Drakafic: The Yanks Are Coming

Chapter One: War Is Declared

Mess Hall, BB-65 Minnesota, Somewhere in the South Atlantic, 1713 Hours, 23 September 1941

“Damnit, you saw what those fucking snakes did to the Pope, butchered
him like a dog, and we're just standing here, instead of going and kicking
their puto asses,” muttered Boatswain's Mate Victor Talamantez,
formerly of Mexico City.

“Shut up, Victor, we all know that if we want serious discussion, we
won't ask Deck,” replied Fire Controlman Nathan Callaghan.

“Fuck you, you worthless damn mick. Shouldn't you have a bottle somwhere
here to crawl into? ” replied Talamantez. That goddamn bastard had been
riding him every day at mess ever since they'd left Norfolk a month prior.

Before Callaghan could get back with another insult, this time directed at
Talmantez's mother, a low electronic squeal sounded through the mess deck,
causing everyone to stop what they were doing, and look up towards the
speakers mounted on the overhead.

“Attention all hands, this is the Captain speaking.” crackled the voice over
the 1MC.

“As you well know, the Domination of Draka invaded Rome almost two weeks
ago, and enslaved several American citizens. Our repeated efforts to gain their
release have been so far unsuccessful, drawing a formal threat from the Domination
for our efforts to save our citizens.”

“Gentlemen. As of seventeen hundred hours today, the United States and the
Domination are formally at war. I have received instructions from CINCLANT
to immediately begin unrestricted warfare on the High Seas against ships flying
the flag of the Domination, civilian and military.”

“Accordingly, all 1.1” and .50 caliber mounts will be manned at all times.
Any violations or slacking off in your duties will be noted by your superiors
and corrective actions taken. We are at war now, what slid by in peacetime
does not apply now.”

“Additionally, modified watchbills for wartime cruising will be prepared by your
superiors and posted shortly. Thank you all, men, and may God smile on this grand

There was a deep silence in the mess for several seconds as the men realized what
had just happened, before the entire compartment broke into boisterous cheers.

“We're going to war now!” shouted someone in the back of the galley; to even more
cheers from the men. “Lets show those Europeans how you deal with Snakes!”
shouted another man; to cheers, everyone knew how the US had bailed out the
European powers at the very end of the Great War, when they were at the very
ends of their ropes.

7th Bombardment Squadron HQ, 1800 Hours, Westover, Massachusetts

“So, Second Lieutenant Garrett, Where do you think the best place to base our
bombers in this new war is?”

"Sir, which place?"

"I'm not sure I follow you, Second Lieutenant."

"Well, Sir, we have several options open to us. We most likely can get
basing agreements from Germany, France and Poland, but we would not be
able to hit anything of strategic significance from those locations, and
we would find ourselves carrying out tactical bombardment missions in
support of ground forces, not strategic bombardment."

"I can read a map, too, Second Lieutenant. Do you have anything
useful to say?"

"If Spain gives us basing rights, we'll be able to hit North Africa with
everything in our inventory, from mediums to all types of heavies."

"It looks like you may have something between your ears,
Second Lieutenant."

"The other realistic option is basing from the Soviet Caucasus, between
Volgograd and Astrakhan. This would allow us to hit most of Anatolia
and range fairly deep into Persia. While there isn't much industry
in Persia, what little there is is vital, since it gives the Draka the
oil they need to run their economy."

“Excellent reasoning, First Lieutenant Garrett, which is why you're
now part of the advance team the Seventh is sending to Spain to work out
the arrangements for basing from Spanish soil. You're going to need all
the luck you can get; everyone's realized the same thing as you; that Spain
is the only place we can hit the Draka from with our bombers.

“Yes, sir.”

As he left the room, the newly-promoted 1st LT Garrett let out a sigh of
relief. He had survived his first meeting with Major "Iron Ass" LeMay.

As Garrett closed the door behind him, LeMay opened a small drawer in his desk,
and pulled out a small black notebook. Opening it up, he carefully wrote in the
name of that bright young first lieutenant. He had the right mindset and eye for
strategic bombardment, something that America was going to need to win this war.

The White House - 2000 Hours

“Mister President, the Army Air Force can offer you two medium bomb
groups of B-18B Bolos, a heavy bomb group equipped with B-15Bs, and
finally, we have a heavy bomb group, the Fourteenth, forming up with
B-24s, we expect them to be at full strength by December.”

"How many are of actual use, Hap?" asked Franklin Roosevelt,
President of the United States. As Secretary of the Navy, he'd learned
well the difference between paper strength and actual strength.

Arnold looked around uncomfortably. "Sir, the B-18Bs are worthless; we're
replacing them as fast as we can build B-25s and B-26s. We're planning to
use the Bolos as trainers or as anti-submarine aircraft."

"Of our bomber fleet, the B-24s are our best; they can fly the highest and
fastest with a normal bombload to avoid interception by enemy fighters. Earlier
this year, we set up a production pool between Consolidated and Douglass to
mass produce them. We've just bought Ford into the pool, we expect them to
be online and producing by this time next year."

"Right now, the only bomb group I would order into action against the Drakia
is the Tenth, they have the B-15B, which is at least survivable against modern
air defenses, and they're at full strength, unlike the Fourteenth, which only
has one of her squadrons."

“I assume you've seen the letter from the Soviet Ambassador regarding allied
forces on Soviet territory?” asked FDR as he motioned for one of his aides
to hand Arnold a copy of the letter.

“No need to give me that, I've already seen it.”

“Your opinion, General?”

“I'm divided on it, Mister President. It allows us to hit their Arabian conquests,
especially the oil fields of Persia and the factories of Turkey, but it comes with
a price; the Russian winter. We don't yet have the expertise or numbers to try
operating our heavy bombers from that climate; operating from our northern states is
hard enough, Russia will be even worse. Spain is a better choice, in my opinion."

“It's also a cry of desperation,” added Joseph Davies, a former Ambassador to
the Soviet Union, who had been brought in to consult on the letter. “Quite frankly,
their war situation has to be especially dire in order for Krasnov to issue a decree
of such magnitude.”

A pervasive silence settled over the room as the implications of that statement
sunk in, before Roosevelt broke the silence.

“Ah yes, Hap, I meant to ask you, what do we have in the works to extend our
reach over the Dominate?"

“Two years ago, you may recall, we issued the VLR specification for a bomber
capable of carrying 2000 pounds to 2,500 miles, a distance easily double that
of our present Liberators. Last year, we chose Boeing as the winner of the contract,
and placed an order for 250 of them after the first flight of the XB-29 prototype
back in July of this year. Production is scheduled to begin in late 1942.”

“That's good, Hap, but even those won't be able to hit the Draka deep in their
homeland, 2,500 miles isn't enough.”

“Yes, which is why we instituted a ELR program the day after the Domination
invaded the Soviets. 12,000 mile range with 10,000 pounds of bombs. Enough
to hit Archona itself from Florida and have enough fuel to land in Brazil."

“Boeing and Consolidated-Vultee, with a surprise entry by Northrop, were
the competitors for that bid, and last December, Consolidated-Vultee won the
contract; they're contracted to build two XB-36s, the first one to be ready
mid-1943, and the second six months later. Full scale production is intended
to begin in 1945.”

“Excellent, Hap. Before we convene for the night, I have a request here from the
Irish ambassador, it seems that the Irish are asking for war materiel in the form
of fighters, and no one seems to want to sell anything to them. What can we do
about this?”

"Mister President," replied Arnold in a voice cold as ice water, “I have enough problems
with keeping my squadrons supplied with aircraft without having to deal with foreigners
screaming for more and more aircraft which we can't supply without cutting into our own

“What about obsolete aircraft, Hap? I have to give them something to keep those damnable
Bostonians happy.”

“Well...we can give them those P-47Bs we were going to scrap, they're not worth much,
not since the new C models began rolling off the production lines, along with all those
P-40s, the ones with no pilot armor, self-sealing tanks or bullet proof glass.”

“Sounds reasonable. We can always give them newer models once our factories are
up and running. Speaking of which, gentlemen, it's getting late, can we convene until
a later time?”

Chapter Two: The Bodies Begin To Pile Up

Nizhniy Unal, The Caucasus Front, 0610 Hours, 24 September 1941

Junior Chiliarch Edward van den Löwe looked out the windows of his
headquarters, into the courtyard below, which was framed in stark reliefs
of shadow and light due to the still-low morning sun which shone it's light
upon a scene of near-chaos as a steady stream of Kellerman autosteamers
poured into the courtyard, which was barely big enough to a few, much
less twenty.

The replacements that he'd begged Archona for so long were finally arriving
now, and what did Legion headquarters do? Sent them all to the same place,
without even checking first to see if there was enough room for all of them.

Typical Fikking incompetence which had cost the Draka so much already
in this war, thought van den Löwe. Even a static front like the Caucasus still
needed replacements sent there to replace those who were killed or wounded
as a result of the slow attrition between them and the Soviets.

There was a knock at the door. “Entah,” replied van den Löwe. In stepped a
Cohortarch, resplendent in her finely tailored uniform, which was spotless,
despite the long overnight drive from Utsera on the other side of the mountains
on roads that were barely worth the name “road”.

The woman wasted no time in introducing herself. “Cohortarch Janice Schrodinger,
of the 302th Benatarium Cohort. I must say that I saw unsupervised Jannisaries on my
way here with my troops, manning the roadblocks. Unsupervised Jannisaries!
What's the meaning of this gross breach in security?”

“Cohortarch,” replied van den Löwe, trying to keep his anger in check at being scolded
by a lower-ranking subordinate, “heah, the countryside is unsafe after darkness, this heah
damn place is full of bushmen. Bettah that a Jannie gets it than a Citizen while mannin'
a post at oh-three-hundred all alone by hisself.”

Schrodinger scoffed at this. “It just sounds like you're trying to weasel outa killin' the
ferals heah. A simple search n' destroy sweep should take care o' your bushman problem.
You aren't one of those Christians, now are you?” she finished with a sneer.

“I could if I had the manpower for it. But Archona seems to like bleedin' us heah in the
Caucasus dry. I have barely enough Citizens to man my front lines in the necessary ratios
to Jannies. So me an' my superiors don't see the need for a Citizen to die like a dog in
rear line positions when we got Janissaries for that.”

“But since you showed so much concern ovah this, You an' your unit are goin'
to be doing rear line duty until we get more replacements." finished van den Löwe, as he
tried to suppress a feral grin at putting this freshly arrived asshole from the Police Zone
in her place.

As the Cohortarch's face slowly turned beet-red, van den Löwe walked over to the windows
and opened them, letting the fresh early morning air into the room.

“Smell that air? This is good countryside. Once we get enough manpower from Archona
to clean out the Bushmen, I'm thinkin' of retirin' here after the war,” he said to

It was then that he heard it. A low droning rumble off in the distance, so faint that
he almost couldn't hear it. But it was growing in intensity with each passing moment.

Turning his head, he tried to judge where the sound was coming from. After several
moments, he realized it wasn't coming from Drakian controlled territory, but from the
North. From Soviet-controlled territory.

FIK!” he shouted into the courtyard below, "Aircraft inbound! Get
the guns ready!”

As troops began to jump out of their autosteamers frantically, the anti-aircraft troops
in the field next to the house began to unwap their Quad 25mm mount. During the
nights, the mounts were covered in burlap which was weighted down with bricks,
and the entire affair covered in bells to prevent bushmen from sabotaging them.

Turning away from watching the antiaircraft troops prepare, he looked for the
incoming bombers. Finally, he found them. They were coming in low out of the
early-morning sun, hedgehopping.

As they drew closer his mind analyzed them, and compared them against
the Staff Directorate's intelligence reports on enemy equipment.

Two engines, huge radials, mid-wing monoplanes, went his mind.
American A-20C Havocs supplied under Lend-Lease to the Soviets.

Armament: eight thirty caliber machine guns in the nose when delivered,
usually replaced with four 20mm ShVAK cannons upon recieval by the
Russians. Capable of carrying a tonne of bombs.

Turning away from the incoming stream of aircraft, he watched as the Citizens
of the 302th Benatarium organized themselves hastily behind whatever cover
they could find, and aimed their rifles into the air.

Put five hundred men in a small area and have them fire their rifles into the
air, and you're sure to bring something down,
went a small part of his mind,
recognizing the standard infantry anti-air attack drill.

When the aircraft were under a klick away, the quad 25 opened fire, sheets of
flame from it's four muzzles stabbing the early morning air. Moments later,
black puffs of smoke appeared in front of the oncoming bombers as the time
fuzes in the shells ran out.

In moments, the bombers were upon them, their noses disappearing in flame
as the four twenties opened fire, raining death down into the courtyard below.
Before he ducked under the windowsill, van den Löwe caught sight of dozens
of men rolling on the ground, writhing in pain after the autosteamer they had
been taking cover behind took a couple of cannon rounds and had exploded
violently, sending shrapnel everywhere, along with high pressure steam.

Stupid Fikking newbies. Always stand near autosteamers, even though
steam'll kill you everytime,
thought van den Löwe.

Above his head, he could hear cannon rounds thudding off the heavy stone
structure of the house. Slowly he began working his way towards the heavy
oak desk that he worked from most of the day, and hid under it. Moments
later, he heard a loud explosion in the small room, followed by the hiss of
red-hot shrapnel.

Cannon round must've penetrated through the windows and exploded inside
the room,
he thought.

As he listened from under the desk, the din of automatic cannons firing, along with
the sharp reports of autosteamers exploding in clouds of steam filled the room.
Then suddenly, the entire house shook violently, then again and again.

Two-hundred-fifty kilo bombs, close by, went the calm, analytical part of
van den Löwe's mind.

As he hid under the desk, part of his mind fought against hiding like a bushman,
instead of going out and fighting the enemy, but he quashed that line of thought.

Only brave fikkin' fools go and stand in the open in the Caucasus. And then get
shot. I'm not one of those fools. I want to survive this war and open up a plantation

Slowly, the firing died away, to be replaced with the crackling roar of of burning
things and the screaming of the wounded. Carefully, van den Löwe stood up from
under his desk, and found that Cohortarch Schrodinger hadn't survived the attack.

The cannon shell that had exploded inside the room had apparently taken the
back of her head off, as well as tearing her entire back out, while he had been
protected from the shrapnel by the thick oak desk.

He shrugged. One less blowhardy idiot all fired up from the boarding schools
ready to take on the entire world. The Caucasus was the worst place for those types
in this world. You either were brash and dead, or cautious and alive here.

Walking over to the window, he looked down into the courtyard, and found that
it was unrecognizable from a few minutes ago. Shattered autosteamers filled the
square below, many of them still hissing as residual steam released itself, and
far too many horribly burnt and shredded bodies lay next to them.

Leaving his office, van den Löwe walked down the stairs and was greeted by
a worried Centurion Quentin Watson, his aide de camp. “Are you ok?” asked
Watson nervously.

“Fine, I'm all right, but you had better git the corpse stick up there, as
Cohortarch Schrodinger didn't survive.”

“No big loss, either way, as Archona'll send us a new one,” replied Watson.

“Right, let'see what we got heah.” muttered van den Löwe as he left his
headquarters building, noting the fresh pockmarks in the walls from ShVAK

Outside, it was even worse than it looked from inside. Citizens lay everywhere,
some with their heads ripped off by flying shrapnel from the autosteamers, or
others torn in half by 20mm fire.

Off in the distance, several black plumes of smoke were rising into the morning sky.

Watson answered van den Löwe's question even before he asked it, “Ah that, we
got a couple of the fikking Bolshies with the 25s.”

“Get the GAZ, we're goin' to take a look at one o' them. I've never seen a A-20 up
close before,” ordered van den Löwe.

10 Minutes Later

“Yeehaw!” shouted van den Löwe as the sprightly little GAZ 64 bounded over
the muddy roads towards the furthest crash site, the one with the least amount
of smoke.

The GAZs 4-cylinder 3.8 liter engine chugged steadily as it banged out it's
rated 54 horsepower, which was enough for the GAZ, with it's light weight
and marvelous 4x4 drive, to make easy headway where conventional autosteamers
bogged down.

“I never understood why we didn't steal this design...at least, not yet, that
I know of,” shouted Watson over the wind.

“Too much entrenched bureaucracy at Kellerman to do this, not when they
can make an' arm an' leg over a thirty year old design,” replied van
den Löwe morosely.

After several minutes of whipping down the roads at breakneck speeds,
they came upon the crashsite, which was already surrounded by curious
Citizens, who were pawing at the aircraft for souveneirs to send home,
while the Janissaries watched from a distance mournfully.

Walking up to what was left of the aircraft, van den Löwe noticed
the careful construction of it, which matched that of the private
plane manufacturers in the Domination, despite it being a military

Examining the engine, he noted the finely cut deep grooves on the
cylinder heads to carry away excess heat, along with the general aura
of fine machining which surrounded the engine, something that the
Domination could only aspire to in small custom produced products,
not a mass produced product such as the A-20.

Even with such a level of fine machining, the Americans were producing
such engines in such quantities that they could literally afford to
give them away like candy to the Russians.

Half of the Russian A-20s that had attacked his headquarters almost an hour ago
had been shot down, but the Russians received more than enough from the Americans
every day to not only make up for their combat losses, but to expand the VVS
as well.

And now America was in the war too. van den Löwe knew that this never-ending
wave of aircraft and war materiel that the Russians threw at them every day would
only but increase, but now the Americans would be throwing their own manpower
and aircraft into the war.

America's feigned neutrality was no more, in it's place was outright hostility,
and van den Löwe knew what that meant.


Chapter Three: Flight of the Wildcatfish.

BB-65 Minnesota, 0600 Hours, 25 September 1941

Slowly, the aircraft emerged from it's slumber under the watchful eyes of the
sailors attached to the Minnesota's aviation department, who crowded around
it; they were not yet used to the new aircraft that had been assigned to the
Minnesota back at Norfolk.

Before their eyes, the folding wings of the F4F-3S Wildcatfish were swung
down and locked into place. Pairs of ordnancemen walked towards the aircraft
carrying the heavy cases that contained the 37mm ammunition for the aircraft's
twin cannons.

Soon, the floatplane was ready. The pilot was snug inside his cockpit, and the
catapult had been swung over the side and loaded with gunpowder for the launch,
and the big radial was roaring away.


With an explosive whumpf!, the cat fired, hurtling the fighter into the slowly
lightening dawn sky.

Somewhere over the South Atlantic, 0800 Hours

Ensign Judice was getting very bored. He had been flying over empty ocean for the
last two hours, without sighting a single thing. At least he was only an hour away from
turning back; and things could be worse, he could be one of the snipes back home on
the Minnesota....

It was then that he spotted it. An airplane a few miles away, and an odd-looking one,
at that. Angling his fighter over to take a closer look and opening up the throttle, he
was within range in a few minutes.

Observing the aircraft, Judice noted that it was a very flimsy-looking affair, nothing
like the cast-iron sturdiness of his big Grumman. Looking over the aircraft, he saw
the distinctive red snake of the Domination on the aircraft. Upon seeing it, he
swerved away, opening up the distance, which saved his life moments later when
the rear gunner of the aircraft opened fire on him, green tracers burning their way
across the sky.

“Damn snakes, trying to kill someone who only dropped by to say hello...” he muttered
as he used his Grumman's speed advantage over the Drakian aircraft to set up the right
shot. As the green blobs raced across the sky, Judice instinctively tried to hunch behind
his instrument panel, for unlike the regular Wildcats, the Wildcatfish didn't have
a bulletproof windshield to save on weight.

Finally, when the Drakian aircraft filled what seemed to be the entire sky, he let the
bastard have it with a short three round burst from both of his 37s. The big 37mm
shells, designed originally to knock down bombers, and later reused as anti-airship
weapons, simply blew apart the Snake; his entire fuselage simply distengrated, the
wings folded in half, the heavy engine tore free of it's mountings and windmilled
through the air before beginning it's fall to the ground below. No parachutes erupted
from the dark stain in the sky that had once been an airplane moments before.

DNS Ketea, 0820 Hours

Senior Merarch Piet Hardenbrooke watched as the Janissary Seamen scrambled up
from the hatch to the Janissary section of the Ketea and hurriedly manned the
25mm twin anti aircraft mounts along the rear of the Ketea's conning tower. It
had been almost twenty minutes since they'd lost contact with their scouting plane,
and the last they'd heard over the radio was that they'd spotted an American plane.

Hardenbrooke had briefly considered diving then and there, but the Ketea was
not a very happy craft underwater, being one of the Domination's four K-Class steam
powered cruiser submarines. It took usually five minutes to prepare for diving, then
another five minutes to simply submerge the boat, as it was so huge; and once it was
underwater, the residual heat from the steam plant meant an uncomfortable twenty
minutes before the heat exchangers cooled it down to a normal state.

So he'd elected to stay on the surface and fight it out with whatever had shot down
his scout. Well, they'd find the Ketea a tough nut to crack; she carried two
8-inch rifles as well as some limited armor for her role as a commerce raider.

Out of the corner of his eye, Hardenbrooke saw a black dot on the horizon. Bringing
up his binoculars, he focused them on the dot, resolving the dot into a floatplane.

"Aircraft inbound! Heading 034!” he yelled, pointing out the plane for the Janissary
gunners, as they began to swing around the ponderous anti-aircraft cannons on their

In less than a minute, the enemy was in range, and Hardenbrooke heard and felt the
heavy thump thump thump of the big 25s as they poured shell and shot at the
oncoming enemy. As he ducked under the conning tower's helm, he saw twinkling
flashes appear on the enemy aircraft's wings, and moments later, a hailstorm swept
the bridge.

The F4F-3S Wildcatfish

Judice had waited until the submarine's conning tower was in sight before he fired;
it was one of the big snake cruiser subs. Fast as shit on the surface, but slow to dive,
they spent most of their time on the surface, only submerging occasionally to escape
storms or the odd enemy unit they encountered on their raiding duties.

As he squeezed the trigger, he felt the Grumman's airframe shake as the 37s roared,
no three round bursts like the last time, this time it was automatic, a fury of shells
for a few brief seconds, the submarine's conning tower wreathed in a near endless
series of rolling explosions as the big 37mm rounds struck home and detonated; before
silence reigned again and he pulled up, his ammunition spent.

DNS Ketea

Slowly, Hardenbrooke's hearing returned, and he found that someone was screaming
their head off. He was about to yell for whoever it was to shut up, when he realized it
was coming from himself. Stopping, he looked around and saw that the anti-aircraft
gun crew was no longer there; one of the big Janissaries, or at least, what was left of
him, lay across the deck of the conning tower, his lower half gone and the snake-like
coils of his intestines splayed across the deck.

Another of the Janissaries was slumped against the gun he had been manning.
Hardenbrooke yelled at him to stop slacking off, when the boat rocked in the
current, and the headless body fell away from the gun.

Trying to stand up, he found that he couldn't. Looking down, he saw that his
left leg ended in a bloody stump just above the ankle. “Fik me!” he shouted,
dragging himself painfully towards the speaking tube near his seat.

Git more men up here!” he roared. "We're all outta Janissaries up here! Prepare
to dive!"

The F4F-3S Wildcatfish

After making a few more dry runs in spite of the anti-aircraft fire coming from
the submarine to scare the Snakes, Judice broke off for home, he couldn't do much
more other than throw spitballs at the Snakes, while they had a near endless supply
of gunners it seemed....

Chapter Four: Sighted Sub. Sank Same.

Bridge of DNS Ketea - 0620 Hours, 27 September 1941

Senior Merarch Hardenbrooke looked down uncomfortably at the bandaged stump where his
left foot had once been. Damn that Feral for blowing my foot off, he thought,
trying to ignore the phantom twinges that kept telling him that his foot was still

Looking away from his foot, he lifted the pair of naval binoculars that hung around
his neck to his eyes, bringing the burning 7,000 ton freighter that hung motionless
in the water some 1600 meters off their bow into close relief.

"READY!" came the shout from the voice tube that led to the gun turret just below the
bridge. Hardenbrooke and everyone else on the bridge, from Citizen to Janissary alike
immediately opened their mouths and clapped their hands to their ears in anticipation
of what was to come.

First one, then the other 8-inch rifle belched flame, sending twin 300 pound projectiles
hurtling through the air towards the freighter, where seconds later, they exploded inside,
gutting even more of the freighter.

"This fikkin' freighter just won't die," muttered Centurion Vansickle, a tall
reedy-thin man from the Domination's North African territories.

Hardenbrooke nodded; They'd spotted the freighter at about 0400 hours on the horizon,
and at 0500, they'd opened up with the 8-inchers, scoring thirty or so good solid
hits on the thing out of nearly eighty shells fired so far; the freighter was down by
the bow, and burning heavily; the crew had tried to abandon ship after the first few
hits, but had been slaughtered by the Janissaries manning the 25mm antiaircraft guns.

Serves the fikking ferals right thought Hardenbrooke. It looked like the Final
War between the Race and the Ferals had just started, so there was no more need to
obey the laws of war put forth by the Ferals.

"Forget it. We'll put her undah with a torpedo. To hell with waitin' any more," replied
Hardenbrooke as he fastened his binoculars to the bridge's surface torpedo aiming stand
and peered through them.

"Target, range 1550 meters!"

"Speed, zero knots!"

"Bearing, 10 degrees!"

"Angle on Bow, 100 Port!"

Belowdecks, in the command room of the Ketea, the Tetrarch who manned the Torpedo
Data Computer spun in the variables being relayed from the bridge, and listened as the
finely machined and counter-sprung mechanically geared computer whirred and spat out the
target solution and gyro angles for the torpedoes. A green light on the TDC indicated the
data had been sent to the torpedoes successfully.

Leaning over to the open hatch, he shouted "Solushun' Ready!"

"Open One!"

Bow Torpedo Compartment

Sergeant 1st Class Hassan Faisal upon seeing the signal to open Torpedo Tube One
leapt into action, along with the rest of the Janissaries under his command, all
of them Sergeants 3rd Class. Unlike the rest of the Drakian Navy, where Janissaries
on ships were half-illiterate conscripts who barely knew how to sign their own names,
the submarine service demanded a higher caliber of Janissary.

They quickly manned the hydraulic valves that lined the compartment, and manipulated
them to open the outer door of Number One.

"Numbah One Redah, Sahr!" shouted Faisal.


"Number One Ready!" came the repeated shout from below decks, to which Hardenbrooke
replied with the word everyone was waiting for. "Fire One!"

Everyone on the bridge watched as the torpedo traced a bubbly white path across the
ocean's surface towards the motionless freighter at over 45 knots. They didn't have
to wait long, for the distance was short, and a little over a minute later, the torpedo
struck home, sending a geyser of water skyward.

Before their eyes, the freighter slowly broke in half, with both halves sinking
slowly as the trapped air inside the hulk was squeezed out by the rising water
levels inside.

"Right, mark that one in the log, Seven thousand tonner, Latitud..."

"SAHR! AIRCRAFT!" shouted one of the Janissaries on lookout.

"Fik! Not fikin' again!"

PBM-3C Mariner "Donald's Revenge" at 5,000 feet

Lieutenant Edward Morrison watched as the Drakian submarine grew larger, bathed in
the lengthening rays of the early morning sun. They'd left Guantamano NAS several
hours ago and had an uneventful flight until 0515, they'd picked up a distress
call from a Grand Colombian-flagged freighter, saying she was under attack from
an unknown force. The Donald's Revenge, along with several other ships in
the area, had diverted towards the last given position of the freighter, and they
were the first to arrive on the scene.

Clicking on the intercom, Morrison spoke to the crew. "Everyone, get into attack
positions, we're coming up on a Snake sub that's just sank the freighter we were
comin' to help. We can't help the crew, but we can give them some payback at least.
Chuck, send our position out and transmit a running commentary so others can home
in on us. All right boys, let's do it."

Up front in the nose turret of the Mariner, Seaman Clarkson made sure that his
twin fifties were charged and ready, and kept the gunsight on the growing mass
of the submarine. He could see the anti-aircraft guns at the stern of the bridge
swinging around, and he decided to pre-empt them, opening fire with his machine
guns just before the sky in front of him filled with glowing blobs of large-caliber

Below Clarkson, in the bombardier's position, the 3rd Pilot on the Mariner, Ensign
Brashears, was peering through the bombsight at the submarine. In preparation for
the bomb drop, he pulled on the bomb bay door open handles, which opened the Mariner's
twin bomb bays which formed part of the engine nacelles.

As they swept closer to the submarine, Brashears suddenly felt a sharp jolt strike
the airframe, followed by a howling noise. In the back of his mind, he noticed that
the reassuring hammering of the nose guns weren't there anymore.

Shit, they musta gotten Clarkson. No time to worry about it...eat this, you
thought Brashears as he pulled the weapons release handle.

Bridge - Ketea

Hardenbrooke watched with growing dismay as the huge American flying boat came
through the hailstorm of fire the Jannisaries on deck were pouring its way with
the 25s. For a moment, he let his hopes get up when the nose of the aircraft
disappeared in a tangled mass of shredded metal after a stream of cannon fire
had smashed into it, but the fikking thing was too big, too damned big
to go down that easily.

Even as he watched in what appeared to be slow motion, several black shapes tumbled
forth from what appeared to be the engines of the flying boat. He opened his mouth
to shout a warning, but before the first syllable was out, the first of the four
500 pound bombs released by Donald's Revenge detonated.

PBM-3C Mariner "Donald's Revenge"

Seaman Talamantez watched from his tail gunner's position as the bombs exploded all
around the submarine, while he kept up the continuous stream of machine-gun fire on
the deck of the boat, killing anyone on deck who was in the open. As "Donald's
began to circle back around the submarine, and Talamantez could no longer
fire on the boat, the other machine gun positions in the Mariner took up the slack,
keeping the Drakian sub under a near-continuous hail of gunfire, and preventing the
now-silent anti-aircraft guns from being re-manned.

Up front, Morrison and his co-pilot fought the controls to keep the big Martin
flying boat circling around, despite the drag from what was left of the nose
turret, when the radioman interrupted his concentration.

"Ed, I just got word from the Blue Ridge! They've heard our signal and
are launching Dauntlesses! They'll be here in fifteen minutes!"

Engine Room - Ketea

Inside the confined space of the engine room of the Ketea, the screams of
the scalded were neverending; and live steam hissed dangerously through a series
of cracked pipes and valves, filling the small space with superheated steam.

The hatchway to the bow compartments slammed open (being kept closed during normal
operating procedures for such a contigency as this), and several sailors in special
rubberized suits layered with abestos and wearing oxygen masks clambered into the
increasingly steam-filled compartment.

Senior Decurion Nelson Rajewski took one look of the compartment and shook his head
sadly. This was going to be nasty business. Motioning with his hands, he pointed out
valves for the Jannisaries accompanying him to turn to begin the steam plant shutdown
process; along with venting the compartment to the outside; one couldn't work
efficiently in a near-opaque environment.

Slowly, they methodically worked their way through the checklist, urged on by the
constant hail of gunfire riocheting off the outer hull of the Ketea. It was
going to take time to shut all this down so they could submerge without dying.

Bridge - Ketea - Fourteen Minutes Later

With a series of increasingly wet coughs, Hardenbrooke spat out blood from his lips
as he lay on the deck, bleeding profusely from multiple wounds. Damn it, how did
it ever come to this,
he thought. Everything was going all so fine, until
those bliddy ferals had to ruin it

The sun shone down unmercifully into his dilated pupils, and he blinked repeatedly,
trying to clear the black spots from his vision, but they didn't go away, and instead
were growing larger.

Cockpit of SBD-2Z Dauntless ZRC-11-8 passing 7,000 feet

Ensign Jerry Vansickle watched as the Drakian cruiser submarine grew larger in his
bombsight; when the altimeter hit 5,000 feet, he pulled the bomb release lever, and
began the recovery from the dive.

As he was fighting the stick and wrestling the Dauntless back to level flight, he heard
his rear gunner's voice over the intercom.

"Got the bastard dead center, I'm seeing lots of white smoke, Earheart's still going in
on his dive."

Craning his head, Vansickle saw Earheart release his three 250 pound bombs, which
smashed onto the smoking submarine and the water around it moments later. Suddenly,
the submarine exploded in a cloud of white smoke mixed in with blackish smoke. As
the smoke cleared, he saw the two halves of the submarine sinking beneath the waves.

"Blue Ridge, this is Vansickle. Sighted Sub, Sank Same."

Underneath ZRC-11 USS Blue Ridge, twenty minutes later

"You're coming in fast. Cut power," ordered Lt. Commander Wanke, RSO of the
Blue Ridge as he watched Vansickle's Dauntless approach the landing trapeze.

"Roger." came the terse reply over the radio.

Wanke appraised the new flight path of the Dauntless with a trained eye.

"You're low by just a little."


Wanke then saw it. Everything was perfect. "GUN IT!" he shouted, and Vansickle
complied, gunning the Dauntless' engine, driving the three and a half-ton
aircraft onto the trapeze, which locked onto the aircraft with a sturdy thump
which was audible from his position, but would be percieved by others on the 985
foot airship as a mere quiver.

"Recovery successful. Raise the Trapeze." ordered Wanke.

Chapter Five: The Tenth Arrives

B-15B Fortress Special K, 6,500 feet over Central Spain, 25 November 1941

"There's another airfield!" came the voice over the microphone.

First Lieutenant Mike Kozlowski sighed. Corporal George Gosling, his 19-year old ball-turret gunner, had nothing to do during the long 23-hour flight across the Atlantic, along with the rest of the gunners. They'd tried playing cards for the first three hours; slept a bit in the crew compartment, then tried playing more cards; only to find that it was utterly boring.

That had all changed once they'd crossed the Spanish coastline and cruised over airfield after airfield full of German Focke-Wulfs, Junkers, Messerschmidts, and Henschels. Then it had changed to airfield after airfield full of French Blochs, Arsenals, and Amoits.

Twenty hour flights. Insanity. Thankfully these were only one-way ferry trips; he wouldn't have to make any more of these unless they were going back home at War's end.

"Gosling. BE QUIET. We're almost on final approach."

"Sorry, Boss."

Thirty Minutes Later, 10th Bomb Group Airfield, Teruel, Spain

Kozlowski wasn't sure what was worse; feeling uneasy after so long in the air; or the fact that a very portly old Spaniard was shaking his hand while running off a stream of rapid-fire Spanish which he could only make out intermittently.

Nodding like he understood the old man, Kozlowski tried to speed the man through his monologue; but that only caused the man to gesticulate even more and louder. Jesus, what's with this guy, you'd think we were his only friends in the world?

From behind him came a gruff voice; one he and every other man in the 10th Bomb Group knew and feared.

"What's going on here?" growled Colonel Curtis E. LeMay.

"Sir, I have no idea, the locals seem to really like us."

"You're not being paid to be liked by the locals. Get them off my airfield; we have a job to do."

"Yes sir."

A short distance away, 1st Lieutenant Steve Garrett watched as Kozlowski shooed the milling crowd of Spanish, including the old man away, in spite of their increasingly loud protests.

Thank God for old Iron Ass, I don't know if that Spaniard woulda shutup otherwise.

"You! What are you doing standing around?" shouted LeMay as he spotted Garrett standing around.

"Uh, sir, I just finished the operational orders for tomorrow..." began Garrett, but he was interrupted by LeMay.

"Wrong. You just volunteered for anti-saboteur patrol."


"But, what, Lieutenant? Do you know how many snake saboteurs are out there in that lovely countryside, just waiting for a chance to slip a bomb onto one of our ships? Get a team together; let no one near the flightline without orders."

"No one, sir?"

"I mean no one. Not even the almighty himself."

Early That Night

Garrett watched as a patrol group down by the other end of the airfield flashed their lights in a pre-arranged code signifying all was well; he then returned the signal with one of his own, showing that his group was okay.

Turning away, Garrett and his patrol group resumed their patrol around the airfield's northern perimeter with their M1 Carbines.

"Did you guys hear what old Iron Ass did to Captain Barnes?" said one of the enlisted men, a slightly shifty mechanic by the name of Rawlins.

"No, what?"

"Walked into his office, asked him why a bunch of Spanish civilians were wandering around his airfield and harassing his pilots; and then fired him on the spot; I heard he got busted down to 1st Loot and sent back home."

"Jesus," breathed Garrett. He'd known that LeMay took things seriously; you only had to look at the man's work ethic; but from time to time the man surprised you. Back when Steve had left for Spain as part of the early negotation team to set up airfields all over Spain for the USAAF in September, LeMay had been a Major in charge of a squadron in the 10th. When LeMay arrived a month later, he now was a Colonel, and in charge of the entire 10th Bomb Group.

"Tell you the truth," continued Rawlins, "I'm damned glad he got rid of Barnes. Damn fool let a bunch of Spanish onto our base just because they all wanted to see the first American bombers land on Spanish soil; what if one of them had been a snake? That'd have been the end of Mrs Rawlin's boy."

"LeMay's no joker," replied a gunner from one of the flight crews.

"Damn straight he's not," said Rawlins. "I think we actually got a chance to come home with him in charge of the 10th, but I don't want to hear anyone saying I said that, Got it?"

8th Air Army (Mauretanian) Headquarters
Province of Numidia; near OTL Algiers

The massive bombproof bunker had been dug a decade earlier with the labor of thousands of serfs and steam powered shovels; its thick concrete walls were kept protected from the evils of gas warfare by an ingenious system of ventilation filters from multiple intakes with openings well away from the bunker itself.

The main room in the bunker was a large auditorium which could do double duty as a sector control center and as a briefing room; it was the latter role that it was currently being used as; with scores of bored Drakian officers listening to the same briefing, with minor changes for the umpteenth time.

Strategos Eudard Rourke, the man in charge of the 8th Air Army, idly played with a necklace he had made himself from a bushman's finger bones while he listened to his intelligence officer drone on.

"As you can see here; after a slow start after their formal declaration of war against us; the European Powers have built up their air forces in the area to respectable levels. The Germans and French have established a series of air bases in Spain, and we estimate they have about eighteen legions' worth of aircraft; about half of it bombers and attack aircraft. The Americans have begun arriving in Spain; we estimate their strength to be half a Legion; and they will not be ready for combat for another month."

[NOTE: The Draka estimate the Allied Strength to be about 2,300 aircraft; when in reality it's 3,900. Part of the problem is; it's kind of hard to get reliable data from across the Mediterranean; and since the war officially started; a lot of "suspicious" characters in Spain have died at the hands of mobs; most were innocent; but a few were Drakian agents and sympathizers; this has scared their small spy network in the region into silence]

At the mention of the Americans, everyone in the briefing room broke into several rounds of laughter. A few weeks ago, somehow a full-page ad that the United Shoe Machinery Corporation had taken out in an American publication called Time, about how they were converting to produce aircraft gun turrets for the war had found it's way to this part of the Dominate. The reaction on everyone's part was first disbelief, then laughter.

What did a Shoe company, of all things, know about producing gun turrets which could function in the cold air at 17,000 feet?

"Seriously, people." muttered the Tetrarch in charge of the briefing as he tried to get it back on track. "We didn't expect the Americans to arrive so early; our information had it that they wouldn't arrive until sometime in late December."

Pulling out a pointer, he pointed to several airfields in Spain. "We've been picking up increased radio activity from these airfields recently; Intelligence has reason to think the Ferals may be soon launching raids on the Police Zone; rather than contenting themselves with shooting up our shipping."

This caught Rourke's interest. "Issue an alert to all fighter and interceptor legions; bring them to the next highest state of readiness."


"Also, cut some orders to LXI Air Corps; I want those Feral fields hit as hard as possible by night raids."

Luftflotte Spanien Headquarters
Madrid, Spain - That Same Night

"Generalfeldmarschall," announced the aide. "Phone for you; it's Berlin."

Hugo Sperrle; commander, Luftflotte Spanien, sighed. I'll answer it in my quarters.

Six Minutes Later

Sperrle picked up the phone with some trepidation. Surely it couldn't be...not at this late hour...

"Sperrle! How is Adlertag coming along?"

God, not Göring, Sperrle thought. Göring was constantly interfering in every aspect of Luftwaffe operations. The Luftwaffe's older services, the Kriegsmarine and Heer, had it much easier; Göring didn't know as much about those; so he left them mostly alone to their devices. The Luftwaffe, however...

"Everything's ready, Prince Regent. The final operations orders have been transmitted to the Geschwaders taking part in tomorrow's strike on the port of Algiers."

"How many aircraft in the attack?"

"All of V Fliegerkorps will be attacking Algiers; that's about 246 Ju-88s; the new He-177s and Ju-188s haven't arrived in enough numbers to truly be effective."

"I see; what of the other strikes?"

"VIII Fliegerkorps will be doing their usual anti-shipping strikes; albeit with everything at once, rather than the previous small training strikes we've been doing before. That's about 170 Ju-87s and 96 Hs-129s. The new FW-190Fs are still coming in; I'm uneasy about committing them before enough Ju-87 units have changed over to the new machines to make sending them out worthwhile."

"Fighter protection, Sperrle, what of the fighters?"

"Sir, Jagdfliegerführer 3 is mobilizing for a maximum effort. I estimate we can put 171 FW-190s, 198 Gustavs, and 123 Fw-187s into the air tomorrow."

"What of the Allies?"

"I've informed my French counterpart; he assures me he can put over two hundred fighters and about eighty bombers into the air tomorrow; timed to go off with our strikes. The Americans, well, they only have half a Geschwader of bombers here; not worth noting. Spanish are even worse off; they have a few antique bombers, nothing modern."

"Very well, Sperrle, you've satisfied me. Execute Adlertag tomorrow at earliest light," finished Göring, hanging up the phone.

Order of Battle for the Protagonists

Dominate of Drakia OOB

8th Air Army (Mauretanian) (O-10) (Strategos) (300 Fighters; 600 interceptors; 100 ground attack; 200 Bombers)
XI Air Corps (O-9) Junior Strategos
122st Fighter Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Falcon IC)
124th Fighter Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Falcon IC)
126th Fighter Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Falcon IB)
XIV Air Corps (O-9) Junior Strategos
100th Interceptor Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Eagle A)
109th Interceptor Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Eagle B)
113st Interceptor Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Eagle B)
XVII Air Corps (O-9) Junior Strategos
100th Interceptor Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Eagle A)
109th Interceptor Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Eagle A)
113st Interceptor Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Eagle B)
LXI Air Corps (O-9) Junior Strategos
100th Bombardment Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Rhino B)
109th Bombardment Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Elephant F)
113st Bombardment Legion (O-8) Senior Chiliarch (100~ Elephant F)

German OOB

Luftflotte Spanien (492 Fighters, 164 Interceptors; 512 Bombers, 512 Ground Attack)
IV Fliegerkorps
KG 27 (128 Ju-88B-3)
StG 3 (128 Hs 129C-1)
V Fliegerkorps
KG 51 (100 Ju-88B-3; 28 Ju-188A)
KG 54 (100 Ju-88B-3; 28 He-177)
KG 55 (128 Ju-88B-3)
VIII Fliegerkorps
StG 1 (128 Ju 87D-3)
StG 2 (128 Hs 129C-1)
StG 77 (108 Ju-87D-3; 20 Fw-190F)
Jagdfliegerfuhrer 3
JG 2 (164 FW-190A-3)
JG 27 (100 Bf 109G; 64 FW-190A-4)
JG 53 (164 Bf 109G)
ZG 2 (164 Fw 187B)

French OOB

Zone d'Opérations Aériennes L'Espagne - Z.O.A.L. (Spanish Zone of Air Operations)
(480 Fighters; 120 Night fighters; 224 bombers, 112 Attack)
Groupement de Chasse 21 (120 Arsenal VG-39)
Groupement de Chasse 23 (120 Arsenal VG-39)
Groupement de Chasse 25 (100 Bloch MB-155; 20 Bloch MB-157)
Groupement de Chasse 28 (80 Dewoitine D.520C.1; 40 Dewoitine D.551)
Groupement de Chasse Nuit (120 Night Fighters)
Groupement de Bombardement 6 (46 Amoit 358; 10 Amoit 359)
Groupement de Bombardement 9 (36 LeO 455; 20 LeO 460)
Groupement de Bombardement 12 (56 Bloch MB-162)
Groupement de Bombardement 14 (56 Bloch MB-162)
Groupement de Bombardement d'Assaut 18 (56 Attack)
Groupement de Bombardement d'Assaut 25 (56 Attack)


10th Bomb Group (2 of 4 Squadrons) (36 B-15Bs)