Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1 Ep 20, “It Takes A Thief… Sometimes”

LOGLINE: Hogan’s latest underground contacts are secretly German spies.

Schultz is playing poker with the Heroes and is, naturally, out of money. He offers some information in exchange for staying in the game: There was a nearby bridge that was blown up, and after that a barn burned down. He tells them that the Germans believe it’s an underground group. Naturally, he loses the hand, but Hogan tries to console him by saying that he’s a lousy poker player, but a great traitor.

Hogan and LeBeau, dressed in black, walk into a barn where a small group is gathered, three men and a French girl (whose name is Michelle, though her name isn’t used in the episode). Hogan criticizes their security precautions (no guard outside, a light clearly visible) and sends LeBeau out to act as sentry (which he complains about, because the girl is French, like he is). The leader of the group tells him about what they’ve done, and suggests to Hogan that the two groups can work together. Before they get much further, an Allied bombing raid begins. Hogan says they’re better outside, and takes the girl out with him. Once outside, they talk to each other, and talk soon becomes romantic entanglement. LeBeau appears and tells Hogan that the raid seems to have ended, but Hogan isn’t listening…

The next day. Klink is in his office with an SS Captain Heinrich, who happens to be the leader of the underground group. He’s pointing out all the sabotage that’s been going on and that Stalag 13 is at the center of it. He accuses Klink of not paying attention, and says that he knew there was a strong band of partisans causing the trouble, so he started his own band to draw them out. He says that there’s one strategic target left, a railroad tunnel, and that he’ll suggest a joint mission with the other group, which will lead them into a trap for Klink and his guards.

Hogan and his men have heard this entire conversation on the "coffeepot," and after Hogan chastises himself for not realizing they were impostors, decides that he’ll have their group blow up the railroad tunnel.

That night, Hogan and LeBeau meet the underground group (Heinrich’s group) and proposes blowing up Stalag 13. Heinrich suggests instead the railroad tunnel and Hogan says "small potatoes." He tells Heinrich that he’ll supply the men if Heinrich supplies the dynamite. He and LeBeau leave despite Heinrich’s protests. Michelle follows them out and, after LeBeau is sent to stand guard, tries to talk Hogan into leaving Germany with her. Hogan says that in war, you survive by not getting involved. She goes back in and LeBeau says "it’s hard when you love somebody and they’re on the other side." Hogan says that he’s going to ask Klink for a furlough…

Heinrich, in uniform, drives up to the building at Stalag 13 where they keep the dynamite. Evidently he and Klink have arranged to put fake dyamite into the storage building. Schultz is "guarding" the building (he’s asleep on his feet until Heinrich slams the door of the truck), and Heinrich tells him to fill a requisition for cases of dynamite. Schultz calls Hogan over and asks him to get a work detail of prisoners to fill the order. Hogan and Heinrich catch a glimpse of one another, but say nothing. When Hogan and Schultz go into the storeroom, they find Hogan’s men replacing the cases of fake dynamite with the real stuff. Schultz threatens to report them, and Hogan insinuates that they’re doing this based on knowledge he gave them. Schultz decides it’s better if he knows nothing.

Hogan and his men change the fake dynamite for real. Source:IMDb

Heinrich is in Klink’s office, and Klink is calling Berlin to get reinforcements. Heinrich hangs up the phone before the call is made and tells him that the guards should be able to handle this themselves. He tells Klink to stay by the shortwave radio in his office, and he’ll contact him when the plans are finalized.

Hogan goes to Klink and complains about the POW’s being forced to load munitions for the enemy. Klink tells him that everyone is confined to the barracks that evening, and any prisoner caught in the compound will be shot. Hogan notices the shortwave radio set up and guesses that Klink will be running a command post. Klink, proud of himself, starts boasting that tonight he’ll prove himself to be more than a desk officer, and tells Hogan he can peek at what’s going on. With Klink distracted talking about himself, Hogan cuts the radio wires.

Hogan, LeBeau, and Carter arrive at the barn, and Heinrich is incredulous: how do they manage to cause so much destruction with only three men? Hogan’s answer: they take vitamins. He then suggests blowing up the railroad tunnel instead. Heinrich is furious, but goes along with it, and tells them to wait near the truck while he takes care of something. He then calls Klink on a walkie-talkie, but ends up talking with Kinch (who does an incredible impression of Klink; Newkirk asks him if they’re related, and Kinch says he’ll have to ask), who tells him he’ll have fifty men near the tunnel, with him leading them.

Meantime, Schultz is trying to get the shortwave working and discovers that the wires have been cut. Klink says that means they’re already in the compound, and to gather the troops at the gate.

Carter and LeBeau are in the railroad tunnel witn Michelle and the other two fake underground agents. Hogan is outside the tunnel with Heinrich. Michelle dashes out of the tunnel to warn Hogan that Heinrich is Gestapo. Heinrich pulls a gun on Hogan and says that the dynamite is fake, and pushes down on the handle of the detonator to demonstrate. BOOM! LeBeau and Carter come out of the tunnel, saying that the other two wanted to stay and put down the dynamite. Heinrich tells them not to move, gets in the truck, and drives off to Stalag 13. Michelle wants to run off because her family is being held by the Gestapo in France, and Hogan tells her not to worry, that he is certain that Heinrich won’t say anything.

Schultz, Klink, and the rest of the men are lined up with rifles and machine guns inside Stalag 13. When they hear Heinrich’s truck driving toward them, Klink issues the order to commence firing. A volley of bullets ends with the sound of the truck crashing. Klink issues a cease-fire, and asks Schultz who was in the truck. Schultz says "It’s the Gestapo captain."

Back at the railroad tunnel, Hogan and Michelle are kissing as LeBeau and Carter look away. Hogan tells her they’ll get her out of Germany, and she asks him if he’ll come. He says "after the war." She says "I do not like war."

Hogan and Klink are in the latter’s office discussing what went on the night before. Klink tells Hogan about the railroad tunnel being destroyed, and that, were the prisoners not confined to the barracks, he would suspect Hogan, who resents the insinuation. Klink then talks about the Gestapo captain, and Hogan suggests the scenario that he was shot by the saboteurs. Klink decides to go with that story in his report to Berlin.


  • 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
  • Michael Constantine as Heinrich
  • Claudine Longet as Michelle

8 thoughts on “Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1 Ep 20, “It Takes A Thief… Sometimes”

  1. I just watched this one John. I’m still so far behind at work. Hans and you are doing great…next show I do…I’m going to do one where I can give the ending away. On the Twilight Zone I have people who never saw it and the twist is the whole thing. I can’t write much because of that.


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