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Bad Day In Berlin
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Bad Day in Berlin
Original Airdate: December 07, 1968
Production Number: 5784-105
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Richard Kinon
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

None

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

A U.S. undercover agent helps Hogan and his men get a defecting Nazi officer out of Berlin.

Plot Details Edit

An Abwehr staff car arrives at the camp and pulls up to Klink's office. Out of it steps a German army major, very tough-looking and stern. He is Major Hans Keppel, German Army Intelligence. He has come to visit Stalag 13 on official business, and after paying his respects to Klink is taken on a tour of the camp.

The tour eventually winds up inside Barracks 2, where the major inspects the prisoners. "So these are your chickens?" Keppel says aggressively. Hogan's men remain silent, although the allusion is not lost on them. "They look more like pigs to me," Keppel continues, walking down the line of prisoners. At that Hogan's men begin to protest, but he silences them. The major walks up to Newkirk, waving his hand at him. "You uniform is filthy!" he says in his most Prussian tone. Newkirk looks at him evenly. "Do me a favor," he says. "Drop dead." Keppel grabs Newkirk by the blouse, but Hogan quickly intervenes. "Be as nasty as you like," he tells the major, "but don't touch." He then looks evenly at him. "I'll remember you, Fritz." Keppel glares at him, then looks back at Klink. "I'd like to talk to this man alone." Klink quickly consents, sure that the major is about to have more than just a few words with the American colonel. Keppel is shown to Hogan's office a few paces away. He goes in with Hogan and pulls the door shut - right in Klink's face.

Inside the privacy of Hogan's office, however, the situation quickly changes. After a few loudly spoken words for whatever ears might be listening outside, the major moves away from the door. Hogan follows him, still unsure as to what exactly is going on. While he continues to talk, the major pulls a torn half of a playing card out of his hat and shows it to Hogan. "Do you play poker?" Kempel asks, holding up the card. Hogan's eyes open wide. "Yes, as a matter of fact," he says, then steps over to his bunk and pulls out from under the mattress the other half of the card. The major's voice drops. "A cloud passes over the sun," he says, laying the card on the table. "Casting shadows on the earth below," Hogan responds, his voice also low, laying down his half. The two are a perfect match. Hogan stares at the major as Keppel first checks the door, then moves with Hogan to the other side of the room. He then turns to Hogan and offers him his hand. "Robert J. Morrison, Milwaukee," he says in perfect American colloquial English. Hogan is almost too shocked to return the handshake. "We can't talk now," he says hurriedly. "Klink asked me to stay for dinner. Can you arrange something?" Hogan nods, then adds, "As soon as I get over the shock of an American in German uniform." Morrison smiles and chuckles. "It's a crazy war."

As it turns out, Morrison is one of the deepest of the Allied's deep-cover secret agents in Germany. He was put in place shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany, renouncing both his Army commission and his American citizenship (on orders from his superiors) in order to ingratiate himself into the German military. Right now, though, Morrison has a problem that could expose not only himself, but the Unsung Heroes and every other Allied undercover operation inside the Third Reich. A man named Decker, code-named Robin Hood, who is one of the Allies' top contol agents in London (Hogan mentions his men get their orders from him), is now in Germany. Decker is in fact like Morrison himself - a German American double agent, only Decker is working for the Nazis. He has come home to Germany in order to spill the beans on the entire Allied undercover network - some 300 to 400 secret operatives, in all. The Unsung Heroes are near the top of Decker's list. Hogan's mission is to capture Decker before he can report to SS Headquarters in Berlin and bring him back - alive. Again, Hogan looks dumbfounded. "You've got to be kidding!" he exclaims. Morrsion remains firm. "Those are the orders," he says. "Return him to England before he starts talking." Their only saving grace is that Decker's contact, SS General Schellenberg, is currently away at the Russian Front. Morrison then tells Hogan why London wants the Unsung Heroes to do the job. His unit has an excellent track record in such matters, Decker has never seen them in person, and their own lives are on the line. Hogan is still skeptical. "They expect us to go to Berlin and grab a German agent out of a hotel?" he asks. Morrison reassures him. They're both in the same boat ... but Morrison has a plan, which will require not only Hogan's help but also his resistance contacts in the Abwehr.

The next day, Morrison takes the Unsung Heroes to the Abwehr offices in nearby Hammelburg for "further questioning." His ruse is that he wants to pump them for intelligence regarding the amphibious landing in France that Germany knows the Allies are planning. Klink accompanies them, per regulations, and Klink brings Schultz with him. Hogan is first, followed by Carter, Newkirk, and LeBeau - who quickly makes a mockery of the proceedings, much to Morrison's amusement. After LeBeau is escorted out, Morrison expresses displeaure with how the interrogations are going. He asks Klink if would be all right if he took Hogan, Newkirk, and Carter to Berlin for "more intense interrogation." Klink, always quick to pander to Berlin's wishes, quickly agrees. He also consents to staying behind to continue working on the others. So far, Morrison's plan is working.

The following day, Klink walks with Major Keppel (Morrison) to the street. "An ambulance, major?" he says, pointing at a vehicle parked out front. The major explains that since the Eastern Front has priorty when it comes to motor transports, he's having to make do. Also, an amulance would not arouse suspicion as to what's inside. "Very interesting!" Klink says. "I must remember that, if we ever have an ambulance at Stalag 13," he adds, as Hogan, Newkirk, and Carter are escorted outside. The guards show them to the back of the ambulance and lock the door behind them. Keppel (Morrison) salutes Klink, then gets in the front of the ambulance and drives away.

A few hours later, the ambulance arrives in Berlin. It parks just outside of a posh-looking hotel. Morrison gets out and climbs into the back. Inside, he finds Hogan and his men busy changing their clothes. Hogan is dressing up as a fellow German officer, while Newkirk and Carter are donning orderly's uniforms. Morrison explains the plan as they finish up. They are posing as a German medical unit visiting the hotel, while Morrison and Hogan will contact Decker in person. The plan is to render Decker unconscious, then sneak him out of Berlin in the ambulance. Newkirk and Carter will carry the unconscious Decker out on a stretcher by the hotel back stairs, while Morrison and Hogan cover for them and leave through the front lobby. It's a simple enough plan, and should work - provided they don't run into any trouble, as Hogan points out.

The plan goes off like clockwork. Decker is understandably suspicious when Morrison and Hogan show up instead of Schellenberg, but is knocked out with an needle ring containing sodium thiophene that Morrison thoughtfully brought with him. As Newkirk and Carter strap Decker to the stretcher and leave, Hogan asks Morrsion what would have happened had they failed. Morrison opens the window, looks out, then motions Hogan over. "See those two men over there changing the tire?" he says. They are Abwehr agents working for Morrison, and one of them is a sniper. "They've got orders not to miss the man carrying this," he says, pointing to Decker's valise - which is full of incriminating papers. Hogan nods thoughtfully. "I like the way you hedge your bets," he says, smiling at Morrison. They wait a bit longer, giving Newkirk and Carter time to make the back stairs, then Morrison and Hogan head for the door with the valise. Morrison begins to open it, and is shocked to find an SS officer standing there. He quickly stops opening the door, so the SS officer can see only him, leaving Hogan hidden. Hogan darts for the bathroom while Morrison talks to the SS officer, trying to stall him. He gives his cover name, Major Keppel and explains that the Abwehr had heard that Decker was in town. The SS officer can barely conceal his disgust, and insists on seeing Decker. He forces his way past Morrison into the empty room. At that moment Hogan steps out of the bathroom, wearing a long dressing gown and a towel wrapped around his neck to hide his uniform. "Hans, I thought you'd gone," he says nonchalantly to Morrison. The SS officer introduces himself as Captain Metzger, subordinate of Colonel Braun, of Schellenberg's staff. He has come to take Decker to Schellenberg. A worried-looking Hogan glances over at Morrison, then nods. "Good!" he says. "Tell the colonel I'll be down as soon as I'm dressed." Metzger tries to protest but Hogan is insistent. "As soon as I'm dressed," he says. Metzger excuses himself, then salutes and leaves the room. Hogan looks over at Morrison. "Ever seen a grown man faint?" he says. "Watch!"

Hogan has no choice but to continue with the ruse. As neither Metzger nor his superior Braun know Decker by sight, he's able to get away with it ... for now. Fortunately, they've been able to establish that "Hans" (Morrison) is an old friend of his, so he joins the group in the lobby. Hogan uncomfortably fingers Decker's valise while trying every verbal trick he knows to talk Braun out of leaving, all too aware of the Abwehr agents waiting outside. He even claims to have left his cigarettes in his room, but Colonel Braun gives him one. Finally, in desperation, he sets the valise down and fumbles around, as if looking for a light for his cigarette. Metzger pulls out a lighter and lights it for him. "Danke," Hogan exclaims, then is the first one out the door. Braun picks up the valise and follows him. As the SS colonel steps toward the waiting car a shot rings out, and he falls to the ground dead. Hogan quickly misdirects Metzger and his men as to from where the shots came, then bends over the body and grabs the valise. He stands up to find Morrison standing nearby. The two of them hurry to the waiting ambulance, which roars away into the busy street.

Minutes later, the ambulance arrives near Abwehr Headquarters in Berlin. Decker's unconscious body is quickly transferred to a waiting truck, and it drives away. Morrison thanks Hogan for the help of the Unsung Heroes in capturing Decker, telling them, "I couldn't have done it without you. Next time you're back in Berlin--?" True to form, Hogan quips a reply. "Thanks. It's a nice place to have a war, but I'd hate to live here." Morrison offers him his hand, but Hogan refuses. "The ring," he says, looking down. Morrison is still wearing the needle ring. "I never sleep in the middle of the day," Hogan adds.

The next day, Hogan and his men are back in Stalag 13. They have a special guest down in the tunnels - a man named Decker, who is taking a one-way trip to London for the court-martial that awaits him. LeBeau comes down to tell him that Klink wants to see him. "Doesn't he know I'm busy?" Hogan complains, then heads topside. Klink is eager to share with him Keppel's transcript of the interrogation he supposedly gave Hogan, Newkirk, and LeBeau. They are fakes, of course, but Klink doesn't know that. His big problem is that Hogan claimed in his "interrogation" that Klink was humane, which would make him look bad to his superiors. Hogan is understandably perturbed. "Look," he says to Klink, "you know you're a rat and I know you're a rat." When Klink still protests, Hogan adds with a smile, "I thought it was our secret."

Story Notes Edit

Background Trivia Edit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This is the sixth episode in chronological order per the fandom series timeline. It follows Hot Money, and comes before The Kommandant Dies at Dawn.
  • This appears to be one of the earliest episodes in the series, taking place not too long after The Informer, almost certainly during September of 1942. The first clue is the complete absence of the tunnel to Klink's quarters. It would have been much easier for Hogan to use this tunnel to visit Morrison, once Klink had been called away, rather than sneak through the camp and risk being detected by the guards. This implies that the tunnel had not yet been dug. Another clue that points to a late 1942 date is SS General Schellenberg's posting to Russia. Historically, he would have been part of the SS operation that moved in behind the Wehrmacht during Operation Barbarossa and "pacified" the Russians. The massacre of the Jews at Pinsk, which is actually mentioned in another episode ("Lady Chitterly's Lover") was but one of many SS atrocities carried out during this time. Yet another important clue is the questions that are asked of our heroes during their faux interrogation. They appear to be directed towards gathering any information, however slight, with regards to a potential Allied invasion of Europe by sea - a "possible invasion," as Morrison puts it. There is a key historical event that would have put the Germans in mind about invasion by sea around this time, and that is the failed Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942.
  • Undercover American agent Robert J. Morrison, aka Wehrmacht Major Hans Keppel, has been in the German Army for 10 years. He worked for U.S. Army Intelligence before the war. At that time, he was ordered to join the German American Bund for counterintelligence purposes. As potential hostilities became imminent, he was ordered to renounce his American citizenship and swear allegiance to Hitler. He eventually worked his way into German intelligence, where he now operates as a deep cover mole for the Allies.
  • Hogan bought his motorcycle in 1936, six years before his internment at Stalag 13, by his own account. "It has a couple of worn tires," he also adds.

Quotes Edit

After Morrison reveals himself to Hogan ...

  • Morrison (holding out his hand) - Robert J. Morrison, Milwaukee.
  • Hogan (dumbfounded, but grasping it) - A major in German intelligence?!
  • Morrison - We can't talk now, Hogan. Klink asked me to stay for dinner. Can you arrange something.
  • Hogan (still dumbfounded) - Yeah, as soon as I get over the shock of seeing an American in German uniform.
  • Morrison (smiles and chuckles) - It's a crazy war.
  • Hogan (returns the smile) - Your life insurance premiums must be murder!

After LeBeau is ushered in for interrogation ...

  • Klink - Louis LeBeau, captured near Salon.
  • LeBeau - Oh, beautiful town! And the girls! Why, there was one girl who--
  • Klink - Silence, corporal! I'm not interested in your experiences!
  • LeBeau (snickering) - You haven't heard them yet, kommandant.
  • Klink (glares at him)
  • Morrison - Six weeks ago you received a letter from a woman in Paris - a Yvette Blanchard.
  • LeBeau (mock surprise) - You've been reading my mail! (grins) Pretty good - eh, monsieur?
  • Morrison (sternly) - The Geneva Convention permits us to censor the letters of prisoners.
  • Klink (assuredly) - Oh, we would do it even without that!
  • LeBeau - I know.
  • Schultz (sulking) - I don't get to read anything!
  • Klink - Schultz! (takes the letter from Morrison) Now, Madame Blanchard says here - among other very interesting things - uh, 'Hope to see you soon.' What does that phrase mean?
  • LeBeau (glances) - Oh! That's code - for 'Hitler's mother wears army shoes'.
  • Klink (sternly) - Insolence! (softer) Does that woman Blanchard have any information with regards to an invasion?
  • Morrison (sternly) - Answer the question! What does it mean.
  • LeBeau - Ça veut dire "tous les Boches sont des cochons, de parents de cochons, et vous êtes tous les deux un bon exemple de vos ancêtres." (In English: It means "Every Fritz is a pig, born of pigs, and you two are a good example of your ancestry.")
  • Morrison (begins smiling, turns aside so Klink can't see him laughing)
  • Klink (looking puzzled) - Well, at least we're getting somewhere. What did he say?
  • Morrison (innocent face, lying) - I'm afraid I don't speak French. I was hoping perhaps you may, Herr Colonel.
  • Klink (breezily) - Oh, just for social purposes-- (face droops) I really don't speak it.
  • Morrison - You, sergeant?
  • Schultz - Yes, herr major, I tried it once. (grinning) I got my face slapped.
  • Klink (disgustedly) - He has enough trouble with German.

Morrison, on Klink.

  • Morrison - He's an egomaniac - and a creep!
  • Hogan (smiling) - And you hardly know him.

Hogan, on Morrison.

  • Hogan - Morrison? You've got more guts than a Philadelphia lawyer.
  • Morrison - And why not? (stands at attention, throws a German salute) I am Major Hans Keppel, military intelligence.
  • Hogan - Please! Don't scare me any more than absolutely necessary.

After Morrison and the Unsung Heroes transfer the unconscious Decker to a truck for his trip ...

  • Hogan - Okay, the package is all loaded.
  • Morrison - Thanks. Great job, men.
  • Newkirk - You will keep us in mind for any ambulance work in the future?
  • Morrison - Now I'll turn you over to Klink. You'll be back in Stalag 13 tonight with your luggage.
  • Hogan - Don't think it hasn't been fun - because it hasn't.
  • Morrison (honestly) - I couldn't have swung it without you - but, if you're ever back in Berlin again--?
  • Hogan (interrupting) - Thanks. It's a nice place to have a war, but I'd hate to live here.

Klink calls Hogan to his office, the day after the interrogations have concluded.

  • Klink - Major Keppel has sent me a transcript of your interrogation in Berlin.
  • Hogan - Did he spell my name right?
  • Klink - Question to Colonel Hogan: 'What are the conditions at Stalag 13? Are you well treated?' Answer by Hogan: 'Colonel Klink is a very humane commandant who tries to make prison life bearable.' (shuts file, looks up at Hogan) Hogan, did you say that?
  • Hogan - Yes, I did, sir. Has a nice sound to it.
  • Klink (angry, rising from his desk, and walking over) - How dare you undermine me in Berlin!
  • Hogan (protesting) - But I thought that's what--
  • Klink - 'Humane commandant,' 'prison life bearable' -- are you trying to destroy my career? Do you want me to be a colonel forever?
  • Hogan - I'm sorry, sir.
  • Klink - You're not going to get away with that, I promise.
  • Hogan - Look, I know you're a rat and you know you're a rat.
  • Klink - Then why didn't you say so?!
  • Hogan - Why, I thought it was our secret.

BloopersEdit

  • The ambulance used in this episode is a standard U.S. Army WWII Dodge WC series, most likely the WC-54. No attempt was made to hide this, as the producers assumed (correctly) that most viewers would not know what a WWII German ambulance looked like. It would have been standing in for an German Opel Blitz.
  • When Klink is called to his office from his private quarters, he commits a breach of military discipline by leaving the building without wearing his officer's cap.
  • Metzger is listed in the end credits as Major (Sturmbannfuhrer), and has the correct insignia. but in the dialogue, he is referred to as Captain (Hauptsturmfuhrer).

External links Edit


Previous episode:
No Names Please
Next episode:
Will the Blue Baron Strike Again?

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