Book One: Blood and Iron


Howard Chaykin, Steve Oliff and Ken Bruzenak

Late in World War II; Janos Prohaska is a Polish pilot who at the beginning of the war formed an air commando unit known as the Blackhawks, and used the name Blackhawk for himself. Now he has been called before a Senate committee investigating Communits. It seems Prohaska was a member of the Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War and flew with the Bill Heywood Squadron. But he was kicked out of the Party by Stalin as a Trotskyite. Prohaska is a hard-drinking, woman-chasing man who doesn't take anything from anyone. He comes off a two week drinking binge to find that his team has moved on without him, making a deal to be sponsored by British and the Soviets to counter a Nazi air commando unit made up of expatriate White Russians led by Sir Death Mayhew. Mayhew is a British actor who has allied himself with Hitler.

Meanwhile, a Jewish-American gangster named Bronski has hijacked a top-secret shipment. Reba MacMahon, the woman with whom Prohaska spent some of his missing two weeks, is making a deal with Bronski for the stolen item. Prokaska flies to Tehran where he meets a female Soviet agent. Mayhew shows up and kills Bronski. MacMahon is his agent. Prohaska breaks in and there is a fight, but Mayhew and MacMahon escape without the stolen item, which of course is an atomic bomb. The Soviet agent, Natalia Gurdin, and Prohaska give chase in a Soviet built copy of the Grumman F5F-1 Skyrocket. One of Bronski's hirelings has sold Bronski's American luxury car to the captain of a tramp freighter. The bomb is in the car's trunk.

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