The Pillars of Hercules (Timeline 10/27/62 Book 3)
The Ancient Greeks called the Straits of Gibraltar the ‘Pillars of Hercules’. The Rock of Gibraltar was the northern pillar; Monte Hacho in Ceuta its probable southern analogue. To the ancients the Pillars of Hercules delineated the western end of the known Mediterranean World. Beyond lay the limitless, impassable vastness of the Atlantic; wherein lay monsters…
It is December 1963 and the tensions that have been simmering since the October War have come to the boil in an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion so poisonous, that nobody in England or Washington DC has realised that in the background there is a third, malignant force at work.
When the CIA is implicated in the attempted assassination of the Royal Family, United States aircraft subsequently attack two British destroyers off the coast of Northern Spain and take part in a devastating surprise raid on the Maltese Archipelago, the belligerence of General Franco’s government over Gibraltar and the sabre-rattling of the new fascist Government of Italy suddenly assumes the proportions of a Machiavellian American plot to drive the final nail into the coffin of the British Empire.
In England the hard-pressed United Kingdom Interim Emergency Administration is struggling to feed and house its survivors; and every time it tries to talk to the Kennedy Administration nobody is available to take its call.
On Malta hundreds are dead, thousands injured. Bunker-buster bombs have destroyed practically every key headquarters building, Sunken British warships lie in the oil-fouled waters of the Grand Harbour and Sliema Creek, and the medical facilities of the islands have been overwhelmed.
Off the Straits of Gibraltar a Royal Navy carrier battle group is fending off mass attacks by the antiquated Spanish Air Force and harrying Franco’s army and navy as they press around the beleaguered Rock, while far out at sea the Royal Navy’s one nuclear powered attack submarine, HMS Dreadnought, is playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with two US Navy submarines.
Britain and the United States of America are a heartbeat away from war. Never have two nations been so grievously separated by their common language. It is as if every word the former allies say to each other is being passed through a filter that translates ‘peace’ into ‘war’.