© D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.

See The Victor issue 855 (9th July 1977) to issue 864 (10th September 1977). Ten episodes.

Writer:- The Victor editorial team. Artist:- Josep Marti.

Main cast:- Lieutenant King and Privates Watson, Carter, Smith, Bardac and Daudin. (See the image below) and various French Resistance groups.

Time period:- February to June 1944, Britain and occupied France during the Second World War.

From issue 855. Artist Josep Marti. © D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.

Six tough, experienced commandos, each man chosen not just for their fighting skills, but also for their individual abilities. (An explosives expert, a locksmith, a pilot and acrobat, a local resistance guide and currency and railway experts). Trained as a team to carry out six vital missions connected with the D-Day invasion of Nazi German occupied Europe. Their unofficial seventh mission - to find the traitor within their team.

On the eve of the team flying to France a deadly night-time incident which leaves three of the training camp guards dead indicates that one of the six men on the mission is a traitor. The operation is crucial and the team are instructed to continue with their missions. The various targets are destroyed one by one, with the traitor within the team hindering the group however he can. As the story progresses each team member comes under suspicion, which causes mistrust within the team and on occasions jeopardises the mission. Lieutenant King has his work cut out keeping the warring soldiers apart and completing the six missions.

The Missions

Bardac, the Czech acrobat uses his skills to destroy a radio station which has cables embedded in tall blocks of concrete. Once the cables are destroyed the radio mast having no support crashes to the ground. Watson in the confusion is captured and has to be rescued.

The team rob a bank in central Paris and Watson, the currency expert and Smith, the locksmith rob the bank. They are only interested in German currency brought to Paris by forced labour workers returning to the capital. The money is then to be sent back to Germany for Allied undercover operations in Germany. The team need access to a shop which is next to the bank. Unfortunately, the owner won't assist them. So in order to gain access to the shop, they blow his shop up with a small bomb. Disguised as workmen they commence digging through the side of the shop into the bank. In the bank's safe room Watson accuses Smith of being the traitor. The two men start fighting and a shot is fired. Outside, a passing German patrol hearing the noise, close in on the bank.

Lieutenant King and Smith set about setting detonators to blow up an ammunition dump. But the traitor has struck again, sabotaging the fuses. But there is worse to come, two S.S. officers are on their trail.

The destruction of a vital railway junction is accomplished without any mishaps.

The fifth mission is the capture of a French Resistance leader codenamed Aristo who is suspected of being a double agent. On entering the resistance's camp, a Chateau, the Germans spring an ambush. A running battle ensues between the team and the pursuing German troops. French resistance fighters come to their aid. With them is Aristo, who accuses Carter of being the traitor and not him! The scene is set for the final mission and the unmasking of the traitor.

Their final mission is to fly a top secret German aeroplane out of France back to Blighty (Britain). The running battle with the Germans is resumed in the forest and Carter is hit and killed. As he lies dying he confesses that he's the traitor not Aristo. The remaining team members fly the aeroplane back to Britain. All seven missions accomplished.

This is an excellent World War Two story with a good plot and characterisation. Unforseen circumstances hinder each of the missions. Tensions are high between the various team members. The artwork is by one of my top ten favourite Victor/Hornet artists, Josep Marti, who produces some cracking artwork for the series. This story was published around the middle part of The Victor's life and showed that even then, the comic was still capable of producing riveting and entertaining storylines.

The below episodes are from issues 858, 862.

Artist Josep Marti. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Josep Marti. . © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Josep Marti. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Josep Marti. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Josep Marti. . © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Josep Marti. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Josep Marti. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

© Adrian Banfield, 2008.