Swedish cover for the story                                The title picture in Swedish Fantomen magazine                    Australian FREW Phantom cover 1716

  Confederate Connection was the original work-name for this adventure written by Dag Frognes. In Sweden is was changed to more

 exciting name "Det hemliga vapnet" which is the same meaning as used in Australian Phantom "The Secret Weapon".  Unfortunate-

 ly the name was misleading  because while it was referring to an armored warship of the story, called in that time as ironclad and sup-

 posed in the story being more powerful weapon as other warships of that time, it caused gray hairs for the illustrator of the story - mea-

 nin myself.

 The story takes place in 1861 at the beginning of the American Civil War  when Union ships were blockading the Southern harbours

 and Confederate built ironclads to sink Union warships. And during the war both sides built a large number of those armoured ships.

Even before that  the ironclad ships weren´t a new invention. European countries had used ships like those long before and the history

of metal armored ships go still farther in the history - in 16th Century Knights Hospitaller had a sort of ship like that with underwater

hull an six decks completely sheathed by lead plates fastened by bronze nails to wooden hull.


           Santa Ana, 16th Century ironclad.                           CSS Virginia and USS Monitor made a famous seabattle in 1862.

  The Civil War ironclads were made mostly coastal and river use . They were built in the form to have gun shells bounce from their

  metal hull, but ironclads used in sea were usually earlier frigates and corvettes covered by metal plates.  However, a ship like that

  was not any more a new invention and it seemed from the script that Dag Frognes was expecting something more efficient warship

  according the plot of the story.  I could have made the ship named Prometheus in the story  really modern, but it would be too ima-

  ginery.  So I stayed in the technical level of the period and only added to the ship rotating turrets.  Unfortunately the ship didn´t

 have any action in the story, so that did not came obvious to the reader. That was the weak point of this adventure.

  But the story itself was very interesting.  It started from Bengali where Phantom, being the leader of Jungle Patrol, visited their

  post, where two oldfashioned gunboats had taken a pirate ship. Gunboats were in bad condision after that incident and it was ob-

  vious that Jungle Patrol, which also was active Bengali´s coast and rivers, needed more modern ships to fight criminals.

  To get those new gunboats Phantom took his trip to London to Villiers Shipyard where two new gunboats were waiting to be paid

  and sailed to Bengali.  Here the story starts...  


  In London Phantom soon runs into trouble.  The Villiers Shipyard  owner has dead and the place is taken care by his daughter , and the

 shipyard close to bankrupt  and cannot pay the loan to lord Darkson wants to have the shipyard´s ownership.  When Phantom promises

 to miss Villiers to pay gunboats and thus save the shipyard, an open war is ready between him and lord Darkson. 

  The main reason why Darkson wants to own the shipyard is the ironclad, which is more advanced than other of its kind and already fi-

 nished and kept in hidden. So he sends his bunch of villain after Phantom in order to kill him. Of course our hero is not easily killed and,

 but lord Darkson believing that he is done, steals the ironcled and also takes miss Villiers and sails toward America to give the warship

 in the hands  of conferation navy.  His reasons are both economical and political because he hopes that South will won the war.

  Phanton follows with an English secret sercice man to help miss Villiers and after a sea journey they land to Washington.


     At the same time General Lee´s army is threatening to invade Washington and city is full of wounded after the first battle close

     to Union capital.  Let us leave the rest of the story to be read and concentrate to my illustaration work with this very workable


     Because the storyline did run in changing milleau with more and more new  details of the period, it was a quite hard work to have

     the entire adventure finished.  Clothes, wagons, coaches, weapons, uniforms, ships, look of London and Washington, streetcars,

     Union and Confederate armies etc. etc.  To draw this story was like a press through a mill.  I sincerely hope that even some of the

     readers of this story can prediate my effort to amuse them with a Phantom story.  Even if the work was very demanding I enjoyed

    to do it, because it was my first drawing work concerning American Civil War, which has been one of my great interest.  Even pre-

    sident Lincoln was involved in this remarkable story.


                                                                                Prometheus - the ironclad of the story

                                                                        MORE PICTURES FROM THE STORY HERE 

                                                                                                        to links