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IRO ANICIC WAS A SCHOOLBOY WHEN THE M GERMANS INVADED HIS COUNTRY, BUT HE WOULD SOON LEARN TO SURVIVE AND TAKE THE FIGHT BACK TO THE ENEMY, ESPECIALLY WHEN ONE OF THEM PICKED HIM OUT TO BE HUNTED DOWN!

STORY BILL STYLES ART REZZONICO COVER JANEK MATYSIAK


4 IN 1941, MIRO WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE SCHOOL IN YUGOSLAVIA. HE ENJOYED HOLIDAYS AWAY FROM THE CITY ON HIS UNCLE VED’S FARM, WHERE HE COULD FLY THE MODEL AIRCRAFT THAT HE LIKED BUILDING.

IT’S GOING TO LAND RIGHT ON TARGET! ANOTHER GOOD FLIGHT!

I’VE GOT THE DESIGN BETTER THIS TIME, UNCLE!

AWAY FROM YUGOSLAVIA, THE SECOND WORLD WAR WAS RAGING. THE GERMAN ARMY NOW HELD MUCH OF NORTHERN EUROPE. VED WAS WORRIED BUT DIDN’T LET ON TO MIRO. IT’S BEEN GOOD HAVING YOU TO STAY HERE, NEPHEW, YOUR AUNT LIKES YOU HERE AS WELL. YOU CAN LEAVE SOME OF YOUR MODEL PLANES TILL NEXT TIME, IF YOU LIKE. THANKS, UNCLE VED.


5 BACK AT SCHOOL, MIRO LOOKED FORWARD TO HIS LAST TERM ENDING. HE WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER AND WORK WITH AIRCRAFT. BUT THAT MIGHT HAVE TO WAIT, HE THOUGHT, AS HIS TEACHER, HARIS BEDIC, SPOKE TO THE CLASS ABOUT THE APPROACHING WAR. GERMANY HAS NOW OVERCOME MANY COUNTRIES, BUT THEIR ARMIES MAY WELL LEAVE US ALONE.

OUR AIR FORCE AND ARMY WILL KEEP THEM AWAY, SIR!

BEDIC WAS EXPLAINING THAT THEIR COUNTRY WAS IN NO IMMEDIATE DANGER WHEN THE SOUND OF AERO ENGINES BEGAN TO RUMBLE IN THE DISTANCE. AS THE RUMBLE GREW LOUDER, MIRO LOOKED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND WAS HORRIFIED AT WHAT HE SAW.

SIR, THOSE AREN’T AIRCRAFT FROM OUR AIR FORCE, THOSE ARE GERMAN PLANES.

THE KNOWLEDGABLE SCHOOLBOY EXPLAINED THAT HE COULD SEE Ju88 BOMBERS, Ju87 STUKA DIVEBOMBERS AND MESSERSCHMITT Bf109 FIGHTERS ESCORTING THEM.


6 MIRO’S AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION WAS SPOT ON. THE GERMAN ATTACK ON HIS COUNTRY HAD BEGUN AND THE LUFTWAFFE WERE BOMBING THE CITY.

ACHTUNG! DIVE BOMB NOW!

THE PUPILS TOOK COVER WHILE EXPLOSIVES TUMBLED ALL AROUND. ONCE THE PLANES HAD GONE, HARIS AND THE OTHER TEACHERS STARTED TO MOVE THEM TO A SAFER PLACE. AS THEY DID SO, MIRO’S ELDER BROTHER, DRAGO, CAME LOOKING FOR HIM. DON’T STOP, BOYS. COME THIS WAY!

COME QUICKLY, MIRO. OUR STREET HAS BEEN HIT!

WHAT’S WRONG, DRAGO?


7 DRAGO AND MIRO LEFT THE OTHER BOYS AND RAN HOME BUT AS THEY GOT NEARER THEY COULD SEE THAT ALL THE HOUSES HAD BEEN FLATTENED BY A STICK OF GERMAN BOMBS.

NO-ONE COULD HAVE SURVIVED.

OUR WHOLE FAMILY MUST BE DEAD!

AS THEY STARED, A GERMAN ARMY STAFF CAR HAD STOPPED RIGHT OUTSIDE THE RUINS OF THEIR HOUSE. MAJOR HEINRICH VON KRIEGER, IN CHARGE OF SOME OF THE INVADING TROOPS, HAD COME TO INSPECT THE RESULTS OF THE BOMBING.

STAND BACK, THERE!

KEEP STILL, MIRO.

BUT OUR PARENTS MUST BE BURIED IN THERE, DRAGO!


8 IT WAS BY CHANCE THAT THE MAJOR HAD STOPPED AT THE BROTHERS’ HOUSE BUT VON KRIEGER SPOTTED THE ONE THING STILL INTACT IN THE WRECKAGE, PART OF THE WING OF ONE OF MIRO’S MODEL PLANES.

THIS IS HOW EASILY WE BRUSHED ASIDE THEIR RIDICULOUS AIR FORCE, AS IF THEY WERE PATHETIC TOYS LIKE THIS!

MIRO COULDN’T HELP LUNGING FORWARD TOWARDS THE RUINED HOUSE. VON KRIEGER, TAKEN BY SURPRISE, STARED AT HIM. WHO WOULD DARE TO BREAK THROUGH A CORDON OF NAZI SOLDIERS?

COME BACK, MIRO! OUR MOTHER’S UNDER THAT RUBBLE!

WHO IS THAT IMPERTINENT BOY?


9 UNNOTICED BY THE TWO BROTHERS, THEIR FRIEND, RADE JOVIC, AN OLDER BOY WHO LIVED IN THE NEXT STREET, HAD ARRIVED. HE HAD HEARD THE NAZI’S COMMENTS AND THEY HAD MADE HIS BLOOD BOIL. WHILE THE GERMANS WERE DISTRACTED, HE TOOK A PISTOL FROM UNDERNEATH HIS JACKET AND FIRED AT VON KRIEGER.

HIMMEL! THAT’S FOR DRAGO AND MIRO’S FAMILY!

RADE HAD LITTLE CHANCE TO MAKE AN ACCURATE SHOT AND MISSED. UNABLE TO SEE WHERE THE SHOT HAD COME FROM, THE GERMAN TROOPS STARTED FIRING WILDLY. IN THE CONFUSION, THE THREE LADS ESCAPED ALONG A SIDE STREET. QUICK, THEY’RE COMING!

THIS WAY!


10 RADE LED THEM TO A DOOR AT THE SIDE OF AN OLD BUILDING. HE PUSHED THE OTHERS INSIDE JUST BEFORE A GERMAN PATROL CAME UP THE STREET. HE TOLD THEM HE HAD BEEN GIVEN THE GUN BY SOME FRIENDS THAT HE WAS TAKING THEM TO MEET. IN HERE, QUICK!

WHERE ARE WE?

MIRO WAS SURPRISED FIND HIS TEACHER INSIDE. HARIS REVEALED THAT SOME PEOPLE LIKE HIMSELF EXPECTED AN INVASION AND HAD SECRETLY FORMED A RESISTANCE GROUP. THIS WAS ONE OF THEIR MEETING PLACES.

HARIS KNEW THAT THE BROTHERS WOULD BE SAFER IF THEY COULD GET TO THEIR UNCLE VED’S FARM NOW THAT GERMAN TROOPS WERE EVERYWHERE.

RADE HERE IS ONE OF OUR GROUP. BUT I DIDN’T KNOW HE’D TAKEN A GUN WITH HIM.

I JUST HAD A FEELING THERE WOULD BE TROUBLE.

YOU’RE TOO YOUNG TO FIGHT ALONGSIDE US, MIRO. RADE IS OLDER, HE CAN STAY. DRAGO CAN TAKE YOU TO YOUR UNCLE.



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