Scramble! Scramble! Scramble!

Scramble! Scramble! Scramble!

A Story by Wild Rose
"

Living in the "Cold War"

"

SCRAMBLE! SCAMBLE! SCRAMBLE!

12 December 2020

14:10

Time summer 1958 The Western Allies and the Russian Block countries were at a cold war with each other

Both sides trying to outwit the other; but at the same time wary of going too far, so as the begin a new war, one form which their could be no winner, both sides would be totally annihilated

 

The atmosphere is extremely tense, something has upset the balance> But what was it?

No-one really knows. It possibly something one leader has made about the other. It could explode at any time; just one more wrong word or comment, that is all it would take

It is about four hours flight    between the capitals London and Moscow

 

The costal radio monitoring stations are at Maximum BLACK ALERT   at Radar stations, listening for any wrong phrase or word. Every word has t be recorded and reported. They have a direct line to the Prime Minister, who in turn is connected to The White House and the President of the USA.

The RADAR stations are also at BLACK ALERT stations looking for any unusual aircraft or missile activity 

 

On RAF airfields all Bomber and Fighter stations are on stand by

Both fighters and bombers have had extensive low level training. At a level to keep then out of  RADAR detection beams.

It could happen that a single aircraft could avoid detection until it was minutes away from its target. With the English channel being only 50 miles or so wide; and a light bomber flying at close to 360 miles per hour, it would only take the attacker eight minutes to cross the water.

 

The air crew were living in their flight offices

Ground crew were on stand by alongside and inside the aircraft. The aircraft were connected to mobile ground units, Each armed only by the dreaded ultimate weapon of destruction; each had a full load of fuel, giving them 12 hours of flight time 

On the word the ground crew would start the aircraft engines and remove the heavy power unit and all flagged air intake covers, those inside would exit.

Day followed night; night followed day, still the waited for the word. Stand Down, or, GO

Go to what?

Once that button has been pressed and everything was started, their could be now way back. It would be total destruction; of the world. There could be no return

 

The RED TELEPHONE rang. As it did on all the Bomber Command stations. It was SCAMBLE. Time for action had arrived.

Almost at the same time. Two senior NCO's, Sergeant and Corporal; picked up a ready prepared box containing a Very gun and red cartridges. They went on the roof of Air Traffic Control and fired off three of the red flares. To warn all aircraft to keep clear of the area

The Tanoy was sounded across the airfield. First a wailing, air raid, sound. Followed by the words "Scramble; scramble; scramble; al personnel to action stations"

 

The aircraft engines were started, the ground crew left their posts, all the removable flags were taken to one side and counted.

The air crew climbed the ladder, Pilot and co-pilot first. The ladder was removed and entrance door shut and locked from inside

The six air craft left their stations in order - should any aircraft fail to move, then the rest would just taxi past.

 

On the clear taxiway they touched fifty miles per hour at the end they took the hairpin turn onto the runway; no waiting this time, line up and full power, lifting into the sky; First one turning right, coming right round still climbing, round over the family living quarters, the second went Left turning over the Army Ordnance base. The four remaining similarly alternate right and left. They now set out for the locations in the sealed orders, each one different.

All six aircraft airborne in under four minutes.
In Air Traffic Control the operations clerk entered the details for each aircraft on the actins board. In the Destination column sealed orders ETD  ETA columns: Destination Sealed orders 

There for should the ultimate decision be taken, it would remain for evermore, or for some passing space traveller to read about the end of civilisation as it was; and to wonder at human stupidity 

 

The pilot of number four had warned his wife should they be sent on such a  stopped and delayed. She must stay there as long as possible.

In the case of such a mission she should collect their children, take his car which was kept full of fuel and had food for four days and set out for his parents in the far north of Scotland. She was warned not to speed or bring attention to herself in any way, so that she would not give any reason to be stopped and delayed on her journey

 

In the sky half of the aircraft climbed to forty thousand feet. The rest went to low level at two hundred and fifty foot. They reached the appointed co-ordinates. Navigator "Change direction to (new direction) They flew on  at the coast they turned off the navigation lights

 

 

Mean while on the fighter stations they awaited the call to intercept any invaders.

"Bandit, at (Altitude and position)

The Bombers were nearing their ultimate target "Target dead ahead ten miles to go skip" they had a fighter aircraft  on their tail - The pilot held his course; if they were shot down now they would crash close to the target and the results would be the destruction of all for miles around - It wouldn't matter any more

Bombs away skip The pilot climbed away from the scene; the aircraft released from the heavy load responded eagerly to his hands

No explosion skip - was the bombe a dud? Or hopefully a delayed action fuse

Navigator gave new instructions.        

Two hour flying later New directions skip. Another two hours flying. "climb to Thirty thousand feet; We are one hundred miles from home. Radio operator you can break radio silence now. Call up home base now forty miles to go request permission to join the flight path

 

Air Traffic Control    "Altitude barometric readings etc"

"Welcome home, message from Bomber Command Head Quarters, Mission was a total success, bang on target, We were the fastest to get all aircraft airborne; three minutes and forty five seconds

 

Number fours wife had been told it was an exercise. He would be home with her after the debriefing

 

The ground crew now had to prepare all aircraft for another mission

 

Wild Rose

Dec 2020 

 

© 2020 Wild Rose


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Featured Review

Full of tension and suspense. I can:t remember much about that period of time because I was too young, but I can remember my Dad talking about it when I was in my late teens. I watched Pearl Harbour last night on TV, so this read is fresh from that and the carnage that comes from conflict. Your lines are well written and keep the attention of the reader. Hope you and your lady are keeping well. All good wishes.

Chris

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

I was an airfield electrician on a V bomber station, during my national service days. They had an an.. read more



Reviews

An excellent story full of tension and excitement! Those were the days when we were all out of control! Our sao-called 'masters' had the keys! Now, thank goodness, no maniac can seize control! Or can he?

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

It was only a practise
The real tension was the time required to get the aircraft off the gr.. read more
Thrilling story,; you had my rapt attention. If I may suggest, a proofreading might benefit some aspects of the story. Have you considered putting the action into present tense? Happening right now suffers from past tense. The ending has that "it was all a dream" conceit that possibly could benefit from some presaging language or dialogue. The thrill is in the "might have been" not so much in the "actually was."

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

No it was not thrilling > I was the air traffic electrician > Just on the sidelines
There was.. read more
Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

But thanks for the constructive comments > They are the best
Just now I have to see to my wif.. read more
Those men and women who fly in the sky and defend us. Brave people. I was on alert often and I went to many bad places. You never know, what you will do. Outstanding story written my dear freind.
Coyote

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

I was the airfield electrician - only able to watch the events
Actually, knew it was a well-o.. read more
Coyote Poetry

4 Months Ago

Were hard days and we survived. A great story shared my friend.
Tons of tension that you let build. You weave in details and make quick connections with the characters. All of this is a must in a short story, very effective, and an interesting read. I liked it.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

I was airfield electrician
Although it was an exercise there was tension - To beat the four .. read more
Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

I didn't thank you Cherrie for your reply
It was one bit of excitement in the most boring era.. read more
This is the best thing you've written in the past year & I don't even like reading about war! The best thing about this story is your use of many technicalities -- very interesting facts -- expressing so much detail in an easy-to-understand conversational way. Here in the USA, given the hugeness of our country, we forget how close together everything is over there in Europe. It's helpful to know how long it takes to fly from one point to another, as you spelled out -- and so many other clarifications like that, which you use constantly thru-out your writing -- yet it never feels heavy or overly technical. You do a great job of adding a human element here & there, balancing out the technical aspects of your story. Another thing that feels weird to someone from the USA -- we often use some other country's airfield to mount an attack, hardly ever our own, since it's so far from here to anywhere over there. So it felt weird to imagine that domestic flights are halted by the use of flares (talk about "old technology"!) so that the war-bound aircraft can hit the air without concern for civilian flights. The idea of having both types of flights originating from nearly the same place is mind-boggling & something that we would never think about here in the USA. Many interesting thought-journeys thru-out your story (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

Thank you Margie > the aircraft speed 360mph (six miles per min with the distance between the two el.. read more
Full of tension and suspense. I can:t remember much about that period of time because I was too young, but I can remember my Dad talking about it when I was in my late teens. I watched Pearl Harbour last night on TV, so this read is fresh from that and the carnage that comes from conflict. Your lines are well written and keep the attention of the reader. Hope you and your lady are keeping well. All good wishes.

Chris

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

4 Months Ago

I was an airfield electrician on a V bomber station, during my national service days. They had an an.. read more

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Added on December 13, 2020
Last Updated on December 13, 2020

Author

Wild Rose
Wild Rose

Lake Disrtict, Cumbria, United Kingdom



About
BA (Hons)Management studies Open University Full tech Cert. Marine: Aviation & Industrial Instrumentation and Conrtol Retired engineering lecturer Ex racing cyclist: fell walker: Camper more..

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Christine Christine

A Story by Wild Rose



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