The story tells how World War Three could have started in the sixties and almost did in the eighties. Anyone stationed in Europe up through 1990 will be very familiar with this scenario and the attitudes of the people. The writing is really great. It was written in German in the early 1950's and then translated but the formal style of speaking comes through in the translation. You can't really just mindlessly read this book. You have to think and that makes you examine the story in the process. It is not a post apocalyptic tale of a new militia empire nor as complete an end as "On the Beach" but it is horrible all the same. The battle scenes are very few and far between and most of the story is told from a great distance. It is not the story of soldiers or even armies fighting but the collision of two ideologies.