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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

$2 Switch

The activity on what had locally become known as King Tut Field increased dramatically. The tempo was causing accidents at an alarming rate. The increased activity combined with the fact that many of the ground crew were relative rookies due to the weeding out that occurred when SAC was created, made for a deadly combination. Some hands arms and feet were crushed and just plain chopped off and lives were lost. Too many collisions occurred but it was all deemed necessary by the demands LeMay had place on the accelerated timetable for the next raid and the raid after that.

At the same time Novikov was having a race of his own. LeMay did not have his life on the line in this case, whereas the Marshal of the VVS did. The commander of SAC did not have to answer to the world’s greatest murder like his opponent did. It is amazing how focused Novikov became when under pressure. Much like LeMay they both could drive men to produce more than thought humanly possible and both had done so many times in the past. Novikov still held the record of the greatest number of sorties in one day during the Second Battle of Britain but LeMay was going for the title of most destructive conventional attack on a military target.

The fire raids on Japan come in a close second for the record number of civilian deaths and are only outpaced by the atomic bomb raids on Japan. By his calculations he had a week or less to destroy the remainder of the Baku oil productions facilities. The attacker usually has the advantage in that they can choose where to attack. In this case it was rather obvious where the attack had to occur and Novikov was rushing every asset that could potentially destroy or even distract a B-29 bomber. His goal was to place a blanket of lead over Baku. Whether it came from in the form of a vertical attack from the ground up or high altitude fighters diving down or on the horizontal plain caused by other fighter craft firing lead or the X4 missile, his goal was to keep the skies clear over Baku.

Novikov’s ace in the hole was the Stalin’s Fire missile system and the Pe 9 and now Tu2S launched X4 air to air missile. They just plain wreaked havoc when fired at tight bomber formations. The explosions of even near misses took down up to four aircraft at a time and they were getting even more deadly as the war raged on. He would have 200 Stalin’s Fire setup in a ring around Baku in 3 more days with another 600 on the way coming in at about a hundred a week. There were 45 Pe 9s that could fire 8 missiles each and were being serviced on a huge base that was prepared months ago. In addition 35 Tu2s were being fitted with the X4 and would carry 4 each. He also had 75 of the Stalin’s Dart short range jet fighters and 150 MiG 9 Fargos and 134 Yak 15 Feathers and they would be in position in two more days to help the defense. 290 Yak 3 and 9 PDs called High Franks, would be in the area in a week and 1097 more conventional Yak 9 Franks, and La 7s were there now. Normally the conventional fighters would be out of the fight given the height advantage of the the B29 and F80 Shooting Stars. However the jet stream over Baku would force the B-29s below 24,000 ft. Well within the effective ceiling of these more conventional Yaks and the La 7. This meant that the fighters would be able to reach and over take the B29s at their usual cruise speed.

The VVS had all the advantages and Novikov knew how to use them. His pilots had a chance of being rescued and could fly again. The Amerikanski would be killed or captured if shot down and would not fly again. His crippled planes would have a chance of landing and being repaired. The Amerikanski would crash a long time before they reached friendly territory where they could be repaired. His supply lines were shorter. The Americans had to ship everything from thousands of miles away by ship. He now knew where their bases were and could retaliate against them. SAC still did not have a clear idea of where the real prize lay in the deepest parts of Eurasia. They had no idea of where the factories where hidden or where the true choke points were. All they knew was where Baku was and that was rapidly being defended while the other oil production facilities would be repaired.

It appeared that there was only one thing LeMay could do and he would have to take it on the chin if he wanted to attack Baku again. Sometimes you have only one choice in war...or do you?

LeMay’s choice of targets had increased due to a far sighted Colonel who jammed some high speed cameras into 10 modified P-80 Shooting Stars. It was hoped that the high flyers would be overlooked in the aftermath of the nuclear explosions and it appears as though they had. One of the planes had trouble turning off it’s cameras. Three chance photos had widened the target choices for this first raid. Chance has so often determined whose gods would claim victory in many of man’s battles and wars. Had the god the American’s prayed to caused the camera to malfunction or had the lack of a god in the Soviet Union been the cause? Who do you curse when there is no god to blame for bad luck or fate? Was Stalin trying to take the place of god and was that the reason why the American god had worked a miracle or in the end, was it just a faulty switch?

The Second Day

The day after atomic bombs rained on the Soviet Union and it’s oil production facilities; the sun came up clear and bright in Egypt. Much like the light from the bombs the day before. LeMay was ready and so were 647 B-29s and 715 P-80 Shooting Stars. The jet fighters were stationed in Rhodes, Crete and bases in Turkey in order to increase their loiter time and time in high speed combat. Hundreds of other more conventional fighters were to stay behind to supply a massive combat air patrol or CAP over the fighter bases that were in range of the VVS fighters and the very effective Tu2S Bats that had plagued the RAF.

The load outs of the B29s suggested a pattern bombing or carpet bombing mission. The briefing was done just minutes before the engines of over 3400 jet and Wright Cyclone engines started to roar disrupting the air. As they loaded the B29s with conventional 500 lb bombs, the armorers were speculating, just what was the target? It didn’t seem the right load out for an oil field but what did they know.

In addition to the bombs, they finished replacing all of the defensive guns on all of the bombers days ago. The B29s were going to give up the major advantage that had made them the most costly weapons system in the world. They would have to come in below 25,000 feet due to the discovery of the stream of fast moving wind over the target areas of the Southern USSR. It was hardly as fast as a jet but was rapidly getting the moniker Jet Stream as some futurists predicted that it would be used by peaceful jet powered airliners in the future to save on time and fuel. But for now it was a barrier that had to be flown below if you wanted to carpet bomb or bomb with any kind of accuracy. The atomic bomb did not need much accuracy and was dropped from such a great height which also allowed for the safe escape of the bomber.

The other advantage the B29 had, over other bombers of it’s time, was speed. Empty and in a shallow dive it could reach 350 mph for a couple of hundred miles. This was only 60 mph slower than a Yak 9 Frank. This would hopefully mean that most of the attacks by conventional propeller driven Soviet fighters would be from behind and not the more devastating frontal and side frontal attacks the Germans had perfected and the Soviets copied in earlier encounters.

The B29s would use their range to reach a point where the VVS fighters would start to appear then they would increase their speed to the maximum allowed and still stay in formation. After the bomb run they would go into a shallow dive while still staying in formation and hightail it for home. The most devastating of the airborne attackers; the missile firing heavy and medium bombers, would be left behind fairly quickly. The plan was for the bombers to literally fight their way through the initial screen and then to outrun the more conventional fighters and air to air attack aircraft.

Having over 600 of the finest jet fighters in the world as escorts didn't hurt either. P 80 Shooting Star was a marvelous plane. It outclassed anything the Soviets had to this point even if they dragged up some German made Me 262s. A full 30 mph faster than the MiG 9 Fargo and over a hundred mph over the Feather. The Feather could easily out turn the Shooting Star and would probably play the part of the Spitfire trying to lure SAC pilots into a turning fight while the Fargos boomed and zoomed. It would probably be a frustrating day for the P80 pilots with just fleeting chances of a deflection shot at their much more slower but nimble opponents while at the same time trying to keep the bombers safe and driving off attack after attack without the satisfaction of driving home their own attacks.

The change in tactics by the USAAF in 1944 had set the fighters loose from escort duty to take the fight to the Germans and had won the air war in the West. This was probably was not an option in this case until the odds changed. Even at this early stage and with the element of surprise there was still a possibility of being outnumbered by a two to one margin with greater odds to come. The Soviets had another advantage in knowing exactly what had to be defended to the death. The Germans never had that luxury and were forced to spread their forces thin until the bombers show their true targets.

The same sun came up just as bright over the three newly finished fighter and air defense bases that had been built in the last few months. A hundred miles Northwest of Baku, they were to be the home to about thirty percent of the defensive force that was to enter the area within a week. Novikov was a master at moving large numbers of aircraft thousands of miles in a short amount of time. In fact no one was his equal.

What he did in Operation August Storm against the Japanese in Manchuria in 1945 was only rivaled by what he was now doing. Within 10 days he would have over 5,210 defensive aircraft in the Baku area. The weather was cooperating wonderfully and Beria’s agents had obtained information that the Amerikanski knew about the high winds and would be coming in below 7500 meters. This was the killing zone for his conventional fighters of which he had almost 10,000 still left in active service despite Sergo’s efficient pivoting of manufacturing towards jet fighters.

The conventional fighters were expected to ram the bombers if need be, counting on being able to parachute over friendly territory and to survive. Some had actually practiced shearing off the ailerons of the B-29 using towed targets and large kites last winter. They had 3 real B-29s to study that were impounded in WW 2 and had calculated where best to strike the tail parts for maximum damage and still be able to control your own crippled fighter to the ground or at least to be able to jump out and use your parachute. Meanwhile the cripple giants would be spiraling to earth without a hope of rescue.

About 100 La 7Rs had even been reinforced near the wing roots and leading edges similar to previous attempts by the Luftwaffe’s Sonderkommando Elbe. This was seen more as a terror weapon than a real threat to Amerikanski bombers but it was pursued before the advent of Stalin’s Fire and the X4 rockets. The La 7R had a rocket booster embedded in the body of a regular La 7. This rocket motor increased the speed of the La 7R to 490 mph for over 3 minutes. more than enough time to catch and ram a B-29 going 300 mph.

But the B-29 was something out of the ordinary and so the taran unit had stayed in service and continued to train for their deadly mission. Ramming attacks had been somewhat frequent in the beginning of the War in the East but had subsided as the Soviet fighters became better and then finally surpassed the Germans. The unit had been stationed in the South near Baku and it was ready to do it’s duty for the Motherland. It had temporarily been re-based during the first attack yesterday but was in position to defend the remainder of the Baku oil fields today if need be.

Stalin was aware that the US was out of atomic bombs but the remainder of the VVS did not. The would be highly motivate, to say the least, to destroy every single bomber. They would use any means at their disposal to accomplish this goal. For all they knew every bomber carried certain death to hundreds of thousands.

Would the American crews be as willing to die? They had aboard just 10 tons of conventional bombs. Hardly the stuff of mass murder that modern war had made us immune to and now seemed to demand. 10 tons of bombs was a pin prick compared to what was unleashed yesterday. Would the bomber crews be willing to press home their bombing run knowing that their bomb load was such a small part of what was needed to win?

Thousands had willing done it just 8 months ago. Yes they would do it because their loyalty was to their unit, their wing, their crew. They would all do their duty to the fullest extent. Man was amazing at convincing other men to die. Sometimes it was only a piece of brightly colored cloth and sometimes it was an idea. No other animal died for an idea or even a flag. No other animal asked others to die for a vague threat.

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!”

“The paragon of animals” says Shakespeare. God help the world says me.


Stalin was raging inside. His mind was reeling with the possibilities of this calamity. Where had they come from? Where were their bases? They must be sought out and destroyed. This was why we attacked Britain so they could not attack the motherland and now they had unleashed their atomic bombs on the our homeland. That was what this whole war was about. It was to prevent them from every attacking us again. They were supposed to be regulated to attacking the buffer zone of Europe. They were supposed to have to lay waste to the old capitalist and fascist capitals and spend their wealth raining terror on their former allies. Beria had failed him and now he was going to have to hoard his oil. He was going to have to rein in his armies and air force over Britain. He had one chance to stop more bombs from falling and that was to find the bases and expand the buffer zone even further.

Novikov hadn’t officially reported but from other sources he had learned that the bombers had come from Egypt. So Egypt is where the army will go. The Red Army always ended up saving the Motherland. Yes the other arms of the military supported but the army was his key on the Eurasian continent.

Oil the lifeblood and curse of modern war and empires. Japan and Germany had died because they were bled to death. A death of a thousand cuts. The Americans had just opened a gaping wound in his supply chain.

America had triumphed only because it had oil in abundance. He had it in abundance until yesterday. Luckily it was still there. It was just under a cap of melted and poisoned earth. The die was cast he had to invade the oil fields of the British in Iran and take the bases in Turkey and Egypt. He would have to use the last of his stockpile of oil to accomplish this over arching goal. They would have to dig in on the Pyrenees Line and curtail his attacks on Britain until the matter of oil was solved. Moving on Iran solved two problems it starved the British and provided him with a new supply. Taking Egypt would close off the Eastern Mediterranean and finally free the motherland from attack.

At least until the cursed capitalist pigs developed some new weapon of nightmares. The only answer was to be as innovative in the arms race that was developing. Beria and his spies had kept them informed and Sergo produced for the Soviets what Western Europe invented. Sergo’s program of educating and developing talent was bearing fruit everyday. With the assets of Western Europe now at this disposal he was confident it could be done.

He started to calm down. In six months he would once again have as much oil as the cursed Yankees. He would once again attack Iberia and put an end to capitalism on the Eurasian continent. In six months Baku, Plestoi would be back online producing more than ever. Sergo was going to have to release some of his workers to die in an atomic wasteland in order to bring production back but it would come back. Then he would concentrate on a navy that could get him across the water separating France and England and eventually export the revolution to South America, Africa, Central America and isolate the Amerikosy like they were trying to do to the Soviet Union.

He was starting to think of the future again and not the past. Beria would live another day and if Novikov prevented anymore calamities from happening he would live as well.

Some movement caught his eye outside and he went over to the window. It was hardly ever open anymore. He preferred the night and the dark. He slept most of the day and was up most of the night much to the chagrin of the Ruling Seven who had to produce results during the day and help entertain him at night. It was an old babushka bending down to pick up a lump of coal that fell from a coal wagon. Here he was thinking about how to change the world for the workers and there was one of them right outside his window. What was she thinking of? Was this her lucky day? Could she and her family enjoy one more hour of heat tonight while he designed plans to destroy capitalism once and for all? Was that what she was thinking? He very rarely even thought about anyone but himself and that was why he was Stalin and she was a ghost.

He couldn’t remember caring about anyone anymore. It had been a long time since he tried or even thought about trying. People where just a means to an end. You had to have them in order to have real power or what was the point? Who could be the supreme leader if you had no one to lead? He couldn’t let them all die otherwise he was king of nothing. He pushed a buzzer on his desk and his newest assistant quickly and silently entered the room and waited. 

“You see that old mother out there? The one who just took some coal that did not belong to her?
The aide looked past him and spotted the lone women.
“Yes Excellency...shall I have her arrested?”

Stalin turned slowly towards the aide and pierced him with his dead eyes.

“No...we can’t kill everyone. Send someone to take her home and then give her family a months supply of fuel. You just can’t kill them all you know. What’s the point if everyone is dead. There has to be some left to rule and to do the work. Some left to honor your legacy. On second thought give her a years supply if she has young children in her home. Then bring me her right hand for stealing. No make that her left. We don’t want to be too cruel. Yes taking her dominant hand would be too cruel. ”
“Yes of course Excellency.”

He turned towards the window and watched long enough to see two NKVD agents help the old lady get into their car and drove off. One of them took the lump of coal from her and appeared to assure her that she would get it back. And he felt nothing. He never felt anything anymore except when he watched the movies and especially that American Charlie Chaplin. He had Beria assign one agent buried deep in the film industry to a very special task. He was to pay whatever it took to get a copy of the newest Charlie Chaplin movie to the Kremlin within a month of it’s release in America. So far he had not failed or was it a she. He could never remember. Yes Beria would live through another failure as long as he got his movies.