In 1905, only freshly emerging from centuries of isolation, Japan fights and wins it first naval engagement with modern battleships.

Japan begins to find it’s place in the world by expanding into the power vacuum that is the Far East. Though thousands of miles from European Russia, the Empire of the Czar seems the only true power in the northern Pacific besides the United States. But the sun is beginning to rise on Japan. Forced from seclusion by American military and European traders in the previous century, men of Nippon explode onto the international scene.

In a series of forceful moves the island of Formosa and the Korean Peninsula are captured. By the end of the Great War the Russians are mired in the Bolshevik Revolution and Japan’s appetite is further whetted when awarded territory in China once the colonies of the defeated German Kaiser.

Flash forward to 1939 and beyond. Japanese expansion into China inevitably leads to tension with the new Soviet Union, a country that has been slowly making it’s own inroads in China’s far west. A minor war in Mongolia, including a blistering armored exchange at Kalkin Gol, leaves both sides, Japanese and Russian, staggering. They covet the same prizes yet know that the time is not ripe …

War has broken out in Europe and Flyer Turk Madden has agreed to bring a passenger up to Shanghai and then make a flight to Vladivostok for the British government. Once there, Turk goes on to take a job picking up two agents, Russian and British, from a secret rendezvous on Hokkaido, Japan.

Flying into a deserted section of the coast Madden discovers that his clients have been captured. He must save them before they are killed and search for a secret Japanese base hidden between the forks of the Nahtohu River in Asiatic Russia.

When battle damage and low fuel force Madden and his companions down, they must survive the icy swamps south of the Sihote Alin Mountains and confront the possibility of one of them being a Nazi secret agent.

The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour
Volume IV
The Adventure Stories

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