Shattered World - Segment 54.3
September 8th 1949 to September 15th 1949
The airstrip on southeastern Kyushu hummed with activity, the heavy continuous drone of numerous massive propeller engines combining into a single terrific roar. Flight crews scurried about the air strip, or crawled lovingly over great lumbering bombers. These aircraft were the pride of the Japanese Air forces, and represented one the few remaining strategic offensive assets that the Japanese Empire possessed. Committing the majority of the precious heavy bombers in such a large operation was a huge gamble. Yet, Japan had to show the world that it remained in the Global War. To that end, in service of Japanese honor, the last fully operational squadron of Fukoku heavy bombers had been tasked with destroying a large new airfield on Okinawa, an airfield that Japanese intelligence believes the Americans are close to completing.
With jet fighters swarming overhead, the heavy bombers climbed into the air one by one, formed up, and headed out over the Pacific towards the flaming hell that Okinawa had become.
In the east, the rising sun dominated a clear blue sky.
September 8th 1949
Moscow, gradually being reduced to rubble, suffers yet more as the German strategic bombing campaign against the Soviet Union continues. Some 400 heavy bombers launch a mixed conventional and nerve gas raid on Moscow that kills tens of thousands and heavily damages an important factory district.
Immediately after the raid, Beria broadcasts a fiery and defiant message from his command bunker deep beneath the Kremlin, vowing to "fight from the hills and the plains of mother Russia, to fight from the sewers and the rubble, until the last Russian man kills the last fascist invader".
At Okinawa - Japanese heavy bombers escorted by long range propeller fighters strike a large U.S. SBC airbase that had been nearing completion on the island. Another distracting raid targets U.S. naval forces in the area, drawing away much of the U.S. carrier air cover while being torn to shreds before it ever reaches the U.S. fleet.
Of the 50 or so Japanese heavy bombers involved in the raid, only 25 reach Okinowa to drop their mix of nerve gas and conventional explosives, causing heavy damage to the base and setting back the construction time by several weeks. Another 10 of the Japanese heavy bombers are downed on their way back to Japan. Japanese heavy bomber capability is now dead.
On the ground, U.S. forces continue to push slowly north and south into the areas of fanatically defended Japanese control.
September 10th 1949
The U.S. and Britain launch a massive conventional raid on the Portuguese capitol of Lisbon, with some 700 allied bombers attacking the city's central and port districts. The port is virtually destroyed and some 100,000 civilians are killed in a hellish firestorm. Alliance radio broadcasts blame the bombing on Lisbon's support of Germany and its membership in the Axis Powers.
As German land based fighters clash with U.S carrier fighters just off the coast of Portugal, Axis maritime strike aircraft sink one Essex class U.S. carrier with guided anti-ship rockets and moderately damage a second. Several escort ships are also damaged to varying degrees. Large numbers of German maritime aircraft are downed in this operation but Radio Berlin hails the operation as a "stunning blow" against the U.S. Navy. In secret, the German High Command warns Hitler that Axis maritime air power in western Europe is in danger of being destroyed given the ongoing pace of operations and rates of attrition.
September 13th 1949
U.S. launches massive atomic and conventional attacks on coastal Iberia. B-34's drop single 40 kiloton atomic bombs on the cities of Malaga and Huelva as well as two large Axis air fields in coastal southern Spain. In addition, large conventional raids hammer other coastal cities and military installations. Deaths from the atomic attacks on the two cities combined exceed 60,000 and Axis air power in the region suffers another terrific blow, with two large airfields destroyed along with dozens of aircraft on the ground. Axis resistance to the sweeping raids is fierce, with over 80 U.S. B-31's downed along with dozens of carrier based fighters, but their own fighter losses are substantial as well.
September 14th 1949
On the Eastern front - German forces massing southeast of Smolensk open a fresh offensive, surging southeast towards Bryansk and Orel. Two veteran panzer divisions, probably the best two panzer divisions in the German army, lead the attack with the Luftwaffe swarming overhead temporarily controlling the skies and hitting everything that moves behind the Soviet lines.
To the south, the broad German offensive in the Caucasus is beginning to gather steam as the Soviets continue an orderly withdrawal, trading land for time. At the points of greatest penetration, Axis forces have reached Georgiyevsk and Kizlyar and are breaking into flatter country.
In the Eastern Ukraine the Red Army is moving into action. There is not quite a panic in the air, yet the need for a hasty evacuation is becoming more clear by the hour as reports come in of disastrous German penetrations to the north and slower but steady German advances to the south in the Caucasus. There seems to be little to stop the Germans from taking Bryansk and Orel, and little to hold them back after that. Around the Eastern Ukraine, Soviet special teams are swinging into action, carrying out carefully pre-planned total scorched earth operations even as what remains of the civilian population are being moved east by all available means.
In the north, the front from Leningrad to east of Smolensk has settled into an uneasy stalemate as Germany halts its efforts to envelop Leningrad in the face of mounting losses. Both sides are focused on the action in the south.
September 15th 1949
The Luftwaffe, under more and more pressure from the western allies in the air over Iberia and France and taking unsustainable losses, is none-the-less preparing for large air operations directed against Britain. Hitler has demanded a retaliatory response to allied nuclear attacks in Iberia. Heavy bomber squadrons are being transferred from the east where the strategic bombing campaign against the Soviet Union is to be temporarily halted, and fighters and medium bombers are being stripped from squadrons across every front.
With a general strike continuing in Chile, and daily street clashes and riots rocking Santiago and several other major cities, an accusation surfaces that the right-wing Chilean National Party(CNP) has been penetrated by, and received funding from, SAFB agents. Communists, prodded by armed radical elements of the People's Party of Chile(PPC), go on a rampage. CNP headquarters is ransacked and conservative political gatherings are assaulted and broken up. Dozens are killed and hundreds injured.
The following day, the PPC demands that the CNP be banned, branding them as "fascist stooges". More street violence breaks out, escalating to isolated gun fights between armed CNP and PPC elements. Across Chile there is a growing sense of anarchy.
TO BE CONTINUED in Segment 54.4...