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No.4348

£1.45

10/11/10

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FTER THREE YEARS OF BITTER FIGHTING THE WESTERN FRONT A REMAINED LOCKED IN STALEMATE. THE GERMAN DEFENCES HAD PROVEN ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO CRACK BUT THE ALLIED HIGH COMMAND CONTINUED TO MOUNT OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS. ON AN OVERCAST AFTERNOON IN THE SPRING OF 1917 THE TROOPS OF A BRITISH BATTALION WERE IN A SOMBRE MOOD AS THEY PREPARED FOR YET ANOTHER ATTACK.

STORY FERG HANDLEY ART MORAHIN COVER MIKE WHITE

WELL, HERE WE GO AGAIN.

WONDER IF WE’LL GET BACK IN ONE PIECE, CHUM.


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4 AMONG THEIR NUMBER WERE A PAIR OF SEVENTEEN-YEAR OLD ROOKIES, PRIVATES HARRY WILKES AND JOHN FOSTER. BOTH LONDONERS, THEY HAD BEEN AT THE FRONT FOR JUST OVER A MONTH AND WERE STILL STRUGGLING TO ADJUST TO THE DREADFUL CONDITIONS. BLOOMING MUD, IT’S LIKE PASTE THE WAY IT STICKS TO OUR BOOTS.

IT DON’T SEEM TO BOTHER THE RATS, THOUGH, HARRY. I FOUND ONE IN MY PACK LAST NIGHT, THE FILTHY BEGGAR.

SO FAR, THEIR ONLY TASTE OF ACTION HAD BEEN SHELTERING FROM ENEMY SHELLFIRE. ALTHOUGH THEY WERE VOLUNTEERS AND DETERMINED TO DO THEIR BIT, THEY WERE BOTH NATURALLY NERVOUS ABOUT WHAT LAY AHEAD. I’VE HEARD THE JERRIES OUT THERE ARE PRUSSIANS. TOUGH AS NAILS, THAT LOT.

JUST AS LONG AS THEY DON’T TRY GASSING US. BULLETS I CAN HANDLE BUT NOT THAT.


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5 BRITISH ARTILLERY HAD BEEN POUNDING THE ENEMY LINES SINCE DAWN. COUNTLESS TONS OF HIGH EXPLOSIVE SHELLS HAD RAINED DOWN ON THE TRENCHES AND WIRE.

ACH, MORE TOMMY SHELLS. WE CAN EXPECT AN ATTACK SOON…

THE GERMANS HAD DUG DEEP, AND THERE WAS NO GUARANTEE THAT THE BOMBARDMENT HAD WORKED. AT PRECISELY THREE O’CLOCK THE BOMBARDMENT CAME TO AN ABRUPT HALT. AS WHISTLES SHRILLED ALONG THE LINE THE FIRST WAVE CLAMBERED UP THE LADDERS AND OUT INTO NO-MAN’S LAND. STEADY, LADS, AND SPREAD OUT. YOU’RE SOLDIERS, NOT A BUNCH OF SHEEP!


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6 THE ENEMY FIRE WAS FEROCIOUS AND LOSSES WERE HEAVY. THE REMAINING TROOPS MANAGED TO REACH THE GERMAN LINES, WHERE THEY HURLED THEMSELVES AT THE DEFENDERS. COP THAT, FRITZ!

ACHTUNG... AAARGH!

THE INITIAL OBJECTIVES WERE EVENTUALLY SEIZED AND, A SHORT WHILE LATER, THE SECOND WAVE – WHICH INCLUDED HARRY AND JOHN’S PLATOON — WENT OVER THE TOP.

BLIMEY, WHAT A MESS.

NOT HALF, MATE. LOOK AT ALL THOSE BLOOMING GREAT SHELL HOLES!


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D

uring the Great War, two green infantrymen are posted to the Western Front. In the confusion of battle they are accused of cowardice. Reluctantly, they seize a chance to desert…and escape a firing squad. But war has not finished with them. Years later, the two mates — still in France — are caught up in the Nazi invasion. Pricked by their consciences, they decide to strike back in their own small way. They do not expect to be plunged into a dangerous, shadowy war, perhaps even deadlier than the trenches…

23 9 770262 262188

www.commandocomics.com

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