A short story by David Black:
In 1916, the war on the Western Front was locked in stalemate. British soldiers, covered in blood-sucking lice, battled with their hated German foe in a sea of mud-filled shell craters and from shattered, rat-infested trenches. Causality figures, already appalling, were becoming even heavier as another frigid winter approached the front line.
Sometimes, surrounded by horror and tragedy men cracked, but then, shell-shock and traumatised combat stress were considered to be nothing but cowardice, by senior British staff officers, who commanded the British Expeditionary Force in safety, from miles behind the front.
* * * * *
When 18-year-old 2nd Lieutenant Andrew Starkey was commissioned into the infantry, he crossed the Channel and joined his new battalion in Belgium. His illusions of family tradition and glory on the battlefield were quickly shattered, however, when the realities of war, and cruel circumstance forced him into a nightmare scenario, where no British officer wanted to go.
While training in England, he naturally expected to order his soldiers to kill the enemy. He never, in his wildest dream, expected to order them to kill their own comrades…
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About the Author
David Black lives in Hertfordshire, UK. After more than 15 years as a regular and reserve soldier he now works as a full time writer. Based on a mixture of fiction and his own experiences, David is writing a new and highly original series of novels concerning the dangerous global missions of SAS Sgt. Pat Farrell, and the men from the ultra secret SAS reserve – The Shadow Squadron. David set the sequel to The Great Satan - (Shadow Squadron #1) - called Dark Empire - (Shadow Squadron #2) in Africa, where Pat Farrell and members of his SAS Two Troop will feel the full force and horror of inter-tribal civil war in the Congo. The Devil's Web - (Shadow Squadron #3) has also recently been released. He also completed a thrilling book called Siege of Faith, which concerns the terrible siege of Malta in 1565, when the Ottoman Empire invaded with 40,000 troops, intent on the destruction of the last of the crusaders - The holy order of the Knights of St. John. See also the new Siege of Faith sequel - Inca Sun. Playing for England - A detailed look at his early military experiences, and a compelling first-hand account of his SAS selection. EAGLE'S OF THE DAMNED - David wrote an exciting novel based on the tragic events in AD9, when three of Rome's toughest Legions were annihilated in the unforgiving depths of the Teutoburg forest, on the northern rim of the Empire. Only a traitor in their midst could have connived to put over twenty thousand Romans to the sword, during 72 hours of stomach-churning terror and unimaginable horror. David is currently planning another book - Cold Steel - comprising a collection of short stories of WW1.
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