In alternate history writings, some of these inconsistencies, such as the apparent gaffes over the premiere of Hamlet, George Patton's birthplace, the flag of Quebec, etc., may be attributed to the butterfly effect or another logical fallout from a particular Point of Divergence. However, no such explanation has been explicitly offered.
Some inconsistent statements can be explained away as errors made by characters, regardless of Turtledove's intentions.
Others are probably intended to be inside jokes.
The remaining mistakes can only be the result of error. While these might be explained in-universe with creative speculation, it is not the purpose of this article to do so.
Inconsistencies in After the Downfall
- Hasso Pemsel has a rhetorical thought about "betting Deutschmarks to dung." The Deutschmark was not introduced until 1948; Hasso left our world in 1945, when Nazi Germany's currency was the Reichsmark.
Inconsistencies in Atlantis
- In "New Hastings", the first part of Opening Atlantis, Henry Radcliffe refers to his wife Lucy. Later in the book, he's married to a woman named Bess. Admittedly, the two scenes take place 15 years apart, and Henry may have been widowed and remarried, but this is not made clear in the text.
- In the same novella, King Edward IV banishes the Earl of Warwick to Atlantis. However Richard Radcliffe's wife Bertha informs her husband that Henry VI is the relevant king. This may be an example of how indifferent New Hastings people are to English affairs.
- In "Avalon", the second Opening novella, historical pirates Stede Bonnet, Cutpurse Charlie Condent, Goldbeard Walter Kennedy, and Christopher Moody (with their distinctive flags from OTL), are shown as being active in the 1660s, even though they were all born in the 1680s and 1690s.
- In The United States of Atlantis, historical figure Charles Cornwallis is referred to as "Richard Cornwallis" in one passage.
- Within a few chapters in the same novel, the status of Catholicism in Atlantis goes from "flourish[ing] in points south [of Hanover]" to predominated by Protestantism "but not to the extent [it was dominated] on the other side of the Atlantic" to there being "precious few of Romish opinions...in New Hastings," which is, of course, south of Hanover.
- During the Atlantean War of Independence, a couple references are made to the "long drop" method of hanging. The long drop wasn't devised (in OTL) as a method of execution until the 1870s, almost a century after the events of the book.
- Several English-speaking characters in the same war use the word "guerrilla" in its modern meaning, and they acknowledge that it's a Spanish word. While the term may have existed in the Spanish-speaking world before the 18th century, its first "borrowing" English occurred during the Peninsular War (1808-1813), one of the Napoleonic Wars.
- At one point in Book Two of Liberating Atlantis, the narration refers to Consul Jeremiah Stafford as "Colonel Stafford." Another character in the same scene, Balthasar Sinapis, has the rank of Colonel.
- A very short time later, Sinapis bows his head rather than nodding. The POV character witnessing this, Leland Newton, reflects that he is once again reminded of Zeus in the Iliad. There had indeed been an earlier scene in which Sinapis bowed and Zeus was invoked, but that scene was narrated by Jeremiah Stafford.
- On the same page, Sinapis makes reference to "putting the genie back in the bottle" and asks whether Atlanteans know that story. Stafford says the reference comes from the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in the Arabian Nights, and Sinapis indicates that he is correct. He is only half correct; there is a genie in the Nights, but in the story of Aladdin's Lamp, not Ali Baba.
- In Book One of Liberating Atlantis, Frederick Radcliff tells Lorenzo that he has been "waiting all my life to be free." This is a bit of nostalgia-colored revisionism on his part; while he had always resented slavery, he was very content to live as a slave as long as he remained majordomo of Henry Barford's plantation. Before being demoted to the fields, he only occasionally thought of running away, and never seriously. The idea of rising up did not occur to him at all till his chance meeting with the half-delirious Peter Torrance.
- In "The Scarlet Band," Athelstan Helms refers to tobacco. Throughout the rest of the series, the plant is known as pipeweed, by characters of all nationalities.
- In the first Atlantis story published, "Audubon in Atlantis", which is set in 1843, we are told that the capital of the United States of Atlantis is Hanover. The second story published, "The Scarlet Band", which is set at the end of the 19th Century, confirms this. In the novel The United States of Atlantis, the first capital of the country in the 1770s is New Hastings, and remains so in Liberating Atlantis. As Liberating is set in 1852, this contradicts "Audubon in Atlantis". While nothing precludes the back-and-forth shifting of capital cities, the issue is never addressed in the plot.
- The audiobook editions of the longer books contain a few mis-speaks by reader Todd McLaren (which are not in the printed book). Red Rodney Radcliffe and Victor Radcliff are referred to a few times as "Henry," Custis Cawthorne is more than once pronounced "Curtis", and King Edward IV is at one point called Edward VI.
Inconsistencies in "Cayos in the Stream"
- Ernest Hemingway reflects that before he came to power, President Fulgencio Batista was General Batista. In fact, the highest rank Batista ever held was colonel, a rank he promoted himself to.
Inconsistencies in Days of Infamy
- Oscar van der Kirk encounters the American submarine Amberjack, and its commander, Woody Kelley, in 1942. In OTL, the Amberjack was commanded by Lt. Commander John A. Bole, Jr., from its launch in March 1942 until it was sunk in February 1943. However, given that the history of the US Navy diverges wildly from OTL after 7 December 1941, there are any number of possible explanations why something like this might change, making this the least problematic item in this list.
- When Lt. Ralph Goodwin is explaining CAC Wirraways to Joe Crosetti in May 1942, he tells him that the Aussies use them as ground-attack planes and light bombers. However, at the out-break of war in the Pacific Ocean in OTL, the Wirraways were used as Stop-Gap Fighters. After the fall of Rabul in February 1942, they were withdrawn from the front line. Although they were used in a CAS role during the Malayan campaign once, it wasn't until November 1942 when the Wirraways were put back into action, that they gained their famous reputation for CAS air craft and light bombers.
- In both volumes, the Zero fighter quickly takes control of the skies over the Pacific knocking down all opposition, including the Wildcat and the Curtiss P-40. In reality, the Zero was a highly fragile aircraft, lacking armor and self-sealing fuel tanks which kept it from gaining complete control over the skies as the Japanese pilots, all of whom were veterans, were the main contributor for the Zero's fearsome reputation. The Crack-Man Policy of the Japanese Navy's Air Force kept these pilots on constant combat duty, leaving no reserves when they were killed, while the Allies always had combat trained reserves on hand. The plane's weaknesses, combined with the loss of those veteran pilots allowed fighters like the P-40 and the Wildcat to hold their own against the Zero.
- In Days of Infamy, the Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita is responsible for the conquest of Hawaii. In OTL, his daring and bold innovative tactics were the cause for the quick and rapid conquest of Malaya and Singapore (Days of Infamy). Yet in DOI, both fall at exactly the same speed despite Yamashita not being there.
- Throughout the series, which takes place 1941-3, Yamashita's rank is constantly referred to as Major-General. However, he was promoted to Lieutenant-General in November 1937, four years before the POD.
- In Days of Infamy, during the 1st Battle of the North Pacific, the Japanese Navy fight the naval battle only with their aircraft carriers. The battle ends because the Japanese have sunk and disabled all three American carriers, and their own are in a precarious way, thus leaving the rest of the US Pacific Fleet intact. In OTL, Japanese Naval Doctrine dictated that the aircraft carrier was used for softening up the enemy fleet for the battleships and cruisers to destroy them using traditional naval gunnery action. Even Admiral Yamamoto followed this doctrine to the letter. Having the Japanese rely solely on the aircraft carrier as the prime weapon of the fleet and not trying to finish their enemies off with their surface ships -- with no enemy air cover -- is highly uncharacteristic of not only Yamamoto, but the entire Japanese Navy.
- Japanese aircraft carriers are portrayed in both novels as operating individually. While American carriers were indeed deployed as single ships in 1941-2, Japan's effectiveness in carrier warfare during that period stemmed from organizing their flattops in pairs. Two carriers with similar capabilities were deployed together as a carrier division; thus, if the Soryu had been left behind to protect Hawaii, her sister-ship Hiryu would have remained with her rather than the older Akagi. Throughout the novels there is no reference whatsoever to Japanese carrier organization or its role in the Japanese navy's triumphs.
Inconsistencies in A Different Flesh
1. In the story "The Iron Elephant", a character notes that the Federated Commonwealths of America had been independent for a generation by 1782, implying that independence had come around 1762. However, in the following story "Though the Heavens Fall", we learn that independence came in 1738, which is over two generations. It should be noted that "generation" is a vague, flexible unit of time.
2. In "The Iron Elephant", an inventor named Richard Trevithick builds the first steam-powered engine. In OTL, Trevithick was born in 1771, which would have made him at most 11 years old at the time the story is set. (Implicitly, the demographic shift caused by the tyranny of England impacted the Trevithick gene-pool, so this could be a fictitious same-named member of the same family.)
3. In "Trapping Run", Henry Quick is having a conversation with one James Cartwright. A few paragraphs into the conversation, Quick calls Cartwright "John". However, the narration does explain that Quick is quite drunk.
Inconsistencies in Earthgrip and "Nasty, Brutish, &. . . "
1. No date is given for either of these stories in relation to each other; both take place some time around the turn of the thirtieth century. Naplak Naplak Nap tells Walter Harbron about the Great Ones' attempt to destroy humans by creating the common cold prior to the Suicide Wars, suggesting knowledge of the discovery of the Great Ones' stronghold in Earthgrip, as that information had been previously lost to the Foitani; from this we may deduce that the short story is set after the novella. However, Harbron falsely believes that the Suicide Wars were fought for racial and religious reasons, which suggests that the other great revelation of Jennifer Logan's Foitan adventure, the sexual nature of the Wars, is not known, suggesting either that the story is set earlier or that the information regarding the roles of kwopillot and vodranet in Foitan history had been suppressed after all; but if either is true, presumably knowledge of the Foitan expedition to Earth would still be unknown.
Inconsistencies in Fort Pillow
- Tyree Bell is frequently referred to as holding the rank of general. Bell in fact held the rank of Colonel at the time of the novel's setting.
- Ben Robinson privately reflects that Martin Delany held the rank of major in 1864. Delany was not a major until the following year.
Inconsistencies in The Gladiator
- The book's title page says "Crosstime Traffic--Book Four". In fact, it is Book Five. The Disunited States of America is Book Four.
- A gaming shop in San Marino is first called The Triple Six. Subsequently, it is referred to as The Three Sixes. Possibly a translation issue.
Inconsistencies in The Guns of the South
- The Confederate Congress creates a bill for gradual emancipation of its entire slave population. The bill itself was modeled after a proposed act of legislation in slave-holding Brazil, though the real bill was not proposed until years after the setting of the novel, and Turtledove has conceded that it is, indeed, anachronistic.
- By 1864, George Washington Custis Lee is a colonel in the Confederate Army, but he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1863, before the Point of Divergence.
- W.H.F. Lee's nickname is given as "Rooney" on page 76, and "Roonie" on page 448.
- Custis Lee refers to "Congressman Oldham." This probably refers to William Oldham who was a member of the CS Senate, not the CS House, a position not alterable by the novel's Point of Divergence.
Inconsistencies in The Hot War
- On page 39 of Bombs Away, Jim Summers is once referred to as "Joe Summers."
- In Bombs Away, during a conversation between Stephen Early and Harry Truman on January 23, 1951, Early descries Andrei Gromyko as the incumbent Soviet ambassador to the UN. However, Gromyko only served from 1946 to 1948, and the Point of Divergence is November 1950. There is no reason to think Gromyko would have gotten his old job back on such short notice.
- In Bombs Away, Yuri Levitan of Radio Moscow begins a broadcast by announcing that it is Friday, February 15, 1951. February 15 fell on a Thursday in 1951 (it fell on a Friday in 1952).
- In Bombs Away, Ihor Shevchenko and his wife Anya refer to the MGB as "Chekists". Ihor later reflects that they usually called the Soviet secret police by the name the Tsars' secret police used. The Cheka, however was the first Soviet secret police force, first established by Vladimir Lenin in December 1917. There were a number of police entities in the Russian Empire, but none by the name Cheka.
- In Bombs Away, Aaron and Ruth Finch see the film The African Queen in April 1951. In OTL, The African Queen had only begun filming in March 1951. While it had a limited release in December 1951 for Oscar consideration, it wasn't widely released in the U.S. until the following year.
Inconsistencies in "The House That George Built"
1. While lamenting his wasted baseball potential, George Ruth complains that the hitter-friendly confines of the Baker Bowl made it impossible for him to pitch effectively when he finally made his major league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. In discussing how easy it is to hit home runs in that stadium, Ruth at one point comments "Fuck, I hit six homers there myself. For a while, that was a record for a pitcher. But they said anybody could do it there."
At the time of the story's Point of Divergence (1914), the major league record for home runs by a pitcher in a single season was seven. The record had been set by Jack Stivetts of the St. Louis Browns in 1890, and stood till 1931 in OTL when Wesley Ferrell of the Cleveland Indians hit nine.
Inconsistencies in In the Presence of Mine Enemies
3. South Africa is described as an "ally" of Germany rather than a vassal like Britain. However, South Africa was an ally of Britain during WWII in OTL, declaring war on Germany in 1939. As the point of departure appears to be well after 1939, it strains credibility that Germany would annex most of Africa yet leave a resource-rich defeated former enemy to manage its own affairs. The fact that South Africa is "Aryan dominated," and had its own considerable home-grown "Greyshirts" fascist movement, may have played a part in improving South Africa's standing between the Second and Third World Wars, although this is never stated.
Inconsistencies in "Islands in the Sea"
- A Catholic emissary says that Jesus stated that no more prophets would follow after John the Baptist. This statement is not in the Bible nor any known Christian dogma prior to the story setting. When asked about this statement, Harry Turtledove stated that it was not a Christian belief, yet in the story he presents it as one. There is a possible explanation: Islam has an important doctrine that no more prophets would follow Muhammad, "The Seal of the Prophets," so that anyone who claims Prophet status is a heretic. In the "Islands" timeline, where Islam is a greater threat to Christianity than in OTL, Christianity might have ironically emulated Islam and developed a similar doctrine to discredit Muhammad himself.
Inconsistencies in Joe Steele
- Associate Judge Willis Van Devanter's name is misspelled as "Van Deventer".
- When John Nance Garner informs Vince Scriabin that he'll be sending Scriabin to Outer Mongolia, he pointedly calls Scriabin "Vince". Charlie Sullivan reflects that no one, including Joe Steele called Scriabin "Vince". However, at the very beginning of the novel Steele does in fact call Scriabin "Vince". Admittedly there is over 20 years between those two scenes.
- A narrative list of events in French history includes "the founding of the Third Revolution," when it's clear from the context that "Third Republic" is the intended term.
- On his way to Albany in 1932, Mike Sullivan is going over state capitals in his mind, and mistakenly identifies Oregon's as Eugene rather than Salem.
- On January 20, 1937, a reporter recites an old cliché "I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry Martini," and the narration identifies this as being from a movie. In OTL, while this line may have been spoken before 1937, its first known cinematic usage was by actress Mae West in Every Day's a Holiday, released in December of that year.
Inconsistencies in "The Maltese Elephant"
- If the setting of this story is 1929, when the source novel The Maltese Falcon was published, or even 1941, when the most famous film adaptation was released, then a character's reference to the Embarcadero Freeway, which opened in 1955, is an anachronism. On the other hand, if Turtledove meant for this parody to be set in no particular year, then there is no problem.
Inconsistencies in The Man With the Iron Heart
- In a report on the Werewolves' destruction of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, the British alternate judge (Norman Birkett) is listed as having been both killed and seriously wounded. The fate of the primary British judge (Geoffrey Lawrence, 1st Baron Oaksey) is never addressed, suggesting Turtledove meant to kill off one and wound the other. This could also be a deliberate illustration of the panicked confusion resulting from bloody carnage.
- The terrorist film of U.S. Army hostage Matthew Cunningham pleading for his life, at one point includes him giving his name as "Michael."
- Edna Lopatynski is introduced as being from Illinois but is later said to be from Ohio.
- The communist party in Soviet-occupied Germany is called the Social Unity Party. In OTL, it was referred to in English as the Socialist Unity Party. The German name Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands does not leave any translation ambiguity.
Inconsistencies in "News From the Front"
- A Washington Post report dated May 3, 1942 refers to Vice President Henry Wallace as "Veep". This term is not known to have existed before the 1949-1953 office of Alben Barkley.
Inconsistencies in The Opening of the World
- Gudrid's ability to understand the Bizogot language varies tremendously throughout the series. At some points she understands, or seems to understand, comments concerning her, and at others she demands translation for comments addressed directly to her. The same goes for the Marcovefa and the Raumsdalian language. At one point, in The Golden Shrine, she appears to understand a joke of Hamnet Thyssen's in Raumsdalian. A few pages later, she asked for a translation of what was being said in Raumsdalian into the dialect of Bizogot she spoke.
- In the first scene in which they appear, the people on top of the Glacier accept raw musk ox meat from Hamnet Thyssen and eagerly eat it uncooked, then exclaim in surprise that it is "not man-meat!" In the next scene, they claim that they must always cook human meat because there is "a curse" on the practice of eating it raw. If this is the case, why did they greedily eat what they assumed was raw human flesh a very short time before?
- In the first few times Sigvat II is mentioned, he is called Sighvat. From then on, he is known as Sigvat.
Inconsistencies in "Ready for the Fatherland"
- In the Ustaše-ruled fascist nation of Croatia, the late Poglavnik Ante Pavelić's image appears on the 20-dinar note. In OTL, the dinar was the pre-1941 Yugoslavian currency. The Ustaše changed the currency to the kuna when they took over. There's no reason to think they'd change it back.
Inconsistencies in Ruled Britannia
- Cardinal Robert Parsons is intensely suspicious of William Shakespeare possible associations with Edward Kelley and professes to know nothing of Shakespeare's religious or political sentiments. In 1580-81, Parsons traveled through England with his fellow English Jesuit, Saint Edmund Campion, ministering to the country's persecuted Catholic populace. The two visited Stratford and there is a great deal of evidence that they met with John Shakespeare, whose signature is believed to appear on a document developed by Campion saying the signatory would swear to remain a Catholic in his heart, obtaining the grace of Extreme Unction in the event a priest would be unavailable to give Last Rites at the moment of death. If the elder Shakespeare was indeed a devout Catholic even in the face of persecution, and an associate of Campion, the memory of the meeting should have assuaged Parsons' concerns about his son somewhat.
- Shakespeare's play Prince of Denmark is performed in 1597, and Christopher Marlowe mentions that it had debuted on the stage one year earlier. The play copies Shakespeare's OTL Hamlet in every particular. Hamlet is thought to have been written in 1600, but this is not certain. Some Shakespeare scholars who believe that Shakespeare's first draft of Hamlet (which reportedly differed from the final product) was written as early as 1590; with the alternate Shakespeare never writing his English King plays (barring Richard III), his schedule could have been accelerated. On a similar note, Thomas Dekker's OTL play The Shoemaker's Holiday (1599) is performed in 1597 as The Cobbler's Holiday.
- After her release from the Tower of London, Queen Elizabeth delivers to her subjects an address which is nearly identical to the Tilbury Speech which she gave to English forces as they anxiously awaited news of the battle between the Royal Navy and the Spanish Armada. As she gave that speech before the POD (the defeat of her fleet) of Ruled Britannia, repeating the speech so closely would be plagiarising herself. An eloquent woman, it is questionable whether Elizabeth would have been willing to do so.
- Elizabeth later attends a production of Boudicca at the Theatre. Earlier, Queen Isabella had attended a public showing of Lope de Vega's El Mejor Mozo de España. In the 16th century, monarchs did not attend public performances of plays; theater companies gave them private showings in their own palaces.
- In chapter seven of the book, Ruled Britannia uses the expression "else I'm a Dutchman" to assert his words. This expression however wouldn't come into existence before the Anglo-Dutch rivalries of the second half of the 17th century, making its use anachronistic.
- When Shakespeare first previews Boudicca for William and Robert Cecil, he describes the character of Caratach as the brother-in-law of Boudicca and warlord of the Iceni. He is immediately interrupted by Robert, who states "We know our Tacitus, Master Shakespeare." Clearly they don't - Caratach, while mentioned in the Annals of Tacitus, had no relation to Boudicca or the Iceni, and was exiled from Britain nearly a decade before the Iceni Revolt. Caratach's role is a carryover from John Fletcher's Boudica, from which Turtledove heavily cribbed for his fictional Shakespearean play. Ironically, Cecil senior later needles Shakespeare for deviating from the source material by giving Caratach a fictitious nephew Hengo (another Fletcher invention).
- Queen Isabella is introduced as “swarthy, even for a Spaniard – to English eyes she seemed not far from a Moor. The enormous, snowy-white ruff she wore only accented her dark skin.” Even allowing for hyperbole, the description could hardly be less accurate to the real Isabella, who had pale skin, red hair and green eyes.
- Contrary to popular belief in the English-speaking parts of North America, only ‘z’, ‘ce’ and ‘ci’ are pronounced like the English ‘th’ in Castilian dialect, while ‘s’ is still pronounced like ‘s’. There is a Spanish dialect that pronounces ‘z’, ‘ce’, ‘ci’ and ‘s’ as ‘th’, but it is Southern Andalusian, not Castilian. Lope de Vega, who was born and raised in Madrid (Castile), and Don Diego Flores de Valdes, who was from Asturias (on the opposite side of Spain from Andalusia), pronounced their ‘s’ as in English. Yet at different points in RB, Valdés “lisps” his English, Burbage mocks de Vega as Shakespeare’s “lithping friend”, and Lope even thinks of his own language as made of “sweet, lisping sounds”. Harry Turtledove, like most non-Spaniards, was probably not aware of this while writing RB.
- It is said that the Spanish garrison in London imports wine from Spain because vineyards can’t flourish in the local climate, and de Vega laughs at himself later for imagining grapes being grown in London. These lines echo the widely circulated idea that vineyards can’t be grown in England since the end of the Medieval Warm Period, but this is incorrect. In reality, vineyards have been present in England since the reign of Henry VIII to this day.
- While the word “maricón” (Spanish for faggot) might have just entered the Spanish language by 1597 – it is first registered in the early 17th century - it did not acquire its current meaning until almost two centuries later and was far less insulting in origin, being closer to “unmanly” or “coward”. The several instances where the word is used in its modern sense in RB are anachronistic.
- On page 14, a background character calls Philip Stubbes “Parsons” Stubbes.
- Baltasar Guzman mentions that Edward Kelley was "relaxed to the Inquisition for punishment." Convicts were ‘relaxed’ by the Spanish Inquisition to the 'secular arm’ for punishment, not the other way around. Since the English Inquisition was closely modeled on its Spanish counterpart in RB’s canon, this drastic procedural difference is unlikely.
- Even more glaring than in Hamlet's case, production of Lope de Vega’s La Dama Boba (1613) and El Mejor Mozo de España (1625) has been speed up for decades. Ironically, Lope claims that he'd write faster if his military duties did not take so much of his time.
- After playing a part in La Dama Boba, Enrique tells Lope that he "especially admired Nisea's [sic] transformation from a boob to a woman with a mind – and a good mind – of her own." In the actual play, it is the titular "boob lady", Finea, who undergoes such transformation, while her sister Nise is introduced as an intelligent and educated woman and becomes dumber over time. While the change in release (1597 versus 1613) and the nine years since the POD make the butterfly effect an attractive explanation, the otherwise coincidences in title, location, characters and quoted lines suggest a play identical to the historical one.
- Flores de Valdés addresses Shakespeare as "Chakespeare". "Like most Spaniards," – the narration goes – "he made a hash of the sh sound at the start of Shakespeare’s name and pronounced it as if it had three syllables." The Hispanicized pronunciation of Shakespeare indeed trades Sh for Ch, but is only two syllables long: Chéspir (CHESS-peer).
- Will Kemp uses the phrase "spend a penny" meaning to go to the bathroom. This slang term came about with the invention of coin-operated toilets in the 1850s.
- Lope de Vega hears John Walsh give a seditious Bible-based speech from the Book of Revelation, which the narrative identifies as "Revelations," an incorrect plural. This particular literary inaccuracy is not unique to Turtledove by any means.
- In this timeline, Shakespeare created the character Falstaff for The Merry Wives of Windsor (which is set in no particular year), without having written Henry IV. This is improbable; Falstaff, while fictional, was based on a composite of two acquaintances of King Henry V in the early 15th century, named Sir John Oldcastle and Sir John Fastolfe, the latter being the obvious source of the name. Without that historical context, it is improbable that Shakespeare, even if he dreamed up the same basic character model, would have come up with the name Falstaff.
Inconsistencies in "Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy"1. Rufus Q Shupilluliumash uses Google to look up information on RD and hits the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. This takes him to information on Research and Development.
Hitting the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button for the search term "RD" will in fact take a user to a disambiguation page on Wikipedia.
2. According to Erasmus Z Utnapishtim, the theft of the throne room of Versailles was the most recent throne room theft when Rufus Q Shupilluliumash was sent to solve the crime. However, it is on Gould IV that the graffiti reads "Next Stop--Galactic Central!" At the time Rufus was put on the job, the raid on Galactic Central had not yet been attempted, so the thieves' next stop was in fact Earth, since this was the site of the most recent heist.
Note: Since "Someone is Stealing..." is a gag story, the focus is on comedy. The story does not have to be held to as high standards as Turtledove's deeper works.
Inconsistencies in Southern Victory
- In Walk in Hell, the flag of the United States is mentioned to have 33 stars in one scene and 34 in another.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, Return Engagement, Drive to the East, and The Grapple, Sam Carsten frequently mentions visiting Ireland during the Great War as part of the U.S. Navy's campaign to smuggle weapons to the Irish uprising against the British. Carsten undertook no such mission during the war, though George Enos Senior did.
- When we first meet Jake Featherston in 1914, he reflects that the Confederate States manumitted the slaves when he was a boy. Given what we know about the manumission schedule, this suggests he could have been born as early as the mid-1870s. He runs for President in 1921. In 1924, he is described as being in his mid-30s, suggesting that he is between 34 and 36 years old. The minimum age requirement to serve in that office under the C.S. Constitution was 35, just as in the U.S. Constitution, which means that, if the latter estimate is correct, Featherston would not have been eligible to serve even if he'd won in 1921. Moreover, this means that Featherston would have been born in the late 1880s, which contradicts the earlier information about his age.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, Abner Dowling speaks with "a distant relative of the last Democratic President" (the last Dem POTUS being Theodore Roosevelt) who is wheelchair bound as a result of poliomyelitis, and is Secretary of War in the Democratic Hoover Administration. Presumably this refers to Franklin D. Roosevelt. But two books later, in Return Engagement, Roosevelt first appears by name for the first time and is introduced as a lifelong Socialist Party member.
- In How Few Remain, Jeb Stuart Jr. tells Thomas Jackson that he is 17 years old. The historical Stuart Jr. was born in 1860 and would therefore have been 21 at the time. If he were to lie about his age, it would be to his advantage to make himself older, not younger.
- In The Grapple, a US military installation in Utah is named Fort Custer, and reference is made to George Armstrong Custer having been the commander of US forces in Utah during the Second Mexican War. In fact he was second-in-command to John Pope. However, the POV in this scene is Armstrong Grimes, who isn't perfectly informed.
- Josephus Daniels is said to have served as Secretary of the Navy in Theodore Roosevelt's administration during the Great War. Daniels was born in North Carolina and should therefore have been a Confederate national (although in OTL, his father was killed by Confederate soldiers, which could explain his migration--this is never addressed). Furthermore, a ship is named in his honor in the early 1940s. At that time in US history, ships were only named for a person posthumously. In OTL, Daniels did not die until 1948, and Turtledove typically allows his historical figures to die of natural causes at the same time as in OTL (unless they are killed, or another special circumstance intervenes). It could be that either Daniels died earlier or that ship name rules were different in the ATL, but it is never addressed.
- George Patton is a Confederate General in the Second Great War. If this person is meant to be the historical figure, he should in fact be a citizen of the United States, as he was born in California. Though some assume his family's migration patterns in this timeline were affected by different paths of history, there is no hard evidence to support this idea.
- At the beginning of The Grapple, Hipolito Rodriguez reflects that his son Miguel is serving in Virginia and his son Jorge is serving in New Mexico. When Jorge debuts as a viewpoint character later in the novel, it is he who is assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, the Confederate state of Tennessee is reported to have voted for Calvin Coolidge in the 1928 US Presidential election, even though it is part of another nation.
- In Walk in Hell, Reggie Bartlett and Ralph Briggs hear US soldiers singing "Roll Out the Barrel" in 1915. The song was first composed in 1927 and the original lyrics were written in 1934. It could be that this is simply a different song created from the same obvious expression.
- In Blood and Iron, Abner Dowling considers General Custer's use of the word "Reb" to refer to Confederates anachronistic in the extreme. However, during the Great War, just a few short years earlier, the term was used universally among US characters, including those as young as Mary Jane Enos, and by Dowling himself.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, Mary McGregor Pomeroy is introduced for the first time as a viewpoint character, and her age is stated to be 13 (in 1924). In Drive to the East, she is said to be 35 (in 1942). If the first age reference were correct, she would have been born in 1911 and would only be 31 in 1942. If the second were correct, she would have been born in 1907.
- In Blood and Iron, Hosea Blackford is stated to be 15 years older than Upton Sinclair (born 1878), which implies that Blackford was born in 1863. However, in The Victorious Opposition, Blackford is said to be nearing his 74th birthday in 1934, which implies that he was born in either late 1860 or early 1861. Nonetheless, Blackford claims to have been born "after the War of Secession, although just barely." The War of Secession ended in 1862.
- In How Few Remain, Ophelia Clemens is said to be four years old, which implies she was born in 1877; in Drive to the East, Clemens is revealed to be 15 years older than Flora Hamburger, which implies that Flora was born in 1892. However, Flora ran for Congress in 1916, which, if the age reference were correct, would have made her only 24 years old at the time of election, and would have made her ineligible to run at all (25 is the minimum age to run for Congress), unless there was an unstated change to that law in the ATL.
- In American Front, it is stated that Eugene Debs had twice run unsuccessfully for president before the Great War, before which the two most recent elections were in 1908 and 1912. However, in Blood and Iron, it is stated that Debs had lost to Theodore Roosevelt twice in 1912 and 1916, but there is no reference to the 1908 run.
- In Drive to the East, Jonathan Moss is imprisoned in Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia along with other officers ranging in rank from lieutenant to colonel. While it is certainly possible that Andersonville could have changed between its 1862 opening and the scenes' 1942 setting, it should be mentioned that Andersonville was originally a prison camp for enlisted men, and that no officers were kept there.
- In Blood and Iron, it is mentioned that on July 4, 1918, Houston would become the 36th state in the Union, with Kentucky having been the 35th. However, the maps at the beginning of each novel in the Great War series show 33 states, with no new admissions prior to the readmission of Kentucky.
- According to the treaty between the US and CS at the end of the Great War, the Rappahannock River became the new border between the nations and their respective states of West Virginia and Virginia. However, the maps included in each novel of the American Empire and Settling Accounts series show a border between the two that does not conform to the Rappahannock.
- In The Victorious Opposition, the new Kaiser of Germany is called "Kaiser Friedrich I" of Germany and "Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm V" of Prussia. While Wilhelm II's eldest son in OTL was named Friedrich Wilhelm, he was known as Crown Prince Wilhelm. Thus had the Hohenzollern Dynasty remained in power in Germany, the Crown Prince would have been known as Wilhelm III upon his ascension. Moreover, there had been other emperors named Friedrich (Frederick in English), and he would not have been the first. Furthermore, none of the OTL Kaisers used a separate name-number combination for their Prussian kingly title. The series is not even consistent on his name, as he is briefly mentioned in Return Engagement as "Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm," mixing and matching his two previously stated titles. After that, he is simply called "the Kaiser." For clarity, the moderators of this wiki have chosen to call him Wilhelm III.
- In The Grapple, it is mentioned during Abner Dowling's drive towards Camp Determination that he and Daniel MacArthur had attempted to quell the rebellion in Houston prior to the 1941 plebiscite that returned it to the CSA. However, in The Victorious Opposition, it was Irving Morrell who was sent to Houston with MacArthur.
- In American Front, Doroteo Arango, the Radical Liberal Party's candidate for President of the Confederate States in the 1915 election, although he later lived in Chihuahua, was born in the Mexican state of Durango, which was not one of the states bought by the CSA in 1881, so his status as a citizen of the Confederate States is counter-intuitive.
- When Abraham Lincoln meets with British Ambassador Lord Lyons in the White House in the prologue of American Front, he makes reference to a French-backed "tinpot emperor" of Mexico, presumably a reference to Maximilian I. The scene takes place in 1862; Maximilian was installed in OTL as Mexican Emperor in 1864.
- Jeb Stuart III of OTL was born in 1897. In American Front he debuts as a captain of artillery with command of an entire battery in 1914. Even allowing for the nepotism of the Old South from which he would immensely benefit, it is questionable whether he could have attained such rank at such a young age (17), though of course it is possible the name Jeb Stuart III would have been given to any son of Jeb Stuart Jr. regardless of whether he was the historical Jeb Stuart III, therefore we must assume that this man is an analog a la Daniel MacArthur.
- In Walk in Hell, the Order of Lee is the second highest award that a Confederate Army man can receive; right below the Confederate Cross. However in Return Engagement the Order of Albert Sidney Johnston is said to be the second highest award. However, more than 20 years pass between these stories, during which things may change.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, it is mentioned that Rita Martin's first husband was named Joe Habicht. However, in Return Engagement, she states that her first husband's name was Ed.
- In American Front, "Lyman Baum" is a US fighter pilot on the Canadian front in the same squadron as Jonathan Moss. Assuming that this is The Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, then Baum would have been 58 years old in 1914, making him an unlikely choice for such a new field. In Return Engagement, Moss remarks that during the Great War the field of combat aviation had been too new to include any seasoned older pilots. It is possible that Turtledove confused L.F. Baum with his son Frank Joslyn Baum, who was a World War I veteran in OTL.
- In four separate scenes in How Few Remain, Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, chief of staff to President James Longstreet, escorts General Thomas Jackson into Longstreet's office. That duty would fall to Longstreet's personal secretary, not his chief of staff.
- In The Victorious Opposition, Mary McGregor Pomeroy considers smoking a cigarette while she relaxes in her Rosenfeld flat. In Return Engagement, she purports to hate cigarettes.
- In the prologue of How Few Remain, Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker both serve as wing commanders in the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Camp Hill. On the OTL Maryland Campaign, both Hooker's I Corps and Burnside's IX Corps were part of the army's right wing. Burnside commanded the wing, when the wing system was used at all; Hooker, who was junior to Burnside, did not serve as a wing commander.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, Jake Featherston makes a campaign speech in which he says the US "took away two states and carved chunks out of three more". In addition to the annexation of Kentucky and Sequoyah, according to the maps provided in the front cover, four Confederate states lost territory: Virginia (northern part annexed to West Virginia), Arkansas (most of the bank of the Mississippi annexed to Missouri), Sonora (a wedge of territory annexed to New Mexico) and Texas (the US state of Houston). However, the speech probably fulfilled its goal of incensing his audience, so precise numbering didn't matter.
- In The Grapple, Irving Morrell's drive through Georgia to Atlanta is stymied by heavy rains. The OTL fall of 1943 was not a particularly rainy time in Georgia, and Turtledove usually has natural events of OTL happen the same in TL-191, e.g. the San Francisco earthquakes and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.
- In Breakthroughs, Theodore Roosevelt's Vice President is named "Kennan," introduced as he is sworn in for his second term. However, VP Walter McKenna, an "amiable non-entity who was almost as fat as Congressman Taft" appears in the following volume Blood and Iron.. Some have said that the naming inconsistency reflects a "brain fart" on the part of POV character Flora Hamburger, but the issue is never addressed.
- From the minute the Republic of Quebec is proclaimed, their flag is four white fleurs-de-lys and a white cross on a blue field. This is said to have been the previous Canadian provincial flag. The flag was not adopted by OTL Quebec Province until 1948.
- Upon the death of King Charles XI of France in 1944, he is succeeded by Louis XIX. A Louis XIX had already reigned in France in 1830, albeit for a mere 20 minutes, and French royalists typically deferred to such come-and-go monarchs in their numerical listings, so the 1944 king should be Louis XX.
- Near the end of The Grapple George Enos, Jr. moves into the position of loader on a 40mm anti-aircraft gun and Ekberg is introduced as the new shell-jerker. Near the beginning of In at the Death, Marco Angelucci is introduced as the new shell-jerker.
- In Drive to the East, Scipio says in 1942 that Jerry Dover had known him for 20 years, so his white manager should not be surprised that Scipio could speak like an educated white. However, Scipio got his job at the Huntsman's Lodge and met Dover in the summer of 1933, only 9 years before.
- In The Grapple, Sam Carsten delivers arms to "Fidel", who is implicitly Fidel Castro. In OTL, Castro's father was from Spain. He arrived in Cuba to help put down the revolution of the 1890s (although this has been disputed by one of Castro's sisters). As Cuba was sold to the CSA in the 1870s, the senior Castro's motivation for traveling to Cuba, and thus Fidel's birth in Southern Victory, is rather unlikely.
- In American Front, Flora Hamburger works in the Socialist Party headquarters located in New York's 10th Ward. In the next volume Walk in Hell, the ward has been inexplicably renumbered as the 14th.
- A three-fingered sailor named Mordecai appears in Walk in Hell. He appears again in The Victorious Opposition, but his name is now spelled "Mordechai". The character is probably meant to be historical hall-of-fame pitcher "Three-Finger" Mordecai Brown, who did not spell his name with an "h".
- In The Grapple, during the Second Great War, Finland launches a nationalist uprising against Russia, and Germany promises to recognize a provisional Finnish government, suggesting that Finland is still part of the Russian Empire and is on the verge of independence. However, in In at the Death, the next volume of the series, Lord Halifax states that Russia lost Finland after the Great War.
- In How Few Remain, which is set in the early 1880s, Frederick Douglass observes his neighbor, Daniel, riding a high-wheel bicycle, which he called an "ordinary." That term wasn't used until the mid to late-1890s, when the standard "safety bicycle" entered usage and the term "ordinary" was used to differentiate the established bicycles from the newfangled safety bicycles. Possible butterfly effect.
- In Walk in Hell, General Alonzo Kent warns the Mormons after their defeat that further resistance will result in Utah being turned into the desert it was before, at which point Joseph Shook quips that the USA will "call that peace." Paul Mantarakis does not recognize the quote, which is interesting, since Captain Cecil Schneider informed him of it in American Front.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, when Hipolito Rodriguez introduces his family upon beginning his POV role in the story, he has a daughter named Guadalupe. After being introduced, Guadalupe never appears in any scene involving the Rodriguez family, nor is she ever mentioned again. It seems realistic to assume that Turtledove forgot about her.
- In How Few Remain, during the Battle of Camp Hill on October 1, 1862, George Custer reflects on the fact that his fiancé, Libbie Bacon, is trying to break him of the habit of swearing. In OTL, Custer didn't meet Bacon formally until Thanksgiving 1862, and didn't ask her to marry him until the last week of December.
- In The Center Cannot Hold, the U.S. state of Kansas has been a Democratic stronghold since the Second Mexican War. However, in In at the Death, Kansas is described as a traditional Republican stronghold.
- In Breakthroughs, as Reggie Bartlett is retreating from Sequoyah into Texas, it is mentioned that among the retreating confederate solders are Indians like the Kiowas and Comanches who'd attached themselves to the CS Army. In How Few Remain, Confederate Captain Jethro Weathers states that the Comanches are residents of the USA not the CSA, and that they've been raiding Texas and killing people.
- Riviere-du-Loup is called as such by all characters throughout the series, but in 1850, the British changed the official name to Fraserville, which was not changed back in OTL until 1919. However, that probably had no effect on what the Francophone locals called it, and in any case, the Republic of Quebec would have changed it back, if not the Americans beforehand.
- During In at the Death, while attending a joint committee on the Conduct of War, Flora Blackford hears a senator grilling US Navy Captain Hyman Rickover about new German submersibles, capable of revolutionizing sub warfare. However, he refers to the German Navy as the Kriegsmarine. The proper name of the German Navy under the Kaisers was Kaiserliche Marine, while the Kriegsmarine was the title of the German Navy under the Nazis, who never existed in this timeline.
- In Breakthroughs, we are told that Texas like several other Confederate States, is "dry", i.e., has outlawed alcohol. However, in The Center Cannot Hold, we are told that alcohol is legal. (As there is a gap of at least a decade between the two references, this is probably one of the least problematic of Turtledove's inconsistencies.)
- In How Few Remain, Alfred von Schlieffen notes that Kaiser Wilhelm I is one of the last surviving soldiers to have served under Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th Century. While Prussia was allied with France for a time during the Napoleonic Wars, it joined the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon in 1812, having previously been a member of the First and Fourth Coalitions. Wilhelm I didn't join the Prussian Army until 1814 when he was 17 years old so he never fought under Napoleon (although Wilhelm's father did make him an officer when he was only ten, which would have been concurrent to the period in which Prussia was a vassal of France). In fact, Wilhelm fought against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and was one of its last surviving veterans when he died in 1888.
- In How Few Remain, when Theodore Roosevelt is first introduced to Lt. Colonel Henry Welton, it is stated that the Lt. Colonel is 45 years old. Henry Welton was born in 1827, which means he was 54 years old by 1881.
- In How Few Remain, when the US Army tasked with suppressing the Mormon Revolt in the Utah Territory encounter the wrecked train lines, Colonel James Chatham Duane of the Army Engineers inspects the damage done. However, he is introduced as John Duane.
- The Spotswood Hotel is identified as the "Spottswood" in Blood and Iron. As Turtledove's hotel is located on Eight and Main in Richmond, Richmond, the original location of the Spotswood, the extra "T" is a typo.
- L. Frank Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix, of which Mary McGregor Pomeroy is so fond, was a spin-off/self-plagiarism of The Wizard of Oz, suggesting that the latter book exists in TL-191 as well. Yet Oz, with its central image of an Emerald City, was inspired by Baum's viewing of the extravagant architectural exhibits of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, which is unlikely to have happened in TL-191.
- In The Grapple, Congresswoman Flora Blackford's office is swept for "bugs" by a team of soldiers which includes Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. These historical figures were born right around the time this book takes place. However, this anachronism is so blatantly obvious that most fans have agreed that Turtledove is just having a joke.
- In Walk in Hell, Eduard Dietl is introduced as an Austro-Hungarian military official. In OTL Dietl was born in Bavaria in Germany and was never connected with Austria. Although one can imagine reasons for him to migrate in the ATL, they would be purely speculative.
- During the Great War, the fictitious Dom Pedro IV is Emperor of Brazil, the implication being that the historical Dom Pedro II was never overthrown, and the monarchy continued. However, if this were true, then the monarch's number is too high, according to historical probability. Pedro II would have been succeeded by his daughter, who in OTL lived until 1921 and would have reigned as Empress Isabel I. Her son and heir was named Pedro, but had she died or abdicated prior to 1914, he would have reigned as Pedro III, not IV. One might imagine a re-configuration of the Brazilian Imperial Family due to the butterfly effect, but it would be purely speculative.
- Beggs, Sequoyah is a setting in American Front. In OTL, this Oklahoma settlement was founded in 1899 as a stop on the St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) Railway (an entity founded in 1876), and its namesake was C.H. Beggs, the vice president of the railway, himself a resident of St. Louis. All of which is counter-intuitive to the history of this timeline.
Inconsistencies in "The Star and the Rockets"
- Historical minor leaguers Frank and José Gallardo's last names are spelled "Galardo". This error may not be unique to Turtledove.
- Joe Bauman reads the Edgar Pangborn story "Pick-up for Olympus" (in The Supernatural Reader), but calls the story "Pick-up from Olympus".
Inconsistencies in Supervolcano
- In Eruption, as Vanessa Ferguson flees Denver, she notes that the Buckingham Square Shopping Center is a few blocks east from where she is. In fact, the Buckingham Square Shopping Center was torn down in 2008, and replaced with an outdoor shopping complex, although in fairness to Turtledove, a Google search would lead one to believe Buckingham was still there.
- In Eruption, page 135, Colin Ferguson is responding to an e-mail from a Lt. Stu Ayers who he calls to verify it was from him. On pages 392-393 of Eruption, Ayers becomes "Lou" Ayers at a meeting with the Torrance PD.
- In Things Fall Apart, Marshall Ferguson reflects that his father had got a bass player, a graphic artist, and a wannabe writer rather than another police officer like himself. This would be referring to his brother Rob, his sister Vanessa and himself but in all other parts of the book and the previous two, Vanessa was a technical writer and/or editor.
- In Eruption, the diner in Guilford, Maine is called "Calvin's Kitchen". In the two subsequent books, there is an unacknowledged change in ownership and it's called "Caleb's Kitchen".
- In Eruption, Camp Constitution is said to be located between Muskogee, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas while in All Fall Down it is said to be between Muskogee and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Since the three cities form roughly an equilateral triangle, it is possible Turtledove meant for the camp to be located somewhere in the middle. On the other hand, he has the Arkansas River flood its banks in All Fall Down forcing the camp to be evacuated so he may have changed its location between novels to make it closer to the river.
- James Henry Ferguson is at one point referred to in the narration as "John Henry" and another at point as "James Harvey".
- In All Fall Down, Daniel Olson says that seeing the aftermath of the Supervolcano eruption reminds him of how William Sherman promised to wreck Georgia so well that even a crow would have to carry provisions. While Olson may be a competent geologist, his American Civil War knowledge is imperfect. This quote is reliably attributed to another Union general, Philip Sheridan, regarding the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, not Georgia. Turtledove often has characters misattribute famous quotes and than be corrected by other characters, but in this case no one sets Olson to rights.
Inconsistencies in Thessalonica and The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump1. According to Turtledove's official website, "The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump does seem to be set in the same universe as Turtledove's own Thessalonica." However, in the former novel, Poseidon appears as a living god in no danger of extinction, and in the latter, it was established that Zeus had gone extinct because when a religion lost its followers the greatest gods were the first to die. In the Olympian tradition, Poseidon was the next-greatest god after Zeus, making it unlikely that he could survive for many centuries beyond his brother's demise, until religious tolerance in the western world advanced to the point that he could receive worship once again.
Inconsistencies in "Trantor Falls"
1. Turtledove's contribution to Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe includes several characters who are Speakers of the Second Foundation. Turtledove's Speakers refer to the "mind-touch." In Asimov's work, Second Foundationers use the word "mentalics" to refer to that ability. The phrase "mind-touch" comes from the novel Pebble in the Sky, which is set in the same universe but countless centuries earlier.
According to Asimov canon, the mind-touch and mentalics are supposed to be the same ability; however, rather significant differences in the nature of that ability appear between the two works, perhaps as a consequence of Asimov's own inconsistency.
Inconsistencies in The Two Georges
- Although the Point of Divergence comes in the mid 18th century, certain historical figures exist, despite the upheavals of populations and other factors that would have disrupted their ancestors' movements and made their births highly unlikely. Harry Turtledove addresses this matter in his essay "Alternate History: The How-to of What Might Have Been," in a section reminding readers of the ripple effects of PODs: "This is one of those places where you can cheat. If you've got a world where the American Revolution never happened, Richard Nixon won't get born (one possible advantage to learning different words to "America the Beautiful"). But if you need a used-car salesman called Tricky Dick in the late twentieth century of that world, go ahead and stick him in. Just be aware that you are cheating, and then sin proudly. Don't drop him in for no better reason than that you haven't thought through the consequences of your change."
- There are some misspellings in the frontispiece maps, including "Brithish East Africa" and "Guatamala". Also, Georgestown retains its original name Georgetown, which it still goes by in OTL.
- Jamaica seems to be a Spanish colony on the frontispiece map, but it was a thoroughly Anglicised British colony at the POD. While colonial empires can fall and be taken over by new mother countries, this particular case is inconsistent with the novel's overall theme. The British Empire is portrayed as an impervious unstoppable juggernaut, constantly confounding its enemies and adding onto its dominion.
Inconsistencies in "Vilcabamba"
- Early on, a character is introduced as Secretary of Alien Affairs, and the narration explains that the office was called Secretary of State before the Krolp first came to Earth. Later on, the narration refers to this character as Secretary of State.
Inconsistencies in The War Between the Provinces
1. Throughout the series, characters who are direct analogs to OTL historical figures are both met and referenced. In Advance and Retreat, reference is made to the Northern unicorn-rider commander Jeb the Steward, presumably a reference to Jeb Stuart. In Marching Through Peachtree, however, an earlier obvious reference to Stuart had called him Jeb the Beauty.
2. Similarly, California is at different points called Baja Province and The Golden Province.
4. Usually, the organization of Detinan armies is army-wing-brigade-regiment, but at certain points a divisional level seems to have been added between brigade and wing.
6. Given the extremely aristocratic nature of Detinan society, especially in the north, it seems unlikely that noblemen, statesmen, and generals would have the ordinary job skills indicated by names like Jeb the Steward, Thert the Butler, Daniel the Weaver, Patrick the Cleaver, and Richard the Haberdasher.
Inconsistencies in The War That Came Early
- In Hitler's War, Colonel Friedrich Hossbach is shown as Adolf Hitler's adjutant at the Munich Conference in September 1938. In fact, Hossbach had been dismissed in January 1938 and replaced by Major Rudolf Schmundt, after the initial Spanish POD but well before the relevant POD.
- In Hitler's War, German radio operator Theo Kessler mysteriously becomes Theo Hossbach upon his second appearance, and retains this name throughout the series.
- In Hitler's War, the German submarine U-30 sinks the American ship SS Athenia, in an event based on OTL. However, the real Athenia was a British ship.
- One of the conspirators in the Generals' Plot against Adolf Hitler in January 1939 is "General Fritsche." Circumstantial evidence suggests that this refers to Werner von Fritsch, who did not have an e at the end of his name
- Various characters say "chinga" and "mamacita" in scenes set in the Spanish Civil War. These words are Mexican regionalisms and so unlikely to be used by, or picked up from Spaniards.
- At the beginning of West and East, Theo Hossbach is in the hospital and wants to be released. He has an exchange with a doctor, approximately, Theo: "I'm tired of laying in bed." Doctor: "That's lying." Theo: "I'm not lying." The characters are speaking German and in that language the equivalent words are not close in pronunciation.
- In West and East, historical figure Julius Lemp is reintroduced to the reader as Josef Lemp in his first scene. He reverts back to "Julius" for the remainder of the series.
- Applies to audiobook only: an important character in the series is named Samuel Goldman. While the printed books agree on this character's name, the audiobook version of West and East consistently names him as "Benjamin Goldman." All other audiobooks in the series correctly refer to him as Samuel.
- In Vaclav Jezek's first scene in West and East, he hears Benjamin Halévy speak a phrase in German and concludes from the correct pronunciation that Halevy must be conversational in the language. In his second scene, he hears Halevy speak several sentences in German to an enemy soldier and is surprised that the liaison officer can do so.
- In West and East, Joaquin Delgadillo notes early in the novel that Miguel Carrasquel was a veteran of the fighting in Spanish Morocco. However, later Delgadillo is surprised to later learn that Carrasquel had fought in the war against the Rifs in Morocco.
- In Hitler's War, Constantine Jenkins warns Peggy Druce that if she flees to Romania she'll have to "worry about Marshal Antonescu's goons". The scene takes place in early 1939, more than a year before Ion Antonescu either seized power in Romania or adopted the rank of marshal, at least in OTL.
- In his last scene in Hitler's War (the first day of the Japanese invasion of the USSR), Sgt. Hideki Fujita is informed that his superior, Lt. Hanafusa, has been shot twice in the chest and will probably die. However, in the follow-up volume West and East, Hanafusa is shown to be alive and in charge, and no explanation is ever offered for this discrepancy.
- In West and East, Chaim Weinberg claims that "Before the Republic [which overthrew King Alfonso in 1931], it was [...] illegal to be a Jew in Spain. It still is, in Nationalist country." This claim is false, although it is just the kind of story a usurping government might make up to justify itself by demonising its predecessors.
- In Hitler's War, Peggy Druce is described as having married into money and respectable Philadelphia society after rising from humble beginnings and growing up "a devil of a long way from the Main Line."  In The Big Switch, she is described as having "grown up in one Main Line family, and married into another."
- Toward the end of The Big Switch, Sergei Yaroslavsky offers an apology to his bomb-aimer after a somewhat sarcastic exchange during a mission. The narration includes the line "Afterwards, he would feel silly...but that was afterwards." This statement can only be metaphorical at best, as there was no afterwards from Yaroslavsky's perspective; he died in the same scene, just a few minutes later.
- In The Big Switch, the supporters of the British Union of Fascists are identified as "Silver Shirts". In OTL, the BUF were the "blackshirts", while the Silver Legion, a.k.a the Silver Shirts, were a fascist organization located in the United States. While this may be an intentional meta-textual call-back to BUF-analog the "Silver Shirts" in the Southern Victory series, there is no in-text explanation for why the BUF traded in their black for silver.
- In The Big Switch, we learn that in January 1941, in addition to attacking Manila and Hawaii, Japan also attacks British Malaya and "French Indonesia". In both OTL and this series, Indonesia was a Dutch colony, whereas the French controlled Indochina. Later in the same book, the Japanese are correctly stated to have landed in the Philippines, French Indochina, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies.
- Through the series, the Condor Legion is referred in several occasions as the "Legion Kondor". Although the Kondor is the German word for Condor, the military unit used the name "Legion Condor", the Spanish translation.
- In The Big Switch, Willi Dernen, comes under attack from Russian mortars. He identifies them as 81mm. The scene is set in late 1940, which meant that the mortars used by the Red Army was the 82mm BM-37 model. While this weapon was based of a French mortar that was 81mm, it's highly unlikely that they would have the French model considering that they were at war with France.
- In The Big Switch, the narration tells us at one point: "The Soviet Union already had as much country as any self-respecting country needed." Presumably Turtledove meant to write "...had as much trouble as..."
- Shortly after his introduction in The Big Switch, Ronald Cartland is at one point referred to as "Crawford."
- In The Big Switch, Julius Lemp tells Gerhart Beilharz the fable of an American gangster who was asked why he chose to rob banks, and replied: "Because that's where the money is." This straight-line comes from an article published in the California newspaper The Redlands Daily Facts, on March 15, 1952, well after the time period of this series.
- Viscount Cranborne, a historical figure, is correctly introduced as "Bobbety" Cranborne in The Big Switch. In the next volume Coup d'Etat, he has become "Bobbety" Cranford, an error that continues for the remainder of the series.
- In Coup d'Etat, US Marine, Pete McGill is in Surabaya after fleeing Manila. While there, he spots a Dutch Fokker D.XXI providing CAP's over the harbour. Historically these fighters were designed for the Dutch Army Air Force in the East Indies, but the rise of Nazi Germany prevented them from being delivered as all the fighters were kept in the Netherlands for home defence. Even after the fall of the Netherlands in 1940, all Fokkers that survived were captured by the Germans and employed in their and their allies air forces.
- Towards the conclusion of Coup d'Etat, US Marine, Joe Orsatti makes the comment that the “Aussies are sweating bullets,” to which fellow marine, Pete McGill agrees to. This is a reference to the OTL panic that struck Australia in early 1942, when the country feared invasion. However, while this panic was attributed to numerous factors, the main contributor was the fall of Singapore. Singapore was seen by all Australians as the country's defence policy, and it's rapid fall came as a tremendous shock to all. By the end of Coup d'Etat, Singapore hasn't fallen, and only Darwin is being attacked. While it is possible that Australians would be alarmed, they wouldn't be panicking like OTL because Singapore hasn't fallen.
- For a single scene in Two Fronts, the NKVD is called by its successor's name, the "KGB".
- In Two Fronts, Bishop Clemens August von Galen is described as being an archbishop, even though he was correctly described as a bishop in his previous appearances. He is properly a bishop again in Last Orders, but is a cardinal at several points later in the book.  (Von Galen was indeed made a cardinal in OTL, but not until 1946.)
- Bishop von Galen also is said never to have protested the way Germany treats its Jews, which isn't true, either in OTL or this ATL: Apart from having written sermons denouncing Nazi racism as early as 1937 (before the series' relevant POD), in The Big Switch, von Galen publicly and loudly describes Germany's policy of renaming the Jews a disgrace while in a government building.
- While playing chess in 1943, Anastas Mouradian reflects that all the players he knew thought "fancied themselves as the reincarnations of Botvinnik and Tal." This metaphor is a bit awkward, as both men were still alive at the time, at least in OTL. Regardless of this, while conjuring the image of Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995), who had achieved fame as a chess player in the 1920s, is certainly plausible, conjuring the image of Mikhail Tal (1936-1991), who didn't become prominent until around 1951, is rather impossible.
- In Last Orders, we learn that Spanish Nationalists are seeking refuge in "General" António de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal. While Salazar held a number of political positions during his reign, he never served in the military, much less attained the rank of general.
- Horace Wilson succeeds Neville Chamberlain as Britain's Prime Minister inThe Big Switch, and is then overthrown by a military coup in the next volume, Coup d'Etat. The office of PM remains vacant for the rest of the series. However, in Last Orders, Lord Halifax is incorrectly referenced as having been Chamberlain's successor.
- In 1944, Douglas Edwards reports that American servicemen in Australia are popularising the sport of baseball in the country. Baseball had been popularised by Americans as far back as the Victorian Gold Rush in the 1850s, with teams and championships existing before World War I, all of which happened before the series' POD.
Inconsistencies in "We Haven't Got There Yet"
- William Shakespeare seems to reflect on Will Kempe as being still alive in 1606. Most historians believe that Kempe died in 1603.
- The main setting is a play performing at The Rose Theatre in 1606. The OTL Rose apparently had its last show in 1605. However, the 1606 performance itself may be intended to be the story's Point of Divergence.
Inconsistencies in A World of Difference
1. When accused by his human visitors of being unsympathetic with the plight of mates like Lamra, Reatur bitterly tells them that every Minervan male who has seen a mate die has experienced sorrow, saying "We are not animals, and neither are they." However, earlier in the book he had privately reflected that "unlike some males" he treated mates as well as he could.
Inconsistencies in Worldwar
- In In the Balance, Fleetlord Atvar is addressed as "kinsmale of the Emperor." It later becomes important to understanding the Race that they do not keep track of kinship, except for those in direct line of succession of the Ssumaz dynasty, thus nepotism is unknown. Towards the end of Homeward Bound, it is specifically stated that Atvar never knew who his parents were.
- In In the Balance, Teerts destroys a British Spitfire and very casually describes it to his comrades as "easy as a female in heat." Earlier in the novel, Fleetlord Atvar had given his computer an "anatomically impossible" order. In the Colonization, the Race invents prostitution where males pay a female to take ginger and get herself into heat. Several other examples abound in the series. Yet in Second Contact, Nesseref mentions that even thinking of mating behavior in the absence of the appropriate stimuli is indicative of severe hormonal imbalances. Neither Teerts nor Atvar was ever accused of hormonal imbalance. It could be, though, that Nesseref is a bit naïve at this point in the story, and still believes in a generalized ideal.
- In In the Balance, Fleetlord Atvar claims that the crime of impericide had never even occurred to him or any other male of the Race, until Vyacheslav Molotov boasted of the assassination of Tsar Nicholas II during the Russian Revolution. However, in Striking the Balance, he speaks of at least one ancient unsuccessful attempt on an Emperor's life, which is well known in the species' history.
- In In the Balance, Fleetlord Atvar claims that Halless 1 was politically unified under a single imperial dynasty when the Race's Conquest Fleet arrived. In Homeward Bound, Wakonafula claimed that the planet had been divided among competing empires and that one benefit of the Race's arrival was political unification which put an end to warfare among the empires. Admittedly, POV character Karen Yeager does consider the possibility that Wakonafula is reciting a Race revisionist-history propaganda speech.
- In In the Balance, as the Conquest Fleet approaches Earth and observes solid ice on the ground in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, the Lizards reflect that on Home ice is rarely seen outside physics laboratories. In Homeward Bound, the Race acknowledges that solid water in the form of snow is a not-infrequent occurrence in the winter months in their planet's Antarctic Circle, though it does not remain on the ground year-round.
- Barbara Larssen forgets the meaning of the acronym FUBAR between In the Balance and Tilting the Balance.
- At Big Five meetings in In the Balance and Tilting the Balance, Japanese delegate Shigenori Togo speaks German but requires a translator to communicate with his British and American colleagues. However, at the Peace of Cairo conference in Striking the Balance, Togo speaks English well enough to conduct important, complex diplomatic negotiations on his own. Being in the middle of a war for planetary survival must sharpen one's learning skills indeed.
- In Tilting the Balance, Ttomalss shows Liu Han an ultrasound of her unborn baby. Liu Han thanks him for showing her that she will have a male, presumably because she saw, or thought she saw, a penis in the picture. However, the child Liu Mei is born a female, and neither Liu Han nor Ttomalss find this the least bit surprising.
- In Tilting the Balance, Nieh Ho-Ting is described as having commanded a division on the Long March before the POD. The historical Nieh served as chief of staff to General Lin Biao and was not a field commander himself.
- In Upsetting the Balance, Heinrich Jäger remembers destroying five of the Race's landcruisers in France. Earlier in the book he destroyed six in the battle referred to.
- From Striking the Balance onward, frequent references are made to the fact that Japan was shorn of its empire by the Race under the terms of the Peace of Cairo and remained sovereign only within its Home Islands. However, the maps at the fronts of the Colonization books show Japanese Pacific and Indochinese (though not Chinese) territory at or near its World War II height.
- In Second Contact, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria are described as Germany's vassal states and are placed on a list of all the sovereign not-empires in the world that does not include Slovakia. In Down to Earth, the list is repeated at the outset of the Race-German War of 1965, and Slovakia has replaced Bulgaria, which is not mentioned at all.
- As Washington, including the White House, was nuked by the Race in 1942 during the fighting, the United States government settles down after the end of hostilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the President moving into the former Governor's Mansion. In OTL, Arkansas did not have such an official building until 1950, and the course of post-1942 history in Worldwar would probably have given the state more important things to worry about than that minor issue. The building's press-given name is not consistent in the series: in Second Contact it has been dubbed the new "White House" by the press, in honor of the original. In Down to Earth and Aftershocks, the mansion is called the "Gray House," also supposedly in honor of the original.
- In Down to Earth it is stated that the male to female ratio on board the Lewis and Clark is 3 to 1 while in Aftershocks it is 2 to 1.
- In Aftershocks, when Jane Archibald finishes her studies at Russie Medical College in Jerusalem, she tells Dr. Reuven Russie that she always wanted to start her practice somewhere that's not in the Race's dominion, and Reuven acknowledges this. She soon fulfills this wish by settling in Canada. In the previous two novels Second Contact and Down to Earth, Jane never once stated this goal, but instead hoped to return to the very-much Race-ruled Australia after finishing her studies, but was fearful that the Race would not allow this.
- In Aftershocks, the narration in a Mordechai Anielewicz POV scene at one point refers to him as "Moishe."
- In Homeward Bound, the distance between Home and Earth is stated to be 11 lightyears while in previous books it is stated as being 10. The distance from Sol to Tau Ceti is in fact just under 12 light years.
- ↑ After the Downfall, p. 66.
- ↑ Liberating Atlantis, p. 189.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 192.
- ↑ Ibid, p. 192.
- ↑ A Different Flesh, p. 244-245.
- ↑ Bombs Away, pg. 63, HC.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 103
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 198.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 307.
- ↑ Joe Steele.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 417.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 2.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 134.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 13.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 141.
- ↑ Atlantis and Other Places, p. 106.
- ↑ "Ready for the Fatherland" in Counting Up, Counting Down, pg. 91-2.
- ↑ Ruled Britannia, pg. 202.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 7
- ↑ ibid, page 60
- ↑ ibid, page 29
- ↑ ibid, page 9
- ↑ ibid, page 11
- ↑ ibid, page 102
- ↑ "Medieval warmth and English wine"
- ↑ Ruled Britannia, pages 14, 94, 119 and 170
- ↑ Ibid, pg. 22
- ↑ Ibid, pgs. 31 and 156
- ↑ ibid, page 27
- ↑ ibid, page 54
- ↑ ibid, page 59
- ↑ American Front, pg. 17, pb.
- ↑ The Center Cannot Hold, pg. 26, HC.
- ↑ Breakthroughs, pg. 120.
- ↑ Blood and Iron, pg. 397.
- ↑ How Few Remain, pg. 5
- ↑ The Center Cannot Hold, pg. 217-218.
- ↑ In at the Death, pg. 517.
- ↑ Breakthroughs, pg. 81 Paperback.
- ↑ How Few Remain, pg. 12 Paperback.
- ↑ In at the Death, pg. 354 Hardcover.
- ↑ Breakthroughs, pg. 354.
- ↑ The Center Cannot Hold, pg. 312, HC.
- ↑ How Few Remain, pg. 51.
- ↑ How Few Remain, pg. 159.
- ↑ How Few Remain, pg. 135.
- ↑ Blood and Iron, pg. 454.
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 204, HC.
- ↑ Things Fall Apart, pg. 71, HC.
- ↑ All Fall Down, pgs. 106-112.
- ↑ All Fall Down, p. 397
- ↑ Things Fall Apart, p. 196.
- ↑ All Fall Down, pg. 186, HC.
- ↑ We Install and Other Stories, p. 21
- ↑ Hitler's War, pg. 11.
- ↑ Hitler's War, pg. 25 for "Theo Kessler", pg. 78 as "Theo Hossbach".
- ↑ Hitler's War, pg. 269.
- ↑ Hitler's War, p. 359.
- ↑ E.g., Hitler's War, p. 18 & 443; West and East, p. 189
- ↑ West and East, pg. 36.
- ↑ West and East, pg. 43.
- ↑ West and East, pg. 59.
- ↑ Ibid. 188.
- ↑ Hitler's War, p. 387
- ↑ Ibid., p.458
- ↑ West and East, p.17
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 229.
- ↑ Hitler's War p 31
- ↑ The Big Switch ch 1
- ↑ The Big Switch ch 23
- ↑ The Big Switch, pg. 398.
- ↑ Ibid, pg. 408
- ↑ The Big Switch, pg. 343-334, Kindle.
- ↑ The Big Switch, p. 197.
- ↑ The Big Switch, p. 342.
- ↑ The Big Switch, p. 260.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pg. 94, HC.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pgs. 174-176.
- ↑ Last Orders, pgs. 379-381.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pgs. 71-72, Kindle.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pgs. 346-47, Kindle.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pgs. 43-45.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pg. 358.
- ↑ Last Orders, pg. 36.
- ↑ ibid p 169, p 273
- ↑ The Big Switch, pgs. 53-54.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pg. 321.
- ↑ Last Orders, pg. 287.
- ↑ Last Orders, pg. 379.
- ↑ Last Orders, pg. 319.
- ↑ Down to Earth, pg. 320.
- ↑ Aftershocks, p. 354, HC.