Back in 1975, there were reports in the press of a warming in relations between the Republic of China and the USSR. Called ‘The Olive Branch’, to signify the metaphorical token of peace that was exchanged between Peking and the Kremlin, and set a few years in the future, this novel relates what might have happened if the two Communist giants combined and colluded to dominate the world.
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I was in my mid-twenties at the time of the press reports, and I was further right than Attila the Hun. Rather naively, I wanted to write a novel that would act as a warning of the threat to the West that such an amelioration in relations could pose.
When I revisited the manuscript more than thirty years later, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I realised that I was reading a thriller and not the dense political diatribe that I thought I had written. By the time I reached the end of it, I was delighted and exhilarated by the writing, and I actually turned breathlessly to the final chapter. I enjoyed it very much. I hope you do, too.
And so it happened. In the damp grey early morning of June 4th 1980, advance warships of the Communist invasion forces appeared in the estuaries of the Forth and the Clyde in Scotland, and at the mouths of the Humber, the Mersey, the Tyne and the Thames in England. Under the black cloak of night, they had penetrated far into the Bristol Channel, grouped menacingly in the Irish Sea and taken up strategic positions all along the English Channel.
As a result of the almost complete breakdown in communications, the dearth of resources within the country and the heinous efforts of organised saboteurs, resistance to the first landing parties was only light and sporadic. Very soon, the vast, marauding armies of the Black Bear of Russia and the Red Dragon of China were everywhere. Rape and plunder were the orders of the day. The shattering ring from the steel-capped boots of invading troops on the quiet streets of towns and villages struck terror into the hearts of their numbed, uncomprehending inhabitants; death and destruction, they knew, would soon follow.
Only two days later, Prime Minister Foster, realising the utter futility of continued struggle without American help, and despite his earlier pronouncement of a courageous stand, admitted total defeat, and the last, stubborn bastions of the British Armed Forces capitulated to the supreme might of the New Communists. A National Government was formed soon after; the People’s Republic of Britain was born. Slowly, the British people awoke to bleak life under their Communist masters.
Then came the witch-hunt. Politicians, clergymen, royalty, a whole host of former dignitaries, were ruthlessly hunted down and exterminated. Dissidents were imprisoned in Siberian-type work-camps. Conspirators were subjected to horrible atrocities. The dark reign of fear that existed in all other parts of the Communist Bloc had begun.