"Haunted Tank: "The Tank and the Turtle"": On the road towards their next mission, the Haunted Tank and her crew find a small turtle slowly walking down the path leading towards Sector Y-7. The turtle doesn't hide, letting the tank pass by as it continues on. The guys laugh at the turtle, believ
- Look at him look at us-- as if he knows we're friends! I can practically "hear" him say, "Thanks, pals! Maybe someday I'll do the same for you! After all, we're in the same branch of service-- armor!"
Appearing in Haunted Tank: "The Tank and the Turtle"
- German Infantry colonel
- German Infantry soldiers
- American Infantry soldiers
- Smoke grenades
- German 88 mm anti-aircraft gun
- The Haunted Tank
- German Panzerkampfwagen IV tank
- German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft
Synopsis for Haunted Tank: "The Tank and the Turtle"
On the road towards their next mission, the Haunted Tank and her crew find a small turtle slowly walking down the path leading towards Sector Y-7. The turtle doesn't hide, letting the tank pass by as it continues on. The guys laugh at the turtle, believing that it has mistaken their tank as a distant relative. As they pass, Jeb realizes that someone else is laughing with them, the ghostly spirit of his ancestor General J.E.B. Stuart that only he can see and hear. The General appears to remind Jeb that their tank treads make a trail that the enemy could use to lead right to them. Jeb orders Rick to steer the tank off the road and into the trees, then again back out onto the road to lead any followers off their trail. A short while up, in the trees, Jeb orders the tank to stop. The guys get out and begin to use leaves and branches to cover and erase their tread marks and hide their position. Satisfied that their path is now safe, Jeb allows his men to rest and eat, their first break in nearly 48 hours.
During their meal, Arch hears the faint sound of a German plane heading their way. Jeb orders the men to get back into the tank, still hidden under the cover of the trees, and wait for it to appear. The German plane appears to be following the tank treads they had left behind, and starts to follow the fake ones leading down the opposite side of the road. When the plane comes into sight, Slim open fires onto the plane from their hiding spot. The pilot is surprised and, unable to get out of the way of the fire in time, is hit dead center and crashes in flames. The Haunted Tank then moves up along the road away from the wreck, just in case anyone else would come along to investigate. When they are a safe distance away, they stop once again under the trees and continue their chow break. To their surprise, a short time after they spot the same turtle from before walking past them on the road, having caught up with them. Then, the turtle is grabbed from the road by a hawk. The men quickly get up to defend their little armored "friend", and begin to fire warning shots into the air near the swooping hawk. Finally, the hawk lets go and the turtle falls to the ground with a thunk. Jeb picks him up then, seeing that the turtle is okay, sets him back down so that he can continue on his way. Then, Jeb gets orders to continue to Sector Y-7 pronto, and they climb back into the Haunted Tank and continue on.
Just outside a town marked as Coordinates X-2, the Haunted Tank finally meets up with the battered and weary infantry. The man leading the battalion tells Jeb that his men have tried six times to enter the town, but each time they have been forced back by German artillery. Jeb tells the soldiers to take a breather while they go in and check it out. The Haunted Tank continues down the road, which comes out of the woods to an open field leading into the town. The German artillery open fire as soon as the Haunted Tank appears on the field. Jeb orders Rick to keep heading left, and is able to determine from the barrage that they're dealing with three Panzer tanks hidden in the town. They continue forward, but the German begin to wise up to Jeb's strategy and start "walking" their shells towards their position. When three of the enemy's shells explode in front of the Haunted Tank, Jeb uses the barrages cover to fake his own death, slumping over the turret so that the Germans will think they made a direct hit when they see them through their binoculars. Rick continues to circle, moving gradually closer to the edge of town, then when he has the chance guns it and heads directing into town before the Germans can get them in their sights. Now within the cover of the buildings, Jeb looks inside the tank to find that the blast had knocked Rick and the others out. As his crew begin to come to, Jeb hears the faint laughter of the General who helped to lead their tank past the artillery. The ghost had gotten them this far, and now it was up to Jeb and his men to finish the fight.
Jeb decides to play a game of cat and mouse with the enemy tanks, hoping to draw them out into the open. Jeb orders Rick to steer the tank down the town streets hoping the enemy will spot them and reveal their positions. As they pass one intersection, they barely avoid getting hit by a shell from a Panzer that has been hoisted up into one of the blown-out buildings. The Haunted Tank stops for cover on the other corner, and Jeb and Arch can see the Panzer above through the store windows they are in front of. Arch brings the turret around to fire through, but they are spotted by the Panzer who fires first. Jeb orders Rick to take their tank back through the intersection. The Panzer is taken by surprise, and Arch fires and destroys the Panzer on the building. They start to hunt for the other two tanks, but one finds them first, coming up from behind. Arch tries to turn the turret around, hitting the side of the building. The Germans inside the Panzer laugh, causing them to miss when they fire. The Haunted Tank doesn't miss, destroying the second Panzer. They continue to search for the last enemy tank. The final Panzer surprises them form a side street, sending a direct hit right into the side of the Haunted Tank and knocking Jeb down inside. With the Haunted Tank smoking and their gun jammed from the direct hit, it looks as though the Panzer had finished them off. The enemy's hesitation gives Arch enough time to unjam the gun and fire a blast that destroys the final Panzer in town.
The Haunted Tank gives the signal and the infantry enters the town without problem. The soldiers thank the tank crew for helping them out. They leave the town, thinking that their work is finished, however General Stuart's ghost appears to tell Jeb that it's not over yet. Then Jeb spots the turtle on the road in front of them. The turtle retreats into its shell when suddenly it is fires on by a machine gun hidden in the woods. The Haunted Tank turns hard left and into the trees. Jeb realizes that the turtle warned them that the enemy is hidden nearby before they drove right into their sights. Jeb orders Rick to swing the tank around to get into position, but the tank begins to slide down the dirt hill towards the deep ravine nearby. Rick tries to break with no luck in stopping them. Just before they slide over the edge, the Haunted Tank is caught in a tree that stops them on the edge... and in full sight of the Panzer hiding in the woods! Arch fires, hitting the Panzer and sending it hurling down into the ravine below. When the Haunted Tank returns to the road, they find their friend the turtle alive and well. Jeb picks up the turtle, helping out a friend that helped them with a little ride.
Appearing in "Wings for a Washout"
Synopsis for "Wings for a Washout"
- Synopsis not yet written.
Appearing in "Secret War of a Snowbird"
Synopsis for "Secret War of a Snowbird"
- Synopsis not yet written.
- "The Tank and the Turtle" is reprinted in Our Army at War #164.
- In the Haunted Tank story "The Tank and the Turtle", the names and positions of Lt. Jeb Stuart's crew are still in creative flux. Rick, normally the tank's gunner, is shown as the driver, while Slim and Arch are referred to by Jeb with their nicknames "Tex" and "Hank".
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Links and References
- G.I. Combat series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Haunted Tank article at Wikipedia
- Haunted Tank article at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Haunted Tank article at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
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