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FGHANISTAN, 2011. AN AMERICAN ARMY PATROL WAS CAUTIOUSLY A APPROACHING A BADLY DAMAGED COMPOUND, THE LIEUTENANT AND HIS MEN ON HIGH ALERT, 5.56mm M4 CARBINES AT THE READY. EASY NOW... THE BRITS SHOULD HAVE SECURED THIS, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW IN THIS AREA.

STORY MAC MACDONALD ART KEITH PAGE COVER KEITH PAGE


4 THE POSITION WAS IN FRIENDLY HANDS, ONLY ONE SOLDIER VISIBLE OF THE BRITISH SPECIAL FORCES SQUAD WHICH HAD SECURED THE LOCATION. THE MINIMI 5.56mm LIGHT MACHINE GUN HE WAS CLUTCHING WAS ALMOST PART OF HIM.

WELCOME TO HOTEL DESERT DUST. YOU’LL FIND OUR OFFICER IN RESIDENCE FURTHER IN.

ALWAYS WITH THE FANCY TALK, THESE BRITS.

THE AMERICAN LIEUTENANT KNEW HOW EFFICIENT THESE ELITE WARRIORS WERE, BUT HE WAS A BIT SURPRISED TO FIND THE MAN IN CHARGE SUPPING COLD BEANS FROM THE TIN WITH THE AID OF VERY OLD AND BATTERED SPOON. NICE TO MEET YOU. I’M JUST FINISHING BREAKFAST.

SO I SEE. THAT’S SOME EATING IRON YOU’RE WIELDING. BUY IT IN THE LOCAL BAZAAR, DID YOU?


5 THE RELAXED BRIT CHUCKLED AT THAT AS HE LICKED THE SPOON CLEAN. NO, THIS OLD BEAUTY IS A MILITARY RELIC. THERE’S QUITE A STORY BEHIND IT IF YOU’VE GOT SOME TIME. HAVE SOME TEA? WE HAVE NO COFFEE.

I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE ‘TIL I GET ORDERS. I’LL PASS ON THE TEA.

THE TALE THE SOLDIER TOLD BEGAN IN 1810. NAPOLEON’S ARMIES WERE CONQUERING TERRITORY ALL OVER EUROPE AND A SMALL FRENCH COLUMN WAS WINDING ITS WAY THROUGH ROUGH COUNTRY IN THE NORTH OF SPAIN.

THIS MIGHT AS WELL BE THE END OF THE KNOWN WORLD FOR ME. WHAT THE DEVIL ARE WE DOING HERE? I’D RATHER BE BACK IN TOULOUSE.


6 THE DESPONDENT N.C.O. WOULD NEVER SEE FRANCE AGAIN, HOWEVER. BRITISH SOLDIERS, RAGGED AND DUSTY, ROSE FAST FROM COVER AND OPENED FIRE WITH THEIR LAND PATTERN MUSKETS, BETTER KNOWN AS BROWN BESSES.

WAKEN UP, YOU DOZY BEGGARS! AAGH!

THE ENEMY WERE TAKEN BY COMPLETE SURPRISE, THE 18mm BALLS CAUSING CARNAGE. SOME MODEL 1771 CHARLEVILLE MUSKETS DID FIRE BACK BUT THE ENEMY STOOD LITTLE CHANCE AS MORE BRITISH INFANTRYMEN BROKE COVER IN A RAGGED CHARGE. SLIT THEIR GIZZARDS!

URGH!


7 BEN BROWN, A YOUNG DRUMMER BOY, RAPPED OUT A MEASURED BEAT TO ADD TO THE NOISE OF BATTLE.

THE SARGE SAID TO PLAY LIKE THE DEVIL OR HE’D SKIN ME LIKE A FRENCH SAUSAGE...

THE FRENCH STOOD FIRM BUT DIED TO A MAN. THE SCRUFFY PRIVATE WHO FORCED OPEN THE CHEST IN THE BACK OF THE CART HOOTED WITH GLEE AS HE SAW THE SILVER PLATES AND GOBLETS PILED INSIDE.

FEAST YER EYES ON THIS, YE BOLD BRIGANDS! THIS MUST BE BONEY’S BEST DINNER SERVICE!


8 THE TREASURE HAD BEEN LOOTED FROM SOME FINE SPANISH HOUSE, IN FACT, AND WOULD BECOME PART OF THE REGIMENTAL SILVER...BUT NOT BEFORE THE FINDERS TOOK THEIR CUT.

GRAB JUST ENOUGH TO BUY SOME VINO AND VICTUALS IN THE NEXT TOWN. TOO MUCH AND THE LIEUTENANT WILL SMELL A RAT.

WHATEVER YOU SAY, SERGEANT! QUICK NOW, LADS.

ONLY YOUNG BEN HUNG BACK, NOT SURE WHAT TO DO.

THEY WOULD CUFF ME IF I GOT IN THE WAY…


9 BUT THE VETERAN SERGEANT HAD NOT FORGOTTEN THE LAD, ALTHOUGH ALL HE GAVE HIM WAS BATTERED COOK’S SPOON.

HANG ON TIGHT TO THIS, YOUNG ‘UN, FOR SUPPING YOUR PORRIDGE.

TA, SARGE.

BEN KNEW THE SPOON WAS WORTH LITTLE, BUT IT WAS HIS NOW AND HE POLISHED IT OFTEN IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKS AS THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUED. WHAT’S THE ORDERS NOW, SARGE?

AS IF I HAVEN’T TOLD YE TEN TIMES ALREADY! WE HIT THE FRENCHIES FROM THE FLANK WHEN OUR CAVALRY GET IN AMONGST ‘EM!


10 ONCE IN POSITION AND ALERTED BY THE THUNDER OF CHARGING HORSES, THE BRITISH INFANTRYMEN REACTED AS ORDERED, FIRING AS THEY RAN WITH BEN’S DRUMMING RINGING IN THEIR EARS. THEY WON’T BEST US THIS NIGHT!

JUST BELT UP AND AIM TRUE!

THE ENEMY MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE FILLING IN THE SANDWICH, CAUGHT BETWEEN THE CAVALRY AND THE INFANTRY, BUT THEY WERE NOT EASY MEAT, THEIR CHARLEVILLE MUSKETS BLAZING.

BEAT BACK THE ENGLISH VILLAINS!

OUI, SCATTER THEM!



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