Sunday, October 14, 2007

Second Thoughts

Alternate Historian says, to ensure we fill the page and deliver something for everyone, we're taking a slightly different publishing route for 2008. By year-end, six stories a day will have been pre-written and we're already 35% there. This will include no more than 60% re-use from the previous years, selecting the best of reverse events and truncated story formats (2 or 3 parts at most) leaving out the longer stories and threads. Yes we've done Chappaquiddick slightly different .. again!

As we roll in to the new year, we're going to add up to 4 extra stories per day comprising "spontaneous" and contemporary items (from recent news feeds) plus .. reader's items.

Thats where we need your help to make 2008 a multi-author magazine with greater variety. Please email your stories to the Alternate Historian and do include the post date please. The key point is you can fire the idea over, and let us draft up the story, we're not insisting on final copy.

"The advocates of nuclear armament seem to believe that, if they could achieve their aim, mutually assured destruction would prevent future conflict. They would do well to ponder the fate of Dresden, where 135,000 people died as the result of an air attack with conventional weapons. On the night of March 9th, an air attack on Tokyo by American heavy bombers, using incendiary and high explosive bombs, caused the death of 83,793. 70,000 civilians were killed by the fire-bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, followed on August 9 by a similiar massacre a Nagasaki.
We can only recoil in horror at estimations of the casaulties from the use of the doomsday weapons of the Manhattan Project.
~ General Ira C.Eaker, Lt General, USAF
Lt G Eaker
Those who approved the bombings were neither wicked nor cruel, though it may well be that they were too remote from the harsh realities of war to understand fully the appalling power of air bombardment in the spring of 1945."

As early as 1944, USAF leadership realised that atomic weapons would place military leadership in the hands of an Imperial Presidency. Continued use of conventional bombing was advocated, after all, what more could atomic weapons achieve in already defeated Japan?

In 1945, after demobilization, former high school teacher Edgar Derby was reunited with his family in Indianapolis. His son returned from the Pacific Theatre shortly afterwards.

Derby was forty-four years old - he had pulled political wires into the army at his age. He had confidently expected to be promoted to Captain, in view of his age and experience.

Instead, he had witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden. And the trial and execution of his friend, Kurt Vonnegut, for stealing a teapot from the ruins. That act of high irony would form the conclusion to his semi-biographical works Slaughterhouse-Five. SH5 was the reserviced abbatoir where Derby and Vonnegut were imprisoned in January 1945, shortly before the fire-bombing. And so it goes.

Ford Torino Cobra
Ford Torino Cobra
In 1962, in his office in Detroit, Michigan President of the Ford Motor Company Robert Strange McNamara opened the design for the new Ford Torino Cobra, set to launch in the North American market in '68. Looking up, and signaling his approval, McNamara was startled to see the office had changed completely. Now sitting in the Oval Office, he had answered yes to the fiery looking Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Curtis LeMay, but, oh dear God - What had been the question?.

In 1962, a U2 surveillance flight over San Cristobal in Pinar del Río Province, Western Cuba took photos of Manfred von Richthofen and other blood descendants capable of shape-shifting into airplane-sized bats that engaged in aerial combat. von Richthofen, , alias the Red Baron, was a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte who had won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France in 1916. His deployment in Cuba represented the start of an apocalyptic confrontation during the Cold War between Graf Von Dracula's Imperial Germany and the United States. The true story of how close the two aggressors came to war was masterfully described by Janet Title and Kim Newman in 1995 in the Bloody Red Baron. Red Baron
Red Baron
In 1962, CIA Agent George HW conceived of the greatest conspiracy of the twentieth century. At this time shortly after the Bay of Pigs Fiasco, US President John F Kennedy was threatening to break-up the agency into a thousand pieces. Via George de Mohrenschildt Bush had discovered that former US marine Lee Harvey Oswald had returned from the Soviet Union to Dallas. Bush correctly suspected that Oswald had been substituted for a KGB agent. What if, mused Bush, he could arrange a CIA hit on the President, concealed as a KGB plot?

In 2007, Rat returns to his computer monitor in College Station. He has a plan for to end the war through his limitless control over the Mesh. However, he has no idea if it will work, if indeed he can put it in to action at all. Robbie Taylor
Robbie Taylor

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