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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mark I

Bikini Atoll
South Pacific
07:23 hours

The fireball rose in the classic manner we all have come to fear and admire. The stem of the mushroom and blast of light and heat, followed by visible rings of concussion are a sight to behold on a movie screen. You do not want to experience them in person. A handful of army personnel did just that. The cap of the mushroom was reaching for the sky, pulsing with light and energy, visible energy reaching out to destroy all in its path. The trouble with this atomic explosion was that it was totally unexpected. It shocked the thousands of spectators and scientists floating at a safe distance out in the Pacific Ocean far from prying eyes but not far enough that the pens of hundreds of reporters could be stopped.

Months before the world’s supply of polonium 210 ended up in the lungs and organs of tens of thousands of American nuclear scientists, their friends, families and other innocent victims. Much of the polonium was buried six foot under along with the bodies of its victims in caskets lined with lead and covered in dirt, flowers and tears. The American nuclear scientific community was devastated and barely existed. New students were being taught by more experienced students but the professors, were for the most part dead. They had died an excruciatingly painful death that they had designed for others.  Much like the ones their work had visited on the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Their students had cobbled together enough material for 6 more atomic bombs. There were enough parts left in the assembly rooms and nuclear storage areas to fashion even more atomic bombs.  From these bits and pieces they had fashioned one Mark I atomic bomb which was on its way to be dropped on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. In the target area were dozens of surplus ships. The test had been originally scheduled for July, 1946. Then the war broke out. The plan was code named Operation Crossroads.

The original operation was to prove or disprove theories about the survivability of naval vessels during an atomic attack. The ships were to be anchored and filled with live animals and supplies etc. that would be studied after the explosions to determine if naval personnel and their ships could function after being subjected to the power of atomic fission. Some saw it as a test for the very survival of the US Navy and it’s relevance in a world filled with atomic destruction.

The atoll’s inhabitants, some 167 Bikini islanders, were convinced using prophecies of the bible, to leave their island paradise and were moved out of harm’s way. The purpose of the tests had been altered and many of the ships and the preparations that would have occurred were hastily forgotten. Now the test was to be of the Mark I atomic bomb.  The design was inherently dangerous and that is why the Mark III had been designed using polonium 210 as a major part of the weapon. The Mark III Tall Boy was considered much safer the Mark I.

Many things could go wrong with the Mark I and many things could make it prematurely explode either conventionally or in an atomic explosion. The Mark I was the bomb that everyone knew would work because of its simplicity. The Mark III was somewhat of a question mark until Nagasaki. Because of its significant improvement in safety the Mark III using polonium 210 was the bomb destined to fill America’s nuclear arsenal and not the much more dangerous Mark I. That was until George Koval used the world’s supply of polonium to sabotage the US atomic weapons program.

So the students of the original designers and engineers who brought the world the Mark III atomic bomb had to improvise and the Mark I was their answer… or so they thought. The reason the Mark I is so dangerous is because any number of things can go catastrophically wrong. A simple electrical short, getting hit by lightning, getting wet or a fire could set it off. No one knows what happened aboard the bomber. The former student of Robert Oppenheim during one of his rare semesters teaching at Caltech, had designed the trigger mechanism. He had never assembled it before in earnest. This would be his first attempt under simulated combat conditions and he apparently failed his test.

30 miles out from the target the B29 Silverplate exploded in a nuclear fireball over the Pacific Ocean. If the Bikini test had not been scheduled no one would have seen what happened. But they were 289 reporters from the NATO countries that did see it happen. Although far enough away to not suffer any immediate harm some were not yet prepared and did not have their special glasses on and did suffer temporary effects to their eyes. Luckily, and by design, no one or nothing was in the ingress path of the B29 Silverplate bomber named Bockscar. No one but the crew and the assembly person were immediately harmed. The nuclear program of the United States of America would not survive, however.

The lethal list of US nuclear accidents become public knowledge and included…

2 September 1944
Peter Bragg and Douglas Paul Meigs, two Manhattan Project chemists, were killed when their attempt to unclog a tube in a uranium enrichment device led to an explosion of radioactive uranium hexafluoride gas exploded at the Naval Research Laboratory in Philadelphia, PA. The explosion ruptured nearby steam pipes, leading to a gas and steam combination that bathed the men in a scalding, radioactive, acidic cloud of gas which killed them a short while later.

21 August 1945
Harry K. Daghlian Jr. was killed during the final stages of the Manhattan Project (undertaken at Los Alamos, New Mexico to develop the first atomic bomb) from a radiation burst released when a critical assembly of fissile material was accidentally brought together by hand. The accident occurred during a procedure known as "tickling the dragon's tail").

21 May 1946 A critical  nuclear accident occurred at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico. Eight people were exposed to radiation, and one, Louis Slotin, died nine days later of acute radiation sickness.

13 July 1946
The Soviet spy know as Delmar (George Koval)  releases polonium 210 by timed explosions during two separate gatherings of nuclear scientists and engineers in Dayton, OH and Oak Ridge, TN. The world’s only supply of polonium kills hundreds of America’s top scientists as well as killing and sickening tens of thousands of others who come in contact with the scientists.

Add to this our latest nuclear fiasco and combine that with the images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the American public has had enough and more importantly Harry Truman has had enough. All nuclear weapons production ceases.

On a side note there will be 5 additional nuclear explosions before the nuclear gene is put back into its bottle. As I write this I suspect that the world will be a quite different place without the nuclear bomb. Quite different indeed than it would have been if this height of insanity and evil had run it’s course and been allowed to proliferate throughout the world. Only time will tell if I am right or wrong. It would be interesting, to say the least, if we had a parallel universe in which to compare the two paths. One now decided upon in our universe and one filled with the unimaginable horror of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. Perhaps enough to even destroy the world itself.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cambridge Airport by Tallthinkev

Tom's leg hurt, not the one that made him limp the other one. He decided to have a sit down for five minutes. Less than thirty seconds later an RAF corporal laid in to him.
'What do you think you're doing lad?'
Tom looked up, said nothing.
The corporal took him by the arm and pulled him to his feet. The RAF man then found himself on the ground, a hairy arsed fitter standing over him. 'Don't do that, it's not very nice.' he said in a soft tone.
Moments later there was pushing and shoving that involved both members of the RAF and Marshall employee’s.

It only stopped when some Snowdrops waded in and pulled the sides apart.
This kind of thing was getting more frequent over the last number of days. The pressure was getting to everyone. Civilians, RAF, army, Germans, Italians, Poles. Even the NAFFI and WVS were a bit short with their customers and each other.

'I don't like it' said Jack 'not one bit.'
'I know, I know.' replied Arthur Marshall.
Thing were moving on a pace at the airport. More ack-ack for a start, there had been two accidents with them getting trigger happy, at least no one had been hurt. Mini hangers where being built, just enough for one plane. Plus there were more slip trench's being dug. They had caused injuries to three people. One of those digging put a spade though his foot and two more had fell into them.
Everyone knew what was going to happen, but just not when, couldn't be too far off that was for sure.
Jack was now very glad his family was in Wilbraham, he wished he was too. Yes he had been over the evening the before and had even slept the night, and that was something that was getting increasingly rare. Nice to see the family anyway.

Arthur and himself looked, up a Thunderbolt came in, smoke coming from the engine, one wheel up, the port wing digging in. The pilot was out, it was lucky there was no explosion
'More mess to clean up.' observed Arthur.
'Yes never rains does it. Have you an idea when Wilhelm maybe back with us?'
'None at all. He one day here gone the next. Won't mind so much if they let us know. A good lad that one.'
'Yes he's come a long way in the last few months, I want to keep him around, the youngsters look up to him.'
'What? He's only, what three, four years older that the new lads.' said Arthur
'A hard few years. Very hard. I won't have wanted to have them. Still no word from the rest of his family.'
'That is where you are wrong, Jack.'
'What do you mean?'
'Oh sorry I didn't tell you did I.'
'He had word about his bother.'
'Which one, think he had two.'
'The older one. The one who was serving in the U boats.'
'Where is he then?'
'He was a POW in Canada. Out now of course. Gone to train up some of their lads I think.'
'Speak of the devil.' Jack had spotted him coming towards the office.

“Baa-Baa, What?!?” By RangerElite

Far East Theater in WWIII 1946

Headquarters, USMC's 1st Marine Air Wing,
French Arsenal airfield
Near Tientsin, Hopeh, China

“No sir, you can't do that! The Reds'll be able to take out our planes on the ground! We need those ack-ack units to secure the airfield, sir!” Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, commander of Marine Air Group 32 (MAG-32) was once again arguing with Major General Louis Woods, commander of the 1st Marine Air Wing (1MAW), over the allocation of the limited air defense units they had on hand. “Perhaps you're right, Boyington, but Marine Expeditionary headquarters in Peking needs those air-defense forces to reinforce their position there. My hands are tied, Greg. We've known each other a long time, and you know that I'd never shine you on, but I've got no joy on this one.” It was true, Boyington had known Woods far longer than any other flag-rank officer he knew, but it was slightly embarrassing to know that they were so disparate in rank, despite how close they were in age. The only reason that Boyington rejoined the Marine Corps, after having been held as a POW in a Japanese prison camp for nearly two years, was for the same reason as always: money troubles. He owed people more money than he was making. He barely passed the flight physical and other minimum requirements to qualify, but he was still the gifted pilot that terrorized the Jap Navy aviation service in the Solomons Islands “Slot”.

Boyington, looking a bit dejected, conceded the general's point, and added “Well, we need to do something to make it clear to those Red Chinese bastards that we're not screwing around, and the Free Russians don't have the aircraft to keep them off our back, for now. Maybe a massive air strike on one of their rear staging areas...” “Are you insane, Boyington? Are you looking to give the Soviets, and their 80 DIVISIONS in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, a reason to jump in this particular fight, with both feet? No, Colonel Boyington, you DO NOT have my permission to organize an air strike that large, and if I catch wind that you are, I will personally throw you UNDERNEATH the fucking brig MYSELF! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR, COLONEL?” “Crystal clear, sir. I was just thinking out loud.” Boyington replies, half a smirk occupying his face.

Woods immediately recognized Boyington's insouciant smile and replied “You're damned well going to do it anyway, aren't you...?” And then a burst of inspiration struck Woods “What if I were to coordinate a massive air strike with our Free Russian friends, Greg?” “Didn't you just hear me, Louis? They don't have the aircraft to pull it off...” replied Boyington, who had made a sour face. “Have you ever heard of a 'false-flag' attack, Greg? I could ask our Free Russian friends to throw some radio traffic out there, then have your pilots flying those new BT2D-2 Skyraider attack planes that they've been certifying on for the past couple months, painted in Free Russian colors, and put a hurt on those Red Chinese fuckers that they'll never forget.”

“I'm a bad influence on you, Louis” Boyington remarked, in his best dead-pan expression “Let's have a drink to that.”

Prelude to The Battle of the Beacons

Seehund 231 and 124 were on station and about to deploy the beacon. The floating radio transmitter would help guide the series of 1000 plane raids the VVS was about to unleash on the British Isles. A number of other beacons were scheduled to transmit as well today. Something was up and the skipper has become very…well anxious. He was checking things three times and even lubricating things that did not need it. But that was his way and his way had kept them alive through some terrifying times, from storms to depth charge attacks. We still were not sure about that last attack. How had they found us when all the other times we had just chuckled as we slid past underneath them. This last time was different they seemed to have picked something up, possibly the 4 extra packages we were carrying that contained the radio beacons.

It appeared that no physical damage had occurred but one never knew. They had endured a number of unnerving attacks. This time it was their turn. These beacons were not only used to guide the planes but also to attract their mortal enemy the Royal Navy destroyers, sub chasers and frigates that made their life a living hell. There was nothing that could be done about the flying hit men in the sky. That’s what the beacons where for. To guide our killer angels of death who would wipe the skies clean of our nemesis the submarine hunter aircraft. These little beacons out in the ocean will attract a hell of a lot of attention from both sides. They will be defended by our planes and attacked by the RAF. If they do not send enough attackers they will be overwhelmed. If they send many then they will be shot down by many more of ours.

Just like a sunken ship attracts all sorts of predators to feed on the various kinds of new life trying to find a place to reproduce and feed on its newly bare bones. These little beacons will attract many machines bent on killing each other. Machines full of men bent on each other’s destruction. This will be a major battle on the open ocean waged between our ships and planes and their ships and planes. Ours will be under and over the ocean. Thiers will be under, over and on the ocean. We will have the element of surprise and they will have the experience in this kind of warfare.

Our little Pe2s will be weighted down with extra fuel and our Seehunds and XXI submarines will be waiting in stealth mode, waiting for anyone to approach this harbinger of death. These small objects were much like the Sirens of Greek Mythology. Calling in their pray with an irresistible cry, a pulsing signal that will possibly be irresistible to the Royal Navy. The object of this battle was not much larger than a 50 gallon drum and was mostly submerged. Very little was above the water…very little for such an expected reaction. The larger submarines would be rescuing our downed pilots and capturing or killing theirs. Protected by an air umbrella that would in turn be protecting their comrades. Protecting them until they were rescued by Soviet torpedo boats and the 16 XXI submarines lurking in the area. This was a perfect use for the possibly out dated Pe2s. There was nothing outdated by the bombs they carried.   Easily large enough to sink a destroyer, frigate or sub chaser. The torpedoes carried by the IL 4s and submarines were for something larger if it dared to show up.

The Royal Navies aircraft that were expected to show up were not as advanced as the ones on land. The Brits could not spend the money or time to rebuild both land and sea planes to fighting trim and so the naval aircraft had been the last to be optimized. Their best models were not plentiful. Our fighters would be the best and most experienced. These battles in the ocean were to be the opening act and meant as a lesson. If the Royal Navy decided to leave the beacons along then they would continue to do their job switching frequencies to avoid being blocked by the British. If the beacons stood then the other attacks would begin. If they were attacked then the attackers would be the hunted. All the mighty preparations on land by the RAF would not assist their flyers over the ocean.

The Soviets planners believe that the Royal Navy will expect the beacons to be unguarded. For the next 6 hours they will be the most guarded objects that have ever floated in the Celtic and North Sea. Is the thousand plane raid using the beacons for directions of targets over the land or as a ruse to draw in the Royal Navy and its ships and planes? The answer depends on the reaction of the British. Force will be met with overwhelming force or the beacons will stay floating alone sending out their signal. Signals that the VVS will happily use to guide them to their targets on land.