"Tomorrow's War Today": Deep in enemy territory, in war ravaged France on a suicidal mission, Jeb Stuart and the crew move their tank down into the darkness of the Lascaux Caves, despite the warnings of his ghostly ancestor. They rip through the German mine field that line the entrance of the ca
- Jeb! Be alert! You're starting a descent into Hell!
Appearing in "Tomorrow's War Today"
- Herr Hauptmann
- Herr Oberst
- The Haunted Tank
- P-51 Mustang
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
- U.S. LCI Landing Craft
- German U-Boat Submarines
Synopsis for "Tomorrow's War Today"
Deep in enemy territory, in war ravaged France on a suicidal mission, Jeb Stuart and the crew move their tank down into the darkness of the Lascaux Caves, despite the warnings of his ghostly ancestor. They rip through the German mine field that line the entrance of the caves, and as they enter the crew notice the stone-age cave drawings lining the walls and ceilings. The primeval silence is quickly interrupted by the gunfire of German soldiers hidden within the caves.
Four days ago, Control, the European division chief on O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services), worries that one of his top men named Falcon hasn't reported back in nearly three weeks. He was last heard heading for Royan, near the Bay of Biscay. At that moment, in a secret Nazi sub-pen, the French slave laborers have finished loading fuel, food and ammunition aboard the German U-Boats. Within the group of Frenchmen, an undercover Falcon overhears the German commander order that all the slaves be shot dead to keep them silent. Leaping to action, Falcon draws a gun and jumps the Nazis, but is quickly knocked down by the butt of a German rifle. The Commander orders his men back, wishing to take care of Falcon himself. He picks up Falcon's gun and fires. It's a trick gun, firing a bullet back at the German officer and killing him. Falcon escapes by leaping into the water. The French revolt, attacking the Germans and giving Falcon enough time to swim away to safety.
At that moment, in the Bay of Biscay, a PT boat knifes through the waters at fast speed under the command of Captain William Storm. His crew are under orders to keep an eye out for "a bird". They spot Falcon as breaks the surface of the water and help him aboard. Falcon asks to use the radio. Storm realizes that Falcon is the "bird" they were waiting for. Falcon radios Control about the sub pen he discovered deep under the Lascaux Caves, and that they are fully equipped with undersea-to-air missiles ready to attack the Allies' major cities. Just then, Storm and his crew spot two U-boats surfacing in the bay. The U-boats fire torpedoes at the PT, but Storm is able to maneuver between them. They are then attacked by a group of German fighter planes. Storm's crew are all killed in the fight, and the captain's leg is crushed. The PT boat is sunk, leaving only Falcon and Storm surviving.
Unable to establish contact with Falcon or Storm, Control hands over the mission to Jeb and the Haunted Tank - destroy the sub-pen and the U-boats inside. Control promises Jeb that he's have both air and ground support along the way. They set off, but before they can reach the caves they are ambushed by a squad of German tanks. Overwhelmed, they try to race out of the area but fall into a camouflaged pit. Unable to elevate their gun turret, they're sitting ducks.
Some miles west, a P-51 piloted by Ace Johnny Cloud, dives through the clouds trying to escape two German Luftwaffe fighters. He quickly loops around and, pulling an impressive maneuver, is able to shoot down both of the pursuing planes. Cloud flies over the area where the Haunted Tank and the enemy is. He radios them to keep their heads down, then fires both his missiles to destroy the two Panzer tanks attacking. Then, with one final missile, he blasts the ground near the tank creating an opening to escape the pit. The Haunted Tank bursts out of the pit, thanking Cloud for his help. Then, four more tanks appear from the tree line and attack. Jeb and his men are able to take out two of them, and Johnny Cloud makes another pass to help them out with the final two. Unfortunately, flak from the tanks damaged Cloud's plane and it's leaking oil, so he is unable to escort them the rest of the way to the caves. They're on their own again.
AS the Haunted Tank begins its descent into the caves they are ambushed by Germans hiding just inside the entrance. Rick takes a shot into the darkness, hitting the German's cannon square on. With the caves now once again silent, Jeb can hear the sounds of boots running towards them from deeper within the caves. He orders the turret revolved around, but then the mysterious men appear out of the darkness. It's Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, who inform Jeb that they're the infantry that Control had sent to help them on their mission. Rock takes point ahead of the tank, with Bulldozer and Easy taking the rear. No far into the caves, they come across a huge set of steps leading deep down into a lower region of the caves. Jeb tries to take the tank down them, but they quickly begin to crumble and collapse under its weight. Jeb quickly gets an idea - to dismantle the tank and carry it down, piece by piece! They break out the tool kit, and slowly Easy Company carry the smaller pieces down to the bottom while Jeb and his crew work on roping the hull of the tank down the stairs. After a few scary moments, one where the ropes break and nearly crush Rock and his men down below, the tank and its pieces are safely at the bottom. But there's no rest for the weary, and they are immediately under fire from German rifles. Sgt. Rock and Easy Company jump into action while Jeb and his men reassemble the tank.
Halfway across the world, on Haru Island within the Sea of Japan, "Gunner" MacKay and "Sarge" Clay along with their fighting K-9 "Pooch" step off an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) as reinforcements to the troops fighting for control of the tiny island. The C.O. informs them that his troops are tired from patrolling, and that they are their relief. They are to keep their eyes open for Kana, the ninja agent from O.S.S. sent by Control on a top-secret mission. During their patrol, Pooch sniffs out a hidden Japanese foxhole and Gunner and Sarge are able to throw in a few grenades and destroy it before the Japs can attack. More Japanese soldiers rush them from out of the jungle, but just then Kana leaps down from his hiding place in the trees and attacks. Between the four of them they are able to kill the enemy soldiers before they can report back. Continuing on, they finally reach the other side of the island at a beach occupied by Japanese troops. Kana charges the enemy squad. They are able to fight their way through, although Pooch is wounded in the fight. Together they reach a small motorboat docked at shore, stealing it. They speed out into the Gulf of Haru, stopping when they are far out from shore. Sarge can see in the distance the U.S. Pacific fleet. Kana dives into the water, swimming deep below to reach a German sub heading towards the fleet. He plans explosives on its hull and makes it back to the boat just in time to see the explosion. The Fleet is safe.
Back in the caves, Sgt. Rock and Easy Company charge the enemy hidden in the tunnel. Ice Cream Soldier takes a hit, and Little Sure Shot gets his feathers clipped during the firefight, but they eventually manage to overpower the German soldiers with a barrage of grenades. Easy Company returns to the Haunted Tank, now fully reassembled and ready to go. As the group continues their trek into the caverns, Jeb's mind wanders off back to a mission that he and the rest of the Haunted Tank crew had in the desert of North Africa. The blazing heat had gotten to him, and he was seeing mirages in the shape of Panzer tanks at every turn. His crew had begun to doubt his sanity, but they trusted his word and continued to fire when he shouted. One of his "mirages" turned out to be real, given away by the sight of vultures circling above their heads. Jeb is shaken back to reality when Sgt. Rock is nearly toasted by a wall of flames shooting out from the next cavern ahead. Rock waits for his chance, then leaps out into the cavern opening and fires, hitting the German flamethrower's tank. The fuel from the tank explodes, and the cavern erupts in a sea of flame. Jeb orders everyone to evacuate the tank, which has caught on fire. He drives the tank solo into a nearby pool of water fed by a waterfall, extinguishing the flames and cooling the tank.
After the long haul, the Haunted Tank and Easy Company finally reach the sub pen. Jeb, Rock, and the others watch as the Nazi Officer gives his orders to his men, a coordinated attack on Allied capitals that would bring the enemies of Germany to their knees. The Haunted Tank bursts out of the cavern where it had been hiding to attack the subs directly, while Easy Company take on the German soldiers and seamen in the base. With each coordinated blast the tank puts each sub out of action one at a time until all of them are destroyed. The noise and explosions begins to cause the huge cavern to collapse on top of them, and the tank and Easy Company high tail it out of there just as the entire cavern collapses destroying the base. Unfortunately Jeb and the others find themselves trapped within the caves as well, but it a problem easily solved by a tank shell into the nearest wall. The Haunted Tank and Easy Company emerge from the caves onto the beach just in time to find Captain Storm and Falcon swimming up to shore. Their mission completed successfully, everyone heads back to base. After all, there's a war going on!
- This book was first published on July 8, 1982.
- Pages 49-53, Jeb's story of the Haunted Tank and their mission in the North African desert, is shown as a text story with illustrations, in black & white.
- This issue celebrates the 30th anniversary of G.I. Combat, with one 72-page story instead of the usual six individual stories, guest starring DC's other World War II-related heroes.
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