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Page history last edited by Michael 8 years, 9 months ago

back to The Mystery of Astove Island          

 

 

Japan's Pacific Aerodromes

Mr. Hayashi, Governor of the mandated Pacific Islands, denies the rumours that Japan is establishing naval bases there. An aerodrome, he states, has been established for the use of an aeroplane to locate schools of fish for the information of the fishing fleets, and other aerodromes will be built to enable commercial air services to be operated between the islands -- all which services are essential to the successful conduct of business affairs.

 

13 February, 1935

 

Bruno Hauptmann is convicted of the murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr.

 

15 February, 1935

 

Prontosil, the first of the antibacterial "sulfa drugs", is described in a German medical journal by a Bayer medical team. Within a few months, though, the Pasteur Institute discovers an unpatentable version of sulfonamide drugs, making Prontosil somewhat irrelevant.

 

16 February, 1935

 

From Rome, the first detachments of Italian troops left for Italy's African colonies as Benito Mussolini continued silent as to the stand he means to take in the Italo-Ethiopian controversy.

 

Qua Lin Worthington, Nora Cullin, Bill Davis and Major DeLacy arrive in London, having flown from Kenya.

 

Over the next few weeks, they visit France, Heidelberg, and the Catholic monastery at Lindisfarne ... more detail needed!

 

Bill Davis is given a ZB30 machinegun and several ZH29 rifles by the British authorities.

 

Plans are formed for an expedition to the Tian Shan mountains, to be led by the famous mountaineer Algernon DeLacy. Specifically the goal is Tengri Khan, in the Kok Shal range, forming the border between the (nominally) Chinese province of Sinkiang, and the Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic).

 

The actual reason for the expedition is to locate the lost treasure of Tamerlane, or something like that.

 

The two Heinkel Blitz aircraft will be used for the journey, to be flown from the major airfield in Karachi, on to Pewhawar (the British airfield closest to Sinkiang), and (presumably) onward to wherever. The French amphibian plane hasn't got enough ceiling to be useful on the trip.

 

The planes can either fly to an existing airfield (or very fortunate flat spot) in Sinkiang; or, more daringly, directly into the Kok Shal range and onto the frozen Enilchek Lake. On this map, the red route is to an airfield at Kashgar; the blue route, directly to Enilchek Lake. The longitude lines are 265 miles apart; the Heinkel Blitz has a range of over 2000 miles. Peshawar to Kashgar is 380 miles; Peshawar to the Kok Shal mountains is about 500 miles. Crossing the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs requires a minimum ceiling of 15,000', IF you fly through the passes; better to have a few thousand feet more available ...

 

The trip by foot and pony from Gilgit to Kashgar takes 30 days in good weather.

 

 

Also we now know there's an airfield at Gilgit, reducing the distance to fly by more than 100 miles. There's no railway north of Peshawar, so we would have to drive or fly from Peshawar to Gilgit (about a 4 day drive from Peshawar) -- better fly, the roads to Gilgit are pretty snowy in March, and the passes into Sinkiang are snowed-in until at least May.

 

In early March, Nora Cullin, Bill Davis, Qua Lin Worthington, and Algernon DeLacy fly by Imperial Airways to Nairobi (leaving London about March 1st, arriving about March 8th), and then take the train to Mombasa about March 9th. There, they hire another pilot, prepare the two Blitzes, and fly to Karachi, arriving about March 11th.

 

On to The Treasure of Tamerlane!

 

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