SGT. HANS KLAUS

Real Name: Hans Klaus

Identity/Class: Human (German World War II era)

Occupation: Ranger

Group Membership: Howling Commandos

Affiliations: Coral Liebowitz

Enemies: Bruno Klemens, Baron Johann von Braun

Known Relatives: Unnamed parents

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Able Company base, England

First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#77 (April, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: Sgt. Klaus was a trained ranger who carried a B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle) and grenades in combat. He could speak German and English, but his English was halting, as he would pause to find the right words.

History: (Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#77 (fb) - BTS) - Hans Klaus grew up in Germany, and became a member of Adolf Hitler's youth movement (like most his age), but his parents suffered persecution from the Nazis, and managed to flee to the United States of America in 1938. Hans learned English and finished his high school in the U.S.A. The day he graduated, he enlisted in the armed forces, eventually becoming a sergeant.

(Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#77) - Captain Samuel Sawyer chose Hans to join the Howling Commandos as a replacement for Eric Koenig, who had recently defected back to Nazi Germany (unknown to any of the Howlers, Eric was actually on a secret assignment for Sawyer). The Howling Commandos' first mission with Klaus was to capture Eric Koenig out of Germany. Although Klaus proved himself to the Howlers on their training course, Sgt. Fury bore an irrational hatred for him, simply because he was German, and was still reeling from Koenig's betrayal.

When they finally embarked on the mission, Fury and Klaus continued to clash as Klaus refused to follow Fury's orders. He separated from the squad to infiltrate the ranks of nearby soldiers, learning passwords and countersigns from them. He then returned to the squad and convinced Fury that they should attempt to gain access to the command post which intelligence indicated Koenig operated from. The trick worked, but they found no trace of Koenig. Hans ran into Bruno Klemens, who had been in the youth movement with him, and forced Bruno to divulge that Koenig was under suspicion of aiding the Allies, and was being held in a nearby farmhouse.

As they approached the farmhouse, Eric broke loose and went on the run. He and Fury clashed, but Klaus drove Eric off with his rifle, afraid that Fury would kill Eric. As they continued their pursuit they ran into a German bunker, and Fury ordered Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan to take it out with a bazooka. However, Klaus wound up destroying it with a grenade by the time Dugan was ready to fire. As the area heated up, they tried to make a getaway aboard a P.T. boat, and Fury ordered Isadore "Izzy" Cohen to commandeer it for them; Klaus beat Cohen to the punch. When a pair of German planes pursued them, Klaus destroyed them with a bazooka and a grenade.

When Klaus looked to Fury for approval, Fury erupted at him in anger for repeatedly disobeying orders, even though Klaus observed that the squad could not have done as well as they did without his efforts. Fury nearly hit Klaus, but Klaus reminded him that if he did, he would be reduced in rank to private. Fury angrily called him a "kraut" and backed off. When they returned to Able Company, Fury presented Sawyer with plans he had stolen from Koenig, but Sawyer observed that the Germans were certain to know that Fury had taken them, so they would change their plans, making the entire mission a waste. It was only then that Fury realized he should have trusted Klaus, as he might have succeeded in capturing Koenig.

(Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#78) - Sawyer reassigned Klaus to a special assignment behind German lines as a contact for the underground. Sawyer sent him to complete the capture of Koenig, and Klaus pretended to be clumsily attempting to infiltrate the German ranks so that he would be found out and sent to the same camp where Koenig was being held. He informed Eric that his lover Coral Liebowitz was in the hands of Baron Johann von Braun, commander of a V-2 base who planning a strike on England. Some members of the underground helped Eric and Hans escape the camp, and they met up with the Howling Commandos. They stormed von Braun's base, and Klaus discovered that von Braun was actually targeting Berlin with his missiles, intending to end the war by wiping out his own leaders. Klaus redirected the missiles to plunge harmlessly into the Atlantic Ocean. Izzy set plastic explosives to destroy the base, but Klaus lagged behind, trying to mop up. He was apparently still inside the base when the explosives went off.

Comments: Created by Bill Everett, Dick Ayers and John Severin.

Poor Hans. I wish he'd stuck around, he was a lively character. Plus, the B.A.R. is just the coolest WW2 rifle of them all!

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Sgt. Hans Klaus should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#77, page 4, panel 1
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#77, page 17, panel 3


Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#77-78 (April-May, 1970) - Bill Everett (writer), Dick Ayers (penciler), John Severin (inker), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 06/29/06

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