Legion Pulp: Legionnaire’s Way

Legionnaire's WayThis months pulp story is another Georges Surdez short story that appeared in Collier’s on 5 April 1941.  (Well, not quite a pulp but nonetheless it is by Surdez.)  The story takes place in Japanese occupied Indochina and is a good example of many of Surdez’s wartime stories that hit hard at the Axis forces be they German, Italian or Japanese.  This one has an odd twist at the end that I’m not really sure I like.  It’s a bit hard to read–this one actually looks better on the PC than it does printed despite my attempts to enlarge the pages.  It was found at UNZ.

Legionnaires Way

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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3 Responses to Legion Pulp: Legionnaire’s Way

  1. Shawn says:

    If by odd twist you mean the Japanese Commander killing himself, I totally agree Jack. As I understand the Japanese mindset of that time, they would only commit Hari Kari/Supuku in defeat or failure. Not in victory. Perhaps Mr. Surdez was trying to send a message to his readers in this one of the darkest times of WWII. The French had fallen and much of Russia was overtaken. Everywhere Germany was on the march though Japan had not really begun her conquest yet. Perhaps he was trying to say that if we persevere with much shedding of blood, we will also shed our enemies blood and eventually win.


    • Jack Wagner says:

      The whole suicide thing in fiction annoys me no matter what the story– as it does in real life. I guess what Surdez was attempting to get across was a “death before dishonor” message. Not one of his best stories.


  2. Eugene Olivier says:

    Yes, the suicide angle really does make me shake my head in shocked disbelief. Such a senseless waste of life. I sometimes feel disappointed at the endings of certain stories, and being something of a writer myself, I think up my own ending. Here I would have had the French officer bluffing the Japs he was going to shoot himself in order to have a better chance of going out with a bang (pun unintentional) by taking a few more of the enemy with him. Talk about senseless bloodshed! War is Hell!
    Sideline. In a book on Devil’s Island that I read the governor of the prison was not sure if France had fallen during WW II, so he got a prisoner, a forger, to paint on the back of it the likeness of De Gaulle so that he could reverse the picture depending on who arrived in Guiana. Something like that, anyway.


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