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Hogan's Heroes

D-Day at Stalag 13

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Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: D-Day at Stalag 13
Original Airdate: September 23, 1967
Production Number: 5784-67
Written by: Richard M. Powell
Directed by: Gene Reynolds
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan devises a hoax to get a visiting officer to think Klink has been promoted to replace him as Chief of Staff. This is the heroes' contribution to the pending invasion of Normandy.

Plot Details Edit

It is night time in London, and Hogan, who has been flown from Stalag 13, is brought into the office of a high ranking general for a briefing. The general shows Hogan a map and informs him that D-Day is soon approaching, before ordering Hogan to forget he saw it and then getting to the reason Hogan has been brought to London. The German General Staff, knowing that the Allies are planning, are assembling for a strategy meeting, and since every location they have tried to use has been bombed, they are planning to host the meeting in a place the Allies won't bomb: Stalag 13. The general brings Hogan to the heart of the problem, incapacitating the General Staff by any means necessary. Hogan confesses that such a task would be challenging, but agrees to do it. The general informs Hogan that they have a possible ally for the operation. Lilli von Scheider, wife of General von Scheider, German Chief of Staff. She had been planted as an agent by the Allies prior to her marriage to von Scheider, but the Allies cut contact with her for her own safety. The general suggests Hogan use her help if it can be given, but not to trust her completely before wishing him luck. Hogan leaves to return to Stalag 13 thereafter.

The next morning at Stalag 13, Schultz arrives in the barracks to announce all prisoners are confined to barracks, and any who leave will be shot, before noticing that Hogan is not among them. A knock is heard and Kinch diverts Schultz long enough for Hogan to enter the barracks via the tunnel. Schultz rounds on Hogan and tries to relay the confinement orders, but upon seeing the tunnel entrance close, declares that "I see nothing." before leaving. Hogan gets straight to business and explains to the Heroes that the General Staff is due in less than an hour, and after rejecting Carter's offer to construct his "greatest bomb," Hogan asks who does the best Hitler impersonation, strictly over the phone. It is agreed that Kinch is the man for the job, much to Carter's dismay. Hogan starts to explain that the reason for their mission is so important the he can't reveal its purpose. Carter however, immediately guesses that D-Day is about to occur, to Hogan's chagrin.

A short while later, Klink is busy cleaning his office and after receiving a knock on his office door, opens it with a welcoming manner, which quickly turns to annoyance as it turns out to be Hogan. Klink immediately tries to have Hogan escorted back to his barracks, but receives a phone call from a "General Borneman," from Berchtesgaden, actually Newkirk in the tunnel. "Borneman" informs Klink that he is about to hear a recording from Adolf Hitler, which is being played for all colonels in the German Army. Newkirk hands the phone over to Kinch, who in the guise of Hitler, declares that the war is being lost purely due to his generals not following his orders. "Hitler" then declares his intention to find "the most incompetent colonel in the German army, but one who can follow orders," and that the selected colonel will be installed as the new Chief of Staff. Klink initially is elated as both he, Hogan and Schultz are all aware that he fits the requirements perfectly, but then reassumes his cold demeanour and insists that he could not meet the requirements due to his "outstanding" record. The Prussian colonel soon remembers the General Staff is due and wonders what he will say to General von Schieder. Hogan suggests telling him that twenty prisoners have escaped, or to take the guards off one of the towers to increase his chances, suggestions Klink initially considers before angrily dismissing Hogan from his office. 

Some time later, Klink shows General von Scheider and his wife to Klink's quarters. After making a show of trying to impress the two, Klink and General von Scheider leave for the meeting, the latter after receiving a cold goodbye from his wife. As the two leave, Hogan enters via the tunnel to Klink's quarters and almost immediately reveals to Lilli von Scheider that he is aware she was an Allied agent. Lilli is dismayed at that due to her distaste of the Allies cutting her off as a contact, and informs Hogan that he is her first Allied contact she has seen in three years. Hogan insists that the task at hand is what needs to be focused on and reveals his plan to her, before asking for her assistance. Lilli initially muses that the scheme has no chance of realisation but agrees to help "for laughs."

Later in the barracks, Hogan reviews Carter's disguise as "Gestapo Major Lindenfelder" and has Carter stay in the barracks to test it on Schultz, musing that if they can't fool him, they can't fool anyone. Schultz arrives soon after, and reveals that a Gestapo officer is due to arrive to investigate Klink for the office of Chief of Staff, before noticing the "major" among them. Carter launches into a tirade of how Schultz revealing important military information confirms that Stalag 13 is the worst run P.O.W camp in Germany, thus greatly increasing Klink's chance for promotion, before leaving.

Meanwhile, General von Scheider is informed by Lilli that Klink's chances for promotion are very high. Von Scheider attempts to continue with the meeting, but the other members of the General Staff band together in support of Von Scheider and insist that they will defy Hitler's orders in his favour. Klink, who was listening outside the office door is interruped by "Major Lindenfelder" who declares that Klink has received bottom marks in everything he has checked for before intruding upon the General Staff meeting. Von Scheider is outraged by the intrusion and orders Carter to leave. Carter balks at the order and insists that he doesn't take orders from has-beens before declaring that Klink will be installed as Chief of Staff. Von Scheider calls upon the rest of the staff for support, but "Lindenfelder" bringing up the ramifications of such defiance is enough to cast doubt on the staff's true loyalties. "Lindenfelder" then informs Klink that he will receive a phone call in a matter of hours and addresses him as "General Klink" before leaving, much to Klink's delight.

Later in the tunnels, Newkirk and Carter are diverting all calls from Stalag 13, including one from Erwin Rommel. Kinch informs Hogan that all German radio installations between Le Havre and Dunkirk are being jammed in preparation for the Allied invasion. LeBeau appears with Lilli von Scheider, who used the tunnel in Klink's quarters, and she insists that their plan will fail since General von Scheider has managed to rally the support of the rest of the staff. Hogan simply asks her to let him worry about it, and tells her that she has been ordered to return to England. Lilli is saddened by the fact that she is to simply pick up and leave, despite not wanting to remain in Germany, and asks Hogan to respect her feelings. She is soon sent back to Klink's quarters, with Hogan's assurances that their plan will work.

Kinch, again in the role of Hitler, phones Klink and declares him to be his new Chief of Staff before ordering him to put Von Scheider on the phone. "Hitler" reminds Von Scheider of his predecessor, who was "allowed" to shoot himself, and assigns Von Scheider to suceed Klink as Kommandant of Stalag 13. Von Scheider is understandably dismayed, and half-heartedly thanks "Hitler".

Kinch informs the rest of the Heroes that the Allied invasion has begun in earnest, and Hogan orders that all calls now be sent to Klink's quarters. Klink, celebrating in his quarters with the rest of the General Staff, receives a call from General von Roenstadt who informs him of the Allied landings. The inept Klink hangs up and turns to the Staff for help, but they cannot agree on a plan, so Klink turns to General von Scheider. Von Schieder however has become quite unhinged since his "demotion" and is searching for his wife. Klink receives another call from Erwin Rommel's headquarters and the hapless Klink turns once again to Von Scheider for help. After a suggestion of bringing Panzer reinforcements is brought forward, Von Scheider informs Klink that permission to move them could only be given by Hitler. Klink calls Hitler's headquarters in Berchtesgaden and speaks with the real General Borneman who, upon hearing Klink's introduction as Chief of Staff, merely asks for the spelling of his name twice and assumes he is drunk. Klink soon learns that Hitler is asleep and cannot be disturbed before the connection is cut off. The rest of the staff insist that something must be done, and Klink weakly suggests they drink more champagne. 

Later in the tunnels, Kinch lets London know of the successful completion of the Heroes mission and Hogan has LeBeau escort Lilli von Scheider to the rendevous point for her extraction to England. Lilli congratulates Hogan for the mission and Hogan asks if she has any farewell messages for anyone. The much happier Lilli declines his offer as she is leaving no one behind. Carter asks what she meant by it, and Hogan jokingly promises to tell him "when you're older." 

Story Notes Edit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode takes place in the week leading up to the Allied invasion of Europe, at Normandy in France on June 6, 1944. The German officers meeting at Stalag 13 state that the Allied invasion will take place "within the next few days." The episode ends with stock footage of the actual landings.
  • For most fans of the series, this will be the first episode that they notice does not appear to be in chronological order. The episode deals with Allied efforts to convince the German General Staff (OKW) that their planned invasion of Europe was going to happen at Calais and not Normandy. This "D-Day episode" happens at the beginning of the third year (season) of the series, when in real life it happened about a year before the end of the war!
  • The Allies went to great efforts to support the Calais landing ruse. The reason for this was that Calais represented the shortest trip by sea from England to France, thus making it the most logical spot for a landing. Among these efforts was spreading false intelligence among Allied pilots that the planned invasion would happen at Calais. That way, if they were shot down and captured by the Germans, they would (unknowningly) perpetrate the ruse during interrogation. Having our heroes help in maintaining the Calais fiction was a comical way of injecting actual history into the series itself.
  • Another case of history-as-sitcom-comedy is Klink being temporarily appointed as OKW Chief of Staff, and his being unable to do anything as Hitler sleeps and the Allies land at Normandy. Klink fills the role that was played by Field Marshall von Rundstedt, commander of all German forces in Normandy, in the actual event. Hitler had given orders to his generals that all panzer divisions on the French coast could not be sent into combat without his direct order. He was asleep (as per the episode) when the Allies began their landing, and Rundstedt tried repeatedly and in vain to get through to Hitler so he would release the panzers to local command. Had Rundstedt succeeded, the invasion might have been repelled -- as was the case with the Dieppe raid of 1942.
  • The future Lilli von Scheider, in truth a British intelligence agent, was inserted into Germany as a wealthy socialite sometime in the 1930s. She married General von Scheider in 1941. Upon her marriage British Intelligence cut all ties for her own safety, leaving her virtually stranded deep in enemy territory.

Quotes Edit

Bloopers Edit

External links Edit


Previous episode:
Some of Their Planes Are Missing
Next episode:
Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari

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