Harry Braham brings the skill and talents of an air ace to battle with Bolsheviks and Fascists in post-World War I Europe. America had a rough lesson in realpolitik when it entered the Great War in 1917. Unprepared and boasting an army that dealt primarily with hostile natives and Mexican bandits, the infrastructure of the American military was no match for the well-drilled Prussians they would soon face in France. Worse still, was the attitude that all intelligence activities were better left to a few amateurs or the more scurrilous individuals who inhabited the fringes of the established services.
There was no American equivalent of a Basil Zaharoff with his network of minions actively gathering information in a dozen world capitals. American intelligence had no Sidney Reilly or anyone in such a role as was played by the likes of Cunningham, the original “C” of British intelligence. In truth there was no American intelligence philosophy. The raw American forces going into Europe in 1917 had to rely on the British and French to provide them with what they thought the new arrivals needed to know.
Late in 1918, as the Armistice became reality, two Americans, one a diplomat and the other an investor sought to create something new. They knew there would be a vacuum of silence and ignorance of the real doings in Europe as France and Britain retreated to lick their wounds and bury their dead. America was strong, and despite its own losses on the Western Front, had the capacity to stand up to the challenges of the new century.
While they had the vision to create a fledgling intelligence service, what they lacked were the men to make it work. So, with the skill of the diplomat and the money of the investor and his company, they set about finding the right men. Where better to look than among the brave men who had just finished fighting the ‘war to end all wars’.
Captain Harry Braham, US Army Air Service, with nine victories to his credit was such a man. Enamored by flight and the promise of adventure, he sought out the war as a way to escape the aimless life he had been leading in the States. Finding the swirl of people and languages of Europe, not to speak of the flash of cities like Paris, alluring, the offer of doing ‘something more’ after the war was just what he was looking for. Braham was born on a frigid January morning in 1898 seventeen miles west of Times Square in the hamlet of Westfield, New Jersey. With no roots or family he tried college, but tired of the stifled approach to learning that his professors took. So, with little money in his pocket and less of an idea as to where to go, he took himself off on an American odyssey until Uncle Sam said America needed aviators.
What began as a kind of lark by joining up evolves into much more as Harry Braham learns the ropes of the clandestine life. Paris, Berlin, Munich and Warsaw become the backdrops to his adventures. As he goes about learning his new craft he meets men who will befriend him and women who will betray him. From his home in Paris he builds up a network that will give America an edge as the governments of Europe edge closer to war.
In this series of books, Harry Braham is eyewitness to the best and the worst in human conflict. Long before the first shots are fired, Harry is out in the field, the vanguard of a new global power. In The Warszaw Express Harry steps from the orderly environment of the US Army into a murky world of Bolshevik and fascist forces bent on taking over the remnants of crumbled empires.