Sunday, July 24, 2011

War Picture Library 444 Blood on the Sand

There's more than enough blood shed in War Picture Library 444 Blood on the Sand. It's bound to happen when you have a Long Range Desert Group tooling around the desert giving it to the bad guys. And the bad guys are really bad in this one - they have fat commanders, SS, torture and a bed reputation as the narrative backs up their nastiness up at every turn. When the LRDG are sneaking up on the enemy and blowing them up they're portrayed as courageous. When the Germans are doing the same thing they are grim, greedy and sinister. The Germans lack morality - they are prepared to use torture to get what they want.

I think there might be a historical anomaly with having SS in the desert - however I'm not a historian. The Long Range Desert Group on the other hand have plenty of pluck and big bushy beards tucked under their turbans as they race around the desert in their trucks.

Story wise there's plenty of crash, bash (but no tash!) and things that go boom in the night.

Earning trust is at the heart of the story. An experienced Long Range Desert Group have their beloved officer killed in an ambush. Before he succumbs to his mortal wounds he saves his faithful sergeant and then with his last gasp and provides the covering fire that allows his compatriots to escape. If this isn't a hard enough act to follow then his replacement is also the unluckiest man alive. Eventually he proves himself to his new men and wins their trust.

Even though there's plenty of blood on the sand in War Picture Library 444 but the romance (if that's the right word) of the LRDG is not captured. Maybe it's a case of one mission too many. Having a sense that the desert is a big place would have helped. The LRDG just zip from panel to panel - there's no sense of 'long range' in any of the story. Finally, a few beards on the front cover would have nudged everything in the right direction.

That UGH! looks odd with part of the U missing, however it looks like it belongs with the rest of his outfit.

Understand this. We're playing Risk this evening. Don't even think of winning because I'm going cheat.

Shouldn't that hand pointing at the map be smaller?

Look at the size of the turret on that thing!

Muttering...sniggering...grim...smug Nazis!

Why are you going to burn it then idiot?

Don't see graves too often in a Fleetway comic.

These bad guys are really really BAD.

Echoes of Von Ryan's Express.

That must be a hit below the belt!


  1. Definitely not enough tash in this one. And why is that sadistic S.S. officer holding a steering wheel?

  2. Because he is a creep. Anyway I think he's holding a rope or cable.


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