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"Haunted Tank: "Some Generals Never Learn!"": General Stuart notes that rules and regulations must be observed. He is under orders to only warn and never describe the fate of those he watches over. He watches as the Haunted Tank is attacked by a German fighter sent to hunt for enemy units. Rick


Quote1 Some generals never learn, and their men pay the price in blood! Quote2
J.E.B. Stuart

G.I. Combat #256 is an issue of the series G.I. Combat (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1983. It was published on May 12, 1983.

Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Some Generals Never Learn!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

  • German 5 cm Pak 38 (L/60) anti-tank gun

Vehicles:

  • The Haunted Tank
  • Panzerkampfwagen IV
  • German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109
  • British RAF Short Sterling Mk. 1 Heavy bomber
  • British RAF Airspeed AS.51 Horsa glider

Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Some Generals Never Learn!"

General Stuart notes that rules and regulations must be observed. He is under orders to only warn and never describe the fate of those he watches over. He watches as the Haunted Tank is attacked by a German fighter sent to hunt for enemy units. Rick downs the fighter with a direct hit. As the tank closes in on the downed plane, Jeb watches in horror as the pilot is unable to escape the burning wreck. He administers a coup de grace with his .50 caliber Browning M2HB to end the pilot's torment.

The general sympathizes with Jeb's agony, as he understands what the essence of war is. He remembers back to the Civil War, how he came to lead the Confederate cavalry, and how the bullet with his name on it found him at the battle of Richmond. But like other famed leaders of the past, he did not die, but rather faded away to fulfill another purpose. At GHQ the spirits of leaders past were assigned those they would watch over as the world was once again engulfed in war. At first the General was incensed that he, a southerner, would watch over a group of yankees, but he must follow orders, and after a time came to respect the courage of his wards, as Jeb in turn respected the General.

The General notes that war, like history, repeats itself. Just like he had led his cavalry around Union forces 79 years ago, an Allied general (unnamed but obviously Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery) briefs his staff on Operation Harvest Time (an obvious reference to Operation Market Garden), his bold plan to cut off the retreat of German forces back to Germany by capturing 3 key bridges over the Rhine river. His plan depends on the success of the largest airdrop behind enemy lines in history. After the briefing an intelligence officer informs the general that the whereabouts of two enemy SS Panzer divisions is unknown, and they could attack Allied advance forces holding the bridges before reinforcements arrive. The general replies he deals only in facts, and the operation cannot be delayed due to the officer's ineptitude.

General Stuart can see the missing Panzer divisions. He cannot warn his wards directly, but only indirectly through riddles or veiled clues. However, as he tries to warn Jeb, a hidden German gun opens fire on the Haunted Tank. The gun is destroyed by the tank, but Jeb suffers a head wound that breaks his contact with the General, leaving the General unable to warn Jeb of his impending doom.

As the operation proceeds, it becomes obvious that enemy resistance is fierce, and while success depends on capturing all three bridges, Allied forces are struggling to capture the third bridge due to the arrival of the missing Panzer divisions. On the bridge one of the SS panzers is destroyed by a U.S. bazooka and it falls into the river. The SS officer falls from the tank and floats dead downstream until spotted by Jeb. He recognizes the insignia and radios HQ to warn them about the panzers and request additional support. They are the lone tank to arrive at the bridge, and while they attempt their best to hold out, they must retreat along with the rest of the Allied forces. The operation is a failure, but in the eyes of the Allied general it was two-thirds successful. Some people never learn...

Appearing in Mercenaries: "The Gun that Won a Kingdom"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • King Rhutto (Dies)
  • Prince Dwann
  • Davho the schoolteacher

Antagonists:

  • Zammoran rebels

Other Characters:

  • Western nations' representitives
  • King Rhutto's family
  • Zammoran citizens
  • Zammoran soldiers

Locations:

Items:

  • Zammoran sceptre

Vehicles:

  • Oil supertanker
  • Mercedes Benz convertible
  • Army personnel carrier

Synopsis for Mercenaries: "The Gun that Won a Kingdom"

After an oil tanker explodes off the coast of the tiny African nation of Zamorra, representatives of Western nations meet to discuss the crisis. The critical oil route must be secured, and they plan to ensure that the successor to King Rhutto of Zamorra is their ally in order to secure the route.

Prince, Horst, and Gordon happen to be in Zamorra hiding from the French Foreign Legion military police. Their funds running low, they wish they could get an appointment to see King Rhutto to ask if he would hire them as bodyguards, but his son Price Dwann won't grant them an appointment.

A week later the trio see the king reviewing a parade celebrating the 60th year of his reign. They notice that a vehicle in the parade stalls in front of the reviewing stand. As they observe the soldiers from the vehicle open the hood to access hidden weapons, they realize it's an assassination attempt and spring into action. They grab weapons from the vehicle and kill the assassins. In gratitude King Rhutto arranges a meeting with the mercenaries in a week's time.

As the week comes and goes the trio encounter Dahvo, a teacher, speaking to a crowd of people. He advocates for free elections after King Rhutto's death. Prince Dwann's troops arrive to crack down on the crowd. The mercenaries try to save the teacher but are taken prisoner by the troops along with Davho.

King Rhutto is dying, but he wants to pay his debt to Prince for saving his life. He names Prince as his successor. The mercenaries are stunned, but the king dies that night and Prince assumes the title of King. The trappings and perks of power appeal to Prince. However, after thwarting an assassination attempt against himself, Prince decides the reward is not worth the risk. He attempts to name Davho his successor, but Davho refuses, insisting a president must be elected. Elections are held and a new leader elected, but in an ironic twist the president banishes the trio from Zamorra because they provoke violence. As a token of appreciation for their help to the country the president presents them with the former king's sceptre.

Appearing in "Cover-Up"

Featured Characters:

  • American Field medic
  • American Infantry private

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • American Infantry P.O.W.s

Locations:

Items:

  • M1911A1 pistol

Synopsis for "Cover-Up"

On some unnamed island in the Pacific, an American medic and a wounded soldier with a bandaged arm are captured by Japanese troops. After being disarmed and reunited with the rest of their platoon, the wounded soldier uses an M1911A1 hidden under his bandages to kill the Japanese soldiers and free themselves.

Appearing in "The Silent Service: Overdue-- Presumed Sunk!"

Featured Characters:

  • Captain Frank Taunton (Dies)
  • Lieutenant Commander Lester Phillips (Dies)

Antagonists:

  • Captain Suchi (Dies)
  • Japanese Naval seamen

Other Characters:

  • American Naval First Officer (Dies)
  • American Naval seamen

Locations:

Items:

  • Depth charges

Vehicles:

  • Japanese destroyer "Hokuna"
  • American submarine "Barracuda"

Synopsis for "The Silent Service: Overdue-- Presumed Sunk!"

Capt. Taunton attends the funeral of his friend LCDR Lester Phillips, who was killed in the Bongo Straits in the Sea of Japan when his sub was sunk by the Japanese destroyer Hokuna. As he departs aboard the Barracuda on his next mission to destroy enemy ships leaving Japan, he vows he won't return to port until he meets Suchi, the captain of the Hokuna, saving his last torpedo for the encounter.

Th Barracuda enjoys success on its mission, sinking transports, freighters, and tankers, leaving it with one torpedo. One night while recharging batteries, the Hokuna attacks the ship while moored. Most of the crew is on the dock and is killed by a shell from the destroyer. Taunton and one other sailor still aboard are the sole survivors. They dive and fire their last torpedo, but it malfunctions. They dive to the sea bottom and attempt to evade the destroyer's death charges. Out of options, Taunton decides to ram the Hokuna with the Barracuda. Both ships are destroyed, and the two hunters are finally face-to-face in the cold depths of the Pacific.

Appearing in Haunted Tank: "Tank Vs. Tiger"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • German 8.8 cc Flak gun (Destroyed)
  • German 150 mm "Nebelwerfer" Six-rocket launcher (Destroyed)
  • German Panzerkampfwagen IV Tiger II "Königstiger" (Destroyed)

Other Characters:

  • German Infantry soldiers
  • German Panzer commander
  • American tank mechanic

Locations:

Items:

  • Armor-piercing shells

Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "Tank Vs. Tiger"

The equipment become characters in this story, providing the reader with their specifications and purpose. The Haunted Tank is assigned a simple mission to guard a crossroads, but General Stuart warns Jeb to beware. Suddenly a shell from a German 88 explodes next to the tank. Rick fires an AP shell from the tank's .75 that destroys the German gun. The tank crew next faces a German rocket launcher. Smoke launched by then enemy makes it difficult to spot them. Jeb asks Rick to fire in a spread pattern from 9:00 to 3:00. One of the shells finds its target and takes out the rocket launcher.

Their final opponent is a German Tiger II tank. Hopelessly outgunned, Jeb orders his crew to head for the Tiger, firing at close range, then orders Sgt. Craig to ram the Tiger. Both tanks are out of action, and the odds have been evened. The crews exit their tanks and fight with pistols at close range. The Germans surrender and a tank retriever is called to haul both tanks back to base.

Notes

Trivia

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