Mediterranean Theater in WWIII 1946
Expatriate Force Assembly and Training Centre
British Crown Colony of Cyprus
It was another warm and humid Mediterranean dawn, and Group Captain Eleftherio Panagakis, of the Royal Hellenic Air Force, has had to face some very hard truths lately. The first truth that Group Captain Panagakis is confronting is the fact that he will have to treat with an ancient mortal enemy in order to defeat a newer and far larger and more insidious one: collaborating with Turkish forces, in order to defeat the Soviets, and their Bulgarian, Yugoslav, and Greek communist allies. Not only will he have to work with the Turks, but he will have to work with people whom he had be at war with in the few years previous, such as non-nationalist Germans, Czechs and Slovaks, as well as Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian Royalists, along with Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians and Macedonians. And let's not forget the Albanians, escaping the horror of Enver Hoxha's brand of Stalinist iron rule. They all had something at stake: remain free, or risk liquidation at the hands of the Soviets or their staunchly communist allies.
The irony that the Turks had once ruled most of the people they were now to be allied with was not lost on Group Captain Panagakis. His RHAF Special Air Service Regiment was training to go to war against the Turks, before the Soviets invaded Western Europe, and lit the fuse of communist revolution in Southern Europe. Panagakis was of the realization that most of his fellow Air Force officers were inclined to support the revolutionaries, but he was a Royalist, through and through, and he knew that he would be facing an uphill battle against his own countrymen, and he was fully prepared to accept the role of traitor in the short term. What he was not willing to do was to make his men unwillingly suffer along with him. So, one evening, he secretly summoned the entire regiment into the largest hangar at Larisa air base, and put it to a vote. His unit nearly unanimously voted to join him with a resounding shout of “God save our King!”
As order on the mainland began to crumble, they made the long overland trip down through to Athens, along with as many other Royalist military units as they could muster to them, gathered up the Royal Family and made their way to a Royalist battle flotilla docked in Piræus, and sailed for temporary exile on Crete and Cyprus. When they arrived in Nicosia, they were welcomed joyously by the Greek Cypriot community, as Turkish Cypriots stood by sullenly. As the Commander in Chief of all Greek Armed Forces, King George II, King of all the Hellenes, ordered the SAS Regiment to RAF Akrotiri, to help their short-handed British counterparts help train other Balkan nationals to form their own Commando units and SAS regiments. The Turks, seeing a possible advantage in helping Greek Royalist forces, have allowed overflights by armed RHAF aircraft, in order to carry out air strikes from airfields on Cyprus. They did not need them badly at the moment, because their hold was tight on the island-fortress of Crete, and they had many bases of operation there, but it was nice to know that they had a different direction to attack from.
But today was different, he sensed. Today, decisions would be made that would affect his future, and that of his countrymen, and of all the freedom-loving peoples assembled on this island. He glared at the Germans, who most assuredly had no love for him and his people, and they looked back at him in disdain, especially their commander, a hard-assed Nazi asshole named Joachim Pieper. This was the same man that the Yanks and Brits called “The Butcher of Malmèdy”, who earned that nickname for murdering 86 American POW's during the Battle of the Ardennes Forest, simply because he could not take them with him. A vicious nasty man to be sure. He had already issued orders for his men to watch their contact with the Germans, on penalty of severe punishment...
At the exact moment of that thought, he heard the roaring drone of heavy bomber engines, many, many heavy bomber engines, a sound that he hadn't heard in well over two years, since his days protecting Wheelus airfield in Libya: the United States Army Air Force's heavy bombardment force was landing at Akrotiri.