[PART 61]

Chapter 10

September 1938

The Final Conflict for Supremacy on Earth


“Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem…

those strange beings who landed on Earth tonight are the vanguard of an

invading army from the planet Mars. Once again the Earth is at war with Mars.”

Orson Welles

DAY ONE: 2 September 1938

The Martian Invasion Fleet Flies Towards Earth

Time had expired. The Mars Watch Program teams had given Earth the news the Martians were on the way. The telegraph and wireless which had spread around the world since the First Martian War would now flash the news to all corners of the Earth the war we had hoped to avoid was on the way. Even with that reality it was no real surprise to me to discover mankind’s hopes for a peaceful solution generally continued on even as that last vestige of hope melted away. For even when we knew an attack was coming many still had hope war could be averted. That is probably one of the traits mankind does not share with our enemies from Mars. (In numerous cities protesters seemingly came out of the woodwork demanding immediate negotiations with the Martians.) Yet even with all of our history with the Martians some people simply refused to believe it was real. After the public were notified the Martians were on the way there were more than a few suicides. Their minds wanted nothing to do with this bit of reality and as such some simply went insane. This second major attack coming to Earth from Mars had completely drained them of any hope of a normal life. For many there was no reason to believe otherwise and therefore no reason to live. Nevertheless, it was time to focus on what many knew would be the most deadly event in human history. Despite all of our work in the Committee and the work of millions around the world I had no reason to believe otherwise.

The Martians had run out of options and out of time. They had convinced themselves they had no other choice but to attack. There would be no negotiations. In their minds they had no other option than taking Earth by force. Global war had come. Their survival depended on this massive all-out attack on our planet and our future depended on its failure! Their last hope became all the more poignant when a Martian document discovered in one of their vehicles during the war revealed the Martians viewed Earth as “too hot, too near the sun, too bright, too thick an atmosphere and too heavy of gravity.” They did not want to live on Earth! They much preferred the “soft pink sky and cool red hills of home”.

We had built a world-wide military force unprecedented in Earth’s history. As far as the leadership of the Committee was concerned we felt we had done all we could to prepare our world and our people for the onslaught we knew was coming, but we had no real way of knowing if it would be enough? We would soon find out. The warning went out to all Committee and national military forces stationed around the world that the first of the Martian machines had nearly arrived. The battle for the fate of mankind was about to begin. It would be as the Romans had said; bellum terra marique, igne gladioque (war by land and sea with fire and sword).

From his re-enforced underground bunker at New Washington Center American President and Committee Prince Roosevelt remarked, “We will need everything we have and everything our allies have to defeat the Martians on all fronts and across the vast areas of our planet.”

For a brief moment I wondered whether or not when the time came for humans to move beyond our world, if indeed we someday had the opportunity to do so, would we be peaceful ambassadors of our species or as warlike and brutal as the Martians? Our short history on Earth does not yet fall on the peaceful side of that question. That brief moment was soon over. Now it was time to kill as many of those Martian bastards as we could get our bloody hands on. It truly was kill or be killed across the entire face of the Earth.

Instructions sent by wireless, cable and flash message by Directorate C-World Military Forces ordered all Committee units to operational status and on full alert. National governments were likewise informed as their forces went on full alert.

ALPHA FLASH: TO ALL COMMANDS: /…./. …/-.-/-.– ../… .-././-.. , –/…./. …/-.-/-.– ../… .-././-.. (THE SKY IS RED, THE SKY IS RED).


(Martian Invasion Day)

In this global conflict there would be no declaration of war.

As the Martian fleet approached near Earth space a steady stream of information was radioed into Committee and national monitoring stations from Mars observers around the world as well as from Defense 1. Earth’s only operational defense satellite had verified the size, trajectories and disposition of the Martian invasion fleet. The updated number now stood at 2168 approaching Martian spacecraft. After this vital information was delivered this man-made moon was re-positioned to perform its last critical duty.

Defense 1’s final operation was to send a powerful highly focused pulsed radio beam in the exact direction of the advancing Martians focusing on the spacecraft nearest the Earth. We were determined to strike the first blow even before the enemy was able to orbit our planet with their invading fleet. Tesla and his team had placed their most-secret device (which looked like a rectangular shaped open horn) on board which had been designed to blast the electronic communications equipment (and perhaps their main computers) onboard the advancing Martian spacecraft with a directed high energy radio beam aimed at the lead spacecraft. This was what Tesla and his teams had been working on and testing for years at Wardenclyffe. This device was the most powerful beam weapon the Tesla group could construct and needless to say it had never been tested in space. Ground based tests on 1901 era Martian communications equipment as well as man-made electronic devices could only demonstrate that the system worked in the atmosphere on Earth, not how well it could take on the Martians in space, and we only had one shot at it. If the Martians had upgraded their communications or computer systems and if they had taken the time to ‘harden’ those systems against such effects, it might not work at all.

Now would be its only real test. Southern Committee Headquarters in Lower-Sydney, in direct line of sight of Defense 1, fired off the radio command to activate the weapon and within minutes was able to verify that the powerful energy beam had indeed been fired at the advancing spacecraft. The system had worked – but did it hit the target and did it have any effect?

At first there were no indications it had any effect at all on the inbound spacecraft, however our deep space radars soon showed that several of the Martian spacecraft seemed to be going off course and would in fact miss Earth orbit entirely and swing back around the Earth being gravitationally deflected on an elliptical path back towards Mars. At least some of their controls had indeed been badly affected by the beam. It was soon verified that two of the lead spacecraft were most definitely in trouble and were heading directly for Earth’s upper atmosphere without slowing down. They were clearly out of control and were coming straight in without deviation. The tracking teams quickly reported seeing them on their radar screens breakup into multiple targets and disintegrate over the Pacific Ocean! Later we would be able to view movie footage of the spacecraft disintegrating as they came in. They apparently had no heat shields on the front of their spacecraft which allowed the frictional heat of entering Earth’s atmosphere to build up and devour the Martians. Defense 1 had successfully struck the first blow for our planet. To be honest I could not believe the damn thing had actually worked!

Martian spacecraft going off course and being destroyed in upper Earth atmosphere

Much later we would learn those two lead spacecraft held the Martian A Prime commander of the invasion fleet and its entire first line headquarters group! We would also learn this lead Martian spacecraft was the only one they had built for this invasion that had the same powerfully destructive beam weapon we had seen tested in orbit around Mars. With this one shot Earth had unknowingly destroyed the most powerful weapon they ever developed for planetary warfare. Tesla’s team had fulfilled its promise of overcoming this powerful weapon even though they had no reason to know at the time they had succeeded. We had gotten damn lucky on this one. Even with our ‘victory’ their second and third most powerful weapons were quite prepared to wreak havoc over vast portions of our planet!

Despite these early losses the Martians did not skip a beat as they continued to press their invasion. By radar count the next 11 Martian spacecraft nearest Earth must have been at least partially damaged as they were the ones which missed Earth orbit. No fewer than three radar stations confirmed the results sending reports to all commands. Our celebration was short lived. The battle for Earth had begun.

At exactly 1:06 a.m. London time (GMT) we lost radio contact with Defense 1. We knew the Martians had destroyed Earth’s only man-made defense satellite even though it was out of our radar range when it was destroyed. It did not take long for contact to be lost with four other satellites (non-defense related) we had also placed into orbit. The Martians had most likely destroyed them as well.

Almost as a solar greeting the Aurora Borealis lit up the Arctic ice of the northern hemisphere as the Aurora Austrialis danced over the skies of the Antarctic as the last Martian ships arrived in orbit. I wondered if the Martians believed it to be an omen. Within a few hours the only spacecraft orbiting Planet Earth had been launched from Mars – 2155 of them. At least 1000 were large transportation craft loaded with flyers and Walkers, as well as tens of thousands of combat troops. Earth orbital space had become a Martian domain. The Martians’ first objective had been easily accomplished. The enemy had arrived in battle formation and was ready to begin the conquest of planet Earth! They had complete command and control of Earth orbital space. We would wait for their first attacks, but not for much longer. If anything the Martians could be counted on being prompt.

The Martians planned their invasion down to the smallest detail, yet even with their immense intelligence we knew they were fallible and as mortal as man. The Martians brought to Earth, machines of unimaginable destructive power and in considerable numbers the likes of which mankind had never seen before even considering the First Martian War. If it turned out we could not defeat the Martian machines then we would have to defeat the Martians themselves. History was not on our side for we had done neither in 1901.

On 2 September 1938 at 2:40 a.m. GMT the Martians began their movements into medium Earth orbit as a preliminary operation to position their spacecraft for their attacks on the planet. We detected their approach angles of course and we knew they were now orbiting the Earth along polar orbits. They could use these polar orbits to drop out of space and attack any point on the face of the Earth. They had not done that in 1901. This was partial verification to our leadership that the Martians were still planning to use both the North and South Poles as command centers. We had no real proof as yet but would need to know for certain and soon. When these polar command centers were verified by scouts we would hopefully be able to deploy a few military surprises of our own against the Martians that if our understanding was correct would soon be occupying the high ice of planet Earth.


Earth Executes Defense Plan

(“Red Skies”)

At the designated signal it seemed the entire planet was on the move. General civilian and military radio transmissions on Earth slowly went dark (except the pre-planned Psyop broadcasts from our primary and secondary Mars Radio Traps which came on line slowly and in no particular order). All privately owned commercial radio stations were now ‘temporarily’ handed over to Committee or national governments for emergency broadcast reports for the duration of the war. Underground cities closed up most of their entrances (90% as planned as Lower-London nearly doubled its underground population as did most major underground cities) having completed their storage of vital food and other supplies. Above ground cities went to blackout conditions lighting up their decoy lighting systems and activating radio transmitters imbedded within the decoy lighted areas. Surface populations were being moved to ‘safe areas’. Tesla beam weapons on the outer lying areas of the twenty-five cities which had been supplied with them were fully charged on the tops of their towers and manned mostly by remote control. Black Smoke burn areas were activated and gas began to flow into the pipes. Ignition systems were set to go off automatically on the small fields constructed at crossroads inside the cities. Massive 250 ton concrete “Martian Walker Traps”, based on the Korean model, built to explosively collapse on the Martians as they crossed under selected tunnel traps leading into cities around the world as well as the underground command cities were armed to go off when either wires were tripped or when they were set off by local military forces. Fire/oil & tar trenches constructed around several cities were filled and ready to be set on fire if and when the Martians or their Black Smoke came their way.

Long range Committee Whitehead B4 jet bombers began an around the clock 20% air operation as the remaining bomber fleets were held in readiness in their hardened bunkers at locations around the world. These resources were tasked to mass bomb any Martian ground force assembling to attack. However, in the beginning most of these assembly areas would prove to be in remote Polar Regions beyond our capability to hit with bombers at least during the first few days of the war when Martian machines controlled much of Earth’s skies. Fighter aircraft went on patrol at a rate of 25% airborne at all times. Long range attack, supply and command submarines went underwater to began monitoring all news and burst reports; prepared to attack any and all Martian targets which happened to come their way. Submarines designated to help defend critical coastal cities left their ports to deploy just off shore. In New York City dock workers finished loading “the gadget” (Tunguska atomic bomb) on board its transport submarine (none of them knew what it really was) as the team readied for the critical mission of delivering the weapon to its staging area not yet known to the crew. The submarine now had a new name “CS Tunguska.”


Aircraft carriers already deployed to their pre-designated positions (205 aircraft carriers world-wide were deployed; the majority from the Committee, the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Germany) launched 1/3rd of their aircraft on patrol. The Airborne Magic Command Post (CP Magic) was launched with one Magic Director onboard, code named “Uranus”. (CP Magic was indeed a bit of man-made magic as it was the only aircraft of its kind designed to show as small a radar signature as possible as well as being coated with radar-absorbing metals and painted with black radar absorbing paint.) (A small number of special Phoenix IIAs were also similarly equipped.) “Uranus is in its element” was transmitted just after the airborne command post took off and went radio silent. The aircraft’s command position was a slow low altitude orbiting circle in the mid-Atlantic roughly between New London and New York City.

Each of the heavily armored command trains pre-positioned at Lower-New York City “Coffee Drinker”, Lower-London “Tea Drinker” and Lower-Sydney “Whisky Drinker” were manned and occupied by one each of the Magic Twelve and their immediate staffs ready to take command at a moment’s notice should the need arise. All three trains were on their way (“Drinkers are on a roll”) to camouflaged fortified train tunnels within a few miles of their Command Centers especially equipped with supplies and communication equipment to support the “Drinkers.” They would ‘plug in’ and draw power, communications and food from the equipment stored in the tunnels. Their primary tasks at this stage were to monitor all Martian activity, keep updated and stay in contact with the primary cities (Directors), and be prepared to take command in their designated areas if and when the need should arise. (In the event we lost the entire command group in the local primary command city this team would assume command.)

Stalin’s “Vodka Drinker” was standing by close to his bunker. It would not be going anywhere without him.

From this point on Directors would be addressed by their radio code names. In Lower-New York City the Prime Director became “Apollo’; my Lower-London code name became “Zeus”; in Lower-Sydney the Director became ‘Titan” with “Gemini” in command at Upola.

At sea CS Atlantic Ocean Director became “Poseidon”; the CS Pacific Ocean command was with “Triton” and the CS Indian Ocean Director was “Neptune”. Poseidon would command 110 submarines; Triton would command 143 with 104 under the command of Neptune.

Solid rocket missile batteries set to defend vital areas around the world locked into their short and long distance radar control systems and were fully manned. Surface to air missile batteries at Lower-London, Lower-New York City, Lower-Sydney and Lower-Upola were activated and ready to go. Backup cable and telephone communication systems were powered up and manned. All ground forces world-wide already deployed to pre-attack positions went on 50% alert status and radio silent monitoring. From this point on most radio communications with military air, sea and ground forces would be by burst message or by pre-positioned underground cables for ground forces. Ham Radio operators had already been instructed to transmit for no longer than 15 seconds at any one time and then shut down and go energy silent after vital information was sent. Thousands of private Ham Radio operators were now standing by and on the lookout for any local Martian activity. Their reports would be coordinated through one of our special Ham Radio listening stations set up to relay their information to Committee centers by secure cable.

Before the 1901 Martian War the world had been unaware that an enemy was even on the way and when war came there was very little mankind could do to defend themselves. This was not the case in 1938. Man could now fly and we felt we could match our flying skills with that of the Martian enemy at least in the atmosphere and make them pay dearly for every life taken, every inch of ground lost. We had taken what we could from Martian technology and made it our own and we would put every scrap of technology we could into this fight. We felt we had the means to defeat their deadly Black Smoke, and Red Weed and we had matched their walking machines with some of our own, including to some extent their deadly Heat-Rays. (Tesla had originally designated his weapon a death ray.) We had submarines the Martians were not expected to know how to defeat and we had rockets to bloody the Martians better than the simple cannon and machine-guns we had brought into the fight of 1901. We had broken the Martian language and military codes and we knew a great deal about what they had planned. And we had one more critical weapon in 1938 we did not possess in 1901 – the knowledge that we had a real fighting chance of defeating the Martians on our terms and we were determined to prove that conviction to every Martian we could lay our hands on. They would begin their invasion with 2155 of their deadly advanced flying machines of several designs and sizes and we would be keeping close track of how fast we could lower that count. In short, we had no idea what they were about to unleash on our planet. It soon became clear we would need to change our plans fast if we had any chance of survival. After the first shot was fired most of our war plans went out the window.


Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 62: The Martian first wave.]

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