Series:Golden Age Stories
The Devil—With Wings
Listen to an excerpt
Fighter pilot Gary Forsythe is a man on fire. He's tough, steely-eyed, hunted by many and feared by all. He's British Secret Service—a striking predecessor to James Bond—with a chip on his shoulder and a .50 caliber machinegun in his flying killing machine. He is The Devil—With Wings.
The Japanese have invaded Manchuria, and Forsythe has made it his mission to stop them. Japanese Military Intelligence has made it their mission to knock the Devil out of the skies. But a dogfight with the Imperial Japanese Air Force is child's play compared to the challenge that awaits him….
Her name is Patricia Weston. Japanese spies have falsely accused the British pilot of murdering her brother—and now she wants vengeance. And for once in his life, Forsythe is disarmed—by his love for a woman who has vowed to kill him.
“Guns blazing, airplanes diving, bombs exploding—you'll feel like you're right in the middle of the action." —Audiobook Heaven
As a young man, Hubbard visited Manchuria, where his closest friend headed up British intelligence in northern China. Hubbard gained a unique insight into the intelligence operations and spy-craft in the region as well as the hostile political climate between China and Japan—a knowledge that informs stories like The Devil—With Wings.
The Devil—With Wings Glossary
Stories from the Golden Age reflect the words and expressions used in the 1930s and 1940s, adding unique flavor and authenticity to the tales. While a character’s speech may often reflect regional origins, it also can convey attitudes common in the day. So that readers can better grasp such cultural and historical terms, uncommon words or expressions of the era, the following glossary has been provided.
Aigun: a town in northern Manchuria, situated on the Amur River.
Amur River: the world’s ninth longest river that forms the border between northeastern China (Manchuria) and the Russian Far East (between Siberia and the Pacific Ocean). It was an area of conflict during the war between China and Japan that began in 1937, and eventually led to World War II in the Pacific.
arc lamp: a lamp that produces light when electric current flows across the gap between two electrodes.
Bombay: a harbor and second largest city in India, located on the west coast of India and bordered by the Arabian Sea. Bombay was under British rule until 1947, when India gained its independence.
cordite: a family of smokeless propellants, developed and produced in the United Kingdom from the late nineteenth century to replace gunpowder as a military propellant for large weapons, such as tank guns, artillery and naval guns. Cordite is now obsolete and no longer produced.
cowl: the removable metal housing of an aircraft engine, often designed as part of the airplane’s body, containing the cockpit, passenger seating and cargo but excluding the wings.
crate: an airplane.
drome: short for airdrome; a military air base.
Genghis Khan: (1162?–1227) Mongol conqueror who founded the largest land empire in history and whose armies, known for their use of terror, conquered many territories and slaughtered the populations of entire cities.
gibbet: an upright post with a crosspiece, forming a T-shaped structure from which criminals were formerly hanged for public viewing.
G-men: government men; agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Harbin: the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province, in northeastern China.
ideograph: a graphic symbol that represents an idea, rather than a group of letters arranged according to a spoken language, as in Chinese or Japanese characters.
inertia starter: a device for starting engines. During the energizing of the starter, all movable parts within it are set in motion. After the starter has been fully energized, it is engaged to the crankshaft of the engine and the flywheel energy is transferred to the engine.
International Settlement: a reserved area in China set aside by the government where foreigners were permitted to reside and trade. These areas, called settlements or concessions, were leased from the Chinese government and were administered by the foreign residents and their consuls and not under the jurisdiction of Chinese laws or taxes. All such foreign settlements on mainland China were eventually dismantled when the Communist Party of China took control of the government in 1949.
Jehol: a former province in northeast China; traditionally the gateway to Mongolia, Jehol was the name used in the 1920s and 1930s for the Chinese province north of the Great Wall, west of Manchuria and east of Mongolia. It was seized by the Japanese in early 1933, and was annexed to Manchukuo and not restored to China until the end of World War II.
jujitsu: the art of weaponless self-defense developed in Japan that uses throws, holds and blows. It derives added power from the attacker’s own weight and strength.
Kawasaki: aircraft named after its manufacturer. Founded in 1918, Kawasaki built engines and biplanes in the 1930s, including fighters and bombers.
KDA-5: a fighter biplane built by Kawasaki, a Japanese aircraft manufacturer founded in 1918. The first prototype flew in 1932; 380 of these planes were built.
liquid air: air in its liquid state, intensely cold and bluish.
Luger: a German semiautomatic pistol introduced before World War I and named after German firearms expert George Luger (1849–1923).
Manchukuo: a former state of eastern Asia in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia. In 1932 it was established as a puppet state (a country that is nominally independent, but in reality is under the control of another power) after the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931. It was returned to the Chinese government in 1945.
Manchurian: a native of a region of northeast China comprising the modern-day provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning. Manchuria was the homeland of the Manchu people, who conquered China in the seventeenth century, and was hotly contested by the Russians and the Japanese in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Chinese Communists gained control of the area in 1948.
marten: a weasel-like forest mammal that is hunted for fur in some countries.
MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT was founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States.
Mukden: the capital city of the China province of Liaoning in northeast China.
Nakajima: the name for the aircraft produced by the Nakajima Aircraft Company, Japan’s first aircraft manufacturer, founded in 1917.
Native Quarter: Native City; walled portion of the city where the native Chinese resided, also referred to as the Walled City. Foreigners in Tientsin lived in the International Settlement, located outside the Native City.
Nippon: the native Japanese name for Japan.
Order of the Rising Sun: the second most prestigious Japanese decoration awarded for both civil and military merit.
pom-poms: antiaircraft guns or their fire. The term originally applied to the Maxim automatic gun (1899–1902) from the particular sound it made when in action.
Port Arthur: a Chinese seaport surrounded by ocean on three sides. It was named after a British Royal Navy lieutenant who, during a war in 1860, towed his crippled ship into the harbor for repairs. The Russians and other Western powers then adopted the British name. Between 1904 and 1945 Port Arthur and the surrounding area were under Japanese rule.
Primus: a portable cooking stove that burns vaporized oil.
Pu Yi, Henry: (1906–1967) emperor of China (1908–1924) until he was expelled by revolution. In 1932, he was installed by the Japanese as the emperor of Manchukuo. At the end of World War II, he was imprisoned until 1959, when he was granted amnesty by the leader of the Communist government.
Rising Sun: Japan; the characters that make up Japan’s name mean “the sun’s origin,” which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the “Land of the Rising Sun.” It is also the military flag of Japan and was used as the ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army until the end of World War II.
Scheherazade: the female narrator of The Arabian Nights, who during one thousand and one adventurous nights saved her life by entertaining her husband, the king, with stories.
Shanghai: city of eastern China at the mouth of the Yangtze River, and the largest city in the country. Shanghai was opened to foreign trade by treaty in 1842 and quickly prospered. France, Great Britain and the United States all held large concessions (rights to use land granted by a government) in the city until the early twentieth century.
slipstream: the airstream pushed back by a revolving aircraft propeller.
snakeskin head, fiddle with a: an erhu; also known as the Chinese violin or Chinese two-string fiddle. It consists of a long vertical sticklike neck, at the top of which are two large tuning pegs, and at the bottom is a small resonator body (sound box) that is covered with python skin on the front end. The two strings are attached from the pegs to the base, and it is played with a horsehair bow. The erhu can be traced back to instruments introduced into China more than a thousand years ago.
Son of Heaven: Emperor of China; sovereign of Imperial China reigning since the founding of the Qin Dynasty in 221 bc until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. The emperor was recognized as the ruler of “All under heaven.” Henry Pu Yi was the last reigning emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
Tientsin: seaport located southeast of Peking; China’s third largest city and major transportation and trading center. Tientsin was a “Treaty Port,” a generic term used to denote Chinese cities open to foreign residence and trade, usually the result of a treaty.
Timur the Limper: (1336–1405) a name for Timur Lenk or Tamerlane meaning “Timur the Lame.” Timur was a Mongol conqueror and the name is supposed to have reflected the battle wounds he received.
Toledo: Toledo, Spain; a city renowned for making swords of finely tempered steel.
tracer: a bullet or shell whose course is made visible by a trail of flames or smoke, used to assist in aiming.
Vladivostok: city and major port in southeastern Russia, on Golden Horn Bay, an inlet of the Sea of Japan. It is the last city on the eastern end of the Trans-Siberian Railway.
will-o’-the-wisp: somebody or something that is misleading or elusive.