LOGLINE: When a British commando unit is captured before they can blow up a crucial German ammo dump, Hogan and his men attempt to finish the job.
This might be our favorite episode, because it’s absolutely absurd.
At roll call, another prisoner, Sgt. Walters, a British commando, joins the prisoners. He and his team were sent to blow up an ammo dump, but they were caught. Walters went to Stalag 13, while the rest of the squad are held by a General Schmidt, who intends to send them to Kleinfeldt Prison. Hogan decides that he and Carter are going to finish the job. Walters thinks he’s crazy, because the target is 50 km away. So Hogan decides to arrange transprtation through Colonel Klink.
Klink is busy reading something in his office when Hogan gets there, so Hogan takes his scarf and presents it to him, saying that it’s a going-away gift from the prisoners, the rumor being that Stalag 13 is closing and he’s on his way to the Urals, i.e. the Russian front. The sure sign the camp is closing is the fact that Klink only got one commando, the rest are still with Schmidt. Indignant, Klink calls Gen. Schmidt and demands that the rest of the commandos be sent to Stalag 13. Schmidt agrees, and Klink sends Schultz with a truck to get them.
Now Hogan and Carter have transportation to Schmidt’s headquarters, so they hide in the tarps on the sides of the truck for the ride. And here’s what happens…
When they get back to Stalag 13, Hogan convinces Schultz that there were seven prisoners rather than six, and adds Schmidt to the group, telling Schultz he’s "Finnegan." He then goes to Klink and convinces him that one of the new prisoners is "The Gray Phantom," who will escape and ruin his perfect record. Schmidt goes to Klink, who heard that the ammunition dump blew up the day before and Schmidt was killed and assumes that Schmidt is The Gray Phantom. Hogan tries to tell Klink that they have Schmidt, but it doesn’t work. Which, of course, is what he wanted.
Once outside, Hogan tells Schmidt that he can get word to someone who can vouch for him, but the general refuses, at least for five days. Actually, Hogan wants the location of where Schmidt’s division is so the Allies can mount a counteroffensive. When the general walks away, Hogan and Newkirk plan to convince the general he’s dying to see if he’ll tell them where his offensive is going.
In the barracks, Hogan talks to Schmidt and says something about how the general’s neck looks swollen. Hogan convinces him to lie down and rest, whereupon the Heroes do everything they can to convince the general that’s he’s gravely ill and hasn’t much longer to live: they slide lit cans of Sterno under the bed to overheat him and make him sweat, wrap him in blankets and lay heavy chains across his legs so he can’t move them, shake the bed, etc. Schmidt finally falls asleep.
When he awakens, the Heroes are having a Christmas celebration, wanting to "make sure he had Christmas." They have a small tree and are shaking soap flakes to simulate snow, they’re singing Christmas carols, and Schultz comes in dressed as Santa Claus and gives him presents that the Heroes have picked out. Hogan feigns indignance as someone gives Schmidt flowers ("he’ll be up to his ears in flowers in a couple of days!") and another gives him a magazine ("there’s no sense in him starting any serials!"). Finally, the general has had enough and tells Hogan to contact his aide in Heidelheim.
Having learned the location of Schmidt’s division and passed it along to Allied Command, they send Schmidt along with another escapee to England, where he’ll spend the rest of the war in a prison (Hogan tells him that he can always tell the Germans that he was in an English prison when his division was wiped out).
- Bob Crane as Hogan
- Werner Klemperer as Klink
- John Banner as Schultz
- Robert Clary as LeBeau
- Richard Dawson as Newkirk
- Ivan Dixon as Kinchloe
- Larry Hovis as Carter
- Cynthia Lynn as Helga
- Roger C. Carmel as Schmidt
One thing you’ll notice about Hogan’s Heroes is that it always seems to be winter: There’s snow on the ground and all are bundled up in winter coats. In this episode, when they have the "Christmas" celebration, Schmidt says that "Christmas is three months away," which would be September, when it would still be rather warm in that part of Germany.
On to Episode 7!