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Cossack

Joe Cox in the hands of the Cossacks

"Cossack" is a story which was printed in issue 454 of Commando, dated January 1970; it was later reprinted in issues 1275 (December 1978) and 4392 (25 May 2011). It was written by Peter Newark and drawn by the Spanish artist Victor de la Fuente.

Synopsis (spoilers)Edit

In 1944, a British pilot named Sergeant Joe Cox is shot down over Germany; he survives, only to end up in a P.O.W. camp on the German-Polish border. After overpowering a guard and escaping Joe heads off through the Polish countryside in the hopes of meeting an advancing Russian army.

Joe finds a deserted village and some food and clothes left behind by a German unit. He spends the night in an empty building, but is woken by a Cossack - who, noticing the stolen German coat that he wears, assumes that Joe is a Nazi. Joe is taken to see the Russian's officer, who asks for proof that he is not German, but Joe lost his ID tags when he escaped the camp. In desperation Joe shows the Russians a Union Jack tattoo on his arm, which convinces them that he is British.

Joe is accepted into the Russian unit, where he replaces a dead soldier named Norokov; however, he is still treated with suspicion for being foreign, particularly by the dead man's brother.

In a battle with some Germans Joe loses control of his horse; the Cossacks believe that he was trying to flee. In an argument, Joe gets into a fight with the surviving Norokov brother, but the fight ends when a scout arrives with news of German tanks.

A four-man group including Norokov and Joe is sent to halt the tanks by blowing up a bridge. The rest of the Russian unit creates a diversion by attacking the tanks, but is gunned down. Norokov decides to destory the bridge there and then, but is stopped by Joe. The two men come to blows again, with Norokov calling Joe a traitor, but Joe protests that they should wait until the tanks are in the middle of the bridge. Norokov comes to his senses and the bridge and leading tanks are destroyed together; Joe and Norokov flee on horseback, but their two cohorts are killed by the surviving Germans.

The two make a dash across no man's land to Soviet lines while being attacked by Germans; Norokov makes it but Joe is wounded and falls off his horse. Norokov heads back to save him, risking his own life, but the two men both reach Russian lines safely. Norokov insists that he was not saving Joe, just his dead brother's uniform, which Joe was wearing at the time - but later admits that he has come to respect the Englishman. Joe is flown back to Britain and serves out the rest of the war as an air gunner - or, as he puts it, a flying Cossack.

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