Colonization: Down to Earth
is the second novel in the Colonization
series, and the sixth dealing with the Race's invasion of Earth
. It is preceded by Second Contact
, and followed by Aftershocks
Following the nuclear attack on the colonist ships in Second Contact, the Race continues to try to find the responsible nation, along with the purpose of the Lewis and Clark, a large space station launched by the United States. At the same time, the range animals brought by the Race colonists begin to spread into the human nations, causing ecological trouble and causing conflicts between them. President Earl Warren and Vice President Harold Stassen are reelected to office.
Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union the NKVD under Lavrenty Beria attempts to launch a coup against Vyacheslav Molotov, but is thwarted by Georgy Zhukov. In Nazi Germany, Heinrich Himmler, the Führer, dies unexpectedly and is succeeded by Ernst Kaltenbrunner. Kaltenbrunner quickly decides to carry out Himmler's planned invasion of Poland, initiating a nuclear war between Germany and the Race.