In Stars and Stripes Forever, Harry Harrison began the story of the war that never was, but might so easily have happened: the war of the 1860s between the United States of America and the British Empire. It began with an ill-considered seizure of a British ship, escalated with an ill-considered letter to Abraham Lincoln, and continued with an ill-starred invasion of the territory of the USA by an incensed British government. The first modern war — with iron-clad ships, rapid-firing guns, trenches, mass armies and massive casualties, was taking place, not between the industrial northern states and the agricultural southern ones, but between the two great English-speaking nations. Who happened also to be the two most powerful nations on the planet. In the stunning conclusion to this series, the Irish become involved and a most surprising ending is the culmination of the ill-fated war.