Search results



Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
New Book Covers

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Alarm

Molly Higgins:

Once again, the alarms went off. This would be the third major raid of the day. They were not so coordinated as in the past, but they were still massive. Maybe, there was no need for them to be coordinated. I looked at the very limited number of wooden blocks representing RAF squadrons on the huge horizontal map. More like a giant board game than something being used to fight and die. There were more and more black blocks representing destroyed major airfields on the map. As I recall there were four times as many black blocks as functioning airfields. It was assumed that more would be attacked today, and more black blocks would be needed tomorrow. Alvin was in the back painting them.

The map itself had to have its scale changed from the first Battle of Britain. The accursed Soviet planes could reach every corner of the British Isles, and therefore, the map had to cover over five times what the original maps had to cover. The girls' reach was not five times farther so the map had to stay the same size yet show the increased area hence the scale change. The number of blocks representing the VVS squadrons did not seem to be getting any smaller yet the ones representing the RAF were noticeably less, much less.
We were also were very aware that each block represented fewer and fewer RAF planes with the squadrons averaging only eight planes, and the planes were the key. We had plenty of qualified pilots. More than enough but they were running out of planes, any kind of planes.

There were calls for "Lend Lease" planes from the US and rumors that they were on the way but nothing as of yet. Some said that the Yanks were setting us up for a defeat by not sending more help. I had heard that there were ideas afloat to put thousands of RAF pilots onto the Queen Mary and have her bring them to the states to ferry the planes we need back from the US bone yards where they were being brought back into fighting shape. The sticking point would be how to get them past the VVS and they how to land them safely without being destroyed like all the others by marauding packs of Bats and Yaks and Beasts. Then how do you fuel them and take off again.

Night would seem to be the key as the Red Air force was still not up to RAF standards at night despite their new Nightmare Missile. Yes, I recall thinking, Nightmare Missile, as the press named them. I guess our radar that could see into the night, would seem like a nightmare to the other side as well. We are trading nightmares, how lovely.
I almost missed the note that Michael was waving in my face. I remember thinking, Oh God another black block. This one is to be placed on Wittering.

Bill Sullivan:

I could see Johnny Winslow's legs were moving faster than they have ever moved before. He was a track runner in secondary school, but he had never had motivation like this. There was a trail of 12mm machine-gun bullets that were fast approaching from behind him. Luckily, it was the rear-facing gunner of a Tu 2s Bat that was trying to take his life. It's hard to hit a small target from a moving plane. Not that I've tried, mind you. Johnny was a pilot who had no plane. However, he was also a former mechanic that knew the Spitfire in and out. One of the few remaining and undamaged Spits at the airfield and was sitting pretty as you please under some camouflage. Somehow Ivan missed seeing this one. All it needed was a critical part. I completely forgot what it was sorry to say. Johnny knew where there was one, and it was in danger of being destroyed as a petrol fire was inching its way towards a wrecked Mark 21. Johnny claimed it was the only one available for hundreds of miles, and we needed one from the wreck that was about to become a melted hunk of metal. The fire, you see, was started by them Red buggers flying that twin engine job they got similar to the ME 110, but it was actually a medium bomber that could out fight most fighters in its day. They were tearing up Wittering like nobody's business. The only thing moving that day was Johnny running to get to that soon to be flaming wreck. What good was one more target flying around for the Reds to shoot down was what I was thinking, but Johnny was convinced that if he could get that Spit in the air the war was won.

I have to admit Johnny was a good pilot but his running across the open for 300 meters, during an air raid that consisted of every low flying, strafing, napalming plane the Reds had was a decision only the young would make. I tried to hold him back, but he was stronger and more determined than me. Well, he made it 217 meters. I measured it. That tail gunner in the last Red bomber got a lucky shot. Johnny never knew what hit him. I did. A 12 mm bullet makes a pretty big hole in the middle of a 20 year olds chest. It hit him with so much force that he practically flew backwards, so come to think of it. He actually made it 219 meters. Funny how I never thought of that before.

Nicola Kornev:

I was one of the few surviving ventral gunners from our squadron. The Tu-2 is a good plane...for the pilot. The pilots almost always survived and were heavily protected by sheets of steel in the just the right places. The planes vital parts were also protected. In fact, of the thousands made I have read that only 70 were shot down in the Great Patriotic War. It was remarkable for a ground attacking bomber. The designer had neglected however, to give even a modicum of protection to the gunners who faced the rear. Each has a single 12 mm machine gun and in the case of the dorsal gunner and my position, not even bullet-proof glass. If there was any air opposition, then the gunners average life span was limited to five sorties yet the plane flew on. We patched up the holes washed out the blood and other body parts, and a new gunner or gunners were installed. I had fifteen missions done already. Most were from the current battle over the British countryside. Other gunners rubbed my head for luck. It did them no good.

It was a typical sortie. We were sent to one of the last remaining airfields in Southern England. We were in the third wave and so things were usually pretty finished with by that time. Our wave concentrated on the mechanics, ground crew and were even given rewards for killing the most personnel on the base. I find it highly distasteful to shoot at someone who is not trying to shoot me but my comrades demand we do our duty. First, the dorsal gunner started shooting as the pilot started a steep climb. Then he yelled at me to take a shot. I spotted the young limey dressed like a pilot running down what was basically the runway of the airfield. He was out in the open and running as fast as he could towards something. What he was doing there I have no idea, but I could not ignore him.

As is the case with most accidents, I'm sure, I could not have hit the running pilot if I tried, but I knew I had to take some shots or be put up on charges. I shot and hit him, in mid stride, just as the pilot straightened out the plane. The force of the bullet sent him flying backwards in a spray of blood. The bullet caught him while he had neither foot was on the ground. It was not something I'm proud of.

They gave me a medal for it. The running man was so far from any cover that it was hard for anyone not to see what was happening. I swear I hear a yell of rage from the ground after he fell in a tangle of lets arms and did not get up. Others must have been watching his run from the trenches and bunkers; we were supposed to strafe in the hopes of killing some grounds crew or even a mechanic.
As we were heading for home that sharp-eyed dorsal gunner, I never did know his name as he was killed the next mission, spotted a lone Spitfire very well hidden in a near-by wood. The pilot banked around and bore straight in for the spot where the gunner indicated and let loose with a burst of cannon fire. Nothing happened. Then it was my turn as we passed over the spot. I finally saw the plane and fired a burst of my gun at it. I suppose one of the tracers found some fuel, and an explosion occurred consuming the last fighter that I know of in our area.

We never again were we attacked from the air in those last weeks before we were hastily transferred to the Black Sea area. I regret to this day taking the life of the runner. It really was an accident more than a well aimed skillful killing. My deeds, whether by design or not, did get me transferred from the gunner position. I was given a medal and sent to bombardier school. I can think of two times that the armor plate near the pilot saved my life in my new position. During the whole of the war, we never had another gunner last more than eight missions. One or the other was always getting killed or maimed. The gunners in the IL-10 were given more armor but not our gunners in the Tu-2S. I guess the Runner saved my life by giving up his.

Dirk Weidman:

After Johnny was hit the same plane that shot him found the last Spitfire on the field. We knew it was the same one because it was painted with a sharks mouth and was quite distinctive. A few well-placed burst of fire and it was aflame, and then it blew up. We've talked it over, and we all agreed it was the same gunner in the tail area of that plane that both killed Johnny and hit that Spitfire. I sure hope he's proud of his days work.

By the time we got to Johnny, he was dead. He probably died instantly. I hope so. At least that gives us some feeling of comfort. I recall that William was really upset. He even tried to stop Johnny from going running all that way in the open like that. I mean what bloody good is one more plane going to do with the bleeding Reds flying willy-nilly all over like they owned the place. In fact, they did own the air for the most part. You couldn't drive a vehicle, especially a lorry in the day. Those bloody red bastards seemed to smell diesel fuel and appeared out of nowhere whenever a truck engine started up much less tried to run down the road. There was just too many of them and they were all over the bleeden place. Excuse my language mum, but I get upset when I think about those times and bad times they were. Yes bad times they were.

They sure put a crimper in the air operations out of Wittering. We never got a plane off the ground again during the whole battle. They would come and check occasionally and attack anything that looked like it was new or being repaired or just not destroyed. Those Red bastards never let up during the day. They was always around. Flying around looking for something to kill or destroy. There were just too many of them. Just too many of them...

Mrs. Winslow:

I knew what had happened the minute William showed up at the house. He and Johnny were mates, mates for life. William showing up alone meant only one thing. Only one thing... my Johnny was dead. Oh it hurt so bad I couldn't even cry it hurt so bad. It just sat there like an explosion behind my eyes trying to find a way out. It did of course eventually. Oh how it did. Then the tears came, and they still haven't stopped. Every night I think of me Johnny. The way he laughed and could make you feel like there wasn't a care in the world. Now that's all that is gone. All the cares of the world have returned.

Mr. Winslow still hasn't acknowledged that our Johnny is gone. He sits on the porch like he expects him to come down the lane at any time. He doesn't go to work and barely eats. The Vicar can't do anything with him. He just looks right through you. Looks right through you trying to see Johnny coming down the lane. Not even the official notice delivered by the RAF changed his mind.

Who knows maybe he sees Johnny, and we just don't. How can a man go from being life itself to being a lifeless body? Still breathing, still going to sleep, still going to the loo but not quite alive. I'm so ashamed, but I'm angry at Johnny for leaving and taking Mr. Winslow with him. I've lost both my boy and my husband, my friend, my life.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Warning! Extreme Cussing

Another fucking run. God it was hot even for September, almost October. What do you expect for Alabama! It's always hot here from what I've seen so far. Slow it down you asshole. I'm sucking dust back here. I guess that makes you want to be out front. Not me I'm not busting my butt. Holy shit is that an alligator or a crocodile and what is it doing there next to the trail? I'm so tired I can't even scream. Shit I just ran right past a crocodile and didn't faint. Now that's tired. Wait till I tell Bob back home. That will shut him up from some of his war stories. I wonder if I'll have anymore and survive to tell about it or will I get killed coming off the boat, LCI even, Higgins boat. What the fuck, who cares. I never even used to swear in my day dreams or even while I was thinking like this. Now I'm swearing at the top of my lungs if the Corporal orders me too. Amazing how they figure out your buttons to push. A hundred setups or 20 pushups no big deal. Calling my girl a whore, didn't get to me. Making me clean the latrine, a piece of cake. Then the mother fucking bastard noticed I never swore. He zeroed in like a hawk after a mouse. 

Ordering me to cuss every other word for what seemed like hours. What am I going to do when I get home and something slips out. My mom will be so ashamed and so disappointed. I guess I just can't ever go home again. That's stupid...oh Jesus a God damn snake for Christ sake. Oh my God stop it! Stop thinking such awful things to say.

 Alright, alright think about something else like how your legs are going to fall off or how I sure lost that pot belly. Didn't think that would happen. I sure wish I'd have missed this war too like I did the last one. Sat at home with all the girls in town and I was one of the only young guys around. Man that was heaven. I even got to third base with Elaine. God what great breasts. Oh shit not now, not a boner while I'm running. Oh Christ if someone notices I'll never live it down. I can hear it now. There's goes Boner Dietz. Hey Boner let's have a drink. Boner you going to take all night shitting in there.  There's a puddle. 

Okay slip and fall into it. 

Holy shit that stinks!

"What the hell you doing Dietz! Now get the fuck out of there and quite wallerin around like the pig you are and GET BACK ON YOUR FEET! YOU HEAR ME DIETZ YOU COCK SUCKIN GERMAN BASTARD!"
"I tripped Corp."
"I don't give a rats ass if you dove in there. GET THE HELL OUT!
"Yes Corp!"
"You better swear when you say that Dietz!"
"Fuck you Corporal!"
"I can't hear you."
"That's better not get your ass moving."

Damn that was close. Nothing like that ugly bastards face to wipe any thoughts of Elaine's boobs out of your mind. Oh shit there they are! I actually never did see them, but I sure felt them. I guess being a second generation German with flat feet doesn't help in this war. Hell everyone spoke German in Lodi. Lodi Wisconsin, what a great place. Even working in the canning factory wasn't too bad. Lodi's Idol corn and peas. You worked you ass off for 4 months then waited for it to start again. I heard the old man put his brother through dental school and then his brother turned around and put him through school. The story goes he didn't want to be a dentist after all so he started the factory. How in the hell do you start a factory?

 Being one of the few eligible men in town I was in high demand both for work and for making out. Well those days are sure gone. When the GIs came back I was back in second class. They had all these stories and the girls just wanted to hold them all night and take away their nightmares. I wonder what we're in for? All this training for invasion shit. Amphibious operations is all we hear. Hell I rather jump out of airplanes myself. Day after day of climbing those damn cargo nets and wading through the mangrove swamps around Mobile. I wonder how many mangrove swamps we'll find in Moscow for Christ's sake. 

Why can't they invent a slide to get into the boat or how about a Tarzan vine to swing down. Higgins boat, LC, Landing Craft Infantry, who in the fuck cares? Miserable creations the wallow in waves. You're so sea sick before you get to shore you can't possibly shoot straight. What the hell is the army doing learning to invade anyway? Isn't that what the Marines are for?

Oh man just a half mile more. Hell before this I would have walked a half mile much less run it. Someone must be expecting us to do a lot of invading or we are sure wasting our time, which is nothing new in the army. Fucking Russia has no coastline from what I remember or very little. Let's see...something around the Baltic and the Black Sea. But both are hard to get to. OH FUCK! OH SHIT! a fucking cramp. Oh that's just what I need! Damn that hurts. 

"Move your ass Dietz."
"That's what we like to hear Dietz. NOW QUIT FUCKING AROUND AND GET YOUR ASS MOVING."

I don't think anyone is going to believe this when I tell them. I am actually ordered to cuss out my drill sergeant and corporal. Fucking unbelievable! What is father Peters going to say when I have to confess? Please don't let me swear in front of Mom. It will kill her. If I can learn to swear I can unlearn it just as well but first I have to kill Stalin according to the Sarge. Fucking Sarge if you please. Mother fucking, cock sucking Sarge! God damn my leg hurts. At least I'll beat Jennings. What a fat fuck. Strong as hell though. Imagine doing 10 pull-ups and pulling up 250 lbs. I wouldn't want to have him get me in a bear hug. Crush my ribs for sure. At least I can outrun him. What's that saying? I don't have to outrun the bear, just you. He's actually a nice guy. 

The big ones usually are. Some of the nicest guys in school were the offensive linemen. Made to protect the quarterback I guess. Don't see many Negros in Wisconsin. Some in Milwaukee but not in Lodi. Jennings is not a bad sort actually. Talks funny but then again some people think I do too.
 I don't think I do but when people mimic me I guess I do that O thing and say Yah der hey too much. I'm trying to lose the Noa and just say no. It's hard changing how you speak. I wish those southern boys would learn to speak so you could understand them. They expect you to change your way of talking to fit theirs. You know it kind of does become easier to talk like them. Kind of a lazy English. Drives you crazy waiting for them to get the words out that you know are coming. Southern drawl my ass. Southern dull is more like it.  Now Jennings talks a mile a minute. What the hell does that mean anyway, "a mile a minute". 

Oh shit there they are. Imagine running to get on a fucking boat. Well at least there is no waves today. Calm seas makes for an easy ride. Ride back to a fucking transport ship. If I wanted to join the God damn navy I would have joined it. Actually I wouldn't have. Got drafted right after the Reds attacked. I swear I can climb a cargo net better than a monkey. Practice make perfect  is what they say. Practice for what, is what I say.

"Move it, move it, move it!"

Shut the fuck up Corporal!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

“For Home And Hearth” - Part 1 by RangerElite

Far East Theater in WWIII 1946

Around 1700
In the ruined city center,
Nagoya, Japan

On the one hand, Tetsuo Miyamoto, former major in the Imperial Army, was perversely grateful for the new war in accelerating the repatriation process from Malaya. On the other hand, while he understood that his former enemies were trying to extend the hand of friendship to his people, the mistrust born out of seven or more years of constant warfare was a very difficult obstacle to overcome. He had just come from one of the U.S. Army induction centers for the Japanese Home Defense battalions and had to submit himself to one of the most rigorous – and humiliating – questionings that he had ever endured. Not even the Kempei-Tai had been this brutal in interrogating him for his former position in the Imperial Japanese Army as the executive officer of the Emperor's Household Cavalry Regiment. When he spoke out of turn and lost face, he was simply shipped off to Malaya, and not allowed the dignity of committing seppuku, or ritual suicide. He rotted away, commanding a garrison battalion in Kuala Lampur, until the end of the last war, then as a representative of the Japanese prisoners in Malaya until his repatriation, about a month ago.

Now that he was heading back to his camp, back to the U.S.-donated tent that served as his temporary home, Tetsuo-san took his time to contemplate the current state of his life: his wife had left him for the life of a geisha in Tokyo. He had recently learned this from one of his former neighbors. Before the last war, he would have felt some shame over it, but he did not. He simply felt that his marriage was just one more casualty of war, and did not allow it to concern him overly much. While job prospects were picking up with the beginning of the new war, many prospective employers were leery about hiring people of former officer rank, that could not be vouched for first, lest they face strict sanctions from the occupation authorities for failing to do their due diligence. This made it extraordinarily difficult for Tetsuo to find work, because while he knew that he had followed all the rules of war to the best of his ability (even though as an unstated policy, Japan never considered the Geneva Conventions on Warfare to be more than a diplomatic nicety that they gave the appearance of adhering to, as it was signed but never ratified), there was no one left alive or that could be found that could vouch for his character and the Australian officer in charge of his detention camp refused to grant him a good-conduct letter out of sheer hatred, because the officer's son had been captured in Singapore in 1942 and had died in the Changi prison camp – the former British military base known as Selarang, as opposed to Changi Prison - shortly afterward.

Though Tetsuo-san was not personally responsible, he fully understood the power of the hatred that he was up against.....he hears the rustling of the flap of his tent, and looks up to see a policeman “Is this the tent of Tetsuo Miyamoto?” he nods “You have a telephone call at the public phone kiosk around the corner” the officer told him. Tetsuo-san nods his thanks and gets up, while the officer patiently waits for him to guide him to his call. As they reach the public phone, the officer nods and walks away to resume his beat. “Hello?” “Hello, Major Tetsuo? This is the Emperor's Chamberlain. The Emperor remembered your service in his household cavalry, and only now has been made aware of the grave injustice done to you by higher-ranking officers to whom you were subordinated. His Imperial Majesty would like to meet with you at your first convenience, sir. When would be a good time for you?” Numbly holding the phone up to his ear, Tetsuo-san stood there in a obvious state of shock. “Sir, are you still there?” “Yes, I'm here” replied Tetsuo-san “I am at the Emperor's service whenever His Majesty desires, Chamberlain. Please inform His Imperial Majesty that if he would command the arrangement of my transport, lodging and meals, I will be there immediately.”

“That is very good, Major, the appropriate paperwork will be waiting for you at the Nagoya Central Rail Station. The Emperor will indeed be very pleased to see you. May you have a safe journey.” The Emperor's Chamberlain hung up the phone. Tetsuo-san stood there in a state of total disbelief for a good 10 minutes, before recovering and going back to strike his tent, and collect his meager possessions, to start journey to Tokyo. He cleaned himself as best as he could, and found his best civilian clothes (occupation authorities frowned upon the wearing of the former Imperial Army or Navy uniforms, even devoid of insignia or distinguishing features) and set off for his long journey.

The Captain Asks a Question

The General finally seemed to be in a good enough mood and his aide decided that the time was ripe for him to ask a question that had been eating him alive ever since the first day he had joined HQ and become an aide. He was a fighting man a real grunt that had gotten a number of field promotions from private to Captain. Not because he had gone to college or because he has attended military academies. No, he had earned his Captaincy by thinking fast on his feet and using that gift to kill a lot of Japanese. He had not been to combat school or lectures or anything even close to learning the ins and outs of strategy. He knew tactics and in particular small unit tactics like no other person in the Army and he had learned it on the job.

So he was very frustrated by what he saw at HQ. He now attended the briefings and small meetings of some of the Armies highest ranking officers. The people who had attended West Point including some who had written the books that they used at West Point. He was surrounded by the brain trust of the US ground forces and he was totally confused by what the hell was going on.

"General, may I speak freely and ask a question or two? It will help me do my job, Sir."
"Of course Porter, ask away."
"Well sir I just don't get what is going on in Spain. We have close to 2 dozen divisions trained and sitting waiting to be deployed. Why aren't we getting them to the Pyrenees Line and doing it as quickly as possible?
"That is a good observation Porter and it would seem to be the smart thing to do wouldn't it. Send those boys to shore up the line and eventually maybe even push the Reds back a ways. Let me ask you a question. How many lives and how much time do you think it would take to finally fight through those 100s of commie divisions and get to Moscow? I'll give you a little hint. It took us close to a year to go 600 miles fighting an enemy who was being bombed day and night. Who's infrastructure was devastated, and we were facing less than 60 divisions filled with old men and boys. Divisions who were spent, yet who gave us a run for our money.

Now imagine what we are going to face if we try and attack from Spain. We would be fighting an enemy close to 4 times the size of the German forces. An enemy who has only one front to defend and not two like the Germans. An enemy who is not being bombed day and night. Who's militarily significant infrastructure has been repaired and in relatively functional shape. An enemy who has as many resources as we do and all within his territory. Add in the fact that we have to go over 3 times farther to get to his capital and another 900 miles to get to his industrial heartland. Do you think it's reasonable that the American public is going to support such a long drawn out war that will include many times more casualties as the last war and take up to three times as long to win?"

"Well sir I guess it's a pretty tall order. So how are we going to do it?"
"Son, we are going to divide and conquer. We are setting old Joe up to be sliced and diced. We are making him think he is winning. We're making him believe that just a few more divisions will do the job. Just a few more squadrons and a few more resources allocated and he will eventually punch through our lines wherever they are. A few more squadrons will finally defeat the RAF and a few more divisions will finally make the breakthrough into Spain a reality. Just a little bit more and then a little bit more until he is all in. Like a gambler who thinks his opponent is bluffing and keeps calling and raising, sure that just one more raise will break his opponents will.

If we stop him cold in the Pyrenees, he will dig in and even possibly consolidate what he has won. He might just start to set up defense lines in depth and get ready for us. If we keep him thinking that just a little bit more and then a little bit more might just win him the brass ring he will keep feeding his forces into the meat grinder and not think about the future. If we stop him cold and even start to push him back, he will dig in and that will not be a good. That will lead to a stalemate and an endless war that the American public will not support. So it is imperative that we make him commit as many of his forces as possible to the offensive and not thinking about defense. Once he digs in it is over, and no one will win quickly."

"So your setting him up by drawing him in? By making him think that he is winning, and that just a little bit more force will finally break our back? Kind of like a pool hustler."

"Now you have me at a disadvantage son. I don't know about pool. But yes that is the first part of the plan. The second part is getting very complicated with many moving parts all designed to deceive the greatest double dealer of all time. We still have a series of operations planned to make him commit his forces even more. All designed to stretch his supply lines to their breaking point without him realizing what he is doing. We are setting the biggest trap every even contemplated, much less implemented. We will not win a war of attrition. We barely did that with Germany and Japan, and they were fighting the Reds, as well. We are going to win a war of maneuver. General MacArthur show us how to do that in the Pacific. We have to make the obvious seem not possible."

"All I can say sir is I'm glad you're on our side."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Take Back the Night

"Come in Vershinin and tell us about how the plans for the night over Britain went. Are we ready to take the night away from the RAF?"
"I believe so comrade. We launched a raid tonight with 97 Pe-3 Biz complete with X4 Nightmare missiles. These missiles have a failsafe mechanism that has been thoroughly tested and we will lose about 24% due to this conservative method but they will not fall into enemy hands. We have a triple redundancy method of destruction in each missile with the fourth being the ground."
"Tell me Konstantine does Sergo know about the Nightmare being used over Great Britain?"
"You know as well as I do sir that he does not. Nor has Beria thought fit to tell him. Sergo knows only what Beria wants him to know."
"I thought as much."

"To continue then. Normally the X4 Nightmare Missile would not be effective during the day against the Mosquito night fighters. They would just maneuver out of harm's way. The X4 is not very maneuverable compared to a single medium bomber. Night fighters do not have this luxury. They have to make slow calculated maneuvers for the most part while searching for their prey. True when they see an X4 streaking right at them they will and can evade the missiles. That however will give our more conventional night fighters some indication of where they are and will certainly take the limey pilot out of the fight for a good portion of time first trying to evade the missile and then trying to get back into position to attack only to be chased away by another missile.

We do not anticipate many kills but this is more of an exercise in psychological warfare designed to shake the Limey's confidence in their electronics and their night fighter corps. Each Pe-3 Biz will have 6 missiles two facing forward and four backward."

"Backward you say."
"Yes Comrade. All night fighters approach from the rear. So why not have the seeking end of the missile facing the threat. It will also come as quite a surprise to the attacking night fighter to have a missile launched in his face and streak directly towards him.

They will fly alone and unescorted and will have certain territories looking for targets of opportunity using their rather primitive radar. If a RAF Night fighter shows up and is within 2 km the missiles themselves will alert the crew to launch. The missile is self guided and will continue to track the target until it is forced to make violent maneuvers or it will be shot down. The missile itself will identify the target and the direction of the RAF night fighter will be obvious from the direction of the missile. The Pe-3 will engage if possible if not it will continue its mission waiting for the next attack.

Again I want to emphasis that this is a ploy to unnerve the English and their allies. At this time it will not make a large difference in the battles outcome. Most of the missions will be over the channel. We expect the over confident night fighters of the RAF to be drooling in anticipation of an easy kill as these antiquated Pe 3 Biz with their old easily spoofed radar suddenly appear.
Many of the pilots by the way are the former Night Witches who are looking for some revenge."

The Witches Fly Again

The team of Williams and Johnson had made triple ace status in the last war by being able to see in the dark. Combining the Mosquito and radar had created a killing machine that owned the night. Some of the new US planes designed specifically for night fighting might have a future advantage but for now the Mosquito Night fighter was the best there was in the battle space now in contention over Western Europe and Britain. They owned the night and Williams and Johnson were considered among the best.

They were perfectly matched with the pilot Williams proclivity for taking the occasional chance and Johnson there to reign him in when he started to wander too far from the garden path. Tonight was like many others with one glaring exception...TARGETS! From the airfields across the Channel in enemy territory close to a hundred echoes bounced back to warn Fighter Command that something was rising into the night. Exciting times if you were a night fighter but puzzling none the less. Why now?

Since the inception of the battle the VVS had declined to fight at night. The RAF had conducted many raids and created many widows and the response had been muted to say the least. Even the Night Witches had ceased to fly. It was widely surmised that the Soviets had no expertise, equipment nor the training to fight at night. They had no need to swirl about in the pitch dark. Their night defying missiles had put a stop to any large strategic bombing raids for now and the pin pricks visited upon their airbases at night were a mere nuisance and not worthy of concerted effort in the large scheme of things. Similar to Washing Machine Charley or their own Night Witches. An irritant but not a strategic or even a major tactical concern.

Yet tonight they had arisen from the shores of the Channel and were flying West with what seemed like a purpose. Almost 100, what seemed like solo missions, spread out and flying due West at low to medium altitude. The new models of radar easily picked them up and they must have known that yet here they were flying into what would seem to be certain destruction. True the AA defenses had been decimated but he night fighter units had been largely untouched and had been well hidden during the onslaughts of the previous days that had decimated their daylight counterparts. For the most part the night fighter units were intact and ready to deal death.

Williams dove down and approached the much slower target from the lower rear heading Towards the West but still over the Channel. When he got within 2km he saw a light come from where the target was. For all intents and purposes is looked like a missile being launched. Johnson shouted a warning that another blip was on the radar and closing fast. Williams didn't need to be told that he could see the damn thing streaking right at him at a tremendous rate. Acting instinctively he put the Mossie in a wing over screaming dive and luckily he timed it right as the missile could not turn fast enough given the closing rate. Williams mind was thinking... the God damn thing turn and would have hit us. It God damn turned. Jeesus where was it now? It was one of those guided things he has heard about. But in the night! What the hell!

"Where is that thing Johnson? Can you see it for God's sake?
"Hell no...and it's off the radar behind us somewhere?"
"We can turn faster than it can if we know where it is."
"It's got a flame coming out the back it shouldn't be this hard to see it for God's sake."

Williams with his pilots eyes, saw the blue flame off to the right as they continued on in the dive. As he was trying to pull up the Mossie creaked and groaned like an old rocking chair before it broke. If there was a tree down there we are dead, he thought. Then wham the missile exploded as it was turning towards them again.
The wood bomber power zoomed away from the water like only a Mosquito can and was quickly back to a safe altitude. All the unexpected gyrations had caused Johnson to smash his head into the radar scope and put it and his left eye out of commission. Their night was over.

"What in bleeding hell was that?"
"One of those guided missiles the day boys are always talking about I should think."
"What's it doing our here in the night? I saw no indication of radar pulses coming from it or the target and where did it come from. The target was moving away from us not pointed at us. We have to get back and report this newest big from Ivan and see if the egg heads can figure it out."
"How bad are you hurt?'
"Not too, but the scope is off kilter and we are done for the night anyway."

Just the then Williams spotted another missile launch and saw the missile initially drop from the now silhouetted twin engine plane. The missile had indeed launched backwards and was heading with a vengeance at something. That something turn out to be another Mossie. Whomever was in this plane did not react as fast or, as it turned, out as correctly as he did. The Mossie turned and dove way too slow and the missile hit it amidships and flames were everywhere along with pilot and crew he assumed. He kicked himself for being so crass at a time like this, but the mind does such things.

In all their maneuverings they were now low and slow and heading back East and heading towards Dunkirk. A tingling feeling went through Williams body and the hair of the back of his neck went up just before another missile slammed into them.

Zoya just hoped that what she was told was indeed what was going to happen. She and her fellow Witches were told to fly like a metal duck in a shooting gallery and wait for the Nightmare Missiles hanging from her outmoded Pe-3 Bis to tell her she was being hunted. Two of the things were pointed forwards and 4 where pointed backwards! Who would have thought of that and why? But then she thought about it. Where would a night fighter with radar attack you from? The rear of course! Why not have the missile launch backwards if your enemy was behind you. Who needs a rear gunner when you have a rear missile? It was not like the rear facing ones cause that much more drag. The Pe-3 was slow as hell anyway.

She was sweating and so nervous that when the four rear missiles started to signal in unison that something was behind her she almost wet herself and would have jumped a meter if she wasn't strapped in. She had not been trained to fly at night extensively. These Pe-3s had been given to the navy as dive bombers and no one expected them to see combat again. But they had slapped a new late war German radar set in them and put those Nightmares facing the wrong way on them and told them what to do.
Basically they were bait and a launching platform for the Nightmare. Nothing fancy about that. Just go and fly West into what looked like assured death for the Motherland. And they all did it of course. That's what you did in Stalin's realm. Only this might not be so deadly for them after all.

Once a rear facing missile was launched they were to turn and attempt to follow it to its target. If it did not hit the target they should be facing the correct direction and could turn on the radar or even just wait for the forward facing missiles to start signaling. If so then they were to launch them.

She and 18 others got lucky that night. A total of 53 missiles were launched with 11 rear firing and 7 launched frontally hitting their intended targets. She never did see the enemy until it exploded in a flaming ball that plummeted to earth.

After her left outside rear facing missile was launched she threw the little bomber in a tight right hand turn while Maya tried to keep an eye on the missile. While completing the turn she caught a glimpse of the Mosquito as the missile flashed by it briefly illuminating it. She supposed that the Nightmare could have some kind of flash suppressor or flame reducer or whatever they called it, so it wasn't so bright but then again maybe that was by design to scare the enemy even more and to make them and their intended target easier to see. It did work in his case and she clearly saw the general direction the night fighter was headed. She pointed her nose at where the plane should be and her forward Nightmares started to chatter so she launched one.

She reported that she did not believe that the enemy knew what hit him. The deadly Mosquito Night Fighter did not appear to be attempting any evasive maneuvers like the initial encounter and was flying fairly straight and level. Probably trying to process his near miss with death only to set himself up again for said fate. Other successful forward firing marksmen reported similar findings, although you could hardly call them marksmen when all they did was to point and hit the launching button. The missile did the rest.

The rear firing successes appeared to be a matter of surprise. A deer in the headlights type of reaction by the ill fated, would be hunters, caught red handed in the spotlight and not knowing how to react. Fascinated by the turn of events and not able to think to turn their planes quickly enough. Perfectly understandable if you asked her and the commissar did ask her.

The Night Witches were back!

Shake, Rattle and Roll by RangerElite

Somewhere over the
Manchurian Plain,
Northeast of China

The three squadrons of BT2D Skyraider dive-bombers, accompanied by two squadrons of the latest incarnation of the Corsair, the F2G, crossed the demarcation line, fully aware that they would be facing communist anti-aircraft artillery soon. The U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Aviators manning these aircraft thought it was all routine, except that they were flying their aircraft under a flag of convenience: their aircraft bore the markings of the Free Russian Air Force. In command of this force, flying top-cover in the lead Corsair, was none other than the scourge of the Solomon's Slot, Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. After all, it was his idea.

They started hearing the familiar “pop, pop, pop” of the ack-ack, but this spread sounded unnervingly close, seemingly well-directed. “Stay sharp, meatheads. Ack-ack is thick here and their gunners look sharp. Remember your targets and make sure that you tear up those airfields real good.”

Meanwhile, the anti-aircraft fire outside only became thicker. All of the sudden, Russian-made Yakovlev and Lavochkin fighters started buzzing up to meet them as the fire slackened, marked in communist Chinese markings, no doubt flown by Russian surrogates, just as they were doing. And the Corsairs roared in, doing their level-best to break up the swarm of Bolshevik fighter planes coming up to go after the Skyraider dive-bombers. After a while, communist discipline broke down, and the dogfight became an all-out melee, and Boyington's Corsairs capitalized on this. They ripped the “Chinese” formations up, at one point, scoring 6 victories in less than 5 minutes. At this point, after losing one Skyraider and one Corsair, Boyington's command proceeded to destroy the two airfields that they had been tasked to knock out, even saving some ordinance to blast some of the anti-aircraft emplacements. Boyington wondered how their ack-ack was so accurate; his gut-feeling was that their gunners weren't better than ours at all. It had to be something else.

So Boyington ordered the force to fly back the same way they came, in order to turkey-shoot the anti-aircraft guns, but he also wanted to take a look at what they might be up against. In order to do that, he'd have to fly low and slow over them, and take pictures of them with his gun-camera. That was a risk that Boyington was used to taking; he'd taken that same risk a thousand times before. So, as they reached the point where they began encountering the anti-aircraft fire again, Boyington broke formation with his wingman and flew down low. As he approached the first set of guns that he could see, he was shocked by what he saw: he noticed this ack-ack cluster was made up of German guns, one Flak-88 88-mm gun with three Flak-43 37-mm guns and six Flak-38 20-mm guns surrounding it, in interlocking fields of fire. There were Chinese communist and Soviet troops manning the guns, reloading them as needed, but it appeared, in the middle of the cluster looked like a portable radar set, it's receiver dish moving in a slow circular motion and appearing to fire the guns. Boyington kept taking pictures while strafing the emplacement, the other Corsairs and Skyraiders following him into the fray, shooting up everything that could shoot back at them, but especially that radar control unit. They shot their way back to the coast over Port Arthur, then across the Straits of Shantung back to the FRAF's airfield at Chefu. Colonel Boyington's mission had been a resounding success, and he had collected invaluable intelligence information. This is the kind performance that kept his commanding officers relatively happy with him. Besides, Pappy got two kills today. Not too bad at all.

The Planning Stages by RangerElite

Far East Theater in WWIII 1946

Conference Room,
Temporary Presidential Residence,
Peking, Republic of China

President Sun Li-jen felt out of place wearing civilian clothing, after having worn a military uniform for so long, but he had to be careful to be seen as being a new breed of Chinese politician, not a puppet of the military and not beholden to the provincial warlord power-brokers, but a true representative of the people, though not elected. He was more than happy to relinquish this power to a truly democratic successor; he had no taste for it. Pacing the length and breadth of the conference room, taking in all the information available and forming a plan based on it, was what he did best.

Assembled with him in this early morning meeting were the members of his reformed General Staff, consisting of his Army Chief of Staff, Air Force Chief of Staff and his Naval Commander-In-Chief, and their aides, as well as his ministers of war and justice and of the interior. Spread out on the central table were detailed maps of the target areas concerned. They were expecting other Allied leaders later on in the day, so there stood the possibility of rest before those meetings began.

He'd just been briefed on the effort to collect and employ the commandos that had been trained by the OSS agents, who had been operating outside the chain of command of SACO, the Sino-American Cooperative Organization. Thus far, about 3,500 of the more than 4,000 commandos were located. One of the first things that President Sun did upon assuming the authority of the presidency was to abolish the hated Bureau of Investigation and Statistics, and have its leader, General Tai Li, arrested on charges of corruption, profiteering and treason. He was immediately hanged; the infamous photo of General Tai, dangling at the end of the noose, was cheered across China. His next order of business was to abolish SACO, in favor of a bilateral information-sharing agreement with Allied intelligence services, which the Americans and, to a lesser degree, the British were more than willing to agree to. As part of the agreement, the U.S. Navy agreed to remove Commodore Milton Miles (who was tainted by his association with General Tai) as commander of Naval Group China. In exchange, President Sun agreed to accept the operation within his territory of a CIA mission, headed by Brigadier General Archimedes L.A. Patti. The President was familiar with General Patti's work out of Kunming, and his assessments of the situation in French Indochina were spot-on, for the most part. The only thing that had not been foreseen was the sudden Soviet invasion of Western Europe, which upset the entire balance of power in the region.

The one thing that President Sun could not do anymore was go out and command troops in the field, which he had been doing a few scant weeks ago. He had broken up the bulk of the New First Army, to provide training cadres for the rest of the new Chinese Army, and with the commandos back in service and under his army's command, he was hoping to reorganize his forces using the American model, as opposed to the cumbersome German one. Another thing that irked him was still having to deal with some of the creatures who had populated Generalissimo Chiang's halls of power, such as the ruthless Hui Muslim warlord of Tsinghai, Ma Pufang, or the prideful Chiang toady and Whampoa graduate, Du Yuming, both of whom were in attendance at this planning session. But he had to admit, despite his prejudices against them, they were very able soldiers and commanders. This time, he would not suggest that General Du follow his lead; he'd demand total obedience, or General Du would suffer the ultimate cost. The examples of the generals and admirals who refused to follow Comrade Chiang into exile, on the island of Formosa, should have been more than enough to show the rest that President Sun meant business.

As for General Ma, he would make sure that he understood that he held his governorate in Tsinghai Province, and his military command, at the President's pleasure. To ensure that the point was punctuated, he made sure that all his commanders knew the fate of the Governor of Sikang, Liu Wenhui, a warlord who was deposed as the Governor of Szechuan a decade ago for allegedly allowing safe passage to the communists during their Long March. General Liu was hanged and left to rot in the main square in Kangting, for defying President Sun's reforms. President Sun was not above using violence to achieve his ends. This was the only language that the warlords and “little” generals all understood perfectly: do as you're told, or you'll die, just like the guy before you, who couldn't get with the program. All it took was a few warlords to meet an ignominious end so that the rest would fall in line. The President knew that in their heart of hearts, they would turn on him the moment they had a chance; but he needed them and their well-armed militias in the fight against the communists in what the Americans would call a “go-for-broke” or “hail mary” operation.

President Sun planned to cull the most loyal units from among General Du's divisions for an infiltration assault inside Manchuria. This operation would be led by the very same commandos that they had been looking for. A head-on assault against the approximately 80 divisions that the Soviets have spread out through Manchuria and Outer Mongolia is virtual suicide. At the same time, General Ma's forces would strike through Sinkiang (President Sun having secured an autonomy agreement with the Uighur minority in the region first) in an apparent movement toward Tannu-Tuva, northwest of Outer Mongolia. This would be supported by American actions that would be determined at a later point in time.

One might ask, “why is the Chinese command now so capable of being so bold and confident in their planning?” The simple answer is that they have finally captured the main spy among them in the Ministry of National Defense in Nanking. A communist courier was caught attempting to deliver documents from the Ministry, most of which were originated from the 5th Department, the intelligence department of the Ministry. It was determined that the documents that the courier was carrying had been given to him by none other than the deputy head of the department, General Kuo Ju-kuei. General Kuo was arrested and publicly shamed, then he disappeared into a dungeon, where despite his protestations of ignorance, he finally gave up his spy cell, and the entire network was rooted out.

Henceforth, they were now in the planning stages of the counter-revolution.....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Quality Control

The wheel bearing on the right rear inside tire of the tank transport trailer started to heat up within 15 minutes of the day's first hour. A crack had allowed the lubricant to leak out as the bearing got hotter and after another 30 minutes it had seized. The co-driver saw the smoke coming from the trailer and warned the driver. The driver cursed a blue streak as he maneuvered the heavy tractor trailer and its cargo to a wider spot in the road. He knew if he stopped the convoy for anything but death he would indeed end up dead. The other trucks and their cargoes of Wasserfall Ground to Air missiles pulled far over to the left to squeeze past the stalled M-19 and its cargo of missile launchers and their missiles. Each of the trucks and trailers along with others supported the dozen Wasserfal missiles in the battery.

These special transport units were based on the German Vitalwagen and Meillerwagen but on a smaller scale. The Soviet version of the Wasserfal or Stalin's Fire as it was being called officially, was much more compact than the V2 and much easier to transport and use. The Transport trailer was used for long range transport and was lighter of the two. Once the missile got to within 50 KM of the staging area it was transferred to the much more complex Launching trailer. The Launching trailer was a complete mobile launching pad and fueling solution for the Stalin's Fire ground to air missile system.

After the Launching trailer was close to the launch point, the Firing Platoon Truck Section took charge. The Launching trailer was moved via hand winches to the firing stand and then leveled via the two extendable outriggers with end-jacks. When vertical, the rocket was suspended above the firing stand, which was raised to touch the rocket fins like it's bigger brother the V2 was and the rocket was fueled from supplies on the Launch trailer. The whole process could be done in less than 90 minutes from arrival.

As with the German version of the larger unit the Launching trailer acted as a gantry, lifting frame including a number of work platforms for the crewmen to service the rocket. Just like it's lager German cousin it carried a number of accessories for both itself and the rocket such as a toolbox, snow chains, tire pump, tools, blast shields with special carriers for the graphite steering vanes and the guidance system.

A repair unit showed up within 30 minutes and started the repairs. This was all reported up the chain of command and ended up on Sergo's desk. He would find out who and where the wheel bearing had been made. What shift and what crew. They would be evaluated by Georgi and may or may not live to tell about it. Georgi was not capricious about quality control. If the workers made an honest mistake or the metal they received was inferior then they would be forgiven and humanely retrained. If they performed sabotage Georgi would kill them on the spot with such casualness that it was most terrifying to all who watched. He usually garrotes them very quickly and efficiently right there on the shop floor. His move is so fast and practiced that no one has even been able to effectively fight back. The fact was that the majority of the time the workers had just done something in error. It was therefore corrected with no one being physically harmed. I can't guarantee their mental state however, after being questioned by Georgi.

The workers in Sergo's realm are thoroughly tested and chosen for their jobs. If they do a good job they are rewarded if not they are retrained using standard methods pioneered in the West. The quality of the weapons systems under the control of Sergo and Georgi are quickly matching their counterparts in the West. Many people in the West believe that the Soviet worker is incapable of quality work. This is not the case. Some point to the IL2 or T-34 from early on in the war. What the West called poor quality was actually very pragmatic.

For example the average T-34 in 1944 had a life span of a little over 2 weeks from the time it left the factory. Why bother with quality. T-34s where destroyed because they were on the offensive and you would expect to lose 3 to 1 against a dug in and hidden enemy. Not many T-34 were lost because they broke down or wore out at the wrong time.

Now it was different. Quality mattered. It took a long time to train a good pilot and the pilots coming out of Sergo's training program were on par with any Western trained pilot. After all the US Army Air Force trained many of the trainers and during the six months of peace leading up to May 1946 they could take the time to train them properly. In 1941-44 this was not possible but now it was. With 10s of thousands of properly trained replacements in the pipeline Sergo felt that they were more than a match for the USAAF and the RAF. The recent battle over Britain had show that. And once again under Sergo the pilots were tested and place in the proper training program. It was true that the RAF was out maneuvered, out foxed and overwhelmed by sheer numbers. The information Beria delivered truly amazed Sergo. The Capitalist pigs must surely be doing something drastically wrong in order to spawn such a stable of traitors.

That undisciplined and almost useless "hero of the Soviet Union", Perl, had indeed produced a treasure trove of knowledge about the Yankee YP-80 and in particular their engine. In addition he was an expert and greatly assisting MiG with its newest swept wing jet. The Jumo was still useful especially since he had demanded that the foremost metallurgists find a way to improve the live span of the parts. The new Jumo model being produced now went a average of 100 hours before a major overhaul was needed. A 400% increase over the 25 hours previously required.

Back at the M-19 lend lease tractor the repair unit had replaced the wheel bearing and it was once again on it way South. Dozens of caravans and train loads of missiles and their support units were streaming from France and Germany towards the Black Sea. It seems that Beria and Novikov had finally realized just how vulnerable the Southern door and it's oil fields were. Despite having no concrete intelligence about a threat, Beria's nose was itching. Novikov took a little more convincing but as the RAF disappeared from the skies over the British Isles he too overcame his reluctance to move his defensive shield to the most vulnerable areas of the USSR.

What had set Beria's nose to twitching was a very late report from the Valley of the Kings south of Cairo of large and very strange bombers flying high over the area going South. He quickly calculated the distance that the B29 could effectively perform a bombing run and came to the frightening conclusion that the vital oil fields of Baku among others were within range of the giant bomber and they were possibly being stationed in Egypt. He then recalled a plan that had reached his desk from his web of spies that mentioned just such a contingency. He cursed himself for not seeing it earlier and being more concerned about the disappearance of the Amerikanski bomber from the skies over Europe. They had only to deal with the venerable B17 and medium bombers. All of whom were of no great concern and could be defended by the majority of frontline propeller driven fighters of the VVS. Having the B29 in their possession since early 1944 did wonders in planning for its destruction and also sent shivers up your spine when you realized that you did not have all the contingencies in currently in place needed to defeat this truly wondrous machine.

He knew that Novikov coveted the Super fortress but Sergo and Stalin had decided to concentrate on defensive weapons and the missile as the weapon of the future. Both claimed the era of the manned strategic bomber was over. He had a clandestine meeting with Novikov and it had taken a number of hours to convince the big oaf that it would not be wise to inform Stalin at this time about the possible growing threat from the Pyramids. Not until they had the defenses in place. They had both agreed that the warnings and reports from Maslennikov, the Commander of Transcaucasian Front, must be redacted and kept from Stalin's eyes. Maslennikov had warned of this very danger and if it came to pass that he was correct...he had to be eliminated. It was either him or us Beria argued. It was not like this kind of thing had not happened thousands of times in the past and both of them had partaken of this effective solution many times in their collective careers. Trump up charges and a few sessions in one of Beria's chairs and the problem was solved.

Meanwhile Novikov was moving heaven and earth to cover their collective asses. The new missiles coming off of Sergo's assembly lines in the Urals were being diverted from other cities and rushed towards the South starting with the Baku area. They both agreed that finishing off the RAF would take precedence and the large scale movement of long range interceptor and fighters units would wait. All jet aircraft and some of the newest point interceptors coming off the factory floors would however make their debut in the South. They would cut their teeth and train in the Black Sea area. Two advantages of this would be that the newest creations of the Soviet Design Bureaus could be tested away from the prying eyes of the West and if the B29 was to show up they would be the perfect counter against such a contingency. The would collectively would look like geniuses and masters of strategy in the eyes of Stalin.

Many of the new creations that Sergo had pressed into service were not that new. Mostly point defense weapons that were inexpensive to make and the Germans had pioneered. When you made a list of the weapons Sergo had championed you come to the inescapable conclusion that he had invented nothing new. He was a master of taking a good idea and bringing it to completion. Hence a longer range version of the German He 162 Salamander renamed the Borsch for its simplicity and being inexpensive to make. The Soviet version had taken the advice of Eric "Winkle" Brown of the RAF who did extensive test flying of captured He 162 and found them "delightful to fly" but a design flaw in its tail had killed another test pilot. Mr. Brown had thoughfully published his thoughts on the He162 for all to see. And all the wrong people saw it. Beria passed this on to Sergo who found the right person to redesign the tail in the defector Perl and these changes had been incorporated in the new design. Georgy made the necessary changes in manufacturing and the Borsch was ready for combat.

Starting with the B variant of the German version the Borsch had twice the range and endurance of the A variant. It was designed to reach for the stars with a rapid ascent to the required height make 3 or 4 passes at the bomber stream and return under power. Unlike the original who's pilots often lost their lives when forced to perform dead stick landings while under constant attack by enemy fighter bombers. The Borsch was designed for one thing. To destroy a B29 as fast as possible and then return to do it again. Unlike the German version this one was designed to bring the pilot home to fight again and unlike the German version this version would be piloted by trained pilots. Pilots who were trained well and expected to live as well.

The Wild Blue Yonder by RangerElite

Home Front in WWIII 1946

Hangar Number One,
Temporary Command and Control Base,
Andrews Air Force Base
(formerly Andrews Army Airfield),
Outside Langley, Virginia

The day was a bit chilly and overcast, but there was nothing that could ruin this day for the men and women assembled here today. They all stood at attention for the President of the United States of America, Mr. Harry S Truman, as he passed them all down the aisle, on his way to the hastily-built, but well-constructed, dais. President Truman takes his seat, and everyone else takes theirs.

“In well-deserved recognition of the service and sacrifice that your military arm has given and continues to give, it is on behalf of the American people that I, acting in concert with the United States Congress, grant you concrete appreciation for your service and sacrifice” President Truman looks to his left, to a serious-looking General of the Army, Carl Spaatz, the newly-appointed Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces, then to his right to U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General of the Army, Dwight Eisenhower, and then continues, “by separating the Air Forces from the Army and granting them an independent military branch of their own, The United States Air Force. Carl Spaatz has been confirmed by the United States Senate as its very first Chief of Staff, with the newly-created rank of General of the Air Force.”

“As you all know, this war with the Soviets was none of our own contrivance, but by God, we will finish it! If Uncle Joe thinks he can lick us with his stolen Nazi wonder-doodads, he has another thing coming! We have the power of righteousness on our side!” By this time, President Truman was pounding on the lectern positioned on the dais, causing the microphones to feedback a few times, “And as long as we have the power of righteousness on our side, we cannot go wrong!” At that, all the Air Force personnel were on their feet, loudly whooping and hollering, chanting things such as “USA! USA!”, “Smash the Reds!” or “Remember Frankfurt!” the last chant was an allusion to the battle which incurred the loss of the bulk of the USAAF's aircraft in Continental Europe and a fair number of irreplaceable combat personnel: pilots, aircrew and ground crew, and the need for the new military branch to exact its vengeance.

At that moment, General of the Air Force Carl Andrew Spaatz got up and restored order “Men and women of the United States Air Force, this is your charge: master and kill the enemy with the utmost efficiency and ferocity, as you have been trained to do, and you will never lose the fight. You are now excused; return to your posts.” The most senior Air Force Master Sergeant called out “Ten-HUT!” and all present filed out, as soon as the President and Chiefs of Staff of the Army and the Air Force were clear of the hangar.

As Generals Eisenhower and Spaatz accompanied the President in the limousine, the President asked them both, “How are the plans progressing, gentlemen?” They proceeded with their portion of the briefing, before they got to the White House. When they arrived there, they were joined by the Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alexander A. Vandergrift, and sat down to business.

Before they started, the President pressed an intercom button “Would you please send in Special Agent James Carroll and General Kenney?” “Yes, Mr. President” was the response from his receptionist. A moment later, both General George Kenney and James Carroll, who was a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and former Assistant Director under J. Edgar Hoover, step into the room and waved to seats at the table by President Truman. Carroll was tapped by President Truman, and the late General “Hap” Arnold, to head the Army Air Force's new Office of Special Investigation, tasked with rooting out security risks in the nation's combat aviation services. On the Navy's side, the Office of Naval Intelligence's counterintelligence service has weeded out several spies and communist sympathizers, and Special Agent Carroll has done yeoman's work over the past several months in making progress toward the same end. To date, there are quite a few Army Air Force officers and enlisted men in the Leavenworth Penitentiary due to his efforts. And not a few of those had high security clearances, which necessitated their being held in solitary confinement.
“Agent Carroll, would you please brief us on the progress of your investigation as to communist infiltration of the nation's air forces?” said the President.

Carroll stands up “As you well know, Mr. President and gentlemen, there was a serious issue with information being passed onto Soviet agents, resulting in their foreknowledge of our battle plans and their knowledge of our tactics and equipment. As a result of a deep and humanly-thorough investigation, I have reason to believe that we have completely vetted every security-clearance holding member of the U.S. Armed Forces, in conjunction with the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps and the Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence. It is my belief that we can reasonably trust the members of our planning staffs to move forward toward the next step of this war: the impending counteroffensive.” The all the flag officers were now listening intently to him now.

He continued “as a result of this strenuous investigative effort, I can confidently recommend that the Strategic Air Command be reintegrated into the United States Air Force, provided that my security recommendations are strictly followed. It is my further belief that a Defense Intelligence Agency should be formed to oversee a coordinated counterintelligence effort to ensure that this level of infiltration of our most effective and sensitive military resources never happens again.” All the men nodded their agreement, none of them except for the President caring very much for the Central Intelligence Agency, especially in light of the fact that they have been draining away their best and brightest intelligence assets and resources over the past few months. Spaatz and Kenney pass a non-descript look between each other, then the President speaks up, after the generals have digested the information for a moment “To ensure that the security recommendations of Agent Carroll are rigidly enforced, Generals Spaatz and Kenney will oversee the formation of a permanent Office of Special Investigations within the Air Force, with Carroll in charge. Agent Carroll will be inducted into the Air Force Reserve, with the rank of Colonel, to perform this duty.” All the men again nodded their agreement.

The President continued “If we have finished with this, let's move onto other business, gentleman. General Eisenhower, how is the progress of the Corps of Engineers' building the new airfields in Turkey and on Cyprus?” “Progress is steady, Mr. President, considering the secret nature of the operation. A parallel project in Palestine by the Free Russian Air Force is also progressing, near a place called Tel Aviv. There are intelligence reports that local Jewish paramilitary units are providing security for the rebel Russians.” General Eisenhower told the President. “Do you trust the these Russians, General Eisenhower? Can we collaborate with them to get these projects finished in the allotted time? More importantly, do we have trusted friends among them?” the President asks. General Vandergrift speaks up “We have had some informal dealings with these people in China. They seem to be fairly straight-forward, if somewhat crude, and they tend to keep their word, no doubt to advance their own agenda. Perhaps we may not have friends among them now, but they could be useful strategic allies.“The Wild Blue Yonder”

Fleet Admiral Nimitz joins the conversation “I think we need to proceed cautiously as far as enlisting these rebel Russians as our allies. 'Enemy of my enemy' will only go so far, considering that recent history is replete with allies turning on us. Otherwise, I think it is a capital idea to use them to knock the Soviets off-balance and gain the upper hand.” President Truman nods and asks Nimitz “How goes that special project in Newport, Admiral?” “Proceeding on schedule, Mr. President. The conversions are proceeding according to plan, and training is going faster and rougher than I would like for the Marines and Naval aviators, but I'm absolutely positive that all will be ready by X-Day, sir.” President Truman nods and they all discuss strategy for a while longer, before he dismisses them for the day. He takes a moment to reflect on what a terrible responsibility was dumped in his lap by Frank Roosevelt, “You dirty lucky bastard” he thought.

Time to Beat Feet by RangerElite

Intelligence in WWIII 1946

Eastern Shoreline,
Near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

It was getting darker sooner, and brutally colder, and their time was up. Time for them to go. Markov had spread the word among his men that they would be on the move tonight, that the fishing trawler would meet up with them at the arranged time and place, to take them to a place only he knew at this moment. To this point, he had been successful, and he hoped that it would stay that way.

All the men met up where they had stashed their boats a couple weeks before and dug them out, began inflating them for the quarter-hour trip back. Halfway through the chore, a patrol of NKVD Frontier Guards passed by them...they stopped what they were doing and hid in the shadows and hoped that nothing out of the ordinary was noticed. A short while later, the NKVD patrol went away to investigate something more worthy of their malevolent attention. The men resumed, with renewed haste, their task and promptly cast off from the shoreline. During the trip out, Markov couldn't help but review the information that they had gathered in his head: there was little in the way of Red Fleet units here, as most of them had been transferred west before the war, to supplement the Baltic Sea and Black Sea Red Banner Fleets. What the Red Fleet had at its Pacific Headquarters was pathetic: an ice breaker and a motley collection of coastal gunboats, most dating back to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. All the modern equipment was going to the NKVD Sea Frontier Guards. Navy men would grumble a bit about it, but never too loudly, for fear of disappearing into of one of the many infamous bottomless salt mines that the region was notorious for. As for the Red Army, there were mostly Category B units, mostly manned by invalids from the last war, still wishing to continue doing their patriotic duty. Who was Uncle Joe to deny them that? All the first-line Army units were either west, occupying Europe, or in Manchuria, training the Chinese communists, who got whalloped shortly after the new Chinese president came to power. The Red Chinese took a hard hit, but the rumor has it that they're gearing up for a counter-offensive, and just received tons of captured equipment from western Europe that they're trying to make usable...

Markov notices a bright wavering light on the water: fire, and in the spot where the trawler was supposed to be. He passed the word along for his men to be ready, especially as they slowed the rubber boats down and began to use paddles to maneuver silently around the flaming oil slicks and debris on the water. Markov spotted it first: an NKVD Sea Frontier Guard Lend-Lease patrol torpedo boat. At that moment, he decided that he and his men were going to take it. Markov signaled to the men to creep as close as possible to the PT boat without being seen. In what seemed like hours, Markov and his men finally reached the side of the ship and rushed the boat as savagely as possible, taking out the crew as quickly as possible, killing a few outright, and tossing the rest into the freezing waters of the Sea of Japan, to die a slow and agonizing death of hypothermia. They quickly pull their rubber boats aboard to deny the Russians any chance of escape, and open up the throttle to head to the friendly waters of Japan, if they had enough fuel. Markov hauled down the NKVD ensign and hoisted the Stars and Stripes, the one that he'd stowed with their escape gear. They would still get their information back to Far East Allied Headquarters and the plan might yet still proceed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Found - One X4 Missile

The missile was in pristine shape. It was found in a field in France near Toulouse. It apparently fell to earth after expending it's fuel chasing after an encounter between Soviet fighters and some RAF bombers over the Pyrenees. It had taken nearly a month to make the 100 km or so through the fighting in the Pyrenees and finally onto the BB-64 USS Wisconsin on station off Perpignan covering and anchoring the East end of the Pyrenees Line. Deep in the bowls of the great ship a laboratory had been set up and Jeff Montgomery had been flown in from the states. Jeff was the premier expert in the US stable of weapons specialists and was particularly knowledgeable in regards to the German version of the X4 air to air missile. And now he had his hands on an actual Soviet version.

His hands trembled at the thought of actually dissecting the object of his dreams that had eluded him for the past 3 months. He was about to discover what the worlds experts could not. Inside this metal streamlined bullet shaped object held the secret of how the Reds had done what the experts said could not be done. What was the guidance system that had baffled the British experts? Every jamming scheme had been tried and nothing had worked. They had even sent up a raid just to test out various inventions and nothing had worked. They had lost 6 bombers in that one.

So far the Soviet missile look very similar to its German cousin. It was larger and had a rounded nose with what looked like a large tinted dome. It seemed to be made out of the same material that aircraft canopies were made of but tinted so he could not see inside. So they are using optics was his initial thought. Some kind of television camera system or something similar he wildly guessed. If it was anything like the German version he had to work from the middle of the rocket in disassembling the unit and eventually getting at the guidance system.

He noted that the Soviets has switched to a solid propellant rather than the caustic liquids used by the Nazis. He had heard that they were moving in that direction as well. Luckily the war had ended. Come to think of it maybe it wasn't luckily. The Reds or the God Damn murdering Krauts. Nice choice of who should be using these guided bullets. Concentrate you idiot.

"Sam bring me the long tweezers and a wire cutter and hold the flashlight for me!"
What the hell is this?! That isn't usual on these...
"A little to the left Sam. Thanks.. that's better. While I'll be a son of a bitch they have booby trapped this thing! Well I supposed that makes sense. I guess I would too."
"Stop messing with it then Jeff. You're not a bomb expert! Close it up and we'll get an expert in her to disarm the thing."
"I didn't travel half way around the world to stop now."
"Commander get in here this idiot is going to try and DISARM THIS THING!"
"Aw shit...I mean yes sir."
"Now step away and explain the situation."

It took another two days for the bomb expert to arrive. It took him another 3 hours to disarm the small bomb contained within the missile. It was designed to explode when the panel was opened and it had failed to arm itself. Luck was with Jeff Montgomery and Sam that day. Despite getting dressed down Jeff was still the guidance expert.

Finally after cooling his jets in confinement aboard the battlewagon for a few days he was allowed to get back to work. The dis-assembly went fairly quickly and then disappointment. He had removed the unit that contained the guidance system and there it was. The same old Kehl-Stra├čburg FuG 203/230 that had guided the Fritz X bomb! How in the hell could this old system be ignoring the jamming put up by the best electronic experts on the US and Britain! How can this piece of shit ignore physics!? He sat there staring at what he considered an antique for what seemed like hours trying to figure out what the hell was going on. He was totally confused and without any kind of explanation or answers. What was he going to tell...well anyone? He had hit the lowest point in his life after anticipating the highest. He just didn't get it. How were they doing it? His mind went blank and he again sat there in silence until he was physically shaken by Sam.

Soviet Occupied Toulouse

In a small bunker near the Soviet Army area HQ
Two men sat by lantern light drinking vodka, not their first of the night.

"Well Dmitri how goes the disinformation campaign?"
"The stupid Frogs and Amerikanski have only discovered and smuggled out one of the missiles so far. They are amazingly incompetent. We almost caught them with that one as well. A last minute call was required to allow the fool NATO spy to get through the checkpoint. Yuri was keeping track of their progress when they bumbled straight into a checkpoint in Limoux. He had to quickly find a phone and distract the guards so the fools could continue on. I just don't see how they were able to catch every German spy sent to England with such fools as agents."
"Maybe we are just so much better or they are so bad. It certainly makes one wonder."
"Anyway we have planted fully a dozen of the decoy missiles and that was the only one they have found and tried to smuggle out. I had heard that the vaunted British experts that figured out some of the wars greatest works of espionage actually got most of their information from a group called MI 19. All they did was to record captured German conversations over hearing many of the secrets that they claimed to have figured out. An example would be the electronic beams the Germans were using to guide the bombers to their targets. The so called Battle of the Beams was actually just based on an overheard conversation caught on tape at some prison full of German Generals housed in a mansion. Luck if you ask me is more like it. But then again what is most of this business but luck."
"So what is the end game in this project of yours?"
"The decoy missiles contain various antiquated German systems for guided bombs. It should drive the NATO pigs crazy trying to figure out why their jamming efforts have no effect. It defies physics as they know it. Many it is a bit of subterfuge to confuse the issue and it could help to cause them to reject the real system if they ever get their hands on a working model."
"Maskirovka at its best ..."
"Maskirovka at its best indeed, Dmitri."

The Krueger Shogunate by RangerElite

Far East Theater in WWIII 1946

Dai Ichi Bank Building,
Tokyo, Empire of Japan


General Of The Army, Walter Krueger was thinking back to the day when he first arrived and had been helping Jean Faircloth MacArthur clear out the General's inner office at the Dai Ichi bank building. Krueger was having the distinct feeling that he was filling some awfully big shoes and felt woefully out of his depth. He thought back to Mrs. MacArthur putting a consoling hand on his shoulder, as if reading his thoughts, and saying to him “You'll do just fine, Walter. Mac always thought that you were his natural successor in this command. He was disappointed that you retired after the war, last year.” General Krueger had known it was pure political bull, but was far too polite to say so. Though he had great respect for the General and his family, he had no illusions as to who they were, and what they were about.

As the last of the General's belongings were taken out of the office, Mrs. MacArthur hugged General Krueger, and wished him and his wife well in the new posting. And then she was gone, off to retrieve little Arthur IV from their Chinese au pair, Ah Cheu, and see to the travel arrangements back to the United States. He was gracious enough to allow her the use of her late husband's Army Air Force C-54 transport aircraft, “Bataan,” one last time.

General Krueger looked at the lacquered wooden boxes on the desk -his desk- that contained the circlets of five stars, the physical manifestation of his new rank, and felt a weight far heavier than any he had felt before. He was no longer a mere Army commander; he was the face and the voice of U.S. foreign and military policy throughout the Far East now. For better or worse, he was the big cheese in these parts, and it was time for him to yet again slip on the mask, and play the role assigned him. There were so many important things to do, and so little time to accomplish them in.

That first day, he received a steady stream of foreign diplomats, military commanders, and Japanese politicians wishing to curry favor with the occupation authorities.....but the biggest surprise was the impromptu appointment near the end of the day: an incognito visit from none other than His Imperial Highness, The Emperor of Japan himself, Hirohito. In due consideration to this, General Krueger took pause, and had all his phone calls and visits cancelled for the rest of the day, the only exception being for the President of the United States.

And the two men talked. At the normal quitting time, General Krueger excused the SCAP staff, except for his chief of staff. He, along with the Emperor's personal aide, were the only other people present at the meeting. Bottles of the finest plum wine and single-malt Scotch whiskey were exchanged and mutually consumed, all the trappings of power were set aside. If only for that night, two men spoke frankly, not the leader of a vanquished empire and the representative of the victorious alliance that vanquished it, but two men sitting and drinking across a table from each other. They spoke of family, and of military service (the Emperor had been an Army officer as Crown Prince), and spoke frankly of the war. Neither man avoided the subject, and each man spoke from his own perspective, received by the other with courtesy and respect. Having said all that was needed to be said regarding the war, the topic of conversation inevitably turned toward the future. The future is what kept these two men talking all night, into the early morning hours, and out of those discussions came a kernel of understanding, which became the seed of a plan. This plan would allow for Japan to earn time off it's occupation 'for good behavior' and become a regional political and economic powerhouse (if not militarily; they both agreed that Japan's military should never again be oriented toward an offensive footing) in the region. But before that could happen, there were certain criteria that must be met.

To assure that the process of developing the plan continued, both men agreed to meet at the same time every week, duties permitting. They kept to that schedule and after working feverishly but thoroughly on it, were very nearly ready to unveil the plan, in a scheduled press conference, slated to be broadcast in both Japan and in the United States. General Krueger was nervous, having seen to the fulfillment of MacArthur's legacy that Japan should never again be an enemy, and forever be a friend.


The press conference began late, and had every likelihood of running long, as no question from U.S., Allied and Japanese press would be ignored. In an unprecedented move, the Emperor again appeared in public, for only the second time in his life, as the Emperor of Japan. And, to make matters more complicated, he appeared beside the Allied commander for the occupation authority, as equals, thus giving him legitimacy. This would not sit well with the remaining ultra-nationalists around the periphery of government, but it was they who had gotten them into this mess, with their arrogant ways. He would allow them the discomfort of seeing a different path being taken, one which had sufficient inertia, that it could not be changed.

As the press conference began, there was a respectful silence in the room, as the Emperor of Japan entered the room, followed by General Krueger and his newly-appointed deputy, British-Indian Army Field Marshal, William Slim. As the Emperor took his seat, the two officers took a seat to the side, and a little bit behind him, in deference to his status as a sovereign.

“Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed members of the press, I welcome you to the Empire of Japan” said Emperor Hirohito, in Japanese, then he repeated the greeting in accented, but serviceable, English “I am humbled by your appearance here today, on this momentous occasion. I have called this press conference to announce the drafting of a new constitution, which is prerequisite to the normalization of relations with the Allied Powers. Please refer to the press package that you have all been handed, with draft copies of the new constitution inside” every newsman and woman attending the press conference began paging through the package, finding their copies of the document and reading “Ladies and gentlemen, please take a moment to skim the text of the document before we continue” said the Emperor. After a long moment, all the journalists appeared to be satisfied with what they read, and would no doubt be studying the document in further detail later on. Also behind the Emperor, besides the two Allied commanders, were representatives of the regional combatants from all across Asia, most particularly the occupied territories, who had accepted a personal apology from the Emperor beforehand, and an invitation to become a full partner in the peace process, especially after having read the proposed draft of the new Japanese constitution.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Next Level by Ranger Elite

Weapons Development in WWIII 1946

Drydock Slips 43 & 44
Newport News Naval Shipyard
Newport News, Virginia

The three experienced men stood amid the loud din of ship construction, and marveled at the two hulking hulls being refitted, at break-neck speed, from their original purpose: Iowa-class battleships. They looked in wondrous awe at the transformation as both ships had been razed to the deck-line, the former BB-65 Illinois and former BB-66 Kentucky were being converted into something resembling aircraft carriers, but different.
There was a test flight of the Army's new helicopters, H-19 and H-25, borrowed by the Navy, on behalf of the Marine Corps. The results were phenomenal. The most amazing part was that the tests were conducted off of three Essex-class aircraft carriers, off the coast of Newport News, Virginia. The irony could not have been lost on the Powers That Be. Three squadrons of 15 helicopters (10 H-19's and 5 H-25's) each were flown from ship to ship, then from ship to shore, in a coordinated operation. All of the helicopters were piloted by freshly-trained Naval Aviators, who passed the Army's rotary-wing training program at Camp Rucker, Alabama, and in the last exercise, carried full complements of Marines with full combat loads, to disgorge them onto a target zone. To the admirals and Marine generals in attendance, this test was a resoundingly amazing success.

As a result, the two hulls that were destined to be built as modern floating long-range artillery batteries, were now slated to be built as combat assault ships. In other words, these ships were to be helicopter-carrying super-troopships, purpose-built to take the U.S. Marines' fight directly to the heart of the enemy. They would be known as the Peleliu-class Combat Landing Ship (Helicopter). The first two ships of this class would be LPD-1 Peleliu and LPD-2 Iwo Jima. All the while, their crews will be training aboard the three original aircraft carriers the tests were conducted on: CV-13 Franklin, CV-17 Bunker Hill and CV-20 Bennington. In the next stage of the experiment, a couple squadrons of Marine attack aircraft, the new BT2D Skyraiders, are going to be tested aboard each aircraft carrier. It is hoped that the new helicopter carriers would be able carry and coordinate their own close air support.

In the much quieter confines of the shipyard superintendent's office, the three men spoke “We need to train as many Marines as possible, both riflemen and aircrew, to fight from these ships as effectively as we hope they can. They are an integral part of the new war plan.” said the Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz. Immediately, the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Alexander Archer Vandergrift, added “I concur, sir. With the new equipment, most especially the helicopters and attack aircraft, we should have an inestimable edge against our technologically-inferior enemy.” This drew questioning looks from Admiral Nimitz and the newly-promoted division commander of the 1st Marine Division, Lieutenant-General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller. “Sirs, I would like to volunteer the 1st Marine Division, less the 4th Marine Regiment, to train aboard these ships. There will need to be a trained cadre before we can deploy these ships. We have had these plans since before the end of the last war, but these helicopters are a useful new tool. To pass up on using them would be worse than negligent: it would be downright criminal” said General Puller. The CNO and the Commandant of the Corps both nodded their agreement. “I'll have my office cut your division new orders toot suite, Chesty, but all the movements have to kept hush-hush, among us only; no aides or assistants. So that means that the division can only be moved a little at a time, while elements from 5th Marine Division take their place at Camp Lejeune.

You'll also be training in conjunction with the Army's XIII Amphibious Corps” said General Vandergrift. General Puller nodded “Those doggies weren't so bad. They tend to know their stuff when it comes to landing on the beach” “Well, Chesty, if you like that, you're going to love this. The Army, in their infinite wisdom, decided to throw in that outfit that liberated that POW camp in the PI last year, the 6th Ranger Battalion, into XIII Amphib Corps' chain of command. So I'd advise you to keep your eye out for Colonel Mucci and his antics” General Vandergrift chuckled. General Puller did not like the sound of the Commandant's chuckle, but as any good Marine would, he kept that to himself.

As the meeting broke up, General Puller noticed that the fandecks of the converted battlewagons were cropped, and what looked like a loading well or bay, for embarking troops and equipment, was being built into the ships. Having noticed it, he made mention of it to Admiral Nimitz, who said “Son, this is the future of amphibious combat. These will be the flagships of a capital-sized class of first-strike ships. These were being planned during the last war, and now these plans will finally bear deadly fruit.” Generals Vandergrift and Puller nodded their agreement and all three headed back to the Pentagon.

Old Warden By Tallthinkev

'Come in Kim, take a seat.' said C 'drink?'
'It's a bit early for me sir.'
'Don't be silly' C handed Philby a large glass of malt whisky.
'Er, thank you, sir.'
'As you know we have had some information from your old comrades. What you may not know is..' Before C had
finished there was a knock on the office door.
'Ah there you are gentlemen, come in. Kim get these men a drink. I'll introduce you. Ian, of course, you know. As for this gentleman, this is our new OSS liaison officer Captain Hamilton, General Donovan recommended him personally.'
Hamilton and Philby shook hands. 'I thought the OSS had been broken up.' said Kim
'It was, a number of months ago now, but as this thing with the Reds started it was case of getting us back together, rather than starting again. After all the offices were still there, might as well use them. And you may as well call me Mark, Captain Hamilton is a bit to formal for me.'
The meeting was relaxed, just a chit chat more than anything else. As it was about to brake up C asked Hamilton 'Have you sorted your billet?'
'I'm sorry sir. My what?
'You are going to be with us for sometime after all.'
A blank look from Hamilton 'I am, sir?'
'Kim, why don't you sort something out? There are couple of places in the village surely.'
'I should think so sir.'
'Best get on with it then man, I'll write out a chit for you.'
Hamilton asked 'I'm without transport sir, is there a car I can use?'
'We'll sort that out tomorrow. I'll get Captain Perret to drive you both down, hell why don't you all take the afternoon off. Tell the same to Perret.'

'It's a bit unusual sirs, but I'll see what I can do said the landlord of the Hare and Hounds. You lot from the House then?'
No reply.
'I'll take that as a yes then. Where are you lot then' he said looking at Hamilton 'going to do something then? Hiding away? Bloody late or bloody do nothing you lot! Least the Germans here help out on the farms.'
'Come on let's not have any of that.' said Philby 'He's here, here to help, better one than none. Isn't that right Geoffrey.'
'Don't ask me, I'm just the driver today.' Captain Perret said with a smile.
The landlord turned away. 'Anyhow I'll have to see what the misses says, worse than bloody Hitler, she is well sometimes.' 
The landlord was away for a few minutes, 'She says all right, but it's going to cost, mind, gotta shift grandma into the small room' he didn't finish. Hamilton held up his hand. 'There is no need for that, I'll take the small room.'
'No skin off my nose, as long as you pay up.'
He told them the price, for all his bluster it was not as high as they had feared almost what they had thought in fact. Racketeering here, no. He had a lot to learn from some in London.
After Fleming had handed over a weeks worth of rent the landlord said. 'Right gentlemen what will it be then?' He was looking at Hamilton. 'What do you mean?'
'I'll get them in' said Captain Perret ordered four pints of bitter. He joined the others at a table in the far conner. Hamilton to his first sip, 'Hey this beer is cool. I'd been told the beer was warm here.'
The Englishmen laughed. 'You. My friend have a lot to learn. We don't drink that fizzy stuff you call beer.' said Fleming
Perret chipped in, 'It's not too bad a pint, even if it's from Wells. I haven't had any type of fizzy stuff since I was in Yugoslavia.'
'Really? I was there too, better then we have at home.' Hamilton took another slip 'Then again, nothing like you have here.'
'You were both in Yugoslavia?' Kim butted in. 'Did you have any contact with Tito by any chance?'
A thought flashed though Fleming mind. There had been reports, however scant, the there could be some fighting there. More than that he didn't know. The fighter formally supported by Britain or those forces under Tito? In any case that was something to keep an eye on.
Perret left Hamilton to do the talking, Perret detested the that man, Tito had fought the Germans well, but then again so could anyone who had hid in the mountains. But Tito had had British officers shot, some of them were his friends.
He made his excuses 'Just going to stretch my legs, been sitting behind a desk all night. Might as well see if the chipy's open. Back in a bit.'

It was most likely the best thing Perret could do, though Fleming, he wouldn't want to have those memories. He'd been in sticky situations himself but not for two years fighting with a man who had shot his friends.
He pushed that out of his mind, it was something he didn't want to think about it any longer. Stick to the job in hand. They had got Philby's attention, the first part anyway. That was why they were here after all. He had nibbled at the bait, will he bite the hook?
Let the line run out, then reel him in.
After Perret had returned, a few locals came in and ordered their lunchtime drink. Some sat outside in the warm autumn weather. Others stayed inside, mostly the older men, were whispering and pointing at their little group. One reflection it may have been better if they all were in civvies. Rather than as they looked now, a commander in the Royal Navy, an army captain, an American officer and a man who was slightly over dressed.

They were well into their third pint when the shout came from the landlord, 'Time gentleman please.'
Was it was two o'clock already. 'Don't worry I'll take care of this.' said Kim, as he stood up and walked to the bar.

'So what do you think?' asked Hamilton.
'I'm not too sure, Stirling. We shouldn't over play our hand.' replied Fleming.
Kim returned to the table.
'Well, what did he say?' asked Fleming, looking up.
'I talked him into it, had to flash my card. I suppose he thinks we're on a jolly. As long as we are on the piss and paying he doesn’t mind. All he said ''no trouble when the RAF boys get here and if the local constable comes in make sure you get him one in”.

At around 7.30 the RAF boys did come in, Hayden was drunk and Philby was not far behind. Fleming was taking it as easy as he could. He had to seem like he was having as much as the others. He had switched to shandy's at about 16.00 hours, and Perret had been ordered on to ginger beer.
After being joined by some officers from the nearby station, Hamilton and Philby were doing their best to keep up with each other and both failing.
Perret, with some help got Hayden to bed. With more help Philby was poured into the car and driven back to the house. He then enlisted some men, he turned to Fleming.'What should we do with Kim, sir?'
'Try to get him to drink some coffee or if he still wants another drink give him one, I'll put the stuff in. We don't want him waking up too soon do we, then take him down.'

Philby awoke.
His head.
God he wished he hadn't got one.
Without even opening his eyes he was back asleep.

Again, awake, ''Information from your comrades.'' Where had that thought come from? He tried to think back. Going to a pub? Yes, the Hare and Hounds. With? He thought harder. Yes Ian, Geoffrey and that American chap, what was his name?'
He was dozed off again.

'Wakey wakey Stanley.' Came a voice.
Stanley? He knew that name. from where?
'Wakey wakey.' he heard again.
He opened his eyes properly for the first time, he was looking at an off white celling.
'Bollocks! Get the bucket.' said the voice. The next thing Philby knew he was drowned in cold water. 'Shall I slap him about a few times sir?'
'No. No, not yet anyway.' said C 'You may as well leave us for a while, I really don't want to hurt him, if I can help it. Slowly, slowly catchy monkey as they say.'
C waited until they was alone.
'They gave you up you know? Of course they didn't have much choice, you know how it is, better that way. They will live at least, maybe. Now how about you? I'll let you sleep, how about that? Yes, sleep on it. I'll see you later.'
'Any Aspirin?'
'You'll be lucky, “Stanley”. I should shoot you now, you know I can and no one would bat an eyelid. But you may still be of use. You never know, do you?'
C turned to leave, 'One last thing thing, before I go. You know they tried to kill Anthony don't you?'
A blank look from Philby.
'I thought not. You'll be next if they find out we have you.'
'What do you mean? Tried to kill Tony?'
'Ian was there, I'd ask him for the details if I were you, if you get the chance that is.'
'Can we make a deal?'
'You want a deal? What makes you think we even care about you, as I said I could just shot you here and now. However as our American cousins say “You can play ball with us” or.
Well. You know. Lets leave it at that shall we? Get some sleep, get your energy up. You'll need it later.'

It must have been about seven in the evening, thought Philby, when he was brought up to C's office. He didn't think that they would tie him to a chair, well not at first, but you never knew did you. The deal he was offered was unexpected, to say the least. Anyway there was no use in trying to deny things, they had the lot.
They had turned him, for good or ill.
'A question, if I may?'
'Go ahead, I'm listening.'
'What has happened to the others?'
'Do you really think I am going to answer that? But after all they are your friends, and you are loyal to them, not your country, but them. They are safe.'
Philby was taken back to his cell.