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Conflict In The North
Daniel Little's second exciting novel involving the Canadian Armed Forces! This time the Soviet Union is threatening Canada's North and NORAD. All that stands before them is a small group of Canadian Rangers, and one regular Canadian Army sergeant.
It is 1966, and the Cold War is hot! The Prime Minister knows that Canadian Sovereignty is only being given lip service by the world’s two Super Powers, but when a team of Soviet Spetsnaz commandos is discovered in Labrador on a mission to disrupt NORAD’s Pinetree Line communications, he realizes he must act swiftly or risk Canada forever becoming a mere puppet on the world stage.
The President of the United States, also aware of the Soviet Spetsnaz incursion and brushing aside Canada’s jurisdiction, orders a US Navy SEAL detachment on a clandestine mission to Labrador with the mandate of eradicating the Spetsnaz intruders and returning without being detected by the Canadians.
When the destroyer HMCS Margaree runs afoul of the Soviet and American nuclear submarines responsible for transporting their respective commando units however, events escalate quickly, driving the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Like the Prime Minister, HMCS Margaree's captain must think quickly to avert disaster.
High above the drama being played out on the ocean's surface, 416 Squadron CF-101 Voodoo's from RCAF Station Chatham are defending Canadian airspace, directed to their targets by the men and women manning the Pinetree Line radar sites which form the backbone of NORAD's defence systems.
With tensions running high, Canada’s Prime Minister ignores his advisers and orders a contingent of Canadian Rangers, accompanied by a regular army sergeant, to attack the Soviets. He knows his generals think him foolhardy, but he is also aware that one Canadian Ranger in particular could effect the outcome. Conflicts arise above and below the ocean's surface as HMCS Margaree takes on submarines from two nations. In the air, 416 Squadron Voodoos carry nuclear weapons on an interception which could explode into WW-III.
At RCAF Station Chatham, Ben gazed at the Voodoo parked silently inside one of the alert hangars. Even sitting on the ground, it looked to be going supersonic. He ran his fingers through his hair thoughtfully as he examined the weapons door which was currently in its typical half open position, when the aircraft was powered down. On one side, the familiar pair of Falcon missiles were mounted and armed - the standard load out for an alert aircraft. It was the other side of the door that held his gaze and kept him frozen in place. Mounted opposite the Falcons was a pair of Genie rockets. Not the ones like he had seen the ground crews occasionally practice with - painted blue to denote their inert status. No, these were all white with a pair of coloured bands circling the nose. He had only seen live Genies outside of the storage bunkers located south west of the field twice before. Something had gone wrong in the world tonight he thought…terribly wrong.
“Looks like the shit hit the fan somewhere, sir”
Ben turned towards the voice. A young airman holding an FN rifle that seemed about as large as he was, stood beside the aircraft. He was trying to look tough - and failing. His eyes showed fear. Not fear of his current job, Squadron Leader Jones knew the man would defend the station to the death if necessary, but fear of the unknown and unthinkable that hung like a distasteful odour over the base.
“Seems like it airman. I’m sure someone just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and we’ll be playing baseball again this weekend.” The officer versus ranks ball games were a huge hit on the base and he received the expected response from the young man.
“You think, sir? Sure would be nice to win another game.” The airman smiled and visibly relaxed. The officers had won a game once. Everyone swore it had happened - once. It was just that no one could remember how many years ago it had been.
“I’m sure it would,” Ben answered with a forced grimace, and then added with a stern tone, “but in the meantime, don’t let anyone mess with my airplane!”
With that, he turned and headed back to the alert room to join the growing group of air crew sitting around waiting for something to happen.
“You can count on it sir!” the young airman called after him, his voice sounding more confident.
As Ben walked into the room, Cam came up to him and reported that their assigned aircraft was fully operational and pointed to the red page attached to the flight document.
“I’d never seen one of these forms before today,” he commented, making a few marks on the page. “Looks like if we misplace one of the Genies, we might as well not come back.”
He had carefully read through the special instructions regarding the use of the nuclear rockets and decided it would be much better if they didn’t have to fire one. The resulting documentation would take longer than the ensuing war would last.
“Probably wouldn’t be anything to come back to anyway, Cam. If we have to fire them, I’m thinking we head due south to the Bahamas afterwards…if the fuel lasts.”