A low level Captain buried deep in the Pentagon hierarchy ponders the facts regarding the failed Leningrad raid.
He uses 3 black boards and starts to make a list in his windowless office far below ground. His normal day to day job is photo analysis but he feels compelled to find an answer as to exactly what happened on August 10th in the sky over the Baltic Sea.
He paces back and forth muttering to himself…”OK what do we know and what do we think we know?”
76 bombers out of 242 didn’t return to the airbase.
21 out of 51 fighter escorts did not return to base.
V2 like rockets were fired from the ground at the bomber streamMost of the initial volley of these missiles missed
Some of these rockets were reported to be guided to their targets
They appeared to be wire guided for much of their flight
Hundreds of conventional rockets were launched from some TU2 medium bombers
Some of these seem to be guided
They came in two distinct sizes with the majority being smaller caliper.
A new single radial engine propeller driven fighter was identified by several sources.
It appeared to be of German design similar to the Focke-Wulf 190 was seen in close proximity to the Tu2s and appeared to be escorting them.
Both atomic bomb capable carrying B29 Silverplates where hit by missiles/rockets
The atomic bomb that was on board the Enola Gay did not explode and was not yet armed.
One of the bombers was hit by a larger surface launched rocket and the other by one of the air launched rockets.
There were a number of mid-air collisions
From interviewing the survivors it appears that most of the reported damage was done after the bomber boxes broke up and was done by single seat Soviet fighter planes at levels below 8000 meters.
The Soviets employed about 40 jet fighters that appear to be of Soviet designOne was a twin engine design. Since designated by NATO as “Fargo”.
One was a single engine design that looked like a Yak 3 with a jet engine instead of a prop engine.Since designated by NATO as “Feather”.
Both had very good performance compared to the P51.
Chalk dust is flying as he puts his thoughts on the black board. Its 18:35 hours and he should be on his way home but he is transfixed with the challenge before him. How did such a disaster happen? What kinds of weapon or weapons have the Reds developed? Or more probable their captured German eggheads developed that could accomplish such feats? Maneuvers far beyond what a normal missile or rocket can accomplish. What was guiding them with such accuracy? How can we defeat this guidance system?
He hadn’t been chosen for the “Blue Ribbon” panel but he was certain that he held the answer to the puzzle somewhere on his black boards. Hell he’d even use the walls if he had to.
Captain Harvey Crenshaw was going to solve this problem or possibly lose his job trying.
Something was on the edge of his memory. Some class or something one of his professors said. Some method that was just wacky enough to work. Some kind of experiment he read about.
What the hell was it that was just out of reach? Just beyond his grasp?But of course the more he thought about it the more he couldn’t remember. The harder he tried the further away the memory faded.
It was close to driving him over the edge. The answer was right there somewhere. Somewhere on the edge of his memory so close he could smell it. One more clue and he would have it. But what was that clue and when would it come?
Maybe if he could examine the physical evidence but of course that was out of the question. Photos … could he get his hands on some photos? A few of the bombers that were hit, survived and their damage was meticulously photographed and cataloged.
How could he get his hands on those photos?