Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: How's the Weather?
Original Airdate: January 02, 1970
Production Number: 5784-130
Written by: Harvey Bullock & R.S. Allen
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan throws an anniversary party for Klink so that the POWs can make a weather forecast by using party balloons.

Plot Details Edit

The Heroes and other prisoners are enjoying a game of volleyball during a visit from General Burkhalter. Klink expresses that he is a firm believer of physical exercise due to his "excellent physique", which Burkhalter is quick to mock, causing Hogan and the Heroes to return to the barracks under the guise of doing so to laugh at the joke, which they could not do in front of Klink. However they really returned to hear a message from London: The Allies are planning a bombing raid on a nearby hydroelectric dam and need daily weather reports of wind speed and direction. It is quickly worked out that they could use a rifle scope as a range finder, but the trouble would be finding adequate balloons. Hogan quickly takes a volleyball and declares it to be suitable.

Later, as Burkhalter is leaving to oversee the dam, and the other prisoners are playing the volleyball game, Hogan approaches Klink to ask that he demonstrate a serve, heaping false praise on Klink's physical condition. Klink agrees after some coaxing, and hits the ball so high it flies out of the camp and beyond. Klink marvels at his strength, but as it turns out, the Heroes have pumped the ball with helium and take a reading from a wind gauge and scope to determine the weather information London needs. However another problem has presented itself as the Heroes need another source of balloons. Hogan suggests they use real balloons left over from a recent party for the camp sergeants. 

Newkirk is soon hauled into Klink's office, with the charge of disrespecting Schultz. Klink is incensed and promptly orders Newkirk to wait tables at the sergeants mess in an effort to teach him a lesson, despite Newkirk's protests. Newkirk's part of the operation goes without a hitch as the sergeants are far too busy drinking to notice Newkirk's theft of the balloons, among other things. Schultz runs into Klink on the way out, and the topic turns to Newkirk's insults, which Schultz insists were never made, leaving Klink suspicious.

Later after Newkirk is finished with his duties, he returns to the barracks, balloons in hand, and also gives out some bottles of liquor he stole from the mess. Klink barges in thereafter and insists Hogan is up to something, before finding the balloons. Hogan quickly claims that they are for a party the prisoners are preparing to honour the anniversary of Klink taking command of Stalag 13. Klink's tune quickly changes and delightedly gives the Heroes permission to plan, as well as allowing LeBeau to use the camp kitchen to make a cake. 

The next day, LeBeau releases the second set of ballons, under the guise of being startled by Schultz, which yields another weather reading. However another problem presents itself, the Allies need additional meteorological information: barometer readings, cloud cover and a general forecast. Though the Heroes do not have the means to find the information, Hogan suggests they go to Klink. 

Hogan and Newkirk barge into Klink's office arguing over the conditions of the night's weather, with Newkirk insisting it will be too cold to have the party outside. Klink arrives and soon settles the argument by phoning the German Meteorological Service and unwittingly relaying all the weather information the Heroes need (which Newkirk takes down). As Hogan and Newkirk leave, Klink receives a call from General Burkhalter, who informs him that an unauthorised radio transmission has been detected and orders him to double his security. 

After the Heroes collect the final balloon reading and send the information off to London, they ready for Klink's party. All but Kinch will be attending as he has to stay in the barracks to direct the planes to the dam. Though he'd prefer to use their tunnel radio, he settles for using a small one disguised as a bucket (in case he needs to redirect the planes if they are early, as he wouldn't be able to hear them in the tunnels). Newkirk voices concern that Klink surely suspects something as he likely has noticed the balloons, but Hogan shoots down the opinion, declaring that Klink suspects nothing.

Hogan's assumption turns out to be wrong. Not only has Klink noticed the balloons, but he is also preparing to trap Hogan at the party to uncover whatever the Heroes are up to.

As the party guests are enjoying cake and sing for Klink, the Prussian Kommandant points out that the anniversary for his taking command over Stalag 13 is in fact still four months away. Hogan claims that since their imprisonment has been so enjoyable, it must have slipped their minds. Klink however is not fooled and points out that Kinch is not among them, and orders the men back to the barracks under armed guard to "bring the party to him." On their way to the barracks, Kinch just manages to get the battery from the generator in time before Klink orders his guards to shoot the bucket, correctly assuming it to be a radio. Hogan however manages to talk Klink out of searching it properly by claiming it is in fact a freezer from which the Heroes were trying to make pistachio ice-cream for the party (Klink's favourite). The claim satisfies Klink who leads all but Hogan and Kinch back to the party as they survey the damage. The generator is destroyed but the battery has enough power to send one transmission, Hogan instructs Kinch to signal the bombers to hone in on German radio broadcasts.

Later in the night, the party is in full swing and Klink is quite drunk from the punch and enjoying himself immensely. Hogan however feigns disdain and insists that General Burkhalter should have been invited too, as he gave Klink his command. Klink decides to call Burkhalter, at the dam by phone, but Newkirk intercepts the call and pretends the phone lines are down. It doesn't take long for Klink (after some prompting by Hogan) to broadcast to the dam on the camp radio. Klink heaps praise unto Burkhalter for granting him command of Stalag 13 and makes many heartfelt comments, which make no sense to Burkhalter who merely orders Klink several times to get off the radio. However the damage is done and the Allied bombers have begun their raid. 

The next day, Burkhalter, who survived the attack (but suffered a black eye, injuries to his face and an injured arm) berates Klink for breaking security protocols and guaratees that Klink is "finished." They are soon interrupted by Hogan who protests Klink's use of the radio, but spins the tale to suggest Klink did it to try and draw away the Allied bombers by putting himself up as bait. Seeing the situation in a different light, Burkhalter thanks Klink for his would-be sacrifice and insists he will be commended for it before leaving. Hogan asks Klink how many bombers were shot down, and receives the answer of none. Hogan then cheerfully states that Klink did better than Burkhalter did as he at least managed to shoot a bucket of pistachio ice-cream.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and thirtieth episode of the series, but is the one hundred and thirty-third episode shown on television and the fifteenth episode shown for the Fifth Season.
  • A party game is mentioned: Pin the Tail on the Donkey. This child's game is used at least twice in the series as a plot device.
  • Two bars of Dove soap appears above the episode's closing credits.
  • This is the only episode in which we see most of the other German non-commissioned officers (other than Schultz and Langenscheidt) that are assigned to Stalag 13.
  • Klink's favorite kind of cake is apple crumb.  His favorite flavor of ice cream is pistachio.
  • The song "Lili Marleen" is mentioned.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode takes place in the weeks leading up to May 17, 1943 - the date of Operation Chastise, i.e. the "Dambusters Raid" on the Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe dams in the Ruhr valley. Hogan himself makes mention of this ("London is planning a bombing attack on the hydroelectric dam down the valley ...."). There is reason to believe, though, that the series producers might have intended a 1944 date; see below.
  • Assuming that the Operation Chastise reference is correct, Klink received command of Stalag 13 from Burkhalter in September of 1939. There are four candles on Klink's anniversary cake (1943 - 4 = 1939). Hogan claims that this is Klink's anniversary (May). Klink corrects Hogan, telling him and his men that his anniversary of taking command is still four months away (September). This means that Klink was assigned to Stalag 13 within four weeks, at the most, of the start of the war (September 1, 1939). This contradicts Will the Blue Baron Strike Again?, during which we learn that Klink was involved in both ground and air combat and was personally present in at least one combat action - the Second Battle of Verdun. This can be explained away, albeit with difficulty. Klink's combat actions (insignificant, by his own account) took place either during the invasion of Poland or much earlier, during the Spanish Civil War. Klink was in Berlin when the war broke out, and he was still part of the 410th Bomber Group at the time, so a brief stint in Poland is at least possible. The Spanish Civil War window seems more likely, though, given Klink's own admission that he has made no meaningful contribution to the German war effort against the Allies (To Russia Without Love). He might have also only been passing through Verdun at the time that the Blue Baron's squadron was in action there.
  • There is another contradiction that arises from the apparent date of this episode. According to Klink, he received command of Stalag 13 from Burkhalter himself. Will the Blue Baron Strike Again? makes clear that Burkhalter was a field commander prior to becoming the head of the Luft Stalag Administration.  Again, there is a possible workaround. Burkhalter might have been a junior officer in the Luft Stalag Organization at the time of Klink's reassignment to Stalag 13, left for his various combat assignments, then returned as it leader after his promotion to general in 1942. The two are old friends - if "friends" is the correct word - so a prior relationship on a basis other than that we know is certainly possible.
  • Burkhalter conducts regular inspection visits of the POW camps under his supervision, apparently on a monthly basis.  His visits to Stalag 13 are usually on Saturdays.

Quotes Edit

Bloopers Edit

External links Edit

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At Last - Schultz Knows Something
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Get Fit or Go Fight