a new mortal decree: to indiscreetly retreat to a new, forgiving civility; or to live nationless, and mindfully drift from the ever-chafing scars inflicted by a government’s blemished strategies.