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Praise the Führer and Pass the Ammunition

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Ammunition
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Praise the Führer and Pass the Ammunition
Original Airdate: January 20, 1967
Production Number: 5784-51
Written by: Jack Elinson
Directed by: Bob Sweeney
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

In celebration of Klink's birthday, the guys switch real ammunition for the fake stuff that is bound for some German war games.

Plot Details Edit

A special detatchment from a regiment of the SS Liebstandarte, aka the Adolf Hitler Division (see armbands on uniforms) shows up at camp headed by its commander, SS Colonel Deutsch. They are in the area for war games exercises, and this is a courtesy visit. The SS colonel amuses himself by taking a German "potato stick" grenade from one of his escorts, pulling its fuse cord, then throwing it at the prisoners. Everyone dives for cover except Hogan. He calmly walks up to the grenade, picks it up, and offers it back to the SS colonel. It is a dummy, uses for regimental training excercises. Hogan and Deutsch spar verbally, during which both express their disgust for each other, then Deutsch turns and leaves - letting Hogan keep the dummy grenade.

On inside Barracks 2, the men praise Hogan's bravado. Hogan advises them to pipe down, telling them to "give credit where credit is due. It was a brilliant practical joke ... but we're going to have the last laugh." He sees the event as a challenge, and plans to sabotage the SS Liebstandarte's war games exercises by mixing in live ammuniton and grenades with their blanks and dummy props. The real stuff is to come from Stalag 13's own camp arsenal. Kinch points out that their biggest obstacle will be Klink, as tightens security and doubles the guard whenever important people - like the SS Liebstandarte - are visiting camp. Fortunately for the Unsung Heroes, Schultz shows up to cut a black market deal. He wants to buy a proper gift for Klink's birthday - which is today, and which Schultz appears to have forgotten. After haggling with Newkirk, he eventually settles on a pair of horsehead bookends and leaves. As the door shuts behind Schultz, Hogan's face lights up. He didn't know it was Klink's birthday ... but the event might prove to be just the diversion he needs for their plan to succeed.

Shortly thereafter, Hogan drops in on Klink and offers to throw him a birthday party - complete with a cake and a stage show, all done by the prisoners. Klink initially resists the idea, but Hogan eventually cons him into going along with it. Klink is duped into believing that since all of the prisoners will be at the show for Klink - either performing, supporting, or watching - then they can't pull any funny business - such as trying to escape. By the end of the conversation he is enthusiastic about the idea - and he even plans to ask Hilda to invite Deutsch and his staff to attend. Hogan has succeeded - he has his diversion.

Another wrinkle crops up later that day, as the Unsung Heroes are in the midst of planning their diversion. Kinch notes that Sergent Richter is in charge of guard duty at the camp armory today. "Old Ironsides," Newkirk groans, rolling his eyes. Hogan waves it off. "We'll have to make sure there's a change in the guard schedule," he says ... and the obvious candidate is Schultz. They quickly frame Richter for sleeping on duty - thus apparently allowing Newkirk to steal a coatful of rifle bullets from the arsenal. Klink quickly changes the duty roster and puts Richter on report. Another obstacle overcome.

That evening, the camp rec hall is packed with an enthusiastic crowd of prisoners. An excited Klink shows up, as do Deutsch (escorting Helga) and two of Deutsch's aides. Their seats are on the right front row. There's lots of singing and dancing, but Deutsch remains bored and is about to excuse himself until Newkirk uses Klink's cap for a failed magic trick. Klink's cap is ruined when Newkirk breaks eggs inside it and fails to make them disappear. At that, the normally icy Deutsch bursts out laughing - amused by Klink's humiliation - and decides to stay for the rest of the two-hour show.

In the meantime, Hogan and four members of the Barracks 3 gang disguised as German soldiers borrow a truck from the camp motor pool and sneak over to the armory. While Hogan keeps Schultz distracted with a large piece of Klink's birthday cake, the others quickly load up the truck with as much real ammunition and grenades as they can carry. As soon as they're done, Hogan leaves Schultz to his cake and joins them, quickly putting on a German officer's cap and overcoat. Using the proper passes, they leave the camp in the truck and race for the SS Liebstandarte's nearby accommodations - where Hogan manages to bluff his way past the SS guard detail and add his live ammunition to their dummy rounds. By the time they get back to camp and Hogan returns to the show, he's just in time to see Klink again get duped by Newkirk with trick candles on his birthday cake.

The next day, it's business as usual at Stalag 13. Hogan is in Klink's office, being thanked for the birthday show, when a phone call comes through. A shocked Klink almost drops the receiver. There has been a major accident during the SS Liebstandarte's war games exercises, and there are a large number of casualties. Klink immediately promises to render what aid he can, then contacts the nearby hospital in Hammelburg to arrange prompt assistance. "A terrible tragedy just happened at the war games," he tells Hogan. "Some live ammunition got mixed up with blanks. Oh, it must have been horrible!" As for SS Colonel Deutsch, his was an ironic death. Both he and his entire staff were killed by a live grenade thrown into their command post. The SS Liebstandarte, "one of our crack field units" as Klink says, has been put out of commission for months. Klink admits he would have suspected Hogan had it not been for the birthday show. Hogan blandly assures him he would never try to pull anything on Klink - especially on his birthday.

In an odd little coda to the story, Schultz shows up again at Barracks 2 to buy another black market gift - this time for his brother-in-law, who is an avid beer drinker. Hogan has Newkirk break out "that new beer stein we just got in,"
and it's a beautiful piece of work. Schults is about to buy it when he notices a pair of initials engraved in its lid - "A.H." A look of dread washes over Schultz's face and he drops the stein, which LeBeau is quick to catch. "A.H. ... does that mean ... Adolf ... Hi-hi-hi-hi-?!" he stammers, unable to say the last name. "Yeah," Hogan assures him, "it's from his private collection." Schultz quickly decides to send his brother money instead and bolts for the barracks door, exclaiming, "Let him buy whatever he wants!"

Story Notes Edit

  • This is both the fifty-first episode to be produced in the series, and to be shown on television and is the nineteenth episode for the second season.
  • The story's title is based on title of the wartime song, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.
  • Larry Hovis does not appear in this episode.
  • This is the second episode to feature members of the Adolf Hitler Division (SS Liebstandarte).
  • Sergeant Richter, the guard assigned to the arsenal, is known as "Old Ironsides."
  • It is hard to see due to blurring of the background, but there appears to be a map of Denmark hanging on one of the walls of Klink's office. (about 10:20) This is the wall that is normally "missing" in most shots (from where the cameras would be shooting the scene). Why it's there is anyone's guess.
  • This is the only episode in which actor Ivan Dixon (Kinch) sings. He also sings back-up vocals for LeBeau's performance of "Alouette" - and in French, too.
  • The signs on the SS ammo dump read WARNUNG: HOCH SPRENGGEFAHR (Warning: Dangerous Explosives and HALT! ENTRITT VERBOTEN (Halt! Entry Forbidden)
  • The "SS ammo dump" is in fact a large WWII U.S. Army portable barracks tent with a number of boxes - appropriately stenciled in German - stacked around and just inside a side entrance. Most likely it was temporarily set up on an open part of the outdoor lot where the series was produced. Filming this scene at night helps to hide this from the average viewer.
  • Stalag 13 has no medical facilities of its own, save the limited ones among the prisoners (Bad Day in Berlin). That's why Klink has to call Hammelburg for help when he's informed of the casualties at the SS war games.

Background Trivia Edit

  • Hogan uses one of Rod Serling's famed opening lines from the Twilight Zone TV series in describing what he and his men are going to do to the SS war games exercises: "Picture if you will ..."
  • Hogan uses the expression "the real McCoy" in describing a real German hand grenade.
  • LeBeau mentions the children's game ring-around-the-rosie.
  • A historical ship is referenced: "Old Ironsides," aka the sailing frigate U.S.S. Constitution.
  • Hilda most often wears the perfumes "Starlight Mist," "Fragrance of Paradise," and "Evening Passion" while at work at Stalag 13.
  • Newkirk (Richard Dawson) impersonates three major male Hollywood actors - Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Humphrey Bogart - "in a scene from any of their films" of the era. Newkirk appears to be ad-libbing scens from both The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Cascablanca (1942), which at that time were the only two movies all three had done together (they were reunited for Passage to Marseille in 1944). Newkirk goofs in his impersonation, though, when "Sidney" addresses "Peter" by the name Wilmer. Lorre played the part of Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon, while Wilmer Cook was played by Elisha Cook, Jr.
  • This episode gives a bit of insight into POW camp wheeling and dealing, German guard-prisoner relations, and wartime black market operations within Germany.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

Quotes Edit

Klink is welcoming the newly arrived Deutsch and his aides

  • Klink - [T]his is a personal honor for me! I've heard so much about you
  • Deutsch (disgusted) - I can't say the same about you.
  • Hogan (aside) - Oh, look. They've come to capture us again. Very thorough, these Germans.
  • Deutsch- so these are the pigs in your pig pen ?
  • Klink- I guess, if you want to call them that.
  • Deutsch"...I dont have a problem with prisoners...I dont take any."
  • Klink- you don't ? Colonel ! What are you ..!
  • (Deutsch takes a grenade and tosses it at prisoners )

Hogan is handing the dummy grenade back to Deutsch ...

  • Deutsch- my complements colonel. Tell me, how did you know it was a blank?
  • Hogan - If it were a live grenade, you would have been the first to run.

(Deutsch's smile quickly turns to a frown)

  • Hogan (continuing) - You see, you and I both know that you're not a member of a super race.
  • Deutsch (coldly) - After our war games, I shall teach you respect for the SS.
  • Hogan (evenly) - I doubt it.

(Deutsch turns and leaves in a huff. Klink is pinned under Schultz, who jumped on top of him as soon as the grenade was thrown.)

  • Klink (muffled, wildly) - Get him!! GET HIM OFF ME!!!!!

Kinch, on Hogan

  • Kinch - You're a genius! A diabolical genius!
  • Hogan - At school, I was voted most likely to be a troublemaker.

Hogan, on Kinch

  • Hogan - You know, Kinch, that's what I hate about you. Every time I start rolling [with an idea], you make sense [i.e., point out the limiting factors].

Newkirk is showing Schultz a collection of black market goodies (in an old army footlocker) from which he can choose something to buy.

  • Newkirk - A cigarette lighter. See the inscription? "From H.G. to J.G."
  • Schultz (impressed) - "To H.G. from J.G." What does it mean?
  • Newkirk - To Herman Goring from Joseph Gobbels.
  • Schultz (unbelieving) - How did you get it?
  • Newkirk (deadpan) - Well, it was a mad weekend in Berteschgarden, while I was--
  • Schults (cuts him off) - NNNOOOOOO ... thank you! I am not interested in a lighter!

Schultz, on the German military

  • Schultz - We are a very neat army.

Klink interrogates Hogan on the rifle bullets Newkirk has found.

  • Klink - We have ways to make you talk!
  • Hogan - Sir, you've been seeing too many war movies.

Newkirk's opening joke from his birthday show routine

  • Newkirk - You're probably wondering what we're doing here in the middle of Germany. Well, I'll tell you. We've been captured. (crowd laughs)

Deutsch, on Klink (when he can not blow out his birthday candles)

  • Deutsch - You are a disgrace to the physical fitness of the German army!

Bloopers Edit

  • Normally with a "potato stick" type grenade, one arms it by twisting its head instead of pulling a fuse cord.
  • There's a hilarious bit in the series blooper reel from this episode, where Hogan (Bob Crane) keeps stuffing cake into Schultz's (John Banner) mouth again and again.
  • In real life, the Adolf Hitler Division was sent to the Russian Front in January 1943, several months prior to the timeframe of this episode. They were involved in a war games exercise as described; however, that actually took place near the end of 1942, shortly before their departure.
  • Not a true blooper, but worthy of note. Schultz pays for his purchase in American money. Most buying and selling in WWII prison camps worked on the barter system - but in the rare cases where money was available and used, then the type of currency honored among the prisoners depended on the individual camp and situation. It is quite conceivable that Schultz was paying in American dollars because that had been established as the predominant form of "camp currency" in Stalag 13 - which was an exceptional POW camp, rather than the norm. This helps to explain similar "camp currency bloopers" in other episodes. Most of Stalag 13's inmates were American, so it makes a kind of sense - even if it is stretching historical accuracy. In real life, the predominant form of "camp currency" in almost all POW camps was the lowly cigarette - since most of the inmates smoked and cigarettes were hard to come by.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery
Next episode:
Hogan and the Lady Doctor

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