Saturday, April 9, 2011
September 15th, 1946
43,324 feet above the West Ham neighborhood of London
Pilot Yuri Nikitin enjoys the view from his Yak 9 PD.
Time to turn back. This has been an interesting flight. I guess it has served it’s purpose. Interesting demonstration if you ask me. Why would you demonstrate the capabilities of a new machine to the enemy before using it in combat? Some new concept of intimidation by the Stavka. Scare them into doing what you want. Seems kind of silly to me but then I am only a pilot and no one asked me for my opinion. Surprise and delighted that everything is working like its supposed to. Not the usual type of circumstances. Seems like I will have no need for my bailing wire and chewing gum to keep this machine aloft. A welcome sign that the quality of our machines is improving.
September 15, 1946
Just a taste of winter to come is felt in the onshore breeze There is no doubt that winter is coming yet there is the possibility of clear skies and temperate temperatures for the months to come. The Soviets have always fought well in bad weather and the mild winters of the English Channel appear to have not entered into their debit column. In fact spending a few months on the French coast is eminently preferable to Moscow and forty below. A curious fact is that Moscow and London are within 5 degrees of latitude from each other. The difference being the warm waters of the American’s Gulf Current keeping England so comparatively mild.
The stated aims of the Soviet Army is to prevent England from being used as an airbase for the bombing of Europe and the Soviet Union. It makes no difference if it is the weather or Soviet fighters that prevent such raids from occurring. If the weather is bad then the bombers can’t take off. If it is good then the Battle for Britain II will take place. Either way there will be no bombing of Western Europe and Western Soviet Union from planes based in England and that is just what the Stavka intends to happen.
By using both the carrot and the stick it is hoped that the English will come to their senses and join the workers of Europe in their rebuilding effort. By making it fully known that if fighters do not rise to defend English air space and bombers do not take off from her shores the Red Army will not attack her soil.
In a startling turn about Stalin has indicated that he will negotiate a prisoner exchange with both the US and England if his demands are met.
1. No future attacks by land, sea or air emanate from Great Britain and her empire.
2. A six months truce be in effect.
3. The British allow the Soviets unrestricted over flights of their territory.
4. The immediate withdrawal of the British troops from Iberia.
A message is sent through diplomatic channels and the wait begins.
Transcaucasian Front HQ
Marshal Maslennikov in full uniform storms around his office emptying desktops of their contents with a sweep of his arm. Papers flying through the air seeming to flee his wrath. Objects slamming against the walls. Some breaking leaving shards of once priceless porcelain and ceramic objects littering the floor. His aide is the only reluctant witness to his what can only be called a tantrum tries to stay out of the line of fire. He utters not a word as he systematically destroys his office in a rage.
Finally he gains control of himself and just stand in the middle of the destroyed room breathing heavily yet not moving or saying a word. He stands stock still for 4 minutes by his aide’s watch. Slowly he takes out a comb and combs his hair back into place. His eyes seem to come back into focus and he finally gains control enough to speak.
‘Tell Zhukov that I will of course obey his orders but stress my strongest objection to his transferring the majority of our air assets to the Channel Front. Stress again the reports of increased movement of NATO and American units to the Islands of Rhodes and Crete. Stress again the increased movement of supplies to Northern Africa. Stress again the absence of American heavy bombers in Europe and the lack of information as to their location. Stress again that under my command and protection are fully 70% of the oil production facilities of the motherland. Stress again that NATO has many bases within range of these facilities. Stress again my total and unfaltering objection to this order. Stress again ….’
‘I sent Popenchenko to convince that weasel Fedoseev. He assured me that my views were known. How can they be so blind to the threat? How can they be so stupid…?’
The Marshal‘s aide finally senses the time is right and speaks for the first time since the tirade started 15 minutes ago.
‘Please Marshal you will only get yourself in trouble or worse if you persist. I beg of you to follow orders as best you can and to not stand in the way of Stalin’s wishes. Please Marshal for all our sakes.’
Maslennikov’s shoulders droop just a fraction of an inch as he again stands still for what seems like an eternity. His aide has seen this kind of body language before from his commander and knows that the danger has past. Internally he breaths a sigh of relief for he knows the worst is over and Maslennikov has come back to his senses. Thank god the powerful have some privacy in which to vent their frustrations. The rest of us must always be on guard and must never let then see our true feelings. Maybe that kind of passion is what makes the powerful the way they are. Always convinced they are right with never a doubt.
Well the aide thinks. I pray that he is wrong this time.
Finally Maslennikov speaks.
‘Order the units transferred Pavel and then clean this place up. Call my driver…I’m going home.’
‘Yes Marshal Maslennikov. It shall be done right away.’