The pulp adventure for this month is entitled Sahara Squadron. It comes from the January 1951 issue of Adventure and was written by Robert Carse. By 1951 Adventure had become a slim shadow of what it used to be in it’s 1920-1940’s heyday as the premier fiction magazine of it’s time (in my opinion better than Argosy in many ways). In the copy I have there is no interior artwork and three of the stories are reprints from earlier 1930’s issues. Adventure had also become a bi-monthly digest (8 1/2″ X 6 1/4″) by this time with only 112 pages. By June of 1951 the magazine would switch to a bi-monthly schedule until 1955.
Sahara Squadron story is similar to many of Robert Carse’s other “last-stand” tales and again features the French Camel Corps and not the Foreign Legion (despite what the great cover art would have you believe). The protagonist, Lt. Moret, has just returned to his post in the Sahara after recuperating from a recent battle that wiped out his platoon and left him the sole survivor. He is emotionally scarred from that battle and is fighting an internal battle against the fear that grips him and prevents him from again leading men in the desert. Then the hostile Draa tribesmen decide to bring the battle to the fort.
As a bonus, in the back pages of this issue, where the editors entertain questions from readers under the heading “Ask Adventure: Information You Can’t Get Elsewhere“, a U.S. Marine asks about the Foreign Legion. I’ve included those pages as well. What a great cover BTW. I’ve seen pictures of the older Legion marching with their uncovered red kepis over a white cloth tucked in to form an improvised neck cover just like it appears in the cover art. It would have been nice to see some insignia though.