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TORPEDO JUNCTION: Rommel the Ocean Fox in the Pacific

Sourdough Jackson


It’s 7 December 1941. Do you know where your foes are?
Rear-Admiral Erwin “Tex” Rommel, aviation pioneer, fighter ace, and tactical genius in the use of air power, thinks he has an answer for that one. Washington has handed him plenty of rope to test his ideas regarding carrier tactics. Can he use it to lasso the Japanese threat, or will he just hang himself and the U.S. Navy with it?

It’s 7 December 1941. Do you know where your friends are?
Commander Anson McDonald has spent his entire career at sea, in destroyers, and has recently earned the command of one. He has never done staff work—but Rommel shanghaies him off the ship he loves, to fill a key staff position. For the first time in years, he is unsure of himself. Can he handle his new job, or will he foul up, bringing his career, his commanding officer, and his fleet to ruin and defeat?

It’s 7 December 1941. Do you know where your brains are?
Rommel preaches the gospel of readiness, drilling his men to a crack level. But the Navy is green; hardly anyone has ever seen action. Nearly everyone is mired in peacetime habits, suspicious of anything new. Untried inventions permeate the Navy. Few know how to effectively use those science-fictional gadgets, radar and sonar. The latest torpedoes are so secret they’ve never been tested. And no one, not even Erwin Rommel, knows what will happen when carriers clash for the first time on the high seas.

It’s 7 December 1941 . . . .



Sourdough Jackson, a transwoman, began reading SF with a Jules Verne novel at the age of six, and has been reading it avidly ever since. After graduating from Whitman College in 1973, she became active in science fiction fandom. She met Denver fan and artist Gail Barton at a convention, and they married in 1978. Sadly, this ended in 2018 when Gail died after a long illness.

Sourdough has for many years written a monthly column on classic science fiction, “Writers of the Purple Page,” which is published in a local fanzine. She is also a lifelong student of naval history.


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