[PART 63]

DAY THREE: 4 September 1938

THE MARTIANS SET THE FORESTS ON FIRE

 

The next phase of the Martian attack plan put into action before the Martians committed themselves to fully engage Earth’s military forces on the ground was to begin igniting large numbers of forest and grass fires. This was required to not only place a large amount of particulate matter into the atmosphere to help cool down the planet – which it did – but we suspected the real reason was to distract our military forces away from direct military operations to fight the fires. In this point they failed. It had already been decided no matter how many forests were set on fire by the Martians or their allies, or how large they became for the most part Earth forces would ignore them. The forests would grow back in a generation or two and grasslands even sooner so we would spend no time or manpower putting them out. The only surprise was how vast these forest fires would become in so little time. Nevertheless, we stuck to the plan. Killing Martians must come before putting out forest fires. In this regard we received another lucky break due to another miscalculation made by the Martians. The amount of rainfall their concentrated attacks on the atmosphere would produce was much greater in these areas than normal – heavy rains put out forest fires! In several areas the Martians were required to return several times to ensure the fires would not only continue burning but spread. They had done too good a job on the atmosphere. With this work they were using air resources that may well have been better used against our forces rather than attacking the planet. In fact, they had distracted themselves. Nevertheless, our jets went to work on their machines despite the expected losses.

For a full week reports continued to come into command centers of massive fires numbering at least 14,000 individual starting points being set off in some of the largest forest covered areas of the world. Under attack, along with many smaller areas, were the Amazon Rain Forest, the Northern Boreal Forests of Canada (which had been attacked earlier by the Martian Brotherhood as a possible test), the East-Siberian Taiga, the Giant Sequoia, the Scandinavian Taigas and the Russian Taigas as well as some extensive grassland areas in North America, the Amazon and central Russia and China. These massive fires caused great storms of stampeding wild animals in many areas where ever they occurred causing even more devastation. The loss of local wildlife was very high.

When later calculated the loss of vegetation in these and other areas would represent some 40% of the world’s timberlands. With these losses the Earth would also lose some oxygen generating capability from these locations for at least 80-100 years. However devastating these events were, they would not disrupt human life on Earth for the long term to any great degree, but it was still a considerable loss. Nevertheless, we set our sights clearly away from the forests, ignored the fires, and focused ourselves on the Martian assaults we knew were on the way. What we did not know was how truly powerful they would be.

 

RED WEED ATTACKS

At the same time the forests and grasslands were under attack the Martians began spraying massive amounts of Red Weed on large areas of farmland in North America, South America, China and the Soviet Union with central China apparently the main focus of these attacks. These were some of the same areas that had been attacked in 1901. During that war the Martians had also sprayed areas just behind their advancing ground forces. We expected they would do the same during this war. Changing their tactics they had began spraying these vast areas even before they had been attacked by Martian ground forces. Committee planners had anticipated such attacks and we were ready. This was one area we felt very comfortable with in the knowledge we could overcome these attacks at least on our crop growing environments even if the Red Weed did not dissipate on its own.

Chemicals had been developed a few years earlier which had a neutralizing effect on Red Weed and their seed pods. In each of these areas, and dozens more, old fashioned by-planes left over and refitted from the Great Earth War had been pre-positioned and fitted with these Red Weed killing chemicals in spray canisters that would not harm the crops but would destroy Red Weed. Local pilots, mostly older men who had served in the Great Earth War, were now prepared to spend many hours flying very close to the ground spraying much of the affected areas. It was not a complete solution to the problem but overall some 45% of the affected areas would be saved for future use. As for the bi-plane pilots several would be lost due to accidents flying so very close to the ground but none would be shot-down by Martian Flying Machines. In areas that followed their expected ground attacks we would attempt to follow behind and spray some of the Red Weed from trucks. We anticipated only 10% of these areas could be recovered by that method.

We had also developed fertilizers which included anti-Red Weed components and had been using these special blends in Northern Europe and Canada for several years despite protests from various groups. Testing had shown good results but these new fertilizers had only been available for wide use recently just prior to the invasion. Later examination showed areas which had been fertilized with the anti-Red Weed blends recovered much quicker than those areas which had not been treated. In fact some heavily fertilized areas showed no Red Weed growth at all despite being seeded by the Martians. We had won the battle against the Red Weed. It was not a major victory even though it had to do with feeding the world – but we would take it.

NORTH ATLANTIC AIR ENGAGEMENT

Co-ordinated from our Lower-London headquarters a mass attack by carrier planes was ordered to engage several Martian Flying Machines tracked by radar flying north over the Atlantic after hitting targets in north west Europe. British carriers HMS Valiant, HMS Defiant and HMS Victoria all stationed in the North Atlantic launched their fighters quickly, joined by aircraft from the USS Lexington and Committee Carrier CS Morgan. In total 106 fighters closed in on six Martian craft coming into contact near Rockall west of Scotland.

Closing in from five directions and flying very near the surface of the ocean below the very active cloud deck allowed the fighters to begin their attack runs before the Martians were able to properly react. The fact there was still a good amount of debris in the air did not seem to give the Martians any advantage in the fight, at least not at first. However, only three of the Martian craft turned to engage our fighters as the second formation of three ignored the fighters entirely accelerated and continued to fly north. Once again this was clear evidence the Martians were attempting to husband their air combat resources as best they could. During this engagement we would lose 41 of our fighters while the Martians lost only two of the three engaging craft. At least that was the total losses until the heavily damaged third Martian flew into the path of two Phoenix II fighters flying south out of Thule Airbase in Northwest Greenland. The Phoenix IIs made quick work of the third Martian Flying Machine.

In 1901 we had nothing to use to fight against the Martians in the air and even though this fight was costly in both lives and aircraft at least this time we had something to fight with. It was a lesson our air crews hoped to press hard on the enemies’ will to fight. Nevertheless, if these heavy losses continued it was possible we could very well lose the air war in a very short time.

THE MARTIAN’S MELT THE ICE

Martians were still dropping craft out of orbit on this third day continuing to beef up their now extensive command bases still not conclusively proven to be at both the North and South Poles. Nevertheless, supply spacecraft were landing at the poles with ground forces, walking machines and other equipment at regular intervals preparing to launch simultaneous attacks from their polar bases towards the equator expecting to link up at zero latitude. Their overall strategy to take the planet was to push from both poles like a massive military vice on the ground and in the air and keep pushing until all resistance ended. General hit-and-run air attacks continued on geologic targets as well as selective man-made facilities as well as directed attacks on some “high value targets.”

As this build-up of equipment and forces continued the Martians sent out dozens of flying machines to melt large areas of ice located just south of the North Pole, on Greenland’s ice cap, north of Canada and the Soviet Union as well as the edges of the Antarctic ice sheet. (More than likely they were melting the ice sheet in central Antarctica but we had no direct evidence of this at the time.) At first we could not understand why they would want to melt the ice as it seemed to contradict their known plan to cool the Earth. We soon learned the Martians were very well versed in Earth’s climatological matters. They had done their homework well. By melting the ice in these areas, but not down to bare ground always leaving the areas covered with a shallower ice sheet, they placed a very large mass of water vapor into the atmosphere which at those latitudes turned the water vapor into massive snow producing clouds. The water vapor collected on the ash and dust being produced by the massive fires and volcanic debris acted as condensation nuclei forming wide spread cloud formations. These efforts would cover hundreds of thousands of square miles of ground with clouds and new snow falls which reflected the Sun’s radiation back out into space. By melting the ice they were cooling the planet’s atmosphere. At the few places where they were visible they were producing some spectacular and rather ominous sunsets.

It seemed almost an afterthought that several dozen alpine glazers were also attacked in Europe as well as both South and North America and Asia. These glazers were melted down to bare rock and the resulting crash of water caused a great deal of catastrophic flash flooding and much loss of life. This result seemed more of an added plus for the Martians rather than an attack on those local populations. High winds accompanied these attacks as whole villages were buried by the flows.

Unlike the efforts on the Northern and Southern ice caps which we could do nothing about these other attacks were to cost the Martians several of their flying machines as air engagements were ongoing over dozens of areas around the world in an attempt to fight off as many of these geologic attacks as we could. We were still losing hundreds of aircraft and many pilots but the ratio of our losses in the air to Martian losses was improving. It may seem crass to say but if we could improve the numbers a bit more we could afford the losses but the Martians could not. The way things appeared at the time the Martians were possibly going to run out of aircraft before we would despite the odds. We were going to do everything we could to deny the Martians air superiority at least in the atmosphere if it were possible. At the time despite our losses the air war was pretty much a draw. But the war was only in its early stages. The Martians had yet to establish forward air bases. This would soon be corrected as their ground forces continued to advance.

Ground spotter report near Mount Forel, Greenland

Radio Burst Report (partial) from Greenland: … MACHINES USING PULSED HEAT RAYS TO LIQUIFY GLAZERS AROUND… DOZENS OF… NORTH TOWARDS POLE… MUCH VOL… (Transmission ends)

Off the coast of Upola, Samoa

Radio Burst Report CS Sea Devil 104 Pacific: GEMINI COMPLETELY DESTROYED…100 PERCENT LOSS…FEW SURVIVORS…WILL STAND BY… (Transmission ends)

Reports were also received which indicated Sea Cave Facility Blue 2 at Wake Island was a total loss. Mars Radio Traps MRT 8 on Bikini Atoll and MRT 11 on Adak, Alaska were also destroyed. It was not reported if they had been destroyed by direct Martian attack, as a result of the Pacific Ocean movement or while engaging Martian Flying Machines.

Submarines in the area which had been supporting Upola were released of ‘Gemini’ duty and placed under the command of Director ‘Triton’ in the command submarine CS Pacific. The subs were then ordered to spend no more than twelve hours in rescue/recon operations around Upola at which time they were ordered to conduct search and destroy operations against any Martian machine they could locate. Radio silence and radio monitoring was to continue. With the loss of Gemini, Triton now assumed regional command of the entire Pacific Ocean area. Titan was still in command of southern ground forces. ‘Apollo’ sent his acknowledgement and full agreement by radio burst message.

DAY FOUR: 5 September 1938

The Second Wave – Massive Air Attacks Begin

No other period of time before or after the fourth day (some 36 hours in total) of the Martian invasion saw greater use of massive, widespread and concentrated Martian air power than this short period of time. This longest of days saw attacks on targets ranging from the Arctic and Antarctic circles all the way to the equator with virtually no region left untouched. These attacks came as sweeping waves emanating from the poles; massed point attacks made by craft dropping out of orbit and individual single craft operations on what seemed like indiscriminate Heat-Ray attacks on targets of seemingly little or no military value such as archeological sites in Asia and South America. It was almost as if the Martians were attempting to erase the ancient history of man represented by these remnants of past civilizations as they became early targets of the Martians. Whatever the true reasons these historic sites were most certainly seen as threats to the Martians who were using some of their limited resources to destroy them.

Historic sites attacked on that day included Machu Picchu and dozens of other stone age cities in Central and South America including the MLZ. Ancient ruins in Greece and Italy also saw considerable activity on this day as did Stonehenge. By the end of the day some 3000 ancient sites had been attacked with many of them a complete loss. We had not thought to protect many of these sites although many had been camouflaged.

The Martians also paid close attention to large ships which had not yet made their way to any ‘safe’ harbor. Hundreds of cargo ships were lost along with several warships notably the battleship HMS Dreadnaught, the American cruiser USS Congress and Japanese carriers Shoho and Neosho.

As more and more battle reports came into command and control centers around the world a pattern began to emerge as to how and when the Martians preferred to fight. As we began to plot their air and ground attacks it became clear that the Martians preferred to fight at night or at the very least in low light situations. This made a good deal of sense since the Sun’s light they had become accustomed to on their home planet was about half as energetic as the sunlight we receive on Earth. Full daylight must be a great burden to the Martians. (Could we somehow blind them?)

Later review of old 1901 records showed that same pattern was generally present during the First Martian War – but we had somehow missed it. (Not that we could have done anything about it at the time.) With any luck this was a weakness we could exploit today as word was quickly passed on to all military commands world-wide. Major population centers were also notified to expect a greater number of attacks during periods of low light (there was plenty of cloud cover and very bad weather over large areas of the Earth at this time so low light was quickly becoming the norm) and darkness. We would later speculate this could be the answer as to why a majority of UFO reports we had been tracking over the years were reported to have occurred at night even though not all of them were suspected of being from Mars.

APOLLO FLASH: TO ALL COMMANDS: ENEMY PREFERS NIGHT AND LOW LIGHT OPERATIONS – PLAN Q ACCORDINGLY – GOOD HUNTING TO ALL

CITIES UNDER AIR ATTACK

Even before the Martians concentrated their attacks on the cities of the world national governments had moved their operations to underground bunkers out of harm’s way as they struggled to co-ordinate efforts with other nations to battle the Martians. High, medium and low level attacks on a vast selection of point and area targets began as dusk fell over the mid-Atlantic which at the time was undergoing a series of violent storms. Several hurricanes’ were forming in the mid-Atlantic at a time and in areas where they had never formed before. In total some 39,000 plus individual targets came under some type of air attack during that fourth long day of Martian operations. Many of these areas hit by the enemy had little in the way of air defense.

Nearly every above ground population center, including our three remaining prime command cities and New Washington Center were pounded by Martian Flying Machines firing deadly Heat-Rays, but mostly from high altitude. (Which it must be said somewhat reduced the effectiveness of these weapons as well as our own weapons to defend.) The Martians seemed reluctant to drop down to lower levels to attack our population centers realizing they were heavily defended by an overlapping series of weapons. They were also attacking our false cities set up as decoys which had also cost them attack resources as well as a number of flying machines so at least that part of our deception operation was working to some degree. These high altitude attacks on population centers made defensive counter attacks by Committee jets virtually impossible as they were unable to match the high altitudes of the Martian Flying Machines. However, this did not prove to be the case for our Phoenix IIs as they thundered skyward to meet the massive air threat.

Reports from New London, New York City, Sydney, Paris, Berlin and other key cities which had good numbers of Phoenix IIs indicated that our fighters were giving the Martians as good as they were getting, downing several of the Martian machines despite the fact they were outnumbered at all points. The damage to the above ground facilities in those heavily defended areas was measurably less than areas without Phoenix II fighters. We could however report some success had been achieved by our cities surface-to-air solid fuel missiles which had been deployed in dozens of cities around the world. The only problem was we did not have enough of these missiles as we would have liked to have had. But that can be said of any resource. By the end of the day the Martians had lost another 196 flying machines. We had lost at least 214 Phoenix IIs along with 756 other jets including many of the pilots. These were losses we could not replace even though we continued to build fighters and other war craft in hundreds of underground facilities despite these Martian attacks. (Assembling new jet engines to replace those damaged due to having flown in the clogged atmosphere was a high priority.) It was at this point the Committee began to recruit First Martian War pilots and pull them out of their Red Weed bi-planes. Their flying skills were needed elsewhere. Many would be flying jets for the first time. Not a few of these older pilots would prove to be damn good fighters.

While other Martian machines were attacking at high altitudes to soften up our defenses with Heat-Rays at least fifty major population centers around the world came under attack by mid-altitude machines dropping seismic devices triangulated on the centers of those cities. These seismic attacks were in conjunction with the Heat-Ray attacks adding yet another level of devastation. All of the cities attacked by these devices suffered some damage but major damage could only occur if the local geology was just right. If there were no major fault lines near a targeted city these devices could only generate moderate damage. Nevertheless, there was considerable damage to several cities most notably Los Angeles and San Francisco in California, Chicago, Nanking and Canton in China, Rosario Argentina, Munich Germany, Santiago Chile, Lima Peru, Portland Oregon, Osaka and Yokahama Japan, Wellington New Zealand, Rome and Naples in Italy and Jeddah Saudi Arabia. By the end of the day San Francisco and Osaka were gone – only rubble remained. Several cities which had been supplied with Tesla beam weapons were able to bring down some Martian craft as well as disrupt other attacks using high energy light beams to blind their pilots.

Destruction by powerful Martian Heat Rays at Lima Peru

 

In many of these areas roads soon became clogged with endless numbers of terrified people streaming out into the open and away from the devastation all around them. We were soon receiving reports of Martian Flying Machines in several areas (mostly in China at the time) coming in close to the ground and pumping Heat-Ray pulses on the fleeing crowds eviscerating thousands at a time! The brutality of our Martian enemies was on full display.

At our ‘Vaults for Mankind’ facility below Wellington (code named ‘Brown’) some disruptions occurred but the facility held up well with only minor damage. Our underground military base (MB4) “Delta” at Rosario also came through the attack virtually undamaged other than some electrical failures which were soon repaired. Damage assessment teams were also sent out from Delta to check on the local area. Due to the enemies’ heavy air attacks there would be little left standing to report on.

Although New London, New York City and Sydney were also attacked by these devices the damage they sustained was minor – none caused any collapse of tunnels at these locations even though surface structures did sustain some damage it was not at a critical level. Fire had done the most damage to the above ground sections of these cities. This was much more than the seismic devices and even that was less than had been estimated. We had built the bloody hell out of these primary underground cities and nothing that the Martians had thrown at these facilities so far was going to destroy them. Off the coasts of New York City and Sydney submarines detailed as prime city defense submarines were able to engage the enemy and bring down several of the Martian Flying Machines with rockets but were limited in their effectiveness due to the number of our fighter aircraft flying over and around these locations. While they were engaged in air-to-air combat we did not want to shoot down one of our own planes.

We were also able to engage the enemy at twenty five city locations which had been outfitted with some of Tesla’s back-engineered ground based Heat-Rays. Already several Martians had been shot out of the air due to these devices giving them a taste of their own bloody medicine. One Heat-Ray squad in central Berlin had shot down two Martian Flying Machines before it was destroyed by several blasts from the enemies’ Heat-Ray. Tesla had positioned forty of these Heat-Rays surrounding all of our four primary cities as well as New Washington Center. I can attest to the fact the crews around New London were very ready to take on the low flying Martians.

Committee anti-aircraft Heat Rays in action

 

Cobra teams in several locations were able to locate and destroy a number of these seismic devices most notably in Paris and Amsterdam. The teams had developed a new tactic of going after one of the three devices with the full team rather than dividing up their efforts to find all three knowing it took three devices to inflict major damage to any one target. If they were able to destroy one of the devices they could very well save the targeted city from major destruction. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands lost their lives to these seismic attacks and the attacks on our cities had only just begun.

General European destruction

 

For their efforts on that day the Martians had set hundreds of thousands of structures on fire around the world including many storage facilities, ports, above ground oil reserves and other man-made facilities even as they continued their attacks on the planet itself all from high altitudes. All of this pushed a good deal more debris into an already well-damaged atmosphere. It goes without saying many cities and other population centers were experiencing large spread power failures. The blackouts had been initiated by local commanders, the power failures were courtesy of the Martians.

Just southeast of Thule Airbase

Ham Radio report AF61X (unconfirmed): Thule Airbase is under heavy Martian air attack from at least 30 Martian Flying Machines which continue to pound the base. The whole base seems to be on fire. I see no counter attack by our aircraft. Alpha Fox 61 X-Ray signing off.

CLOSE IN AIR-TO-GROUND ATTACKS

Mid and low level attacks concentrated on airfields, smaller above ground military facilities, radar facilities on both land and ships, dams, canals, electrical towers and electrical generating plants. The Martians were also able to attack and destroy dozens of dams mostly in North America, China and the Soviet Union however, dams located in Europe and South America did not go unnoticed as several of these facilities were also hit. These attacks naturally caused a great deal of flooding destroying many thousands of homes and small towns with the accompanying great loss of life. Throughout the war air attacks would continue to take a great toll on civilians in cities as well as open areas even as hundreds of thousands fled to areas of supposed safety. Needless to say, they also had a detrimental effect on local roads and rail lines making it very difficult for rescue operations to get into many affected areas. For the most part local Red Cross operations were on their own. In many cases isolation would be the norm.

Attacks on our radar facilities included several along both our North Polar Defense Line and South Polar Defense Line (notably the Peter 1 Island facility on the SPDL and the Vopnafjordur, Island site at the NPDL which were both completely destroyed). The Martians were trying to blind our radar nets but even as these facilities were being hit secondary facilities not yet placed into operation went on line. They had not been able to blind us yet. We had deployed four special radar submarines at both radar defense lines (two each expecting to be called to duty very early in the war). By popping up to periscope depth these submarines could deploy deck mounted radar dishes and electronically fill in some of the holes left open by these Martian attacks. When the Martians began to move towards greater populated areas we would deploy our mobile truck mounted radars.

Once again, as in the First Martian War, rail lines were targeted by Martian Flying Machines with mid and low level point attacks. At one period during these attacks the Martians appeared to pay concentrated attention to the Trans-Siberian Railway which crossed most of the USSR. Much of this vital link was destroyed including many of the supporting stations along the way. At many other rail locations around the world thousands of miles of track were being destroyed as well as many facilities constructed alongside these tracks. The Martians understood these were still vital Earth links but they must have also known they could not possibly destroy all of our rail lines as they were far too numerous and at some critical points, mostly near major cities, very well defended. They simply did not have enough resources to complete the job. In one sense we had out built the Martians. Even though they would continue to attack and sever our life-lines whenever the opportunity presented itself.

A strategic shift in Martian combat operations was noted on this day when several canals came under attack. In 1901 the Martians clearly stayed away from attacking canals and their associated infrastructures. However, on this day dozens of canals came under fire including the Panama Canal (not built until after the First Martian War), the Grand Canal of China, the Manchester Ship Canal in England and the Eire Canal in North America. All of these facilities suffered a great deal of damage with the Eire and Panama Canals thought to be total losses. The stand out on this day was the Suez Canal which was over flown several times as Martian craft attacked targets in and around Egypt including Cairo (another area generally not attacked during the First Martian War) but not one Heat-Ray was ever fired towards the Suez. The Martians seemed to have something else in mind for this canal. The same could be said of the Giza Plateau which also remained untouched.

During these low level attacks on the Panama Canal no fewer than five Committee submarines engaged Martian Flying Machines as they came into range. These submarine rocket and anti-aircraft machine gun attacks would bring down three of the Martians however two of our submarines, one on each end of the canal were destroyed by Martian counter attacks. Much of Panama City was set on fire and destroyed as the surviving population fled into the anticipated safety of the thick jungle. There was some truth in the thought that what the Martians could not see they could not kill.

Our underground Committee Secret Service Communication Center (Com 8) near Panama City was still operational but it was now on its own without any local military support. Com 8 would continue to relay reports of local Martian activity to the Committee as well as co-ordinate intercepted low power Ham Radio reports. With the canal now useless there would not be much locally to report. They would however be able to continue working on their primary assignment – intercepting Martian radio transmissions and disrupting them whenever they could.

Off the coast of Panama Canal – Atlantic

Committee Submarine VLF radio message, Atlantic: PANAMA CANAL FACILITIES ATLANTIC END COMPLETELY DESTROYED… ONE BOAT SUNK… ONE MARTIAN FLYING MACHINE DOWNED BY ROCKET FIRE… FIRES ONSHORE AS FAR AS CAN BE SEEN… MUCH MATERIAL IN THE ATMOSPHERE… (Transmission ends)

For most of the day low level attacks were confined to point targets well away from heavily fortified and defended locations. Even so the Martians would pay a price for many of those attacks as Martian machines were drawn into attacking several of our Martian Radio Traps both on land and at sea. We were also beginning to field reports that some of our radio jamming efforts had been effective against some low flying Martian machines.

From radio burst reports, cable and Ham Radio messages as well as VLF submarine reports we learned several Mars Radio Traps had been set off. We lost contact on this day with our traps at Maryuq, Libya at MRT 3, Amsterdam Island, Indian Ocean at MRT 7 and Prince Edward Island in the South Atlantic at MRT 12 (including our nearby radar station). In the fog of war there was no way of knowing if the Martians had simply destroyed them before they came into range of the traps or if they were activated by the Martian craft flying too close and exploding as designed. We did however receive live TV images fed into our Sydney command center of one Martian craft approaching MRT 6 in the Gibson Desert of Australia which clearly showed the destruction of a large Martian Flying Machine hit by the trap’s solid rocket fire. Seconds later we lost the signal. We would later receive reports of at least three of our ship bourn radio traps having also gone off. How effective they had been is also a matter of speculation. In total we had deployed 74 of these ship traps, half would be gone by the end of the day and any success they achieved would be icing on the cake.

The Martians were still engaged in continuing air-to-air combat with our air forces all over the world which were still taking heavy losses the entire day, but we were still very much in the fight. Every available Committee and national combat aircraft from both carrier and land bases other than those designated to protect key city points and vital military facilities were on the hunt for Martian craft. One unconfirmed report spoke of twelve old bi-planes taking off from an American Airfield in the State of Kansas to engage the low flying Martians. None returned to the airfield. Of course they had no chance of success. I like to think they took out at least one Martian craft before becoming victims of their deadly Heat-Rays.

By the end of the fourth day we had lost more than half of our advanced Phoenix IIs in air combat and at least 40 percent of our other jet fighters as well as some 60 percent of our prop driven fighter aircraft but our analysts believed the Martians were paying a higher price than they may have anticipated. We estimated the enemy by this time had lost at least 489 flyers. Combined Earth forces had brought down nearly 23% of the enemies known fighting air force! (This would subsequently prove to be lower than actual Martian air losses.) This was much more than we had anticipated. To be honest I had expected our air losses would be greater. And I had also expected the Martians would own the skies by the fourth day. With the Martians appearing to back away to some degree from air combat we estimated once again this day of massive air attacks despite our losses in the air and on the ground had been a draw at least in the air.

Along with fighting the Martians our air crews had to fight the intense weather at nearly every point on Earth. The vast amount of material in the atmosphere was playing hell on our engines. There was a real possibility we would run out of good engines long before we ran out of aircraft.

That evening we lost contact with CP Magic – ‘Uranus’. We would later learn that ‘Uranus’ had to get the hell out of his holding pattern when several Martian craft flew in to attack Mars Radio Trap MRT 5 on Flores Island, which happened to be just north of his flight location. (A tactical error by our staff who had positioned Uranus too close to a radar trap designed to bring in Martian craft.) ‘Uranus’ flew off to refuel at Azores so low and below much of the debris that high ocean wave spray could hit the windshield! Returning to the mid-Atlantic he re-positioned himself 500 miles farther south – well away from any radar traps.

Recon team inside Rosario, Argentina, SA

Radio Burst Report, Tango 13 Alpha: CITY NEARLY COMPLETELY DESTROYED… MASS CAUSALTIES… REMAINING SURVIVING POPULATION RIOTING…DELTA FORCE FULLY OPERATIONAL… STANDING BY… (Transmission ends)

Late that day over 2000 hybrids being held in two Hybrid Relocation Centers (HRC-12 and HRC-34) in Lower-London broke out of their confinement and attacked local residents. ‘Zeus’ immediately authorized the use of lethal force due to local above ground combat conditions and martial law. 284 hybrids were killed with 401 wounded by reserve and regular military forces backed up by heavily armed police patrols and not a few civilians. The situation was stabilized within four and a half hours. Surviving hybrids were sent back to the centers and the guards were doubled. The hybrids were then read an order by ‘Zeus’ advising them that any relocation camp hybrid found outside of their centers for any reason would be “summarily executed by firing squads”. The situation was far too critical to play games with hybrids. We soon learned that other cities were having similar ‘problems’ with their hybrids. Many had adopted the identical solution!

TRITON VLF RADIO MESSAGE: TO ALL PACIFIC SUBS: BLUE TWO AND BLUE FIVE DESTROYED – BLUE ONE MODERATE DAMAGE – PLAN ACCORDINGLY – CONTINUE THE HUNT – TALLY HO.

MORE EARTH MOVEMENTS

The reports were coming in so fast and from so many locations our meteorological operations center could not keep track. Our world map in the command center which had been set aside in the small meteorological office in Lower-London was becoming filled with different colored pins.

We had set this area aside because it was felt some measure of attention should be paid to tracking potential geologic or atmospheric damage caused by the Martians. No one could have predicted the extent to which the Martians would go, nor the incredible response the world would have to such attacks. The small four man team in Lower-London as part of Department J – Geologic Studies and Resource Directorate would have their hands full.

It was clear after the initial attack on the Pacific area we could expect many more events related to it. Clarification did not take long. As the attacks continued reports came in of large earthquakes occurring along the coast of Chile, off of Ecuador, east of Guadalajara, east of San Francisco, Vancouver and Adak Alaska. Our Committee Secret Service Communications Center Com 7 at Vancouver was severely damaged but still operational. They were reporting nearly continues earthquakes in the general area. Eighty-five large events were recorded on this day alone. These quakes were all in the Thomas Scale of 7.8 to 8.7. After shocks of great strength were being felt along the entire western Pacific generating more destructive seismic sea waves.

South of Iceland, now occupied by Martian forces, felt strong underwater quakes along a 400 mile line south of the island into the Atlantic. There were dozens more around the world from 6.5 to 7; far too many to note. In several areas tunnels were beginning to show stress and more than a few had collapsed under these earthquake conditions. It seemed the planet was trying to readjust itself from the titanic blows it had absorbed in the Pacific. It was feared the adjusted Earth movements could go on for months – even years. Our badly wounded planet was trying to recover.

[END PART 63]

Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 64: The beginning of the ground war.]