"Mankind is nature's greatest mistake. In his actions echoes millions of years of instinct and a few genius's idea's useless revolution." End of 1942, eastern front, Ukraine. Private Lombos, tied to his family and his homeland by a strong loyalty, is serving in the Royal Hungarian Army. Due to an administrational error, he cannot go back home on leave. Despite his sorrow, he does his duty and takes up arms again to march further into the hell of the eastern front. During an attack he gets wounded and he's forced to spend a night behind enemy lines hiding out in a pit, where he meets an old man. They talk through the night, and the old man's words tremble his unbroken faith in his family and his country. As the dawn approaches, soviet shtrafbat soldiers find them and Private Lombos falls into captivity, then soon he's forced to join the "mine tramplers", a penal battalion whose soldiers clear minefields by stepping on them. Lombos has a hard time fitting into this new scenery, but the old man, who goes about the enemy's lines like a shadow visits him frequently and tries to keep him alive with his advices no matter what. During his journey he meets friends who betray him and enemies who help him out. In the end he starts believing the words of the old man; the effort of military morality and the ancient instinct of survival can not coexist.