The Trial By Fire wiki last edited by Manhunter2070 on 08/29/14 03:37AM View full history

Code Name: Gravedigger: Trial By Fire

Gravedigger, in the middle of a firefight in a cave filled with drums of gasoline, implores his racist lieutenant not to throw the grenade in his hand. The lieutenant, unwilling to listen to the African-American who has usurped his platoon and his mission to destroy a tank menacing his troops from a cave, throws it anyway, just as Gravedigger, Ulysses Hazard, tackles him. The live grenade skitters away and soldiers flee, except for Hazard who grabs it and throws it clear. He then explains to the Lt. about the fuel drums and orders the troops to back off. The lieutenant disobeys Hazard, using racial epithets, and is shot and wounded when he steps out of cover.

Hazard leads the platoon away from the Germans, who pursue until Hazard fires his machine gun at the stalactites in the cave so they collapse on the Nazis. His troops safe, Hazard again infiltrates the Germans' positions, going after the tank.

In another one-page interlude, the Major Birch wounded over Burma when his plane was attacked, is home in Brighton, England. He has a piece of shrapnel close to his spine. Both an operation and exercise could kill him, and he is wheelchair-bound. His request for a return to combat is denied and he receives an administrative position. He reaches into a drawer containing a revolver, but decides not to kill himself.

Back in the cave, Hazard kills several Germans fighting his way back to the fuel depot. He is again pinned down, and things look bleak when the tank joins the attack. Hazard spots a flamethrower and burns the Germans shooting at him. The tank remains, though, so Hazard rushes it, sticks the flamethrower into the tank's main gun barrel, and fills the tank with flames. The tank explodes, setting off the fuel in a tremendous explosion. Hazard makes his way to headquarters. In the infirmary, the recovering lieutenant shows not a bit of gratitude and continues with the racial slurs. Hazard advances on the man, but the medics persuade him to retreat saying the lieutenant is "sick." Hazard departs, saying the lieutenant's "sickness" will require more than pills and bandages to cure.

Dateline: Frontline:

War correspondent Wayne Clifford steps off a train in London during the Battle of Britain, when London is being bombed frequently by the Luftwaffe. He admires the Brits' courage and fortitude, but can see the citizens' despair. As Clifford unpacks at the hotel, a fellow correspondent, Ed Barnes, greets him and offers to show him around. They go to a pub where British fliers hang out, and he gets a story out of some airmen he knows after buying them drinks. Clifford argues with Barnes, saying pilots' bragging is not an accurate news story. Barnes tells Clifford his story is what people want to hear and what British censors will allow in print.

Clifford breaks curfue that night to walk the streets, to get to know the city. The Luftwaffe bombs the city and Clifford is nearly killed. He finds shelter near an anti-aircraft gun, which shoots down a German bomber, but also fires a round into an apartment building by mistakes. Clifford returns to his hotel and writes his story, praising the bravery of the British gunners, but not letting them off the hook for shooting the apartment building. He rushes the story to the censors at the Ministry of Information. Ed Barnes is there. Barnes' story, composed of the British airmens' boasting, passes the censors. Clifford's story, the truth, is rejected as inaccurate.

Barnes explains that in a war, the truth and the facts can be weapons for the other side. He advises Clifford to tailor his stories to the censors' wishes. Clifford is torn. Barnes invites him to head to the pub, and Clifford goes.

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