A group of bitter men—a secret League of War—was ready to plunge the world into a new, earth-wide conflict. They issued orders, and bloody organized murder was loosed in the heart of Europe! And behind this carnage, a single man was scheming to make himself the Dictator of the World! Never before had a single person conceived such a colossal plan for profiting from the slaughter of humans. He had overcome all obstacles—except one lone avenger, Operator 5, America’s secret service ace. Can Jimmy Christopher keep the nations of the world from hurling themselves into a war which can bring nothing but universal defeat, misery, and slavery?
“The League of War Monsters” is the eleventh Operator 5 novel and was originally published in February 1935.
The opening segments of the novel are very similar to those in the previous novel: “The Red Invaders.” Three similar initial thrusts are:
- A spy, Anton Yussov, representing an unknown country, is operating in the US, paralleling the beautiful spy, Radi Havara in “The Red Invaders.” In this one, we soon find out that there are many terrorists, i.e. a league of them, which have been deployed around the world.
- Naval vessels are being sunk by an unknown enemy for unknown reasons. Later, it would ascertained that terrorists are messing with torpedoes so that they would boomerang and unintentionally sink their own originating vessel.
- Washington DC is bombed (rather NYC and other cities being shelled).
- The mythical European country in this one is Balkania, opposed to Urakia in the previous novel.
Once again the US is being besieged by an unknown power, but this novel has a much more logical premise behind it than the one in “The Red Invaders.” The terrorists/spies represent the “Secret League of Nations” (Note: The title of this novel is likely an emotional enhancement of this title.) Its purpose is to undermine the large powers in the world by fomenting wars, including the involvement of the US, western European countries, and Japan. The weakening of these nations will prepare invasions from the masses of Asia. If the scheme is successful, the most advanced nations would be destroyed, and civilization pushed back centuries. The clandestine master of the Secret League would lead these Asian masses to allow him to take over the world. The secret head turns out to be an arms dealer who will first be enriched by worldwide war by selling his wars before actively seeking to take it over.
Presumably Frederick C. Davis is the author of both these two novels. He does an excellent job of recreating the start of WW II. A couple of differences is that Japan attacks Russia (which would have been a smarter move than the real-world attack on Honolulu), and Italy sides with the allies rather than with Germany.
So, in answer to one of our two common questions for all Operator 5 novels concerning whether the attacks had the viability to work: Certainly the start of WW II four years hence indicates that it would be possible for such a war to be started given the circumstances and provocations indicated in this tale.
Could Jimmy Christopher have stopped it? War actually begins throughout the world, including a military invasion of the US by Mexico with tanks provided by the unknown head of the Secret League These tanks are supposedly of US design and in greater numbers than those belonging to the US military. While Operator 5 exposes the man starting the worldwide fight, I doubt that would have been sufficient reason for the shooting war of worldwide magnitude to cease; there would simply be too many wounds and hard feelings; the war would have continued; war begets war.
After defeating the Mexican invasion but without firing shots at the military people of other countries, the US might have been able to withdraw… but the rest of the world would have kept fighting given pent-up animosities of WW I and other disputes that did finally lead to WW II.
Also, it is difficult to believe that the arms merchant supplying so much of the world not have been readily known. Think of the quantity of armaments that were be involved.
Despite these flaws, I must admit that I really enjoyed this novel. It had a lot of action, and the author did a great job of building up the conflict using logic that did seem to play out only a few years later when the world war actually occurred. As such, this one is highly recommended for Operator 5 fans. Indeed, given the scanty reprinting of it, it might well be a great opportunity for those who have read and enjoyed other Operator 5 novels but have not read this one.