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n 1916 ethnic Romanian Apostol Bologa is a Lieutenant in the Habsburg Army and he reports for duty on the front lines determined to do his duty. Upon his arrival he meets a fellow officer, Captain Klapka, and informs him of the upcoming execution of Lieutenant Svoboda who tried to desert to the enemy. Lieutenant Bologa shows his satisfaction at having been a member of the Court Martial that convicted Svoboda to death by hanging.After all,they all took an oath of loyalty toward the Habsburgs.Despite Bologa's loyal bravado the fact that their enemy is the Romanian Army doesn't escape him.The Romanian lines are just a few yards away and being a Romanian himself Bologa longs for his native Romania.More and more Bologa agonizes over loyalty and desertion to his Romanian brethren.His friend,Captain Klapka, reminds him of the severe penalty for desertion.

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