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Bombsight
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Bombsight
Original Airdate: November 07, 1969
Production Number: 5784-128
Written by: Harvey Bullock & R.S. Allen
Directed by: Richard Kinon
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

None

Synopsis Edit

Hogan plans to get the blueprints for, and interfere with, the testing of a new weapon.

Plot Details Edit

The story begins with all of the prisoners being restricted to barracks. Schultz tells the POWs of Barracks 2 that they are not supposed to look outside the windows. Hogan tricks Schultz into letting Newkirk go outside, on the pretense that he'll be watching the windows from the outside, while Schultz watches them from the inside. Instead, Newkirk sneaks over to where a crew of soldiers are unloading several large and long boxes into the camp's warehouse. Each is stenciled with the German world HUHNERHABICHT. Having seen what is going on, Newkirk quickly and quietly makes his way back to Barracks 2. He shows up shortly after the all-clear whistle blows. "Everything went off perfect, Schultz," he says. "Not an eyeball at the windows." Schultz is glad, but he has further instructions. One, some "big shot" visitors are coming, and the camp needs to be cleaned for them. Two, and this is a special request for Hogan, "no shenanigans." Hogan will only promise that Klink will get "just what's good for him." Schultz thanks him anyway and leaves. Newkirk then tells Hogan and the other Unsung Heroes what he's seen. Kinch pulls out his German-English dictionary and translates the stenciled German word as "chickenhawk." Hogan frowns. "Sounds like a code name to me," he comments. He asks about the bug in Klink's office but Kinch says it's still unavailable - he hasn't had time to replace the wire yet. He tells him to find a transmitter and tells Carter to go get some wildflowers. "I don't like this chickenhawk buisness," Hogan says to the others. "I have the strange feeling we're the chickens."

It is not long before Hogan joins Klink in the camp office, a vase of flowers in each hand. "Lovely day!" he exclaims, as he puts one vase of flowers on a bookcase and the other on Klink's desk. Klink, meanwhile, is busy with a Luftwaffe technician at his safe, and gives him only a gruff greeting. There is just enough time for Hogan to turn on a small walkie-talkie and slip it into the vase on Klink's desk before he hears the commandant's footfalls behind him. "Flowers?" Klink asks? Hogan explains that they're part of Klink's orders to pretty up the camp. Klink accuses Hogan of trying to find out what's going on, guessing (correctly) that his visit is just a ruse. "You're not going to get one word out of me!" he tells him. To his surprise, Hogan agrees with him. "Shoot straight, and no snitching!" he says. The befuddled Klink follows him to the door, failing to notice the end of a thin aerial sticking up among the flowers on his desk.

Shortly thereafter, General Burkhalter's staff car comes through the main gate. He goes to Klink's inner office, where he finds the camp commandant busy with paperwork. Klink stops at once and greets Burkhalter in his most obsequious manner. Burkhalter reveals that all the unusual activity at Stalag 13 has been on his orders. He asks about the new lock on the safe, and Klink informs him it was just installed. "I don't want to take any chance with these blueprints," he says, referring to the roll of paper in his hands. "The Chickenhawks will be taken to the airfield Thursday afternoon." The entire German General Staff is coming to Stalag 13 to watch the Chickenhawks perform. Klink is, of course, pleased as punch at this chance to butter up generals even higher than Burkhalter. All Burkhalter cares about is the fact that the Allies wouldn't dare bomb a POW camp - which is why the reviewing stand and operations center for the Chickenhawks are being built inside the camp grounds. The Luftwaffe will be testing them in a few days, and Stalag 13 has been chosen to host the test. Their target areas are just a few miles away outside the wire; thus the camp is ideally situated for both - and also, as Burkhalter points out, "If something goes wrong, we won't lose anything important." This last comment wipes the smile from Klink's face.

"So that's what they are," Kinch says, as he looks at the other Unsung Heroes in Hogan's office. "Bombs." They are listening to Klink and Burkhalter on a receiver in the top of Hogan's locker, hidden inside a flourescent lamp. As it turns out, the Chickenhawks are highly accurate radio-controlled glide bombs, developed as part of the German's new generation of advanced weapons. They are designed to home in on anything that transmits on radio frequencies used by the Allies - ground vehicles, ships, stationary transmitters at bases, and so on. They are powerful enough to take out a reinforced command bunker with one hit. Burkhalter is about share with Klink the secrets of the Chickenhawk's nose-mounted guidance system when he starts sneezing. His hay fever is acting up because of the flowers Hogan left on Klink's desk - the same with the walkie-talkie hidden inside. "Get rid of them!" Burkhalter orders, now sneezing almost non-stop. Klink opens the window and throws them outside. The last sound the Unsung Heroes hear is that of crashing porcelain before static fills the speaker. "We gotta grab one and find out what makes it tick," Hogan tells his men. "How are we gonna do that?" Carter asks. "By making a raid on the chicken coop," Hogan says, as he hurries for the door, his men falling in behind him.

The Unsung Heroes show up, with a full assortment of cleaning gear, outside the warehouse door. Schultz is keeping guard, pacing back and forth with his rifle on his shoulder. A sign beside the door reads FELDZEUGMEISTERI (aka Office of Artillery - see bloopers). It is the same where Newkirk saw the Chickenhawks being unloaded earlier. When Schultz orders them away, they remind him that they have orders from Klink to clean the whole camp - and that includes the building Schultz is guarding. They're about to get away with it, too, when Klink and an angry Burkhalter show up. "Dumbkopf!!!" the general yells at the sergeant. "No one is allowed in there!" Klink orders Hogan to take his men back to their barracks, and he complies.

A day or two later, the prisoners are busy finishing work on the reviewing stand for the General Staff. LeBeau suggests they plant a bomb under the stand, so they can kill all the generals in one swoop. Hogan likes the suggestion, but dismisses it anyway. Kinch reminds them that they still don't know how the Chickenhawks work. "Any plans?" Carter asks, to which Hogan grumbles that he hasn't the foggiest - until he seizes on what Carter said. "The plans!" he exclaims. "Burkhalter put them in Klink's safe. Having them would be better than having the bomb." Newkirk volunteers his safecracking skills, but warns that it'll be dodgy since the lock has been changed. Hogan suggests he can find a way to get Klink to show them the new combination. "Under the circumstances," he says, "It's the least he can do for us."

Not long after, Hogan is in Klink's office, asking him to keep his watch safe. "Why?" Klink asks. Hogan claims that there is a thief among his men, stealing valuables from the other prisoners. "Remember, sir, we're men that have nothing," he says. "They're treasures to us." Klink soon falls prey to Hogan's sob story and agrees to keep his watch safe. He starts to put it in his desk drawer, but Hogan insists on a more secure place. He then gives the watch to Klink, claiming he'd rather him have it than it be stolen by the camp thief. Klink is elated - it's an excellent watch - and makes Hogan move while he puts it in his safe, so Hogan can't see the new combination. Just at that moment, however, a certain British chap's head pops up in the window beside Hogan. Newkirk watches with binoculars as Klink works the combination, then ducks back down once he's finished. Mission accomplished. Hogan then talks Klink into going out with him to inspect some recent landscaping done by the prisoners. Even as the two are moving through Klink's outer office Newkirk quickly picks the window lock with his penknife and climbs into the inner office, closing the window behind him. Hogan tries to keeps Klink busy while Newkirk opens the safe, but Klink is expecting a phone call from Burkhalter. He rushes back to his inner office and catches Newkirk in the act of opening the safe. "Well, Colonel Hogan?" Klink asks, as a surprised Newkirk stands and looks at both of them. Hogan deftly works around the situation, claiming that Newkirk must be the thief he was talking about. Newkirk, following Hogan's lead, confesses on the spot. "It should have been my watch," he says, sorrowfully and with some resentment. "My mum promised me a watch." Hogan says he's not surprised - Newkirk's been a POW for so long that the strain must be getting to him, causing a bout of kleptomania. They are so convincing that Klink falls for their story, and soon Hogan is escorting Newkirk out of the office "for punishment." At the door, though, Hogan stops Newkirk and pulls Klink's Iron Cross out of his hand. "Did your mum promise you this, too?" he says, handing it back to Klink.

The Unsung Heroes reconvene inside Hogan's office. "Well, we did all that we could," Kinch says despondently. "You can't win 'em all." Carter then suggests an idea: radio London to send bombers to bomb the warehouse. "One little detail," LeBeau interrupts, patting him on the shoulder to get his attention. "Our barracks! They're right next to the warehouse." Carter remains unfazed. "We could ask them to be extra careful," he says. "That would help," Hogan says, shooting him a dark look. Kinch, watching the window, interrupts them with news. Klink has left his office, carrying the plans. This gives Hogan an idea. He asks LeBeau to make up a roll of paper that looks just like them from the outside, and tells Newkirk to go get his camera. He's planning to switch them in broad daylight right under Klink's nose.

By this time Klink, with Schultz in tow, has made his way to the reviewing stand. There he harrasses the prisoners at work installing chairs and adding decorative bunting. Around the back corner of the stand comes LeBeau, Hogan, and Kinch. LeBeau is spearing trash on the ground with a pole, while Kinch is pushing a large metal can with a lid marked ABFALL (garbage) on a two-wheeler. Hogan stops beside Klink, and while Kinch sets the garbage can down behind him, Hogan requests that Klink sign an authorization to discipline Newkirk for his attempted theft of the watch. "Very well," Klink says, taking the plans out from under his arm and setting them down on the reviewing stand. As Hogan keeps Klink busy with the form, Carter reaches out from under the trash can lid, grabs the plans, puts the roll of paper in their place, and hides inside the can again. It takes just six seconds for the swap, after which Hogan makes a show of bustling his men on with their cleanup work.

Once they are out of Klink's line-of-sight, they make a beeline for Barracks 2. Carter hands off the plans to Newkirk, who quickly photographs (by section) the entire sheet. He then rolls them back up, hands them back to Carter in the trash can, and Hogan and Kinch are off again - back to the reviewing stand. Hogan claims to have changed the punishment they were going to give Newkirk - the original sheet called for Newkirk to be shot, which Klink refused to permit - and asks for his authorization again. "Solitary confinement," Hogan says. "Ahh, good!" Klink says, setting down the plans again and reaching for Hogan's chit. Unfortuantely, a tired Schultz is leaning on Kinch's garbage can, and Carter can't get the lid open to swap the plans. Hogan quickly moves over to Schultz, saying he's got a button loose on his uniform. He rises for Hogan to straighten it, giving Carter a chance to swap the plans back. "Ah, there's the general now!" Klink exclaims, grabbing the plans and heading away towards the front gate. Hogan and Kinch start to move away but Schultz stops them. "Halt!" he orders. A look of worry crosses Kinch's face as he sets the two-wheeler down with its load. Schultz reaches down to the ground, picks up a loose piece of paper, lifts the lid on the can, and throws it right in Carter's face. Fortunately, he is standing so that he can't see inside the can due to the lid he's holding. He sets it back in place, smiling at Hogan, and the two POWs hurry away with their load.

"I'll have the film developed in about ten minutes," Newkirk says, as he soaks it in some developer inside an old coffee can. He then heads for Hogan's locker. "Just don't let any light in here." He climbs inside the locker and shuts the door, while LeBeau hangs Hogan's dress jacket over the ventilation holes in the top of the door. Hogan is starting to give orders to Kinch when a smiling Klink interrupts them. He is so pleased at how good the camp looks that he has decided to rescind Newkirk's punishment of solitary confinement. He asks where Newkirk is. Hogan has no choice but to tell him he's in his locker. Klink walks over to the locker and throws open the door. The light streams in, revealing Newkirk "rinsing out some socks." Elated that he can show kindness on occasion, Klink leaves -- after which, a frustrated Newkirk pulls the ruined spool of film out of the can, tossing it on the table before him.

The German General Staff has arrived. Camera crews are everywhere, filming everything. The Chickenhawk tests are about to begin. "You are sure all radios have been removed from the vehicles?" Burkhalter asks Klink. Klink assures him that they have, for one stray transmission might make the tests go awry. This conversation is not lost Hogan and the Unsung Heroes, watching the proceedings from Barracks 2. "Maybe we've been going at this thing all wrong," he tells them. "It's impossible to get the plans and the secrets to the bomb, so let's just discredit it." He orders them to go to the(ir) supply shack and get an armful of walkie-talkies. As they race away, Hogan resumes his vigil of the proceedings. "They may have the hawk," he muses, "but we're going to give them a whole mess of chickens to shoot at."

Hogan's plan goes off like clockwork. The Unsung Heroes race about, hiding the walkie-talkies as far apart as they can, in places where they will do the most damage to the Germans and the least to the barracks. At the same time, Hogan sneaks under the reviewing stand and cuts the transmitter wires to the guidance controls for the bombs. The test begins, and the General Staff watches expectantly. A Junkers JU-88 flies high above, dropping four of the Chickenhawks. Suddenly, as they drop closer to the camp, the dropped Chickenhawks veer off course and go in all directions. One hits one of the generals' staff cars on the far side of the camp, while another takes out one of the far guard towers. As Hogan and his men watch gleefuly from their barracks, the camp motor pool is hit next, then one of the camera crews on the target range. Klink is in hysterics. "Something has gone wrong!" he yells at one of the generals. "We've got to tell that plane not to drop any more bombs!" He races madly for Burkhalter's staff car and turns on the radio, as the General Staff scrambles for cover. "Luftwaffe X-10! Luftwaffe X-10!" he screams into the mike, almost pleading. "No more bombs! No more!" Just then Burkhalter races up, dodging flying shrapnel from the explosions. "Klink, not the radio!" he yells at him. Shocked, Klink looks down at the mike in his hand - and just then, the roar of another Junkers can be heard high overhead. Burkhalter and Klink run for the reviewing stand, and make it just in the nick of time. There is a deafening explosion behind them. Pieces of metal, rubber, and barbed wire go everywhere. Burkhalter's staff car, which had been parked near the main gate, is now a shattered, smouldering hulk.

Later, after temporary repairs to the camp have been made and the General Staff returned to Berlin, Hogan shows up in Klink's office asking for his watch back. He claims Newkirk is now a reformed man and has returned everything else he supposedly stole. Klink hands him the watch, but doesn't respond with his usual Prussian banter. The events of the past few hours have taken their toll on him. To make matters worse, a phone call comes in from General Burkhalter. The Chickenhawk test has been classified as a complete failure, and the program has been cancelled. He asks about something, and Klink picks up a thick sheaf of papers from his desk. "I have a copy of the damage list right here," Klink responds. It seems Klink forgot a very important item that was damaged at Stalag 13 - Burkhalter's staff car. Klink's face grows pale. "General, that would take a long time on a colonel's pay," he pleads. There is a click at the other end. Klink sets down the phone, his head swimming. "Just what did happen here yestereday?" Hogan asks, as he fiddles with his watch. "Was that an American bomber attack? I didn't know they came this far." Klink begins to mumble, then glares at him. "No, it WASN'T!" he snarls. Hogan thanks him for keeping his watch safe - and then, with a smile, leaves Klink's office.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and twenty-eighth episode of the series, but is the one hundred and twenty-fifth episode shown on television and the seventh episode shown for the Fifth Season.
  • This episode has no guest stars.
  • Klink has the lock on his safe changed per Burkhalter's orders
  • Klink has a middle name ("Don't forget your middle initial," advises Hogan). Some fans believe it might be Putzi (Hello, Zollie), although there is no direct evidence for this.

Background Trivia Edit

  • Huhner habicht is the German term for any small member of the hawk family. Sparrowhawk and goshawk are the most common translations. The alternate translation of chickenhawk is a sly joke by the episode writers, alluding to the spinelessness of the German General Staff in standing up to Hitler.
  • Glide bombs are the direct ancestors of cruise missiles. They were first developed by Germany during World War I, and came into their own during World War II. Historical aside - the sinking of the Italian battleship RM Roma by German glide bombs on 9 September 1943, as she was steaming to Malta to surrender to the Allies, is accounted by some military historians as the most spectacular success of a cruise missile type weapon prior to the attack on the British destroyer HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War.
  • This is one of the few episodes of Hogan's Heroes that does not use a laugh track.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This is the ninth episode of the series in chronological order, per the series timeline. It follows Top Secret Top Coat, and is in turn followed by To Russia Without Love.
  • This episode appears to take place in the fall of 1942. The date is keyed to the centerpoint of the episode - an advanced German glide bomb. Glide bombs were in Germany's arsenal at the start of the war; however, the most advanced glide bombs ever deployed the Germans, the Ruhrstahl Fritz-X and the Henschel Hs293, didn't become operational until 1943.

Quotes Edit

  • Klink - Have you heard the wonderful news, sir?
  • Burkhalter - Have you transferred to the Navy?

  • Hogan - I need you to sign this, sir. It's authorization for us to punish Newkirk.
  • Klink - Very well, very well.

(sets down plans)

  • Hogan - [I] finally decided on an appropriate punishment for him.
  • Klink - Uh-huh, uh-huh. (takes clipboard and pen from Hogan) Wait a minute - it says here you're going to shoot him!
  • Hogan (nonchalant) - Yes, sir - at dawn tomorrow. (points at clipboard) Don't forget your middle initial.
  • Klink (shocked) - You can't shoot your own man! We can shoot him, but you can't!
  • Hogan - Why can you do something we can't do?

(Carter's head pops up out of Kinch's trash can)

  • Klink - But Colonel Hogan!

(As Hogan responds, Carter switches the plans for fakes)

  • Hogan - I mean, if you were in an American prisoner-of-war camp, and another German wanted to shoot you, we'd let him.
  • Klink - But that's different!

(Carter hides in the trash can again)

  • Hogan - But we can buy bullets! We've got enough money in our welfare fund.
  • Klink (exasperated) - No, no, no shooting! You can't do that!
  • Hogan - I knew you'd be too lenient. (takes back clipboard and pen) All right. I'll think of something else. (to his men) All right, fellas! Kinch, c'mon! Let's make this place shine!

(Kinch follows Hogan away, lugging the trash can behind him. Schultz stares after them, amazed by what he has just heard.)

  • Schultz - That's awful! What a terrible officer! He's even worse than our--

(Klink gives him a dirty look, then raises a threatening fist at him.)

Bloopers Edit

  • In the WWII era, the term Feldzeungmeisteri was not used by the Wehrmact. In the Austrian Army, however, prior to the Anchluss, a Feldzeungmeister was the senior ranking general of artillery. Hence our translation, "Office of Artillery." The word is German in origin, dating back to the Napoleonic Era, and is the same in both countries. This may have been meant to imply that the warehouse also doubled as the weapons store for the camp, until such time as a proper ammo dump was built (and which is featured in some episodes). Proper use and translation of German words was always a problem with the series.
  • The front of Barracks 3, on the interior sound stage set, doubles as the camp warehouse in this episode. Judging from the viewing angle of the painted backdrop behind Hogan and Kinch, though, the warehouse should be located in the same spot as Barracks 2. LeBeau confirms this later in the episode, when he says the warehouse is right across from their barracks.
  • Hogan has trouble with the lid on the garbage can after Newkirk returns the plans to Carter inside. He also gets the can stuck in the window shutter for a second or so. Newkirk has to help him pull the shutter past the can before they can continue.
  • The bombs dropped by the Junkers bomber during the Chickenhawk test are regular bombs, not guide bombs. For comparison, the Fritz-X had a very distinctive, missile-like appearance; wherease the Henschel Hs293 bore a passing likeness to a small, inverted V-1 buzz bomb. Also, the bombs are dropped one right after another, not at ten second intervals as was the plan as stated earlier.
  • The footage of General Burkhalter's destroyed staff car is recycled from Tanks for the Memory. You can even see the midget tank sticking out of it (bottom center of screen, look for the Iron Cross).

External links Edit


Previous episode:
The Kommandant Dies at Dawn
Next episode:
The Big Picture

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