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"The Haunted Tank: "Battle Zone Eternity!, Part 2: Duel of the Dead"": The crew of the Haunted Tank are trapped back in the past after being attacked by the ghost of Attila the Hun. Stranded in the 4th Century and their weapons useless, they find themselves fleeing intot he caves with the Huns,

Quote1.png You'll never know the terror of 20th Century warfare! It's a bloodbath! Quote2.png
Lt. Jeb Stuart

G.I. Combat #258 is an issue of the series G.I. Combat (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1983.

Synopsis for The Haunted Tank: "Battle Zone Eternity!, Part 2: Duel of the Dead"

The crew of the Haunted Tank are trapped back in the past after being attacked by the ghost of Attila the Hun. Stranded in the 4th Century and their weapons useless, they find themselves fleeing intot he caves with the Huns, who are on the run from the merciless Attila who at this time is very much alive.

Princess Zeena, leader of the Huns, steps forth before the Mystic Oracle, a great stone statue of General J.E.B. Stuart protruding from a waterfall, to ask for its guidance. Jeb is perplexed that the General is here, and even more so when he realized that the others can see him as well. The oracle speaks - "Search no more through time's door. Fate these strangers sent... Raiders briefly lent... Under a doomsday sun... To battle Attila the Hun! Combat will be tot he Death... To the vanquished's last breath!" Jeb wonders exactly whose death the General meant.

The group returns to the rest of the Huns, where Princess Zeena informs her people of the Oracle's words. Prince Vodak, a Hun champion and Zeena's mated, steps up and challenges Jeb to combat to the death. Jeb refuses, but Princess Zeena orders it. Vodak attacks Jeb with his axe, forcing him to the ground, but just before he can swing the final blow Jeb smacks him in the face with his helmet and sends him tumbling back. Jeb gets up and retrieves the axe, and after dodging another attack with a knife, Swings the axe down onto the defeated Vodak. The axe crashes down next to the Hun's head, embedding itself into the ground. Jeb has spared the warrior's life, but Vodak is shamed and swears he will slay Jeb at the first chance. Princess Zeena steps forward and proclaims Jeb to be the winner, and decrees that the two will be wed that evening. Jeb is horrified!

Later that evening, a feast has been prepared for the ceremony. Gus and Bill immediately tuck into the food offered, but Rick can't keep his eyes off the beautiful dancing girls. Jeb sits down next to Zeena, and tries to talk his way out of the wedding. Zeena explains to him that she is the daughter of King Danno and Queen Ora. During an attack by Attila the Hun, Her father was slain and her mother taken captive. She has reigned her kingdom since, vowing vengeance against Attila. Now that she has become of age, he had been told by the Mystic Oracle that she should "Wait to wed a stranger from afar... Before whom time is no bar...". She believes Jeb to be that man. Jeb tells her of the war he has been fighting, against the modern Huns, full of amazing machinery and deadly weapons. Zeena doesn't believe that fantastic things he has told her, and thinks that Jeb is suffering a fever. Jeb thinks that all this must be a dream. Then, Princess Zeena asks Jeb to stand with her, to prepare for the wedding rites. Before he goes with her, he orders the others to begin to rip down the groups of stalactites from the ceiling. They agree, but Rick is jealous that they have all the work while Jeb gets the girl.

Jeb pleads with Zeena one last time to call the wedding off, but she refuses as the marriage has been ordained. They walk out of the caverns and into moonlight outside. Zeena calls on the Moon Goddess to wed them. A bright light shines over them, bleaching out all, just as Jeb and Zeena kiss...

Appearing in The Haunted Tank: "Battle Zone Eternity!, Part 2: Duel of the Dead"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Princess Zeena
  • King Danno (Dies in flashback)
  • Queen Ora (Flashback only)
  • Prince Vodak
  • Hun citizens

Locations:

  • Central Eurasia

Items:

  • Battle axe
  • Knife

Vehicles:


Synopsis for The Mercenaries: "Gauntlet of Blood"


Appearing in The Mercenaries: "Gauntlet of Blood"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Terrorist soldiers
  • Terrorist snipers
  • Ship captain (Dies)
  • Ship seamen

Other Characters:

  • Suya
  • Han (Dies)
  • Native chieftan

Locations:

Items:

  • Thompson Submachine gun
  • TNT
  • Bazooka rocket launcher
  • M1 grenade
  • Torpedo
  • Snake

Vehicles:

  • P.T. Boat
  • GM All-terrain truck
  • Sail ship

Synopsis for "The First Battle"

There are always two sides of a war. Two viewpoints. In World War 2, there is the Allied side, and there is the Axis side, both fighting for the cause they believe in.

On this particular day, July 6th, 1944, one hour before D-Day dawns, an American soldier strains to catch a glimpse of the enemy held Normandy coast from the ship he's been assigned to. At that same moment, a German soldier stares across the waters of the English Channel from his position in a concrete bunker on the beach, awaiting the predicted Allied invasion that is to come. For the G.I., the first streaks of dawn in the sky allows him his first glimpse of the massive power of the Allied fleet, and the fighters and bombers in the sky overhead like a seemingly endless stream. For the German, he knows that behind him are the endless protection of FLAK batteries and Panzer tanks, coastal guns and divisions of Wehrmacht and SS Infantry, just waiting for the attack.

Backed by the greatest striking force assembled in history, the G.I. descends into his designated assault craft to prepare for battle. On the beach, the German waits safe inside Hitler's "Fortress Europe" for the long-awaited day to shatter the Allied attempt to land. From the LCI, the G.I can see the enemy coast being pounded by thousands of naval shells, bomber sticks, and a hurricane of rockets. As they approach Omaha Beach, the LCI is hit by a German shell and the G.I. is forced to abandon ship with the rest of his platoon. He is seized by the relentless riptide. He tears himself free from his heavy equipment but is unable to break free from the currents in the water. The G.I. finally manages to break away and stagger onto a deserted part of the beach. Nearby, the German crawls out from the rubble of his shattered bunker, torn apart in the barrage of the navy's shelling.

The two survivors catch sight of one another. There is a moment of silence, an instant of eternity, then they attack. The German pulls his knife and leaps towards the G.I., who dodges his first blow. The G.I. and the German fight like animals, in silence, with primeval madness, each clawing for the kill. The G.I. manages the upper hand, prying the knife from the German's hand, and claiming the victory. Standing over his dead opponent, the blood-red darkness of sanity slowly returns, he loows up as the Allied armada reaches the beach. His first battle is over, but now the war begins.

Appearing in "The First Battle"

Featured Characters:

  • Unnamed American G.I. Infantry soldier
  • Unnamed German Infantry soldier (Dies)

Antagonists:

  • German Infantry soldiers

Other Characters:

  • American Infantry soldiers

Locations:

Items:

  • Knife

Vehicles:

  • American battlecruiser
  • American LCI "Landing Craft Infantry" assault ship
  • German Panzerkampfwagen IV tank

Synopsis for "Fit for Combat"

The life of an army boot. They're not heroic or glamerous, and usually forgotten and unnoticed. But the boot did it's bit for the war.

An American Army squad is chasing a Chinese patrol at Kansong in Korea. Private Hank Pulham is the point man out front. He is brash, eager to move ahead. He loses his caution, and steps on a mine that explodes. Has he taken his last step...?

The story of the boots begin as they leave the factory to do their part in the war effort. This particular pair of boots is issued to a Private Terry Hackett, who quickly learned just how valuable they were in training, and how valueless they are in inspection. It's later, in Korea, that Pvt. Hackett finds another use for them, in combat as a weapon when the ammo runs out. A few nights later, their luck runs out while Hackett is out on a one-man patrol. The private, so concentrated on sneaking up to an enemy sentry, doesn't notice when he steps on a twig lying on the ground. The snap is noticed, and the sentry blows him away. The next morning, Pvt. Hackett's body is found lying in the snow by Pvt. Hank Pulham, who decides that his need for the boots is now greater than the corpse in front of him. Pulham takes the boots and puts them on, thanking the lifeless soldier for saving his feet from inevitable frostbite.

In the present, at the battle in Kansong, Pvt. Pulham has more to worry about than frostbite after stepping on that mine. He is attended by the field medics, who stop the bleeding and bandage him, but his life depends on getting him to a field hospital fast. As they begin to carry him away on a stretcher, Pulham takes sight of a group of Korean refugees along the road. He beckons one of the children to come over, and he gives the bare-footed boy his boots. Pulhan is loaded into the ambulance, it is revealed that the mine has taken his legs, and that he'll have no more need for boots.

Appearing in "Fit for Combat"

Featured Characters:

  • Private Hank Pulham

Antagonists:

  • Communist Chinese Infantry soldiers

Other Characters:

  • Private Terry Hackett (Dies)
  • American Infantry sergeant
  • American Field medics
  • Korean civilians

Locations:

Items:

  • G.I. Issue boots

Vehicles:

  • American Dodge WC-54 Ambulance

Synopsis for The Haunted Tank: "The Steel Heart"

The crew of the Haunted Tank are out on patrol in the middle of the desert. While the others stop for a break and a drink, Sgt. Craig tells them a story of his from World War One...

It was summer near Soissons in France, and Sgt. Bill Craig and his tank team are doing their best to keep their M1917 tank running. As the infantry pass and laugh at them, he tells the doughboys that if you take care of your tank, it'll take care of you when needed. Then, the Lieutenant rides up on motorcycle and gives them a mission. The Infantry has been pinned down by barbed wire and enemy fire five miles ahead. Craig salutes and he and his men start their tank clanking down the road towards them.

They arrive in the middle of the firefight. The Germans turn their attention and firepower towards the little tank. The tank goes through undamaged, but with all the bouncing around, Craig and his men inside pass out from the concussive force. The tank continues on, busting through the barbed wire and right into the German lines, sending them running for cover. When Craig and his men awoke, they found that their little tank had taken care of business without them.

Back in the present, and the desert heat, Lt. Jeb and the Haunted Tank head south after receiving orders to protect the oasis at Dinyedi and rendezvous with Easy Company. Just as they take off, they are attacked by a German fighter plane. The enemy drops two bombs onto the tank, making a direct hit. Jeb orders his crew to abandon tank. Jeb, Gus, and Rick get out, but Sgt. Craig refuses, and begins to drive the tank away. Jeb yells at him to jump as he watches the Haunted Tank drive off into the distance.

Inside, Sgt. Craig is determined to show the younger members that a tank is more than just a hunk of metal. He's determined to show them that they can make it to the oasis. Along the way, the tank is spotted by a German garrison, also determined to get to the oasis first. Craig open fires on them, then turns the tank to drive directly towards them as he mans the top turret. The Germans return fire with vigorous strength, tearing off the top turret around Craig. He picks up the machine gun and rips into the remaining German soldiers, determined to never give up his tank. As Jeb, Gus, and Rick come into sight, they see the Haunted Tank explode in a huge fireball and worry that their teammate has finally bit the big one. But from the smoking rubble, Craig stumbles out, just as Sgt. Rock and Easy Company appear from atop the dunes. Jeb motions them down and to help themselves tot he water from the oasis. Jeb tells Craig that he's lucky the tank exploded and killed the Germans or he'd had gone up with them. Craig dismisses his comments. It wasn't luck. If you take care of your tank, it will take care of you.

Appearing in The Haunted Tank: "The Steel Heart"

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • German Infantry officer
  • German Infantry soldiers
  • German WW1 Infantry soldiers (Flashback only)

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

  • Canteen
  • Barbed wire

Vehicles:

  • The Haunted Tank
  • M1917 World War 1 light tank (Flashback only)
  • 1917 Harley Davidson Model 17F motorcycle with sidecar (Flashback only)
  • Junkers Ju 87 Sturzkampfflugzeug ground-attack aircraft

Notes

  • The first Haunted Tank story, "Duel of the Dead", continues from last issue.

Trivia

  • In this issues Let's Make Tracks letter column, editor Murray Boltinoff tells the story of a recent event where a box had been sent to a New York autograph dealer claiming to contain the skull of Adolph Hitler. The owner of the skull had hoped to fetch $100,000 at auction for such a historical artifact, but after extensive forensic and authentication tests it was proved without doubt that the skull was not Hitler's, but of an Oriental man, and would probably only fetch about $300 as a "phony".


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