|Lieutenant General Albert Burkhalter|
|Rank||General der Infantrie|
|Enlisted In||Wehrmacht, Heer|
|Appearances||Full List of Appearances|
General der Infanterie Albert Burkhalter is a recurring fictional character who is Colonel Klink's Commanding Officer who has appeared in several episodes of the 1960s sitcom, Hogan's Heroes. He was played by Leon Askin.
About General Albert Burkhalter Edit
General der Infanterie Albert Burkhalter was born on February 15, 1888 (speculation) in Würzburg, Germany and is Colonel Klink's superior officer. His position as head of the Luft Stalag Organization made him close to Hitler, even though he is an Army Officer, not a Luftwaffe one. The reasons for his being an Army General is for two reasons: One: at the beginning of the series he is intended to be a Colonel, the aide-de-camp for the Chief of Inspection in Berlin, making him liable to inspect any branch of the armed forces, regardless of his position, but later that was changed because Luftwaffe General uniforms were hard to find in the 1960s. He wears a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (with at least Oak Leaves), as well as an Iron Cross, signifying that he is a valued officer.
Like Klink, he appears to be a career military officer, only more able and competent. He was a Colonel in WWI, meaning he was not promoted for over twenty years, despite his being a very good officer. We do know that he is an experienced combat officer. As a colonel in WWII, he took part in the first offensive against Russia (Operation Barbarossa, 1941) as a unit commander, from the day it began all the way to the end, or close to it. Burkhalter would later use his memories of the nightmarish Russian winter as a useful tool for keeping Klink in line. Burkhalter appears to have been wounded while fighting in Russia (which might explain the scar on his face) and spent some time in a rest camp. After his recovery, Burkhalter received his appointment to the Luft Stalag Organization. He received his promotion to general not long after his first visit to Stalag 13.
Burkhalter has a wife, Berta Burkhalter. It is not known if the couple had children, or, if they did, if any of them were old enough to be in the German military. He had a sister, Gertrude, whom he is constantly trying to marry off. His disdain for Klink did not extend to ruling him out as a suitor for marrying Gertrude, but all of his senior officers have had the option. He also has two nieces, Lottie and Frieda as well as a brother-in-law, Captain Joachim-Fritz Kurtz.
Burkhalter was not as dumb as Klink, but he was not as smart as Hogan, and could often be manipulated in similar ways. General Burkalter is efficient, but he has some of the same weaknesses as Klink, such as, being afraid of being sent back to the Russian Front, and being flattered, unless the flattering is completely ridiculous. He also had eyes for pretty women, despite being married. On one occasion, the Heroes were able to blackmail Burkhalter through potentially compromising photographs in order to save Klink from transfer. On another occasion, Burkhalter came close to transferring Klink and Schultz to the Russian front; however, in the process of transferring them, the two (with help from Hogan} proved to be such masters of chaos that Burkhalter cancels the transfers-realizing that if he sent them to the Russian front-he'd be shot for treason!
While his contempt for Klink was well known, Burkhalter would also clash with the Gestapo officer Major Hochstetter from time to time, however the general respected and had more confidence in Hochstetter, in comparison to the, cowardly, incompetent Col. Klink. However, Burkhalter would save special scorn for Klink, whose mere presence would give him headaches. This scorn would often include ridicule, sometimes even in the presence of junior officers.
- It's weird that Burkhalter is in command of all Luft Stalags since these belong to the Luftwaffe while Burkhalter is an Army (Heer) General.
- Burkhalter's facial scars may be saber fencing scars, which were fashionable among members of the German General Staff in the 19th and 20th centuries. These fenching scars were usually (as they still are today) marks of honor in German "Burschenschaften," similar to fraternities in the USA and Canada.
- As he is often addressed and ridiculed by referring to Austrian "Sacher"-cake, a speciality from Vienna, this indicates that he might be from Vienna or had at least studied there. That the University of Vienna also has a strong tradition of "Burschenschaften," supports the fact mentioned above.