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"Haunted Tank: "At the Mercy of My Foes"": Somewhere north of Carola, Italy, U.S. patrols are probing after a German retreat when they stumble upon a minefield laid by the Germans to prevent their pursuit. Lt. Jeb Stuart orders the Haunted Tank to move up and take point, using their tank to clea

Quote1.png There's always a way around, namesake. But even if you find it... before the day ends, you'll be in enemy hands! Quote2.png
General J.E.B. Stuart

G.I. Combat #172 is an issue of the series G.I. Combat (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1974.

Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "At the Mercy of My Foes"

Somewhere north of Carola, Italy, U.S. patrols are probing after a German retreat when they stumble upon a minefield laid by the Germans to prevent their pursuit. Lt. Jeb Stuart orders the Haunted Tank to move up and take point, using their tank to clear the mines for the patrol to follow. Most are anti-personnel mines, and are no match for the tank's armor, but the Germans' have thrown in a surprise - one anti-tank mine. The blast knocks out the Haunted Tank's right tread and bogie wheel, putting them out of operation. Jeb confides in his ancestor's ghost, who appears before him, but the General warns him that they will end up in enemy hands before the day is over. One Infantry sergeant sees what appears to be Jeb talking to himself, but Rick tells him not to worry about it. The sergeant has an idea, telling them that earlier their planes hit the tail-end of the German armor column just beyond the nearby ridge and that maybe they can cannibalize some of the parts from there to fix the tank.

Meanwhile, at the ridge, a Panzer tank commanded by Lt. Helmut Kuhl rolls up the the smoking wreckage. He finds two survivors, General Manfred Priess and his driver Schumann, who is barely alive. Priess recognizes Kuhl as one of his former students in tank school. Priess refuses to abandon his wounded driver, and tells Kuhl of the nearby mine explosions he heard. The two climb up onto the top of the ridge to see the American Infantry and the damaged tank. Priess recognizes the Haunted Tank as the same tank that has defeated him twice before, breaking his attack on Scorza and killing his former aide Colonel Wessel. They spot Jeb Stuart and Gus walking their way, and Kuhl suggests that they wait and surprise them. Upon their arrival back, they find that Schumann has gotten worse, and has begun to mutter incoherently. Kuhl tells Priess to get into position for the attack, while he checks on his driver.

Jeb and Gus reach the top of the ridge and survey the damaged enemy vehicles. It seems to be good pickings, so the two cautiously approach the area to begin collecting parts. Then, once they are close enough, Lt. Kuhl opens fire from within the Panzer tank. Jeb and Gus jump to both sides out of the line of fire, as if they were expecting the ambush. Both are fine, and Gus says they're lucky they spotted the fresh footprints left all around the scene to tip them off. General Priess is upset to have made such a fundamental mistake, but is curious as to how his former student will deal with it. Kuhl brings the Panzer forward in order to force them out from hiding. He chases after Jeb, while Gus is able to climb on top. Gus tries to pry the hatch open with a crowbar, but is knocked off when Kuhl suddenly rotates the turret. Gus hits the ground hard and is knocked unconscious. Kuhl orders the tank into full reverse, planning on running Gus over. General Priess yells for him to stop, as such action is unnecessary. Priess then checks on his driver Schumann only to find him dead with a dagger in his side. Jeb runs over just in time to pull Gus out from under the Panzer's treads, barely avoiding death by inches. Jeb picks up Gus and runs up to the side of the ridge, but Kuhl brings his tank around to pursue. Jeb ties a rope around the unconscious Gus and begins to lower him down the ridge to safety. The Panzer rolls up behind him for the kill, but a shot rings out through the air and Kuhl is hit in the back of the head, killing him. General Priess stands holding a smoking rifle behind. He vows that he and Jeb will meet again one day, but that his enemy will die by the hands of a warrior, not a murderer. Jeb and Gus reach the bottom of the ridge and into the safety of the others. Realizing their narrow escape, Jeb thinks that his ancestor's ghost must have been wrong about his omen. General J.E.B. Stuart smiles, knowing that in the end his namesake's fate rested in the hands of his enemy.

Appearing in Haunted Tank: "At the Mercy of My Foes"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • General Manfred Priess
  • Leutnant Helmut Kuhl (Dies)
  • Driver Schumann (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • American Infantry Sergeant
  • American Infantry Soldiers
  • Colonel Wessel (Deceased)(Mentioned only)

Locations:

Items:

  • German Anti-Personnel Mines
  • Dagger

Vehicles:

  • The Haunted Tank
  • German Panzerkampfwagen IV tank
  • German Volkswagen Kübelwagen car


Synopsis for "Conqueror!"

Voltag the Slayer, greatest warrior of the Vikings, leads his legions of Vikings to sweep the English coast, plundering and killing all which stands in their way. As the battles end and quiet gradually descends over the smoldering ruins, Voltag orders his men to gather the surviving Anglians onto the ships to be sold as slaves in Constantinople. Voltag is disappointed in his prizes, much less that his competing Norse chieftain Enar the Black had returned with on his last voyage. Voltag grabs one of the slaves, demanding information about the area. The slave tells him that there is only the castle down the coast, but that he must not go there. Voltag doesn't like to be told what he can't do, and tosses the man overboard to drown as he sets his ships to said down the coast towards this castle.

Near sunset, the Viking ships spot the majestic castle on the edge of the cliffs of the shore. Voltag is impressed by its size, sure that there must be a wealth of treasures and slaves within. He gives the order to storm the cliffs. His men rush up towards the shadowy castle, hearing no cries, no clattering of men rushing to defend, no sounds at all. Standing before the drawbridge, Voltag orders the castle's occupants to open, issuing a challenge. There is a long silence, then...

One man appears atop the ramparts. He pleads with them to go away. Continue on and forget the castle. Voltag and his men laugh at the notion. Then, the drawbridge opens. The vikings are confused. Is this a gesture of surrender, or a trap? Voltag orders his men through the gate and into the castle, where they find the solitary figure from the ramparts waiting to greet them. His robes flow in the wind and he holds a cross. The Holy Man pleads with them once again to stay back and turn away. Voltag is furious at the pitiful gesture and strikes the Holy Man down with his sword. Inside, they find the castle streets empty, not a soul in sight. Voltag assumes that its occupants are cowering within the walls and orders his men to batter down the door to the Great Hall. The Viking raiders surge in through the broken doors to be greeted with darkness. And once the candles have been lit...

Silence screams back at them. The stench of rotting flesh greets them. Hundreds of bodies fill the Great Hall. Silent. The only movement from within are the many rats that scurry across the floor between the bodies. They have captured a house of plague!

Appearing in "Conqueror!"

Featured Characters:

  • Voltag the Slayer

Other Characters:

  • Isariik the Viking
  • Enar the Black (Mentioned only)
  • Holy Man
  • Viking warriors
  • Angian slaves

Locations:

Items:

  • Viking sword

Vehicles:

  • Viking Longships

Notes

  • This issue also contains a one-page biography of Alfred the Great, the English king who fought to rid his land of Danish invaders, saving England and perhaps all of Western Europe from becoming part of the Scandinavian Empire. Text and art by Sam Glanzman.

Trivia

  • The character of General Manfred Priess first appeared back in issue #168 and then again in issue #170.


See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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