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WE HAD NEWLY RETURNED FROM THE EASTERN FRONT TO TRAIN WITH OUR NEW TANKS AND TO MAKE UP OUR

NUMBERS.

CHAPTER 2: FURIOSO
DEAD, DEAD, ONLY THE DEAD.
PARENTS, CHILDREN, ENEMIES, FRIENDS,
PILED IN ONE LONG ROW, SHRUNKEN
AND CHARRED INTO FOSSILS.
THOSE WHO HAVE FORGOT TEN TO WEEP,
WOULD HAVE BEEN TAUGHT ANEW HAD THEY
STOOD BESIDE THE GHOULS' SQUAD,
AND WATCHED THEM AT THEIR WORK.
OUR PLATOON: GUSTAV EICKEN 'PLUTO',
A HUGE DOCKER FROM HAMBURG HAD
LANDED IN A CLINK BECAUSE HE HAD
STOLEN A LORRY FULL OF FLOUR.
HE INSISTED IT HAD BEEN A FRAME-UP.

JOSEPH PORTA; CORPORAL BY


THE GRACE OF GOD. IMPRISONED
FOR PLANTING A RED BANNER ON
TOP OF ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH IN
BERLIN, AND THEN SENT TO THE
PENAL REGIMENT.

ALFRED KALB, 'THE LIT TLE LEGIONNAIRE',


HAD BEEN LOCKED UP FOR 3 YEARS
FOR BEING 'POLITICALLY UNSTABLE'
(PU) AND HAVING SERVED ILLEGALLY
IN THE FOREIGN LEGION.

MLLER: UNWILLING TO WRITE OFF HIS


RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS. HUGO STEGE:
OUR ONLY UNIVERSITY MAN; INVOLVED
WITH SOME STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS.
BOTH REPRIEVED WITH THE RIGHT
TO DIE IN THE REGIMENT.

'THE OLD UN': OUR TROOP


SERGEANT. HIS POLITICAL
CONVICTIONS DEEMED HIM AS
PU AND LANDED HIM A STINT
IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP.

AND I... SVEN. AN 'AUSLANDER,'


CONDEMNED FOR DESERTION, AND
BRANDED A 'PU' AS WELL. I WAS
POPPED INTO THE MINCING MACHINE OF
THE 27TH (PENAL) PANZER REGIMENT.

IN FIVE DAYS, ASSISTED BY RUSSIAN PRISONERS,


WE HAD SHIFTED LOAD AFTER LOAD OF BODIES
WITH ALMOST NO HOPE OF IDENTIFYING THEM.

MOST DOCUMENTS AND VALUABLES HAD DISAPPEARED.


IF THEY HADN'T BEEN DESTROYED BY THE FIRE,
THEY WERE STOLEN BY MARAUDERS...

JOSEPH PORTA,
CORPORAL BY THE
GRACE OF GOD, AND
CORPSE-CARRIER AT
YOUR SERVICE!

LOOKS LIKE
WE'LL BE
HAVING COMPANY
TONIGHT...

...LIKE PREDATORY FISH THEY POURED FROM EVERYWHERE. WHEN THESE


HUMAN SHARKS WERE CAUGHT, RIFLE SHOTS QUICKLY EXTERMINATED THEM.

IT WAS A BLESSING TO HAVE PORTA WITH US.


HIS ROBUST HUMOUR MADE US FORGET THE
HUMAN DEGRADATION WE WENT THROUGH.

BLOODY
HELL, WHAT
COWS!

THEY'RE LET TING NOTHING GO


TO WASTE. I WOULDN'T WONDER
IF WE WERE ASKED TO CUT
OFF THE HAIR OF THE CORPSES
- THOSE THAT HAVE ANY LEFT.

WE KEPT YELLOW AND RED RECORD CARDS


ON THOSE WE MANAGED TO IDENTIFY.
LIST UPON LIST WAS MADE.

WHAT A BACKSIDE
CYCLONE! IT STINKS
WORSE THAN YOU,
PLUTO!

BE GONE!!
RATS AND DOGS MADE OFF WITH GREAT CHUNKS OF FLESH. WE WERE CONSTANTLY
VOMITING. EVEN PORTA BECAME SUBDUED AND SILENT. HE TRIED TO STRAIGHTEN
THE LEGS OF A HALF-NAKED WOMAN THAT WERE GROTESQUELY DRAWN UP.

I DO WHAT I BLOODY
WELL LIKE, WITHOUT
YOUR PERMISSION!

PORTA AND PLUTO STOOD IN


THE OPEN GRAVE. WE HEAVED
THE CORPSES TO THEM FROM
REFUSE-CARTS.

EVERY TIME WE ARRANGED


A ROW OF CORPSES, WE
THREW A THIN LAYER OF DIRT
ON TOP AND THEN A NEW
LAYER OF BODIES.

A GIANT RUSSIAN PRISONER


OF WAR WHO WORKED WITH
OUR PARTY WEPT AND
PRAYED THE WHOLE TIME.

SHALLKIJ PRASSTALUDINA,
MALENKI,PRASSTALUDINA...

STEADILY, WE GOT MORE AND MORE DRUNK.


WE'D STUMBLE OVER THE CORPSES AND
MAKE RIDICULOUS APOLOGIES TO THE DEAD.

IF YOU'D LOOK AT
THE GIRL, YOU'D AGREE
SHE CAN'T BE BURIED
LIKE THIS.

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU


WASTING TIME FOR?

IN ONE LEAP, LIEUTENANT HARDER WAS


ROUND THE GRAVE AND UP IN PORTA'S FACE.

GET IT OVER WITH,


PORTA, AND I'M
ORDERING YOU TO
SHUT THE HELL UP!

WE BURIED PEOPLE FOR DAYS.


IN OUR DRUNKENNESS, WE MADE
THE FILTHIEST JOKES ABOUT
OUR HORRIBLE WORK...

...THEY KEPT US FROM INSANITY.

BRUTALLY, EVILLY, VIOLENTLY,


DEATH HAD COME.

WE, THE GHOULS' SQUAD, WITH THE LAUGHING SKULL FLASH


ON THE COLLAR, USED FLAME-THROWERS TO DESTROY
THE LAST REMAINS OF WHAT HAD ONCE BEEN HUMAN
BEINGS. WHERE WE ADVANCED, THE LIVING RAN IN TERROR.

HELL, WILL IT NEVER END?

THE ONLY MESSAGE FROM THE ARMY ABOUT THIS HELL RAN LACONICALLY: 'SEVERAL CITIES IN NORTH-WEST
GERMANY HAVE SUSTAINED TERROR AT TACKS FROM ENEMY AIRCRAFT. RETALIATION WILL RAPIDLY FOLLOW '.