In the alternate history novels and series, some of these inconsistencies, such as the apparent gaffes over Hamlet, George Patton's nationality, etc., may be explained by the butterfly effect. However, no such explanation has been explicitly offered.
Others are probably intended to be inside jokes.
The remaining mistakes can only be the result of error. While these might be explained with creative retconning, it is not the purpose of this article to do so.
Inconsistencies in Atlantis
1. In Opening Atlantis, Henry Radcliffe refers to his wife Lucy. Later in the book, he's married to a woman named Bess. Admittedly, the two moments take place 15 years apart, and Henry may have remarried, but this is not made clear in the text.
4. Within a few chapters in United States of Atlantis, 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.
5. In United States of Atlantis a couple references are made to the "long drop" method of hanging. The long drop wasn't devised as a method of execution until the 1870s, a century after the events of the book.
7. A very short time later, Balthazar 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.
8. 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, and Sinapis indicates that he is correct. He is not; there is no genie in the story of Ali Baba. Most likely, that story was confused with that of Aladdin's Lamp.
9. In Book One of Liberating Atlantis, Frederick Radcliff tells Lorenzo that he has been "waiting all his life to be free." He had not; while he had always resented slavery, he was very content to live as a slave as long as he remained majordomo of the Barfords' plantation. Before being sent 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-delerious Peter Torrance.
Inconsistencies in Beyond the Gap
1. Gudrid's ability to understand the Bizogot language varies tremendously throughout the novel. 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. At one point, in the novel 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.
2. The people on top of the Glacier accept raw musk ox meat from Hamnet Thyssen in the first scene in which they appear 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?
3. In the first few times Sighvat II is mentioned, he is called Sighvat. From then on, he is known as Sigvat.
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
1.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 1942 until it was sunk in 1943.
2. When Lt. Ralph Goodwin is explaining 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 in OTL, the Wirraways were used as Stop-Gap Fighters. After the fall of Rabul in Febuary 1942, they were withdrawn from the front line. Although they were used in a CAS role during the Malaysian campgian once, it wasn't until November in 1942 when the Wirraways were put back into action, did they gain their famous reputation for CAS air craft and light bombers.
3. In both Days of Infamy and End of the Beginning, 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's lack of armour and self-sealing fuel tanks kept it from gaining complete control over the skies, and fighter's like the P-40 and the Wildcat were able to hold their own against the Zero because of it, as well as through “Boom & Zoom” tactics devised by the "Flying Tigers" in the Indo-China\Burma theater, and the "Thach Weave", both of which were developed before the POD.
4. In Days of Imfamy, 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 the Malayan peninsula and Singapore Island. Yet in DOI, both fall at exactly the same speed despite Yamashita not being there.
5. Through out the series, from Days of Infamy through to End of the Beginning, which takes place in between 1941 and 1943, Japanese General, Tomoyuki Yamashita's rank is constantly refered to as Major-General. However, he was promoted to Lieutenant-General in November 1937, long before the POD.
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 in 1762. However, in the following story "Though the Heavens Fall", we learn that independence came in 1738, which is over two generations.
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.)
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
Inconsistencies in The Guns of the South
1. The Confederate Congress creates a bill for gradual emancipation of its entire slave population. The bill itself was modelled 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.
2. By 1864, George Washington Custis Lee is a colonel in the Confederate Army, but he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1863.
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 POD (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. However, South Africa was an ally of Britain during World War II in OTL, declaring war on Germany in 1939. As the point of departure appears to be well after 1939, that Germany would leave a resource rich defeated former enemy alone even though it holds most of the continent of Africa seems unlikely. The fact that South Africa is "Aryan dominated" (and had its own considerable home-grown fascist movement--the "Greyshirts") may have played a part.
Inconsistencies in "Joe Steele"
1. When US General Douglas MacArthur is defeated in the Philippines, he escapes to Australia where he is tried for cowardliness. In OTL, MacArthur had no intention of fleeing to Australia, preferring to die along side his men and only left because he was ordered to by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fleeing on his own accord is highly out of character.
Inconsistencies in The Man With the Iron Heart
1. 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 is never addressed, suggesting Turtledove meant to kill off one and wound the other.
4. The communist party in Soviet-occupied Germany is called the Social Unity Party. In OTL, it was called the Socialist Unity Party. This may be a result of the butterfly effect, or it could be a translation matter: Turtledove can be more literal in his translations.
Inconsistencies in "Ready for the Fatherland"
1. In a world where the Ustaše still rules Croatia in the 1970s, late Poglavnik Ante Pavelić's image appears on the 20-dinar note. In OTL, the Ustaše replaced the dinar (a Yugoslavian currency) with the kuna in 1941. There is no reason to think they'd switch back.
Inconsistencies in Ruled Britannia1. During an Easter Mass, William Shakespeare thinks of his deceased father, a Catholic who did not live to see his religion restored under Queen Isabella and King Albert and who therefore presumably died before the novel's 1588 point of departure. John Shakespeare lived until 1600, and since OTL was followed until the battle between the Armada and the Royal Navy, the elder Shakespeare should not have died before the Tudors fell.
2. In the same scene Shakespeare mentions that his father often spoke nostalgically of the reign of Mary I and also of Henry VIII prior to the English Reformation. The Reformation was finalized by the Act of Union in 1531. Shakespeare's father was born in 1530. Presumably, he would not have many memories of the pre-Reformation period.
3. Robert Parsons is intensely suspicious of William Shakespeare's possible associations with Edward Kelley and professes to know nothing of Shakespeare's religious or political sentiments. In 1580-81, Parsons travelled through England with his fellow English Jesuit, Saint Edmund Campion, ministering to the country's persecuted Catholic populace. The two visited Stratford-Upon-Avon 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 signator 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.
4. 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 was written in 1600.
5. 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. Presumably she would have given the same speech before learning of the defeat of her fleet in the timeline of Ruled Britannia, so that repeating the speech so closely would be plagiarizing herself. An eloquent woman, it is questionable whether Elizabeth would have been willing to do so.
6. 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 sixteenth century, monarchs did not attend public performances of plays; theater companies gave them private showings in their own palaces.
7. In chapter seven of the book, Richard Burbage 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 seventeenth century, making its use anachronistic.
8. 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 is based on the historical Caratacus, who, while mentioned in the works of Tacitus, was not a relative of Boudicca's or even an Iceni, living and dying well 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.
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.
Inconsistencies in Southern Victory1. In Walk in Hell, the flag of the United States is mentioned to have thirty-three stars in one scene and thirty-four in another.
2. 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 Irishmen participating in the Rising. Carsten undertook no such mission during the war, though George Enos did.3. Jake Featherston runs for President of the Confederate States in 1921. In 1924, it is mentioned that he has just turned thirty-five, the minimum age requirement to serve in that office.
4. In The Center Cannot Hold, Abner Dowling speaks with "a distant relative of the last Democratic President [who was Theodore Roosevelt]" who is wheelchair bound as a result of poliomyelitis, a secretary in the Democratic Hoover Administration. Presumably this refers to Franklin D. Roosevelt. In Return Engagement, however, Roosevelt debuts as a lifelong Socialist official.
6. 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.
7. George Herbert Walker is a Confederate national 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 Missouri, and his father, born before the POD, was from Illinois. Likewise for George Patton, who was born in California. Though some assume his family's migration patterns in this timeline were affected by different historical patterns, there is no hard evidence to support this idea.
8. 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).9. A a ship is named in Daniels' 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). It could be that either Daniels died earlier or the custom did not exist in the Southern Victory timeline, but it is never addressed.
10. 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.
13. In American Front Jake Featherston implied that he could remember the slaves being manumitted, which is unlikely given what we know about his age and the timeframe of manumission.
14. In Blood and Iron, Abner Dowling considers George 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.
15. 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.
16. 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."
17. 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).18. In American Front, it is stated that Eugene V. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. Although the Army of the Potomac captured Special Orders 191 prior to the OTL battle of Antietam, its commander, George McClellan, made so little use of the orders and their revelation that the Army of Northern Virginia was scattered across the Maryland countryside that by the time McClellan offered Robert E. Lee battle, all but one Confederate division had been reunited with the main body of the army. Thus, it is unlikely that keeping the order out of Union hands would have imparted any significant advantage to Lee.
23. 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 was named Friedrich Wilhelm, he was known in OTL 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 ascenscion. Moreover, there had been other emperors named Friedrich (Frederick in English), and he would not have been the first.
24. 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.25. Doroteo Arango, the Radical Liberal Party's candidate for President of the Confederate States in the 1915 election, was born in the Mexican state of Durango, and so his status as a citizen of the Confederate States is counter-intuitive.
26. 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 as Mexican Emperor in 1864.
27. Jeb Stuart III 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.
28. 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 Johnson is said to be the second highest award.
30. In American Front, Lyman Baum is a fighter pilot in the same squad as Jonathan Moss. Baum would have been the age of 58 in 1914, making him an unlikely choice for such a new field. In Return Engagement, Jonathan Moss remarks that during the Great War the field of combat aviation had been too new to include any seasoned older pilots.
31. 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.
32. In Breakthroughs we learn that Robert Lansing served as Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State. In OTL, the two men passionately despised each other and disagreed on nearly every foreign policy issue of the day.
34. 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 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.
35. 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 territorry annexed to New Mexico) and Texas (the US state of Houston)
38. 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 provincial flag. The flag was not adopted by Quebec Province until 1948.
40. 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.
41. In Drive to the East, Scipio says in 1942 that Jerry Dover had known him for twenty 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 nine years before.
42. In The Grapple, Sam Carsten delivers arms to 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 Confederate States in the 1870s, the senior Castro's decision to travel Cuba, and thus Fidel's birth in Southern Victory, is rather unlikely.
43. In American Front, Flora Hamburger works in the Socialist Party headquarters located in New York's Tenth Ward. In the next volume Walk in Hell, the ward has been inexplicably renumbered as the Fourteenth.
44. 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". Either way, the character is probably meant to be historical hall-of-fame pitcher Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, who did not spell his name with an "h".
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. In Walk in Hell, General 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 Schneider informed him of it in American Front.
48. 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.
51. In Breakthroughs, as Reggie Bartlett is retreating from Sequoyah into Texas, it is mentioned that among the retreating confederate solders are Native American's like the Kiowas and Comanches who'd attached themselves to the CS Army. In How Few Remain, Confederate Captain Jethro Weathers clearly states that the Comanches are natives of the USA not the CSA, and that they've been raiding Texas and killing people.
52. Riviere-du-Loup is called as such by all characters throughout the series, but during the British rule, until 1919, it was called Fraserville. However, that probably has no effect on what the locals called it, and in any case, the Republic of Quebec would have changed it back, if not the Americans beforehand.
53. During In at the Death, while attending a joint committee on the Conduct of War, Flora Blackford here's a senator grilling US Navy captain Rickover about new German submarines, capable of revolutionising sub warfare. However, he refers to the German Navy as the Kriegsmarine. The proper name of the German Navy under the rule of the Kaisers was called the Kaiserliche Marine, while the Kriegsmarine was the title of the German Navy under the Nazi's.
54. 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.)
55. In How Few Remain, Alfred von Schlieffen notes that Wilhelm I, German Emperor is one of the last surviving soldiers to have served under Napoleon I of France 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.
56. In How Few Remain, when Theodore Roosevelt is first introduced to Lt. Colonel Henry Welton, it is stated that the Lt. Colonel is forty-five years old. Henry Welton was born in 1827, which means he would've been fifty-four years old by 1881.
57. In How Few Remain, when the US Army tasked with surpressing the Mormon Revolt in the Utah Territory encounter the wrecked train lines, Colonel James Duane of the Army Engineers inspects the damage done. However, he is introduced as John Duane.
Inconsistencies in "The Star and the Rockets"
- Historical minor leaguers Frank and José Gallardo's last names are spelled "Galardo".
- Joe Bauman reads the story "Pick-up for Olympus", but calls the story "Pick-up from Olympus".
Inconsistences 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 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.
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 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, well before the relevant POD.
- In Hitler's War, German radio operator Theo Kessler mysteriously becomes Theo Hossbach upon his second appearance.
- In Hitler's War, the German U-30 sinks the American ship SS Athenia, in an event based on OTL. However, the real Athenia was a British ship.
- 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 words are not close in pronunciation.
- In West and East, Julius Lemp is reintroduced to the reader as "Josef Lemp" in his first scene. He reverts back to "Julius" for the remainder of the novel.
- 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.
In his last scene in Hitler's War (the first day of the Japanese invasion of the USSR), Sg. 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 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. Turtledove's narration includes the line "Afterwards, he would feel silly . . . but that was afterwards." There would be no afterwards from Yaroslavsky's perspective; he died 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 OTL, Indonesia was a Dutch colony, whereas the French controlled Indochina. Later in the same book, the Japanese are stated to have landed in the Philippines, French Indochina, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, showing that the political situation in south-east Asia is the same as in OTL after all.
- Through the series, the Condor Legion is referred in several occasions as the "Legion Kondor". Although the bird is known as "Kondor" in German, the military unit was called the "Legion Condor", following Spanish ortography.
In The Big Switch, Willi Dernen, comes under attack from Russian Mortars. He identifies them as 81mm. The Book at that time 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 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 “Aussie are sweating bullets,” to which fellow marine, Pete McGill agrees too. 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 countries defence policy, and it's rapid fall came as a tremendous shock to all. By the end of Coup d'Etata, Singapore hasn't fallen, and only Darwin is being attacked. While it is possible that Australian's 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 also is said to never have protested the way Germany treats its Jews, which isn't technically true: in The Big Switch, Galen publically 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 [Mikhail] Botvinnik and [Mikhail] Tal." While being a reincarnation of Botvinnik, who was born in 1911 and had achieved fame as a chess player in the 1920s is certainly plausible, being a reincarnation of Tal, who was born in 1936, is rather impossible.
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
2. In In the Balance, Atvar is addressed as "kinsmale of the Emperor." We later learn that the Race does not keep track of kinship except for those in direct line of succession of the Ssumaz dynasty, and does not practice nepotism.
3. 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, Atvar had given his computer an "anatomically impossible" order. 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.
4. In In the Balance, Atvar claims that the crime of regicide had never even occured to him or any other male of the Race till Vyacheslav Molotov boasted of the assassination of Nicholas II of Russia during the Russian Revolution. However, in Striking the Balance, he speaks of at least one instance of attempted regicide which is well known in the species' history.
5. In In the Balance, 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.
6. At Big Five meetings in In the Balance and Tilting the Balance, Shigenori Togo speaks German and Japanese but requires a translator to communicate with his English-speaking colleagues. However, at the Peace of Cairo conference in Striking the Balance, Togo has learned English well enough to conduct important, complex diplomatic negotiations on his own.
7. 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.
8. In Tilting the Balance, Ttomalss shows Liu Han an ultrasound of the baby with which she is pregnant. 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 is born a female, Liu Mei, and neither Liu Han nor Ttomalss find this the least bit surprising.
9. 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.
12. In Homeward Bound, the distance between Home and Earth is stated to be 11 lightyears while in previous books it is sated as being 10. The distance from Sol to Tau Ceti is in fact just under 12 light years.
13. In Tilting the Balance, Nieh Ho-Ting is described as having commanded a division on the Long March. The historical Nieh served as chief of staff to General Lin Biao and was not a field commander himself.
14. 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.
- ↑ "Ready for the Fatherland" in Counting Up, Counting Down, pg. 91-2.
- ↑ Ruled Britannia, pg. 202.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 204, HC.
- ↑ Things Fall Apart, pg. 71, HC.
- ↑ 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. 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.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pg. 94, HC.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pgs. 174-176.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pgs. 71-72, Kindle.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pgs. 346-47, Kindle.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pgs. 43-45.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pg. 358.
- ↑ The Big Switch, pgs. 53-54.
- ↑ Two Fronts, pg. 321.