Many thanks to Graeme Reid for the masthead drawing & design -  2005 (www.gnreid.co.uk)

Porta

Full Name and Rank
Obergefreiter Joseph Porta
Place of Origin
Bornholmerstrasse, Moabitt, Berlin
Other Names/References
'Joseph Porta, Corporal by the grace of God in the Nazi army.'

First Mention in Books
The Legion Of The Damned, Chapter 7 'Our First Meeting'.

Other Information
There is quite a long description of Porta in The Legion Of The Damned, Chapter 7 'Our First Meeting'. It is said that both God and the devil were slightly afraid of having anything to do with him in case they made fools of themselves.

He is a master of the flute, Jew's harp, church organ etc etc. He will happily kill for coffee. He is a marksman with his sniper's rifle, a brilliant mechanic, the finest tank driver in the regiment - and a maniac in a truck or an 'armoured sledge' (see SS General). He is very tall with red hair, green piggy-eyes and one hollow tooth (he carries a set of army issue dentures wrapped in a gun cleaning cloth). He wears his yellow top hat, painted with blue and red rings, into battle (see The Legion Of The Damned for the story of the hat and monocle) and carries a cat named Stalin around with him. He and Tiny compete to rob corpses of gold teeth (although, at the beginning of Wheels Of Terror, Porta shoots two women who are corpse raiding during an air raid - just one of SH's little inconsistancies!)

Joseph Porta played by Bruce Davison in the film of Wheels Of Terror.  Picture kindly supplied by M. Hassel. Porta likes to claim that he is half-Jewish but this may just be to annoy Julius Heide. His big obsession, of course, is eating and I may try starting a separate section for his cooking skills at some stage. He talks about food in his sleep and he eats as much food as possible before a battle - it's a nervous reaction. In Court Martial Porta relates a story of swapping recipes with an English soldier on the beach at Dunkirk! Read Porta's recipe for mashed potato and diced pork here. Porta's trance-like description of cooking during the march through the cactus forest at the beginning of The Bloody Road To Death, and the massive feast at the meat depot in Blitzfreeze must also rank highly in any selection of classic cuisine-based literature.

Porta's classic lines? Well, there's too many to mention. How about the time when he returns after two days of drinking and gambling, carried in a sedan chair. He leans out and hails his amazed colleagues: "Goes all well with Germany's arms? Let me see a list of today's victories."

He tells outrageous (but quite true) tales and ends with comments like: "Now we have finished, let's have a song. What about 'It's Lovely To Be A Pimp'?" His stories drive people to distraction but he politely warns: "My stories are not to be sneezed at. You can learn a lot from them."

Porta's father is serving time in Moabitt according to Chapter 9 of Monte Cassino.

For fine examples of Porta's officer baiting style see 'Three Girls' Chapter 14 of Legion Of The Damned or 'Herr Niebelspang's Via Dolorosa' Chapter 2 of Blitzfreeze.

Like all the main characters in The Legion Of The Damned, Porta is of course killed off (see Chapter 31 'There's A Man Lying Out On The Wire'). So, we'll never get to hear stories of him and Tiny and The Legionnaire clearing away a few of their enemies after the war.

But he'll be around somewhere between Heaven and The Devil, because neither of them will take him in, and he'll be farting loudly and singing a filthy song.

When Porta is dying in The Legion Of The Damned his last words are something like "Give old Adolf a kick up the arse for me. Servus!" "Servus" is widely used in Hungary and has a meaning like "Ciao" in Italian, you can use it as "Hi" or "Bye" whatever. More literally it would be equivalent to saying something like "Your servant" in old fashioned English.

Neither Porta or Tiny ever aim on target during firing squad duties.


Home - Books - Biography - Characters - Email - Mailing List - Copyright Notice