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Aguyneedsguts

"A Guy Needs Guts" is a story printed in Commando issue 3, dated July 1961. It was lter reprinted in issues 2539 (September 1992) and 4437 (October 2011). It was written by Eric Hebden and drawn by Cecil Rigby, with a cover by Ken Barr.

Synopsis (spoilers)Edit

In North Africa in 1942, an RASC platoon led by Sergeant Bill Johnson makes its way through the desert to a supply depot. The original commander, Lieutenant Conway, had been killed in an attack. Upon reaching the depot Lieutenant Daniel Frensham is put in charge of the platoon; the new officer proves more strict than Conway, ordering his men to remove pin-up girls painted onto vehicles. Bill and the others regard Frensham as green and out-of-touch ("a white-kneed one-pipper and he talks like Monty himself!")

The platoon is sent on another mission. Along the way one of the jeeps is blown up by a mine, and the others stop for the night. Bill is awoken by a noise; he and the guard, Flash Harris, see Lt. Frensham heading out to the desert with a large pack. The next morning they find that Frensham has returned, carefully guarding the mysterious pack. At the mid-day halt Frensham once again sets off on his own, and the soldiers become suspicious. As he does not return until after a brief attack from German aircraft, Flash Harris suggests that Frensham is a traitor. He becomes even more convinced after discovering that the lieutenant speaks German.

Bill angrily dismisses this, and Flash responds by grabbing Frensham's mysterious pack. Frensham returns just in time to see this; pulling a gun on Flash, he orders Bill to arrest the man.

Moving onwards, they come across a German platoon in the distance. The soldiers are eager to attack, but Frensham suddenly runs off towards the Germans waving a white towel. Flash eclares him a traitor and takes aim to shoot, but Bill punches him just in time. After talking with the German commander, Frensham returns claiming that the Germans platoon is merely a supply convoy, and that the commadner has agreed to let the RASC platoon past if his own convoy is left alone itself.

To the surprise of Frenshm's men, the Germans duly drive past without firing a shot. Afterwards the trucks get stuck in soft sand; despite doubts from the soldiers, Frensham manages to free them by half-deflating the tyres. His men are once again surprised when this plan works,

As the convoy drives on Frensham continues to call for halts so that he can head into the desert with his pack; the men still do not understand this. Eventually the platoon comes across a German scout car, the crew of which are lying in the sand, all but one dead from thirst. Frensham tends to the survivor, speaking to him in German; the dying man utters the name "Karl".

Hearing this, Flash turns his gun on Frensham. "He knows you! He called you Karl!" Frensham insists that the German is merely delirious. Bill joins Flash in holding the lieutenant at gunpoint and orders his suspicious pack to be opened.

It turns out that the pack contains a theodolite - a harmless navigational instrument. Flash and Bill are ashamed, but Frensham is also apologetic, admitting that his secrecy was due to being too proud to ask for help learning to use the theodolite.

Finally trusting each other, Frensham and his men eventually reach their destination, guarded by a ring of German tanks. The convoy alerts its base, and the Germans are distracted by British tanks and aircraft long enough for the supplies to be brought through.

The convoy continues on to other missions, the lead truck emblazoned with a pin-up girl and the slogan "Danny Frensham's Bunch".

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