By land and by sea the ferocious Yellow Hordes descend upon the United States, dealing destruction with new and horrifying weapons: with viscid poisons, with lethal gases, with flaming thermite—and with an invisible death-force more fearful, more annihilating than any weapon yet known to man. Before the ruthless Asiatic Invaders even Operator 5, America’s Secret Service Ace, stands helpless—hunted like a rat, harried and set upon by those who should be striving shoulder to shoulder with him to turn back the greatest Yellow Threat ever to assail the bulwarks of Western Civilization!
“Invasion of the Yellow Warlords” is the fifteenth Operator 5 novel, originally published in June 1935.
First, who is the Yellow Empire? It was also the enemy invader in the second (“The Invisible Empire”) and third (“The Yellow Scourge”). It has great battle technology including an air station that can hide in clouds above US cities and a submarine air carrier. Earlier we speculated that it was Japan or a greater Asia led by Japan given the names of many of its leaders. In Chapter 4 of this book, we see that the empire covers broad areas of Asia, and by that, all Asians might be included.
The Pacific fleet is being attacked by the Yellow Empire’s Navy; Jimmy Christopher is on the fleet’s flag ship and therefore has a firsthand view of the proceedings. The Yellow Empire employs a new weapon, a heat ray that turns metal white hot causing battleships and other opposing equipment to explode Against this new technology, the US Navy is no match for the invading fleet, as the Yellow Empire’s destroys one American ship after anther as it advances with its battleships leading the way for troop ships for a physical invasion of the US.
Obviously America’s armed forces want to fight it out with the “Yellowese” as the author Frederick C. Davis calls the attackers, but they are no match. So, Operator 5 calls for retreat to conserve American men and equipment. At first, American leadership bows to his wishes, but after the Yellow Empire occupies the west coast, they view him as having failed and for being a prime cause of the invasion’s success. He is ordered to organize the espionage organization in the west, but abandons his post to try and convince the leaders of the armed forces not to counterattack. They refuse and when Operator 5 persists, they outlaw him.
Fortunately for America, John Christopher does not give up. He leads the effort to find out the source of the heat ray and a way to neutralize it, which enables America to defeat this newest wave of invaders.
Could the Yellow Empire have conquered a large portion of the US given the weapons used? I think that the answer is “yes,” especially since it also was able to disrupt American communications, although it would likely have had a hard time holding the conquered territory because of guerrilla warfare. A related question concerns the inability of American generals to tailor its offense and defense to minimize the heat beam. Sadly Generals often fight the last war; so if an opponent changes the war paradigm, generals are often sadly unable to adjust. An example would be the French in World War II who were very well prepared to fight World War I all over again; When the Germans deploys its Blitzkrieg, the French have no answer even though they had already seen several nations fall to it.
Could Jimmy Christopher have thwarted the Yellow Empire by finding the secret of the heat beam allowing the US also to use it and to have limited defenses against it, e.g. bakelite gas tanks in planes? The answer is again “yes.” With the Yellow Empire technology neutralized, the US would have had an advantage since it was fighting on its home soil. The long supply lines from the Orient would also have worked against the Yellow Empire, especially since the heat beam could be used against supply ships. Davis provides less than two pages to America’s defeat of the Yellow Empire… so more comment given the limited amount of information provided by Davis is not possible.
Another good tale. It seemed to me that it bogged down a little in the middle, but still a lot of action.