World War Three 1946 - The Red Tide - Stalin Strikes First

World War Three 1946 - The Red Tide - Stalin Strikes First
Properly edited Ebook on sale at Amazon. Click on cover image.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Third Time the Charm?

The turnaround was one of the fastest ever accomplished by a thousand plane long distance raid, like the kind just launched. In just under 8 hours the majority of SACs forces were lined up and ready to make the long flight once again to the Baku area. LeMay knew that time was not on his side and he had to hit the area hard and continuously until the job was done. Defeat was not an option and all knew it. You don’t lose when you are being commanded by Curtis LeMay. You don’t even consider defeat because he can see it in your eyes.

Once again the big bombers glided down the runways. Majestic as they were deadly. The CBs had made the runways as smooth as could be while using the Marston Matting that was so ubiquitous in the Pacific in the Second World War. It worked well on the hard packed sand that Egypt was made of. A great invention that made it possible to put a runway on even the most desolate of landscapes. Pretty simple concept as most great inventions are. Two millions tons of matting had been made and some of it was being put to good use in Egypt, Cyprus, Crete and Turkey.

The fighters waited until the bombers where overhead before they rolled down their runways from various bases in Turkey and a few islands along the way. The ramming attacks of yesterday were on the minds of all who got into a plane. The tenacity the Reds had shown with those attacks was a very large psychological weapon and that is why Novikov and the VVS still used them. How could you defeat such and enemy? The pragmatist would say that we already did defeat such and enemy when we crushed the scourge of the Kamikaze. Others might not be so confident we can do it again. The man who was giving the orders was sure it could be done again and one way or the other he was determined to win.

The first raid had been a sucker punch. The second raid had been a body blow. Now he has to take a few head shots if his opponent was going to be finally defeated. He was not so naive as to believe that the VVS would fail to get off the deck before the count reached 10 and would come roaring back with all it had. LeMay knew his opponent as well has he knew himself. Novikov and he had been cut from the same piece of cloth. Both were willing to take calculated risks and played the odds; both would also know when to put it all in and It was time. No more feints, no more dancing around, it was time to go toe to toe and both leaders knew it.

LeMay has pushed all his chips into the middle of the table and now it was time to see what Novikov had. It was time to see who would fold first. For the first time in his life LeMay had a small voice in the back of his brain creating the slightest thread of doubt. How improved had the Soviet’s missiles become? How many jet fighters would rise up to face his own? How many losses could the US leadership endure? Every time it had been sustained at over 10% they had pulled back. It had been stressed during the meetings and trainings that both the ground to air and air to air missiles were less than 10% effective yet how do you convince the squadron commanders who’s planes that ten percent would hit, to stay the course no matter what. To knowingly sacrifice your crew for the good of the squadron. Then when the squadron leader was taken out how do you count on the next in secession to step up and put his crew in such grave jeopardy?

All it took was for one squadron leader to veer out of formation taking his formation with him and utter chaos reigned in a tightly packed raid. This was amply demonstrated in the Leningrad Raid. The RAF Bomber command had faced down the Stalin’s Fire Missiles and had not panicked and has still sustained losses of 15%. Historically that was enough to cause HQ to stop the raids until other tactics could be developed. In the case of the bombing campaign over Germany it has been to let the fighters and fighter bombers loose on the airfields and infrastructure of the Luftwaffe and it had worked. Many had doubts that it would work against the far more numerous and initially well supplied Red Air Force.

The Japanese and Germans had been defeated because of the lack of fuel to both train new pilots and to power their fighters to defend their oil production facilities. The atomic bombs had gone a long way towards stopping the Reds oil production. The real question was did they have enough stockpiled to weather the next few months and would their missiles be deadly enough to stop our bombers. Would they be sufficient to make a difference?

LeMay’s supply line was very long and just starting to ramp up. Could he keep the bombers in the air in the numbers needed until he reached the crucial tipping point; the tipping point where one side of the other started to run out of resources; be it pilots, planes, ammunition or fuel. He calculated that he had to reach two to one odds or greater within 60 days to start the long slow slide of attiring the VVS. 60 days of heavy losses on both sides. Would the American public stand for such losses. Would the men themselves figure out the odds and be willing to play with their lives. This raid would be crucial and would set the baseline for future operations. Each side would be at its strongest and each side had the resources to burn in their internal combustion engines, but for how long.

His mission was twofold. Number one was to stop the oil from flowing and number two was to clear the skies of the Soviet planes enough for the coming invasions. The invasions themselves were out of his hands. He was trying to land body blows to make the opponent drop his hands. The coming spring operations were to be the knock out punches. In the fight game you take a lot of punishment yourself trying to land blows to the body of a skilled opponent. He made you pay for every shot you took with jabs and head shots of his own. Sometimes you were forced to lead with your own chin like Rocky Marciano, that new kid he saw fight for the Army. He was cut up real bad in almost every fight but got the job done after his first few blows finally hit home. That kid could take a punch and he could deliver one as well. He knew the boys of SAC could too but could the politicians watching from the sidelines keep from throwing that towel into the ring and stop the fight prematurely. The Brits had and so had we in Western Europe. All strategic bombing has stopped in Germany and France. The Brits were on their knees and were finally getting the help they needed from the USAAF.

Sacrificing the RAF has worked but not as well as planned. Novikov had moved too fast and LeMay had expected at least two full weeks of virtually unopposed bombing on the oil production facilities of the USSR before the missiles and jet fighters of the VVS showed up in sufficient numbers to place the operation in jeopardy. He only got 4 days. Novikov was either a mind reader or very, very good at his job.

Once again the big bombers started to roll and it never failed to send a shiver up his spine of all that power and destructive capability launching on his command. The losses from all forms such as attrition, accidents and combat losses had been seven percent for the last raid. Early indications were that they had destroyed a months’ worth of Soviet supplies. Not bad for a day’s work but much more was needed…much more. The calculations were that he would face over a hundred ground to air missiles, over 400 air to air missiles carried by 100 modified Tu2s Bat medium bombers and the lumbering Pe 9 Beaches, along with 100 or so of those He 162 cloned - Stalin’s Darts and 300 other jet fighters of the Yak 15 Feather and Mig 9 Fargo variety. Add in the estimated 2,000 conventional fighters that could effectively reach 24,000 feet and have enough speed to at least make a pass or two at the bombers and you had a formidable enemy contingent to deal with.

He didn't quite have 1000 planes. Launching from the Middle East based were 523 B-29s and from Turkey and the islands were 419 P-80 Shooting Stars. The P-80s were going to have to have to keep the Fargos, Feathers, Darts, Beeches and Bats busy, while the Superfortresses were going to have to defend themselves from the thousands of Yak 9s Franks and La 7 Fins. Once one of those Red missiles were launched there was nothing yet devised to help the B-29 survive. It was just luck of the draw whether the missile performed or not. They appeared easy to evade if you were in a fighter or medium bomber and had room to maneuver, but in a tightly packed formation of relatively slow super bombers, you were pretty much dead meat if the missile worked as designed. Many a bomber pilot will be sorely tempted to drop out of formation to see just how hard it will be to evade a missile or two but they would then risk collision and more important the ire of LeMay. Most were more afraid of LeMay than any missile.

This raid should be a real test of the concept of the usefulness of the manned bomber in modern warfare. The words of wisdom uttered early in the war were “the bomber will always get through” was about to be tested as never before. The USAAF has based its post war strategy on that adage. When combined with the atomic bomb it seem a pretty safe bet but then came along the guided missile and the Soviet agent George Koval and all bets were off. When an immovable object met an unstoppable force, what would be the results? The world was about to find out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Bluff

Novikov is pale and breathing rapidly. He was having some kind of attack. He hopes it’s only a panic attack. Beria better have switched those files. It was his only hope. Stalin was sure to have him strangled if he found out his mistake and fixation with defeating the RAF and how it had led to the oil fields … the life blood of the Red Army and Air Force … being unguarded. Those files made Vershinin look guilty. He supposed that he should be feeling guilty but all he was feeling was fear.

…” Yes comrade, not one single bomb fell on Baku and repairs continue on the damaged caused by the atomic bombs. The other remaining facilities were not touched as well. The raid sent by the Amerikosi was turned back after slightly damaging our airfield infrastructure…”

Novikov is alone in his office and is in an almost complete state of disarray. He is sweating and looks like a man who is talking to the devil himself. Some say he is. Some consider the man on the other end of the phone line the devil incarnate. He almost misses the cue to further twist the reality of the situation because of the lack of sleep. He had been dreading this call for hours.

“Yes comrade that is true but the losses are minimal in the larger scope of things. The oil is still flowing at the same rate as yesterday and the other facilities are being repaired rapidly. With our reserves and the captured supplies we should be able to carry out normal operations for the next 4 months in defense of the oil facilities. I am confident that we can beat back any more attempts at attacking Baku and soon any of the other facilities. I will admit that many of the other operations will have to wait until the spring. We will not be able to support fully all the operations in the West and still defend our vital oil fields.”

His mind was reeling with the possibility of his death being very imminent. His only salvation seemed to be that Stalin was under heavy sedation. He was not probing for weakness like usual and not mining his every sentence for mistakes and lies. This is what probably saved him…this time.
He did not fear that Beria would stab him in the back, for that bald cretin had as much to lose as he did. Both could be found fully culpable for the disaster that had occurred to the oil production facilities. Both could easily be tied to a chair and experiencing excruciating pain at this very moment if not for both of them holding to their agreed upon version of the truth. He had seen Beria’s second in command in action and he had no doubt that he would enjoy working on his superiors.
“Yes Excellency I fully understand the consequences of allowing others under my command to fail again and I do understand that it is ultimately my responsibility.”…

The phone in his hand suddenly jumps to life with the familiar ferocity he has come to know over the years. Stalin has garnered some strength from somewhere and is as menacing as ever. Besides being scared almost witless, Novikov wonders at how a small and frail old many can be so threatening over a phone line. How can a pocked marked, old man be so intimidating from thousands of miles away? He personally could manage it but only when he was physically present.


“No comrade I will not let those responsible avoid responsibility and they will be punished appropriately.”…”Yes … I understand perfectly.”

Why?

“Marshal Vershinin do you know why you are here?”
“I have no idea Comrade.”
“Novikov and Beria have framed you in the debacle in Baku and the other oil production facilities…”
“But Excellency I had nothing to do with the failures, comrade. I was the one who fought against stripping our forces and…”
“Quiet Konstantin I know all this. You are in the right. You did all you could do. I know who is at fault but someone has to pay and Novikov and Beria are too valuable to sacrifice, at this time. You are not.”
“I don’t understand Excellency. What are you saying?”
“I’m going to have you arrested on various trumped up charges in one hour. You can save yourself the torture that surely awaits in Beria’s favorite chair or you can go back to your room and use that gun at your side. The fact that I am telling you this in person is testament to your devotion to the Soviet Union and the communist cause. The fact that I am giving you this opportunity to take matters into your own hands shows how much personal admiration I have for you but we must be practical Konstantin.”
“I am speechless Excellency.”
“As well you should be. Now go to your room and contact your family and then do what you must.”
“Yes Excellency. One question if I may…will my family be treated well?”
“Yes Konstantin they will have the best and your son will enter the service academy next year as planned. In time you will be exonerated and will be named a true hero of the Motherland and Beria and Novikov will visit the chair meant for you.  But for now you must do what I have told you.”
“Yes Excellency…Thank you.”

“You are welcome Konstantin.”

The Eyes Have It

Something was happening to his eyes as they were getting cloudier by the moment, but before he started to lose his sight he had witnessed some horrible things. He was down in the root cellar when the hot, ill wind hit and the screams started. He ran up the stairs and outside to see what was going on and witnessed a glowing sun where the east end of Baku had been. It was only a glance but that was enough and he ran down the stairs again blinded by what he had seen. 

He cowered for hours in the dark and soon realized that he heard no sounds outside of his own breathing and tapping noises he was making. The outside world was almost completely quiet. He smelled burning flesh and petroleum products but the fires must have been far off for he did not hear the flames. And flames there surely must have been, for the miniature sun was so intense it gave him a sunburn in just the few seconds he experienced it.

He had not heard of atomic bombs and knew very little about even regular bombs. He had not even fired a gun. They were too poor for such things. Now goats…he knew a lot about goats…with goats he was an expert but not with suns he was ignorant of such things. All he really knew was that there was only supposed to be one sun and it was the giver of life. This other sun brought only death.

The fact that he had a shelter to run into was a foreign concept as well. He was used to sleeping outside and watching over the goats. He had just come into Baku for the wedding of his favorite nephew when the small sun exploded.

He was frightened like never before. Not even the day he faced down the great bear in that meadow in the mountains, compared to this. He understood the danger and the risk of that encounter but he did not know what the little sun would do to him.
If what was happening to his eyes was an example it was going to be horrible.

He ventured into the sunlight but could not see much for he was already going blind. He thought of the beggars in the streets of Baku and supposed he was going to become one. He became really worried when he saw that there was no Baku left. No nephew, no brother, no bride … but there was wine.

He had heard of people drinking themselves to death. How come you could drink gallons of wine and beer but not the same amount of water? The mind wanders when you are going blind he supposed. His religion forbade killing himself so he quickly turned his thoughts to survival. Imagine surviving in a world with two suns and he could not see either of them. God worked in strange ways and he hoped that he could join his nephew in eternal peace soon. In the meantime he knew that his trials and hardships had just begun, in this new world with two suns.

Friday, July 25, 2014

William Perl at Home



For the first time since he was married he did not want to go home. Maybe it was because he had just finished the last piece and solved the last challenge to the newest jet engine of the USSR. Maybe it was because he was feeling a little guilty knowing what this engine in the excellent MiG 15 fighter design would do to his former country’s B-29s. It would not be pretty. The P-80 didn’t stand a chance. The swept back wing was the key to more speed and his engine gave it more speed.

As heartless as it sounded he didn’t want to see his wife. She was still the most gorgeous women he had ever imagined being with but now he wanted more. He wanted conversation and real feelings. Oh she was a good actress but she was not smart. Not even a bad conversationalist about normal matters but he wanted to talk about abnormal matters. Oh he didn’t know what he wanted. He just wanted change. He was sure he could get what he wanted but he was hesitant to approach anyone with the ultimate solution.

He wanted Jill Stone. He was in love with her from the get go. She was smart and pretty enough to satisfy his every need. They talked for hours that summer they spent together, but she was not here in Siberia with him. She was in Pittsburg waiting tables the last he heard because no one hired a female physicist.

But here…who knew. There were plenty of female scientists working with him. Maybe here she could be happy at what she wanted to do. As he recalled it was particle physics. He was so busy telling her what he was doing he had not listened to her when she had talked about her own dreams. He had just watched her face light up and how her body has moved when she got up and paced around the room. She was one of those women who did not know how good she looked or cared.

He had not been able to reach her when he decided to make a run for it. She might have come. She was as a committed communist as he was; possibly more so. He wanted to be with her in the worst way. He wanted to talk with her like he did that summer for hours and hours on end.

But how did one approach someone to inquire about getting rid of his current wife and replacing her with another that was still in America? Who do you call for that kind of thing? That had not been covered in his orientation to the Workers’ Paradise here on the other side of the world. He had to have someone approach her and convince her to leave the capitalist life behind and to work for a better world and as a bonus she could be his wife.

He needed a distraction. Maybe he should volunteer to work on that anti-ship missile that the Red Navy keeps bugging Sergo for. He heard that Sergo didn’t want to let the guidance system be used in uncontrolled circumstances. Circumstances where the enemy could get its hands on an unexploded missile or more importantly it’s guidance system. He certainly understood that thinking. The US has not wanted to us the proximity fuse in Europe for fear the Germans would get a hold of some. Funny thing was that they did capture a couple of hundred thousand during the Battle of the Bulge but apparently didn’t understand their significance. Barr and Sobel had delivered a fully functional prototype to Beria in 1944 but Sergo concentrated on the Wasserfal and X4 instead. Again the irony is that now the Soviets had millions of American made VT fuses thanks to the overrunning of the storage depots and Barr and Sobel buying millions and shipping them to the Soviets before the war. American capitalists sure are greedy, but then again so were the leaders he had contact with here. Possibly it was just a part of the human condition that nothing could be done about it. The only way to control it was for other humans to control the more greedy ones.

Enough philosophizing and time to think about Jill. Maybe he would go home and screw his “wife” while thinking of Jill. That could work for a while anyway. Come to think of it she did look similar if she had light brown hair. Maybe if he had her dye it from the blond she pretended to be. They were about the same size and if he could just have her not talk during sex. She had a very slight accent that distracted from his Jill fantasy. How do you tell your wife to shut up and screw?

Perun

First it was the noise of the bombers engines that made everyone start to move a little faster. It was like a storm on the horizon. You could hear the distant thunder before you saw the clouds and felt the rain. Most of the ground crews had made it out of the kill zone and had started to spread out as ordered so as not to make an attractive mass target for the expected marauding Amerikosi jet fighters. They got out of their vehicles and started to move towards cover; ditches, trees, bushes, rocks but not buildings. Buildings were as much of a target as their vehicles and many had recalled enduring the same type of event that was about to befall them from the previous war only this time it was not the Stuka but something much faster and deadly.

Many had heard that the Yankee jet carried jellied gas called napalm and many had loaded their own IL10 Beasts with a similar substance. No, a building was not where you wanted to be during the coming storm. A storm made by man to kill other men. A storm of destruction only rivaled by the atomic bomb, earthquake and volcano. Some has seen the remains of Toulouse and a few has seen what had happened in Caen to the Germans. Hopefully they had gotten out in time because if they hadn’t they were dead men who were still breathing but only their last few breaths.

As the engine sounds grew louder and louder you can almost see the bomb bay doors opening and the great silver bombers start to disgorge their explosive filled metal jacketed pills into the sky. Each bomber was carrying forty 500 pound bombs and when they started to fall you could hear them. The men and women on the ground knew what was coming. Most had experienced some kind of massive barrage of high explosives either from German rockets or artillery and even some from bombs but all knew that this would be off the scale compared to those.

The first string of bombs hit a few seconds before the rest and must have been a mistake by an excited bombardier. It landed by happenstance in a grove of trees far from the intended target but right amongst a few of the crews that serviced the Tartan ramming squadrons killing three. And then all hell broke loose on the former airfield complex as 500 lb bomb after bomb after bomb after bomb started to explode in a rolling thunderstorm only rivaled by nature herself. It was one massive explosion that knocked anyone off their feet for miles around the affected area. A constant explosion as one gave way to another. Many of the ground crew went temporarily mad with some running around screaming at the top of their lungs.

One crewmen had gone back to retrieve a picture of his girl. All he could do is watch as the rolling barrage came towards him like something of out of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. A parting of the Red Sea as it were only with great gobs of earth, cement, buildings and a few trees mixed in with exploding gasoline and diesel fuel. By the time the bombs were 100 feet from him he was deaf and as he knelt to await his fate he was fascinated by all the flying debris from the milk cow they kept out back to the replacement engine of a Pe-8 heavy bomber lifting into the sky and falling lazily down with in feet of him. Soon he was unconscious but not dead. He in fact would survive in an oasis of untouched earth caused by the premature release of those early bombs. Everything else was obliterated in an instant from fuel to songbirds flying overhead. 1 months’ worth of supplies for over 5,000 planes was destroyed in 15 minutes at both massive air complexes that were hastily constructed and completed just last week. Life truly is a game of inches at times.

Perun is the Slavic god of thunder and he was certainly there during the attack. He is described as a rugged man with a copper beard. He rides in a chariot pulled by a goat buck and carries a mighty axe, or sometimes a hammer. The axe is hurled at evil people and spirits and will always return to his hand and he was in his element today. Hammer blow after hammer blow rained down on the forgiving earth and opened up gaping wounds in the former grass covered airfields. The term moon scape comes to mind when viewing the results. Just a gray pockmarked desecrated piece of earth still burning in many places from many sources.

Countless craters swallowed the burning wrecks of planes, parts and much needed equipment. Tires burned in black cauldrons of fire belching smoke the covered the area for days. Wildlife ceased to exist as did flowers and trees. What was a massive well-kept area that could launch a thousand planes a day was now a churning, boiling scene of utter chaos and destruction.

A pocket watch fell to the ground and landed quite delicately on a piece of sod that was green side up. It had been flung in the air almost straight up and was blow higher by another series of explosions and traveled a few hundred feet from the tent it was left in. It lay there still ticking and marking time without a scratch on it. A curious souvenir someone would collect probably in a few hours. Inside the cover was a picture of a pretty girl taken circa 1920 or so. A lovely person still who would never see the watch again nor the man who used to own it. It would disappear into a pawn shop in a few years and lay there for a few more before another young man would purchase it and put it in his pocket never knowing where it came from or the history of its former owner.

Such was the life of well-made precious things. Destined to be passed from person to person or even taken from a dead man’s hands. There was not even a scratch to reveal the living hell it had been through on that day in October 1946. Not one single scratch or dent. Just a small piece of grass in the spring of the front cover and now one would ever even find that piece of grass much less figure it was from one of the greatest carpet bombing raids in history.

A raid that destroyed 234 Soviet planes, a month’s worth of supplies and fuel, killed 389 grounds crew and almost got Novikov killed. The fact that Baku was not touched and that it was still producing a good amount of oil for another day is what saved him. The planes, parts, fuel and even grounds crew could be replaced fairly quickly if there was oil and there still was oil at least for another 36 hours.

***
Why did I write about the watch you might ask? It’s because I have it in my collection. How did I know where it came from? Because the picture was of my sister and it was his watch. He died in that bombing raid in 1946. Possibly you're thinking how long did it take for me to once again bring that watch back into the families possession. How long is this story going to last. If you are reading this and it is before the turn of the century then for another 40 years at least. We have a long way to go before we reach the year you are currently living in. 
***

Taran

Taran is the Soviet version of a ramming attack. Boris Kobzan was the best in the world at this tactic. He survived 3 such attacks during the last war. His La 7 was built to ram the B-29. His unit has been practicing for almost a year against the big bomber. Practice run after practice run using plywood targets and even the German Gigant glider towed behind dual TU2S to get the speed needed to duplicate the American bomber. The VVS Tarans were as ready they could be and as luck would have it they were in position to give it a go. The Reinforced La 7 Fin was much faster than its much heavier gun carrying brothers. It was lighter in every way except where it counted. Reinforced to withstand a massive air to air collision with a much heavier opponent. It was designed to cut like a knife through the tail sections of the B-29. Some of which were almost as big as the whole Fin itself.

Boris was not a good shot but then again he didn’t have to be, did he? He was probably the best pilot in the world. He flew with such precision that he could put his plane closing in on the target at sometimes at a combined speed of over 600 miles an hour, in precisely the place and angle he needed. In his last ram attack he actually was able to land his plane quite nicely after taking down a Ju 88. It really was a remarkable skill to be able to crash into and opponent and live, at the kind of speeds that modern planes had to obtain to stay in the air.

The formations of Amerikosi bombers were in a shallow dive to gain speed and to get out of range of most of the Soviet fighters and interceptors. The tactic had worked very well and the Tarans where the only conventional Red Air Force planes in contention for an attack at the moment. The MiG 9s had got a few but not anywhere near enough. A number of the Fargos had gone down in flames to the guns of the P-80 jet fighters who found themselves in the enviable position of being in the majority for once in this war.
What this decrease in altitude did mean, was that the Fins were in their element. At 15,000 feet the La 7 had no equal outside of a jet fighter. They gained speed on the pack and had the best angle of attack on the bombers imaginable. Luck plays such a big part in the art of war and for once in this bombing raid, it was with the Soviets. The American jet fighters were still consumed with dealing with the MiG 9 Fargos and the Tartan squadron following Boris each had time to pick their targets. They were not harassed and came boring straight in. This allowed them the luxury of lining up their attacks and then side slipping to throw off the aim of the big bombers gunners.

It’s hard enough trying to hit a small fighter plane coming in from the front quarter high and low. Add in a slide-slip and you're pretty much untouchable. The reason that fighters weren’t successful more often in this kind of attack was twofold. The escorting fighters usually prevented you from taking the time to line the attack up and second it was even harder to hit a target with your own shells when you were side-slipping towards it.
If you are trying to collide with a target it didn’t matter so much; in fact if you were practiced, it was the only way to miss the wings and hit the tail area. Once past the wing a quick flick and you could hit the aileron with the heavily reinforced wing root of the La 7 Fin in a slicing maneuver that the Fin should win 9 times out of ten. And Boris’s squadron did. 9 hits with 8 outright kills and the Tartan surviving. Another slow motion death of a bomber and an outright miss and an easy kill for a trailing P-80 on the 10th member of the squadron.

Boris got his fourth ramming kill with a absolutely perfect strike on the Winnie May that barely damaged his wings. His prop was gone but he could glide with ease towards a possible easy landing in some farmer’s field. 6 of the other Tartans fared as well with 3 going down with their intended victims. All were able to get out of their damaged planes and complete their trip to earth beneath a stark white canopy of silk destined to fly again. Nikolai Zelenko died as he bled out with a piece of the Milk Maids rudder in his neck.

The other Tartans took down another 14 bombers in twenty more semi controlled collisions and 7 Soviet pilots died along with 84 American crewmen in a matter of 2 minutes of utter chaos and horror for the bomber crews. The US had never seen this kind of attack in such a controlled and obviously choreographed manner. Some has seen the odd Kamikaze but never such a organized dance of death. It profoundly affected the thought processes of the surviving crews. This was of course, one of the main reasons to keep such a primitive form of attack in the Soviet arsenal and it was amply demonstrated here. This attack would stay in the minds of perhaps a thousand American flyers for the rest of their lives and profoundly affect every one of them forever. This was real war. No killing from afar, no shooting some machine out of the sky but physically ramming your opponent. This was personal, and this was how the Slav fought the Germans, Napoleon, the Golden Hoard and now the Americans.