Operation "Tumble Down" :
General Atomic warfare against ‘Fortress Europa’
November 28th 1949
22:00 London Time
In the late evening hours, behind massive curtains of chaff and radar jamming, some 75 B-34 atomic bombers take off from bases in England, Ireland, and the Canaries. Alongside the B-34’s are over a thousand U.S. and British B-31’s and older heavy bombers. Flying amidst the huge armadas of heavy bombers are many hundreds of U.S. and British jet fighters, including the brand new U.S. Eagle Jet fighter.
Almost instantly, German ground and ARP(Airborne Radar Platform) radar spot the developing Alliance air surge in spite of Alliance ECM and the German Continental Air Defense Command leaps into action. Radar guided AAA and AA missile systems come to high alert from Spain to the north German plain while hundreds of German jet interceptors scramble from dozens of Luftwaffe airbases. Among these scrambling interceptors are a small number of a lethal new air superiority fighter fresh off the assembly lines; the first supersonic capable fighter, the Me-532b Viper.
22:30 London Time
Massive confused jet furballs are engaging en masse over the Channel, northern France, northwest Germany, North Sea, and Spain. The opposing jet fighters are roughly equal in terms of equipment and experience and the kill ratio is almost 1:1 between the clashing swarms of jets. But German radar-guided anti-aircraft systems come into play as well, focusing on larger targets through the haze of electronic counter-measures to down heavy bombers by the dozen.
To countless observers on the ground, from Spain to France to the lowlands to northern Germany, this evening would be a night long remembered. The visual was quite spectacular : the trails of flaming anti-aircraft missiles arcing up into the air, dense lines of tracers lancing upwards as moving carpets of exploding AAA shells dominate the sky. Mixed in with the chaotic mis-mash of fighter gunfire and the moving orange glow of after-burners. The violent explosions of fighters and bombers blossoming as orange flaming streaks against the deep black of the sky. And later, the blinding flashes of atomic detonations turning night into day for whole minutes at a time. No science fiction writer in history could have described a more fantastic tapestry of fire in the sky.
23:00 London Time
All combined, over three hundred jets fighters and bombers have been downed over Europe in just the past hour. All through the mayhem, Alliance medium bombers have been systematically hammering German radar installations while Alliance “ARP Killer” squadrons penetrate swarms of their German counter-parts with single minded determination to down the large German ARP aircraft; they have succeeded in downing over half of them.
Through the waves of German interceptors, through the dozens of anti-aircraft missiles, through the dense moving walls of exploding AAA shells, through the downing of their comrades by the dozens, the Alliance heavy bombers come on like the unstoppable tide.
Already, the first wave of atomic bombs have exploded over their targets, hitting eight Luftwaffe and German Army bases across Spain, France, and the lowlands. These atomic attacks are not without loss for the Alliance. Three B-34’s carrying atomic warheads have been downed; two over northern France and another over Spain. In all three cases the scuttling charges go off successfully, destroying the atomic devices in a conventional explosion and spreading weapons grade uranium across wide swaths of northern France and central Spain.
24:00 London Time
All combined, over four hundred jet fighters and bombers have now been downed over Europe. Despite climbing losses, Alliance bombers have now carpet bombed Axis rail and logistics hubs across Spain, France, and the lowlands while more medium bombers target Axis air defenses. In Germany, the cities of the Ruhr industrial basin come under a massive rain of conventional, chemical, and atomic bombardment. While almost every major city in the Ruhr basin comes under some level of conventional and chemical bombardment, the cities of Gelsenkirchen,Dortmund, Essen, and Düsseldorf are each struck by a single 40 kiloton atomic device detonated over their industrial core.
November 29th 1949
01:00 London Time
Another hundred fighters and bombers from both sides have by now been downed while a second wave of previously loitering Alliance heavy bombers has turned west into ‘Fortress Europe’, escorted by hundreds of re-armed and re-fuelled fighters in addition to a fresh swarm of longer ranged propeller escort fighters. The longer ranged escorts are needed because, taking advantage of the attrition of German air defenses around the periphery of western Europe, the second wave of heavy bombers are now penetrating deeper into the continent.
02:30 London Time
Penetrating through the teeth of dense air defenses in the German interior, B-31 and B-34 bombers take devastating losses, adding up to nearly a quarter of the second wave’s heavy bombers being downed. In addition, four out of the twelve B-34’s downed in the last hour were carrying atomic warheads. Luckily for the Alliance, all of them are scuttled successfully but again weapons grade uranium is strewn across wide swaths of land.
At the cost of this heavy toll, the Alliance manages to make devastating atomic, chemical, and conventional attacks on Frankfurt, Nurnberg, and Berlin. Frankfurt and Nurnberg are each struck by two 40 kiloton atomic warheads over their residential and industrial cores. Berlin, with its multiple concentric circles of air defenses, is more fortunate.
Three of the four B-34’s carrying atomic warheads bound for Berlin are shot down, two by Viper fighters and a third by a well aimed high altitude AAA burst. The fourth succeeds in delivering its warhead, and the 40 kiloton atomic bomb detonates at an altitude of a thousand meters, just several hundred meters to the northeast of the Reichstag. Much of the historic center of Berlin is destroyed, though quick work by civil defense engineers, using explosives to clear hasty fire blocks, prevents the firestorm from sweeping too far into the residential sectors of the city.
Below the Reichstag, many local officials and general staff officers suffocate nearly two days later after rescue teams are unable to dig into the bunker complex in time. However, all of the higher level officials and generals had evacuated the city at the first sign of the huge coming raid; and the top leadership was gathered in East Prussia for a high level conference.
In all, it is roughly estimated that Germany suffered two million casualties in the immediate hours of Operation Tumble Down, with another million or more casualties presenting over the coming days due to radiation sickness. For the German nation as a whole, the primary damage from the attack was the hit on its manpower and morale, the destruction of many air fields across western Europe, the loss of over a hundred jet fighters, the heavy damage to the Continental Air Defense System, and incredible pressure placed on German logistics.
Much, thought not all, of the direct heavy industrial capacity of those cities had already been moved to more secure locations in the East over the preceding year and more, along with the most highly skilled engineers, scientists, and operators to run them.
The heavy loss of B-34’s(21 in all, out of the 75 involved in the operation), the loss of multiple atomic bombs before they could be used, the demonstration of the capabilities of the Me-532b Viper, and the spreading of weapons grade uranium over parts of Axis-held territory would have obvious short to medium term consequences upon the war....