Hogan's Heroes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Sergeant Schulz)
Jump to: navigation, search
Hogan's Heroes
Hogan's Heroes Title Card.png
Format Military comedy
Created by Bernard Fein
Albert S. Ruddy
Starring Bob Crane
Werner Klemperer
John Banner
Robert Clary
Richard Dawson
Larry Hovis
Ivan Dixon
Kenneth Washington
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 168 (Pilot episode-B/W; 167-color) (List of episodes)
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Alfran Productions
Bob Crane Enterprises (1970–1971)
Bing Crosby Productions
CBS Productions
Distributor CBS Films (before 1971)
Viacom Enterprises (1971–95)
Paramount Domestic Television (1995–2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–07)
CBS Television Distribution (2007-present)
Original channel CBS
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
16:9 HDTV
Original run September 17, 1965 (1965-09-17) – March 28, 1971 (1971-03-28)

Hogan's Heroes is an American television sitcom set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II, that ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to July 4, 1971, on the CBS network. Bob Crane starred as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, coordinating an international crew of Allied prisoners running a Special Operations group from the camp. Werner Klemperer played Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the incompetent commandant of the camp, and John Banner was the inept sergeant-of-the-guard, Hans Schultz.

The series was popular during its six-season run. In a way, it was a mixing of the prisoner of war (POW) movies like The Great Escape and The Password is Courage (with POWs, escapes, tunnels, German guards) and the James Bond phenomenon (with spies, espionage, sabotage, beautiful women) that was so very popular in the 1960s.

In 2013, creators Bernard Fein, through his estate, and Albert S. Ruddy acquired the sequel and other separate rights to Hogan's Heroes from Mark Cuban via arbitration, and a movie based on the show has been planned.[1] Currently, reruns of the series can be watched on American television through the Me-TV network.



The setting is a fictional version of Luftwaffe Stalag 13 (Camp 13 in early episodes), a prisoner-of-war camp for captured Allied airmen located north of the town of Hammelburg in the Bad Kissingen woods. It was on the Hammelburg Road (now known as E45), on the way to Hofburgstraße and eventually Düsseldorf. One episode places the camp 106 kilometres (66 mi) from Heidelberg in flying miles; it is 199 km (124 mi) by car. The camp has 103 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) during the first season, but becomes larger by the end of the series.

Stalag 13 bore no resemblance to its real-life counterparts, Oflag XIII-B and Stalag XIII-C, which were prison camps for Allied ground troops near the town of Hammelburg in Bavaria, Germany. It bore more similarities to the real-life Stalag Luft III (near what is now Żagań, Poland), which was the scene of a famous mass POW escape involving an elaborate tunnel system. Also, the Luftwaffe was in charge of all Allied airmen POWs and held them in its own Luft Stalags (hence the Stalag Luft designation).


Hogan tries to influence visiting Italian Major Bonacelli (Hans Conried) into helping him.

The farcical premise of the show is that the prisoners of war (POWs) are actually using the camp as a base of operations for Allied espionage and sabotage against Nazi Germany as well as to help Allied POWs from other camps and defectors to escape Germany (including supplying them with civilian clothes and false identification). The prisoners work in cooperation with an assortment of resistance groups (collectively called "the Underground"), defectors, spies, counterspies, disloyal officers, and others. The mastermind behind the whole operation is the senior ranking prisoner American Colonel Robert Hogan. His staff of experts in covert operations is comprised of two Americans, one Brit, and one Frenchman. They are able to accomplish some of the wackiest and farfetched schemes such as having a prisoner visit the camp as a phony Adolf Hitler[2] or rescuing a French Underground agent from Gestapo headquarters in Paris.[3][4]

Colonel Hogan and his band are aided by the incompetence of the camp commandant, Colonel Klink, and the Sergeant of the Guard Schultz who wants to avoid trouble more than anything. Hogan routinely manipulates Klink and gets Schultz to look the other way while his men conduct these covert operations. Klink and Schultz are constantly at risk of being transferred to the cold and bloody Russian Front, and Hogan helps to keep the duo in place if for no other reason for fear of their being replaced by more competent soldiers. In general, Germans in uniform and authority are portrayed as inept, dimwitted, and/or easily manipulated. Many of the German civilians are portrayed as at least indifferent towards the German war effort or even willing to help the Allies.

More Information[edit]

Klink has a perfect record of no escapes as camp commandant (not including two guards who may have deserted). Hogan actually assists in maintaining this record and ensures any prisoners who need to be spirited away are transferred to another authority before their escape takes place, or replacements are provided to maintain the illusion that no one has ever escaped from Stalag 13. Because of this record, and the fact that the Allies would never bomb a prison camp, the Germans use the stalag for high level secret meetings or to hide important persons or projects the Germans want to protect from bombing raids. Klink also has many other important visitors and is temporarily put in charge of special prisoners. This brings the prisoners in contact with many important VIPs, scientists, high-ranking officers, spies, and some of Germany's most sophisticated and secretive weapons projects (Wunderwaffe), which the prisoners take advantage of in their effort to stop the German war machine.

The main five Allied prisoners (Hogan and his staff) bunk in "Barracke 2" (a goof here was that whenever the door was open, another building labeled "Barracke 3" could be seen, even though the barracks were supposed to be directly in front of the Kommandantur, which was, unlike actual prison camps, situated inside the prisoner's compound (kommandantur = headquarters, barracke = barracks). The prisoners are able leave and return almost at will via a secret network of tunnels and have tunnels to nearly every barracks and building in the camp, so much so that Hogan, in a third-season episode ("Everybody Loves a Snowman"), has difficulty finding a spot in the camp without a tunnel under it.[5] The stove in Klink's private quarters, a tree stump right outside the camp (known as the emergency tunnel), and a doghouse in the guard dog compound serve as trapdoors. A bunk in their barracks serves as an elaborate trapdoor and the main entrance to the tunnels. The tunnels include access to the camp's Cooler, a name used by Allied prisoners for solitary confinement, where prisoners are routinely sent for punishment and to hold special prisoners temporarily entrusted to Klink. Just inside the "emergency tunnel" is a submarine-style periscope, which the prisoners use to check conditions outside the tree stump trapdoor. There is also a periscope in their barracks with one end hidden in a water barrel outside the barracks and the other disguised as a the sink faucet inside the barracks that allows them to see events in the compound.

The prisoners' infiltration of the camp is so extensive it includes control of the camp telephone switchboard, allowing them to listen in on all conversations and to make phony phone calls. They have radio contact with Allied command, based in London and, code named "Mama Bear" in some episodes and "Papa Bear" in others. Hogan's code name is "Goldilocks" sometimes, and Papa Bear other times, although in later seasons Stalag 13 utilized different code names. Their radio antenna is hidden in the camp flagpole on top of Klink's headquarters, and the prisoners are able to make phony radio broadcasts including some by a prisoner impersonating Adolf Hitler. A real microphone, hidden in Klink's office in the picture of Hitler making a speech exactly where the microphone is in the picture, allows the prisoners to hear what is being said in the office (the speaker is disguised as the coffee pot in their barracks). The guard dogs are friendly to the prisoners, thanks to the town veterinarian Oscar Schnitzer (played by Walter Janowitz), who supports the prisoners. He routinely replaces the dogs on the premise that they could become too friendly with the prisoners, but he also uses his truck to smuggle people and items in and out of the camp, where the German guards are too afraid of the dogs to open the truck. Prisoners work in the camp's motor pool and "borrow" vehicles, including Klink's staff car, as needed to carry out their schemes. Sections of the barbed wire fence are in a frame which the prisoners can easily lift when they need to get out of the camp. On special occasions Allied airplanes land near the camp, or they make airdrops when the need arises. Allied submarines pick up escapees and defectors Hogan and his men are helping flee Germany.



Colonel Hogan[edit]

Colonel Hogan

United States Army Air Forces Colonel Robert E. Hogan (Bob Crane), senior ranking POW officer, is the leader of the group. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but considers Cleveland, Ohio, his home, though it is mentioned in "Hogan Gives a Birthday Party" that he is from Indianapolis.[6] He commanded the 504th Bomb Group, which (after Hogan was shot down) was transferred back to the States to work with the Manhattan Project. He was shot down while on a raid on Hamburg in an operation masterminded by Luftwaffe Colonel Biedenbender (James Gregory), who studied Hogan's tactics in order to defeat him and was promoted to general for doing so (though Hogan gets even by framing Biedenbender for bombing a German refinery, thereby ruining Biedenbender's military career).[6] In contrast to Colonel Klink, Hogan graduated third in his military class.

As General Biedenbender stated, Hogan has a flair for the overcomplex,[6] and he seems to thrive on difficult if not impossible missions, which is often shown in the series. Many of the covert operations shown are highly complex, but due to Hogan's care in planning and the skill of his staff, they are usually successful (at least in the end). A U.S. Navy submarine commander in a first-season episode states: "You know, Hogan, if you weren't one of their prisoners, I think you'd be one of ours", due to his less-than-conventional methods of accomplishing his goals. After Hogan tricks Leslie Smythe-Beddoes (Ruta Lee) into letting him make a scandalous broadcast over German radio, Der Führer (Adolf Hitler), who was listening to the broadcast, telephones her boss Colonel Sitzer (Alan Oppenheimer) and tells him: "If this man [Hogan] ever tries to escape, let him".[7] And to say the least, he is a master of manipulation and routinely plays Klink and Schultz like a violin. However, once in a while Klink shows he isn't entirely dimwitted and at least initially gets the better of Hogan.

Ever the ladies' man, Hogan has a kissing relationship with Klink's secretaries (Hilda and Helga) and is romantic with most of the civilian women with whom he comes in contact throughout the series. When impersonating German officers, Hogan will often refer to himself as "Hoganmüller", "Hoganmeister", "Hoganheimer", "Hoganburg", or similar names, always using his surname for part of the German name.

The series creator Bernard Fein named Hogan's character after his friend, the American soap opera and character actor Robert J. Hogan, who appeared in two episodes of Hogan's Heroes.[8][9]

Staff Sergeant Kinchloe[edit]

United States Army Air Forces Staff Sergeant James (a.k.a. Ivan) "Kinch" Kinchloe (Ivan Dixon) is primarily responsible for radio, telephone, and other forms of electronic communications. Although outranked by TSgt. Carter, Kinch acts as second in command in Hogan's crew. This was a large step for a 1960s television show to have an African-American actor identified in such a manner. In the fifth episode of the first season,[10] when it appeared Colonel Crittendon (Bernard Fox) would be the new senior Prisoner of War officer, Hogan introduces his men and cites Kinchloe as Chief of Operations. A talented mimic, Kinchloe easily imitates German officers speaking over the radio or telephone. When Hogan needs a strictly audio impression of Adolf Hitler, the men generally agree that Kinchloe is the better choice for the job over Technical Sergeant Carter.[11]

Kinch is from Detroit, where he had worked for the telephone company and before the war fought in the Golden Gloves boxing matches. In "The Softer They Fall", General Burkhalter (Leon Askin) makes reference to the Jesse Owens victories during the 1936 Summer Olympics and Adolf Hitler's displeasure that a black American won medals over German athletes. Kinchloe knocks out the heavyweight champ of Stalag 13, Battling Bruno (Chuck Hicks), while Burkhalter is in the camp. Kinchloe winds up fighting Bruno again, drawing out the fight in a delaying action while Hogan and the others accomplish another sabotage mission. Upon completion of the mission, Hogan yells to Kinch to end the fight, and Kinch knocks Bruno out with one punch, whereupon Hogan throws in the towel and surrenders the fight to prevent the obvious disaster of a black POW's defeating the "master race's finest boxer". At the end of the episode, Kinch says to Klink that he'd like to tell Bruno he is still the champion of Stalag 13, "as soon as he wakes up."[12]

As a black man in the middle of wartime Germany, Kinchloe's ability to participate in some undercover activities outside of the camp is limited. In one operation that takes the protagonists outside of Germany, Kinchloe plays the role of a doorman at a nightclub in Paris in order to get close to the owner Carol Dukes, known by her stage name Kumasa (Barbara McNair), who had been a high school classmate of his (a character most likely modeled upon Josephine Baker).[13] In "The Prince from the Phone Company", he impersonates an African prince (also played by Ivan Dixon) and reluctantly has to shave off his trademark moustache. He has a romantic involvement with the prince's wife, Princess Yawanda (Isabel Cooley), a black woman from Cleveland, presumably an OSS agent who finds the easiest way to keep tabs on the prince is to continue to play the role of his wife.[14]

Sergeant Baker[edit]

Following Dixon's departure from the show after season five, the producers replaced his character in the sixth season with another Black actor, Kenneth Washington, as United States Army Air Forces Sergeant Richard Baker. The tasks assigned to Sergeant Baker are almost identical to those of Staff Sergeant Kinchloe, but with limited voice impersonations of Germans. However, with Kinchloe's departure, Newkirk is elevated to the Chief of Operations/Chief of Staff role (despite being subordinate to both Sgt. Baker and TSgt. Carter by rank) during the sixth season. As with Kinchloe, Baker's race limits his sabotage duties outside of Stalag 13, but he is able to contribute vital support to the missions assigned to him by Col. Hogan. The details of Kinch's departure were never explained on the show.

As of 2013, Washington is one of two surviving cast members of Hogan's Heroes (the other being Robert Clary).

Technical Sergeant Carter[edit]

United States Army Air Corps Technical Sergeant Andrew J. Carter (Larry Hovis) is in charge of ordnance and bomb-making. He shows a great talent in chemistry and can produce formulas, chemicals, and intricate and explosive devices as needed, although in the first season episode "The Scientist",[15] he claims to know very little chemistry. (This inconsistency was probably meant to heighten the tension in the plot.) He loves to talk about making and using explosives and, while bright and enthusiastic at his specialties, Carter is otherwise rather dimwitted and a bit of a bumbler (such as blowing himself up while mixing chemicals together or easily forgetting instructions). In one episode, after the blowing-up a train, he could not remember the way back to Stalag 13. Carter is also called upon to impersonate German officers and, most convincingly, Adolf Hitler.[16] Carter, as Hitler, responds to a group of German officers saying "Heil Hitler" with "Heil Me". In several episodes, Carter's Hitler fooled Sgt. Schultz, Col. Klink, and even Gen. Burkhalter.

Carter was a boy scout who formerly worked at a drug store in Muncie, Indiana and hopes to become a pharmacist after the war. He is an American Indian; his Sioux name is Little Deer Who Goes Swift and Sure Through Forest, and he once won a snowman-building contest in Bullfrog, North Dakota.[5] His catchphrase is, "You got it Boy [correcting himself] Colonel". His awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.[citation needed]

Unlike most of the rest of the "Heroes", Carter is not much of a "ladies' man". After he receives a "Dear John Letter" from his hometown sweetheart, Mary Jane, he requests permission to escape to try to win her back but is asked to complete one last solo mission before escaping. After the mission, he meets a German woman who charms him enough to feel losing Mary Jane isn't the end of the world. When he returns, he cavalierly says to his comrades before leaving the camp for a date: "Women are like a war; there's always another one coming along."[17] In real life, Hovis was married and refused to remove his wedding ring while filming the show as the bachelor Sergeant Carter. Thus, Carter is usually shown wearing gloves, and his left hand is rarely shown in the show.[citation needed]

As a Technical sergeant, Carter is the senior non-commissioned officer and, after Colonel Hogan, the senior prisoner regularly depicted on the program. Despite this, he is never shown to exercise any real authority over the other prisoners, as Staff Sergeant Kinchloe is Hogan's Chief of Staff. Furthermore, Corporals Newkirk and LeBeau routinely "rib" him about his naïveté, and he comes across as almost childlike in his innocence. However, Hogan's men admire and respect TSgt. Carter and are very loyal to him. Newkirk and Kinchloe even call him "Andrew" on occasion.[citation needed]

In the black-and-white pilot episode ("The Informer"),[18] Carter is a Lieutenant and not a prisoner of Stalag (Camp) 13. He is an escaped prisoner from another POW camp temporarily brought into the Stalag 13 so Hogan and his men can arrange for him to get out of Germany with civilian clothes and fake identity papers, and for a submarine to pick him up. After the pilot his character is made a sergeant and a regular member of the cast.[citation needed]

LeBeau and Fräulein Helga (Cynthia Lynn)

Corporal LeBeau[edit]

Free French Air Force Corporal Louis "Louie" LeBeau (Robert Clary) is a Master Chef who is passionate about his cooking and a notoriously patriotic Frenchman. He often generally refers to Germans in uniform and Nazis as "pigs", and specifically as "Boche" or "dirty Boche", while the other prisoners call them Krauts (which were traditionally meant to be derogatory remarks towards World War I and World War II German soldiers). Schultz and Klink refer to LeBeau as "Cockroach". LeBeau gets along better with the guard dogs than any other prisoner, and so is often seen using the tunnel entrance located in the kennel. Though highly claustrophobic, because of his small size he can hide in small spaces, such as the safe in Colonel Klink's office, box crates, or a dumbwaiter. LeBeau also uses his talent as a singer to help the "Heroes" in several episodes. (Clary began his career as a singer.) As a stereotypical French lover, LeBeau tries to be romantic with a number of the women with whom he comes in contact during the series.[citation needed]

In numerous episodes, LeBeau uses his cooking skills to get Klink out of various jams with his superiors or simply so Klink can impress guests. In exchange for LeBeau's cooking a dinner or banquet, Hogan bargains for extra privileges (which is usually just a ruse to gain access to Klink's guests). LeBeau also bribes Schultz with food, especially his famous apple strudel. In the first two seasons (excluding the pilot), LeBeau made the uniforms and suits, although this job increasingly went to Newkirk. In fact, by the fifth season episode "Gowns by Yvette,"[19] it is suggested that LeBeau cannot even sew a stitch, though he claims creative responsibility for the dress Newkirk eventually sews; but later, he once again began to sew and mend the clothing alongside Newkirk. In the show, LeBeau suffers from hemophobia and is seldom seen without his scarf. He also may have been the first POW at Stalag 13. In one episode, it was shown that he couldn't remember his serial number, although it might have been an act. The farthest he got was "H12497".[citation needed]

Robert Clary is a French Jew who was in the Nazi concentration camps Ottmuth and Buchenwald and still has his serial number tattooed on his arm. After the death of Richard Dawson in 2012,[citation needed] Clary is the only member of the original cast who is still living.[citation needed]

Richard Dawson as Newkirk

Corporal Newkirk[edit]

Royal Air Force Corporal Peter Newkirk (British-American actor Richard Dawson) is the group's conman, magician, pick-pocket, card sharp, forger, bookie, tailor, lock picker, and safe cracker. He does numerous impersonations of German officers as well as a voice imitation of Adolf Hitler, and on one occasion a great imitation of the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, during the war. On a number of occasions Newkirk dresses as a woman to fool the Germans as part of a mission. However, as a bit of a Casanova, he tries to romantically hook up with most of the women ("birds", as he calls them) he comes in contact with throughout the series.

As a skilled tailor, Newkirk is in charge of making or altering uniforms, civilian clothes, and other disguises as needed for missions or for prisoners from other camps they're trying to help get out of Germany. He also uses his skills as pick-pocket, lock picker, and safe cracker on many occasions, particularly to open Klink's office safe. As a card sharp, Newkirk helps to make sure Schultz loses a lot and is forever in need of bribe money from the prisoners to pay his gambling loses (Schultz usually pays his debt or gets money to gamble by giving the prisoners information). Newkirk is called "the Englander" by Schultz[citation needed] and even by "Klink" in some of the episodes.[citation needed] He is also often teamed with Carter, and his irritation at Carter's bumbling antics and dimwittedness is used for comedic effect.

This series marked Dawson's second appearance on American television (he had earlier appeared on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1963). Dawson auditioned for the role of Hogan but was told he did not sound American enough. In the version translated for broadcast in Germany, Newkirk's pronounced British accent was replaced by a simulation of stuttering.

Richard Dawson has stated in an interview that he had initially used a Liverpool accent for the Newkirk character, but had been told by Mike Dann (the then-president of CBS) to switch it to a Cockney accent, as Dann felt the Liverpool accent was not accessible to the American television audience. Dawson expressed his vindication upon seeing a marquee for the first Beatles film A Hard Day's Night in 1964.[citation needed]


Colonel Klink[edit]

Kommandant Oberst (Colonel) Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer) is an old-line Luftwaffe officer of aristocratic (Junker) Prussian descent, but is inept, a bit dimwitted, cowardly, and often clueless if not rather gullible. He was born circa 1895[20] in Leipzig, though he refers to Düsseldorf, where he attended the Gymnasium (high school) (graduating 43rd in his class), as his home town.[21] After failing the entrance exams to study law or medicine,[21] he received an appointment from Kaiser Wilhelm II to a military academy, through the influence of his uncle, the Bürgermeister's barber, and graduated 95th in his class – the only one who has not risen to the rank of general. He has been stuck at the rank of colonel for 20 years with an efficiency rating a few points above "miserable". However, when questioned by Colonel Hogan, Colonel Klink admits that many of his higher-ranking classmates have been killed in action or shot by Hitler.[22] The nearest he ever comes to becoming a General is when Hogan tricks Klink and the German General Staff into thinking Klink has been personally chosen by Hitler to be the new Chief of Staff just as the D-Day invasion begins. When faced with a decision whether to move the German reserves to Normandy or not, Klink can only order more champagne.[11]

Bernard Fox as Colonel Crittendon (left) and Werner Klemperer as Klink

He has fencing armor in his dining room and in his office a pompous coat of arms on the wall (only briefly seen in one episode).[which?] In another episode, when he thinks he is going to be rich, he claims his 500-year-old name will finally have some money as well. He always wears a monocle (which often reflects an image of the round studio lights) on his left eye, usually carries a riding crop, and walks with a stoop. In a few episodes Klink is seen wearing the Pour le Mérite (or The Blue Max), Iron Cross, Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe, and the Parachutist Badge.[citation needed]

A veteran aviator of the First World War, Klink is content to live out the end of his military career in the relative comfort and safety of a prison camp commandant's billet, although in one episode he wished he were piloting a Heinkel bomber again and wants his old bomb group back. However, his piloting his skills are suspect. On August 4, 1917, during World War I, he panicked and crashed, which left his passenger with a permanent limp. His passenger was none other than "The Blue Baron" Mannfred von Richter (a parody of Manfred von Richthofen "The Red Baron", who did not survive the First World War). The Blue Baron, by then a general, visits Klink in "Will the Blue Baron Strike Again?" and reminds Klink of the injury.[23] But according to Burkhalter and Schultz, Klink is too afraid to fly.[24]

With his innate skills as a conman, Hogan is able to very easily manipulate Klink through a combination of appealing to his vanity through a lot of flattery, chicanery, and playing with Klink's fears of being sent to the frigid and bloody Russian Front with the Soviet Union, or of being arrested by the Gestapo. Klink is so easily manipulated by Hogan that Klink doesn't even notice, though occasionally he wonders who is really in command of Stalag 13. Part of this running gag also has Schultz and others wondering who is really running the camp. When Hogan really wants to appeal to Klink's vanity he calls Klink the "Iron Colonel" or the "Iron Eagle". Klink is for the most part portrayed as a vain, bumbling and, incompetent career officer rather than as an evil German or ardent Nazi.[citation needed]

Colonel Klink received the Citation of Merit-Second Class (fictitious) from General Stauffen during World War II. The general visits Stalag 13 to get a briefcase from Hogan filled with explosives, in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, all under the unsuspecting eyes of Klink.[25] This is typical of the scenarios in which Hogan will entangle Klink. A running gag is that Klink gets doused with water or covered with snow for comedic effect. Another running gag is that Klink is an inept violinist, and is only able to play the U.S. Army Air Forces Song. (In real life, Werner Klemperer was a skilled violinist, son of the famous orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer, and a skilled orchestra conductor in his own right.[26] Colonel Klink is constantly annoyed by Hogan and his fellow prisoners' regularly playing with the World War I Pickelhaube of an Uhlan lancer regiment that sits on Klink's desk. (Hogan and sometimes Schultz also pilfer cigars from a box sitting next to the Pickelhaube). A third running gag is that Klink often forgets to give the Hitler salute at the end of a phone call, and instead usually asks, "What's that?" and then says, "Yes, of course, Heil Hitler".[27]

General Burkhalter tells Klink, a perpetual bachelor, to help him be promoted to general he needs to marry into an important family. Klink initially thinks that Burkhalter is referring to his lovely niece, but Klink finds out that it is actually Burkhalter's homely and gruff sister, the widow Frau Linkmeyer, whom Burkhalter is trying to marry off and whom Klink is scared of.[28] Klink narrowly escapes from this fate several times with the help of Colonel Hogan. Klink later learns that the two other Stalag commandants under Burkhalter's command also narrowly escaped marriage to Frau Linkmeyer. In "War Takes a Holiday", Klink tries to flatter Schultz, a businessman in civilian life, hoping to be hired as a bookkeeper with Schultz's toy company now that he falsely thinks the war is over.[29]

Sergeant Schultz[edit]

John Banner as Schultz with Bob Crane as Colonel Hogan.

Hauptfeldwebel (Senior Master Sergeant) Hans Georg Schultz (John Banner), serial number 23781, is Klink's bumbling, inept and a bit dimwitted, but affable if not lovable, 300-pound Sergeant of the Guard who is forever taking small bribes from the prisoners with whom he is overly friendly. The bribes are usually in the form of chocolate from Red Cross packages or LeBeau's delicious cooking often in exchange for information. His main goal is to avoid trouble and as long as he does, or at least gets out of trouble, he doesn't overly concern himself too much about the prisoners' activities. However, when Schultz is confronted by evidence of the prisoners' suspicious activities ("monkey business" as he calls it) and feels he must report them to Klink, Hogan will use some means — such as reminding Schultz of all the bribes he would have to report to Klink, convince Schultz he shouldn't reporting anything. When a prisoner is missing, Hogan will assure him that the prisoner will be back. Although Schultz repeatedly tries to avoid reporting anything or at least having Klink find out, if he does report what is going on to Klink, Hogan and his men are usually able to cover up the problem before Klink arrives. Sometimes Schultz, not wanting to deal with the situation, will simply look the other way, repeating "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" (or, more commonly as the series went on, simply "I see nothing–NOTHING!"). This eventually became one of the main catchphrases of the series and probably the most widely used by fans of the show. Just the same, if Schultz is found to be derelict in his duty, he could easily be court-martialed, sent to the Russian Front to fight in the bitter cold or not shot as a traitor for his apparent complicity. When Schultz does get into trouble (usually on account of the prisoners) Hogan, as with Klink, tries to find a way to clear Schultz if for no other reason to avoid having him replaced with a more competent soldier who isn't as easily manipulated. Though generally shown as being borderline incompetent, he has (on occasions) proven his mettle, as can be seen in episodes such as "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London",[30] where he catches Hogan assisting another man attempting to escape; he even goes so far as to stand up to Hogan, moving him along at gunpoint.

Like Colonel Klink, he is a veteran of World War I. His hometown is Heidelberg, and in civilian life he is the owner of Germany's biggest and most successful toy manufacturing company, The Schatzi Toy Company.[29] With the onset of war, Schultz was involuntarily recalled to military duty and lost control of his toy factory as it was converted to military use. He has a wife, Gretchen (played by Barbara Morrison) and five children whom he sees only during infrequent leave. However, a few times he is unfaithful to his wife, for instance in "Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari" he dates a woman who, as it turns out, is a secret Gestapo agent.[31] LeBeau once refers to Schultz as a Social Democrat, a party which the Nazis banned in 1933, and Schultz on several occasions is shown to be very disgusted by Hitler in particular and the Nazis in general. In one episode he mentions how much he preferred having a kaiser rule Germany and his whole attitude can be summed up by his statement that "When it comes to war, I don't like to take sides". Schultz is also a bad gambler, frequently playing cards with the prisoners, and usually losing - although much of this is caused by Newkirk fixing the games in order to get information from Schultz (in exchange for the money he lost or for money to gamble). He also likes to drink a bit especially whenever free liquor is available, but above all Schultz loves to eat - a whole lot - especially LeBeau's exquisite cooking. He is described by Klink as being "in his forties."[24] In real life, Banner was in his late fifties. When the prisoners make fun of Schultz he calls them "Jolly Jokers".

Schultz carries a Krag-Jørgensen rifle, which he never keeps loaded and tends to misplace or even hand to the POWs when he needs to use both hands (he then might say "Give me back my gun, or I'll SHOOT!"). He never wears the chin-strap on his helmet and needs glasses to read[32] He wears a fictitious version of the Iron Cross (4th Grade) awarded by General Kammler (Whit Bissell), a friend whom Schultz mentored during World War I and addresses Schultz by first name, and whom Schultz addresses as Lieutenant Kammler (the rank he held during World War I).[33]

Recurring characters[edit]

Sigrid Valdis as "Fräulein Hilda" with co-star and eventual husband, Bob Crane.
  • Fräulein Helga (Cynthia Lynn, 1965 to 1966) and Fräulein Hilda (Sigrid Valdis, 1966 to 1971) served as the secretaries of Colonel Klink. Both Fräulein Helga and Fräulein Hilda were portrayed as having ongoing flirting and kissing relationships with Colonel Hogan. Both assist Hogan and his men in various ways, including providing tidbits of information, access to official papers or equipment or at least remaining indifferent towards their suspicious conduct in exchange for a warm kiss or some other form of affectionate gesture from Hogan. In the pilot episode,[18] Helga works as manicurist in the prisoners' underground barber shop, but it is only in the pilot episode that it is suggested her cooperation with the prisoners is all that extensive. Eventually, during the run of the TV series, it is implied that Hilda and Hogan have a running romance, especially when she hints at getting a diamond engagement ring in exchange for her help. Sigrid Valdis and Bob Crane were married in 1970 on the show's set in Culver City, Calif., where all of the interior and some of the exterior scenes of Hogan's Heroes were filmed. Nearly all of the crewmen and women, and all the cast members of the TV series were present, and Richard Dawson served as the best man to the groom.
  • General der Infanterie Albert Hans "Hansi" Burkhalter (Leon Askin) is Klink's heavyset superior officer who is gruff and frequently tires of Klink's babbling and incompetence, often telling him to "shut up" and threatens to send him to the Russian Front. Burkhalter is mystified by Stalag 13's perfect record, unable to make sense of it in combination with its Kommandant's frequently evidenced incompetence. Klink's outstanding record at Stalag 13 is the primary reason for General Burkhalter never actually making good on any of his threats towards Klink. General Burkhalter's confusion over Klink's skill as a Kommandant when he appears to be an idiot in all other regards is a running gag. Burkhalter affected to live a Spartan existence like a good German officer, but in reality, he loves the good life, even in war. He is scared to death of Mrs. Burkhalter (calling her "the highest authority in Germany"), testifying to this several times during the series and after Hogan manages to get a few compromising photos of the General with very attractive women (in order to blackmail him). As the series progresses, he suspects Hogan's greater role at Stalag 13; however, in the end, Burkhalter, like the others, comes to depend upon Hogan to get them out of trouble with the High Command when one scheme or the other runs off the tracks. In the pilot episode,[18] Burkhalter is promoted from colonel to general by the High Command between the first and second episodes. His rank is equivalent to a lieutenant (three-star) general in the American armed forces.
  • Sturmbannführer (Major) Wolfgang Hochstetter (Howard Caine), of the Gestapo and the SS (Schultzstaffel), is an ardent Nazi who never understands why Hogan is constantly allowed to barge into Klink's office at will. Hochstetter frequently demands of Klink "Who is this man?" or "What is this man doing here?!" with increasing stridency. His catchphrase is "Heads will roll". He is also noted for the many times he shouts "Baah!" at Klink or Hogan after his multiple failures. Klink is justifiably afraid of him, but Burkhalter, who despises Hochstetter just as Klink does, is not. But even Hochstetter is manipulated by Hogan. In "War Takes a Holiday",[29] Hogan tricks Hochstetter into believing that the war has ended and lending his staff car to several captured underground leaders, who use it to escape just as Hochstetter's superiors arrive. Howard Caine played two other German officers in the series, Gestapo Kriminaldirektor (Colonel) Feldkamp[34] and Major Keitel,[35] before becoming Major Hochstetter. Throughout the series, the rank insignia on Hochstetter's collar is that of a Standartenführer (or Kriminaldirektor if he was not also in the SS) which was equivalent to Oberst (colonel) in the Wehrmacht—a major in the Gestapo would be a Sturmbannführer (or Kriminalrat if he was not also concurrently an SS officer).
  • Group Captain (Colonel) Rodney Crittendon (Bernard Fox) is a Royal Air Force group captain whose medals include the Distinguished Service Order, Order of the British Empire, Military Cross and Bar, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Force Cross. He is a hopelessly incompetent British officer who crosses paths several times with Hogan and his crew. He believes that a POW's only duty is to escape and to be involved in anything is else is strictly against regulations. When first transferred to Stalag 13 from Stalag 18, Hogan poses a hypothetical question to Crittendon asking what he would do if he were aware the POWs were engaged in spying and sabotage; Crittendon replies that he would report them to the German authorities (thus preventing him from being included in the official mission of the Stalag 13 POWs). However, in a third season episode Crittendon volunteers to replace Hogan as the group's leader since he is familiar with the members of the team (even though he has only had a measly two-day training course in espionage and sabotage).[36] Crittendon is also known for developing and attempting to execute various forms of prison camp escapes that never work, and for coming up with the secret "Crittendon Plan", which turns out to consist of planting geraniums along the sides of runways to cheer up returning British pilots.[37] In a dual role, Bernard Fox played British traitor Sir Charles Chitterly (possibly a parody of William Joyce known as Lord Haw-Haw), who, along with his wife Lady Leslie Chitterly (Anne Rogers), are visiting the camp and their way to see their friend Adolf Hitler. Lookalike Crittendon, who was parachuted into the camp, replaces Sir Charles and is briefly able to fool his wife. After she discovers the truth, she decides not to reveal this to the Germans. Meanwhile the real Sir Charles escapes and wonders around the camp.[38][39] The rank "colonel" is inaccurate since, although the pay grades are equivalent, a group captain is never addressed as "colonel". However, his character may have been called colonel because most of the American television audience, unfamiliar with British military ranks, undoubtedly would have been confused as to how Crittendon outranked Hogan (Crittendon has 12 years seniority over Hogan because Crittendon has been stuck at colonel for so long, however, Crittendon admits that he's been behind a desk for many years).[40]
  • Marya (Nita Talbot) is a Russian spy who works occasionally with Hogan, but whom he does not entirely trust. She often appears as the trusted paramour of some high-ranking German officer or scientist. Her mission is to either discredit or destroy her paramours, as she notes that "...We cannot trust Hitler to shoot all his own generals".[41] She meets Hogan and LeBeau in Paris during the second season where she learns of his Stalag 13 activities.[3][4] Her schemes often come into conflict with Hogan's plans, but she nevertheless always proves to be either faithful to the Allied cause or having compatible causes of her own. She is described as a "White Russian", but it is unclear whether this refers to her possible ethnicity as a Belarusian or her possible political allegiance to the Russian anti-communist White Movement (thus allowing her character to remain apolitical - while the Soviet Union was an ally during the war, when the series was filmed anti-communist/anti-Soviet feeling ran high in the U.S., see the Cold War). Marya is constantly flirting with Hogan, to his discomfort, and also flirts with LeBeau, who believes her to be an innocent, decent woman who won't sell out or get the Heroes in trouble (at least not on purpose). Her trademark line, said with an exaggerated Russian accent, is "Hogan, Dah-link" (Hogan Darling in normal English).
  • Tiger (Arlene Martel) is a beautiful female French Underground contact, who has a running romance with Hogan and appears in the series a few times. Hogan has noted that Tiger has saved his life at least once. Hogan describes Tiger as 'the' leader of the French Underground. He frees her from the Gestapo twice: once on the way to Berlin via train, and once springing her from Gestapo headquarters in Paris, France.[3][4]
  • Hauptmann (Captain) Fritz or Felix Gruber (Dick Wilson) is Klink's adjutant who is rarely seen (Dick Wilson also played several other characters in the series including a member of the Underground). However, in "Don't Forget to Write",[42] Gruber becomes the new ruthless Kommandant of Stalag 13 after Klink mistakenly volunteers for the Russian Front. Because Gruber is rather hard lined and not at all easy to manipulate, the prisoners desperately want to get Klink back. Hogan then orders three prisoners to escape and hide. When Gruber is unable to recapture them Burkhalter turns to Klink to recapture the prisoners, which he does with the help of Hogan. General Burkhalter sees that it would be a mistake to send Klink to the Russian Front and gives Klink his old job back. In addition to Gruber, several other junior officers or more capable NCO's are occasionally assigned to Klink's command, but one way or another Hogan finds a way to get rid of them. In one episode, Hogan pretends to be Klink's adjutant, a "Major Hogan Hüppel", to fool some German officers. During most of Hogan's Heroes, there is a conspicuous omission of any second-in-command to Kommandant Klink, and in fact, the omission of any junior Luftwaffe officers at all (however, there was an apparent adjutant to Klink in the pilot episode[18]). Klink claims he doesn't need one and often feels threatened by more competent officers, even junior officers. In reality, a Stalag like this one had more than a few officers with the ranks of Leutnant (lieutenant), Hauptmann (captain), and Major (major) carrying out their duties under the command of the Kommandant (if for no other reason because a camp commander cannot be on duty at the camp 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all parts of the camp at the same time). This omission may have been a plot ploy as it would be much easier for Hogan to control what happens with only Klink to manipulate (as opposed to an entire staff of camp officers) and for the TV audience to follow along. Additionally, an entire staff of German officers might have looked disproportionate since the series rarely showed many prisoners--roll call seemed to consist only of prisoners from a single barracks, for instance.
  • Obergefreiter (Corporal) Karl Langenscheidt (Jon Cedar) is one of Schultz's guards who is only seen or spoken of occasionally. He often arrives at the worst of times and also informs the distraught Colonel Klink when an important guest arrives, much to Klink's displeasure. In "Art for Hogan's Sake", Langenscheidt gets involved in Hogan's scheme to forge the famous Édouard Manet priceless painting, "The Fife Player", and switch it for the real one General Burkhalter had "requisitioned" from the Louvre museum in Paris to give to Hermann Göring as a birthday present.[43]
  • Frau Gertrude Linkmeyer (née Burkhalter) (Kathleen Freeman, played once by Alice Ghostley[44]) is General Burkhalter's gruff and homely sister whom he tries to marry off, notably to Klink who knows marrying her would help his career. However, she is usually in a one-sided relationship as Klink is scared to death of her, but Hogan manages to split the two one way or another. A running gag in several episodes with her is that Klink can run away with her husband Otto who, she sometimes protests, is only missing in action on the Russian Front (but as General Burkhalter says, missing in action on the Russian Front "is as good as dead"). In one episode Hogan commented "You two can start a club".[44] In another running gag Klink threatens to have Hogan shot for even suggesting he could marry Frau Linkmeyer. In "Kommandant Gertrude",[45] Frau Linkmeyer arrives at the camp with her new (reluctant) fiancé, Major Wolgang Karp (Lee Bergere), who she intends to replace Klink as camp commandant under her iron-fisted supervision, but Hogan manages to foil her plans and their engagement. She only appears in episodes with General Burkhalter.
  • Maurice Dubay (Felice Orlandi) is a French Underground contact who appeared in several episodes. (Orlandi's real-life wife, Alice Ghostley, appeared in two episodes, one time assuming the role of Frau Linkmeyer[44] and in the other as Mrs. Mannheim).[46]
  • Maggiore (Major) Bonacelli is a visiting commander of an Italian prisoner-of-war camp who is at Stalag 13 to learn Klink's techniques for no escapes, but is actually not too supportive of the Fascist war effort, particularly the German war effort. In "The Pizza Parlor", Hogan dissuades Major Bonacelli (Hans Conried) from defecting to neutral Switzerland convinces him to act as an Allied spy at his POW camp.[47] In "The Return of Major Boncelli" (this time played by Vito Scotti), Hogan talks Bonacelli into photographing the new advanced German anti-aircraft gun before defecting to Switzerland (while he's pursued by the Gestapo).[48]

Among some of the notable actors to appear on Hogan's Heroes were: Gavin MacLeod (McHale's Navy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat), played several dislikable German characters including the corrupt Gestapo Major Keitel[49] and the despicable Gen. von Rauscher;[50] James B. Sikking ("Lt. Howard Hunter" on Hill Street Blues) played three characters (in three episodes), including an SS officer,[51] a German soldier,[52] and an Underground leader;[53] William Christopher ("Father Mulcahy" on M*A*S*H), played four characters (in four episodes) including a POW pretending to be a German general[54] and POW "Thomas" who temporarily takes over the duties normally assigned to Carter;[29] Henry Corden, also played several characters on both sides including "The Blue Baron";[23] Harold Gould, played several German generals; Ben Wright played several German officers including Count Rudolf von Heffernick,[55] but also a defecting German scientist, Dr. Riemann;[56] John Dehner played Gen. von Platzenref[57] and Col. Backscheider;[3][4] Bob Hastings (McHale's Navy), played Russian pilot Igor Piotkin in "A Russian is Coming"[58] and Noam Pitlik played several characters on both sides including the German spy planted among the prisoners in the black-and-white pilot episode.[18] In a dual role, Lloyd Bochner played Group Captain James Roberts who is on his way to meet Winston Churchill, but is replaced by his lookalike German spy Leutnant Baumann who plans on assasinating Churchill.[30] Antoinette Bower played three roles including "Berlin Betty" (a parody of "Axis Sally"), a British traitor who makes propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis.[59] Dave Morick, John Stephenson, Edward Knight, Stewart Moss, David M. Frank and John Hoyt each appeared in the series a number of times, usually as Germans though with some in minor roles.

Broadcast history[edit]

  • Friday at 8:30-9:00 p.m. on CBS: September 17, 1965—April 7, 1967; September 26, 1969—March 27, 1970
  • Saturday at 9:00-9:30 p.m. on CBS: September 9, 1967—March 22, 1969
  • Sunday at 7:30-8:00 p.m. on CBS: September 20, 1970—April 4, 1971


Pilot episode[edit]

The pilot episode, "The Informer" (played by Noam Pitlik as the German spy pretending to be an Allied prisoner), was produced in black-and-white with the opening scene depicting the show as "Germany 1942".[18] As with many pilot episodes, there are several differences from the series proper, such as Burkhalter being introduced as a colonel, instead of a general. There were many changes to Larry Hovis's character of Carter. In the pilot, he was credited as a guest star and is shown as a lieutenant, rather than a sergeant. "Lt. Carter" had recently escaped from another camp and at the end of the episode is in route to England.

Leonid Kinskey appears in the pilot episode as Vladimir Minsk, a Soviet POW who specializes in tailoring. Kinskey ultimately turned down a contract to become a permanent character. Although the intent was probably to give the series a truly international feel, it is perhaps just as well as Nazi Germany had always put Soviet POWs into separate Stalags, or at least separate compounds within a Stalag, where they were treated considerably more harshly than those of the Western Allied prisoners (the death rate among Soviet prisoners was very high, approx. 60%, while it was relatively low among Western Allied prisoners, approx. 4% – see Soviet POWs). Although Western Allied prisoners were also usually put in separate Stalags by nationality, or at least separate compounds within a Stalag, it wasn't unusual to find them mixed together (compounds were separated by barbed wire fences with no prisoner movement between each compound).

In the pilot, Col. Klink's secretary, Fräulein Helga, is actually part of Hogan's team and is a manicurist in the prisoners' underground barber shop, but it is only in the pilot episode that it is suggested her cooperation with the prisoners is all that extensive. In the actual TV series, she and her successor, Fräulein Hilda, are merely willing to look the other way, as well as provide tidbits of information and access to official papers or equipment, in exchange for a warm kiss or some other form of affectionate gesture from Hogan. Another difference is that the word "Stalag" was avoided in the pilot; it was simply referred to as "Camp 13". It is also referred to as Camp 13 in several of the first episodes, but is eventually only referred to as Stalag 13 (perhaps because American TV audiences were unfamiliar with the word Stalag at the beginning of the series).

The camp also appears to be bigger, with more barracks, prisoners, and guards shown than on the series itself; Klink appears to have an adjutant. Also, the tunnels used by the prisoners are more extensive, full of activities such as counterfeiting German Reichmarks, the production of gun-shaped cigarette lighters as souvenirs supposedly sold in Berlin, and a steam room and barbershop for the prisoners.

Stylistically, the look of the pilot is grittier, not only because it was filmed in black and white, but because low-angle shots are used at times for close-ups, especially of the Germans. The overall "feel" is closer to films such as Stalag 17 than the regular episodes, albeit far more comical.


Outdoor scenes were filmed on the famed 40 Acres Backlot in Culver City, California. The set was destroyed in 1975 in the filming of the final scene of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS.[60]

Theme music[edit]

The theme music for Hogan's Heroes was composed by Jerry Fielding. The title of the theme music is "March" or "Hogan's Heroes March". The lyrics, while never sung during the show, were performed on an album entitled Hogan's Heroes Sing The Best of World War II featuring Dixon, Clary, Dawson and Hovis. Bob Crane, an accomplished drummer, played drums on the recording.[61] to the title music (also written by Fielding).

Jewish actors[edit]

The actors who played the four major German roles—Werner Klemperer (Klink),[62] John Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (Burkhalter), and Howard Caine (Hochstetter)—were Jewish. Furthermore, Klemperer, Banner, Askin, and Robert Clary (LeBeau) were Jews who had fled the Nazis during World War II. Clary says in the recorded commentary on the DVD version of episode "Art for Hogan's Sake" that he spent three years in a concentration camp, that his parents and other family members were killed there, and that he has an identity tattoo from the camp on his arm ("A-5714"). Likewise John Banner had been held in a (pre-war) concentration camp and his family was killed during the war. Leon Askin was also in a pre-war French internment camp and his parents were killed at Treblinka. Howard Caine (Hochstetter), who was also Jewish (his birth name was Cohen), was American, and Jewish actors Harold Gould and Harold J. Stone played German generals; Jon Cedar played a camp guard.

As a teenager, Werner Klemperer (Klink) (son of the conductor Otto Klemperer) fled Hitler's Germany with his family in 1933. During the show's production, he insisted that Hogan always win over his Nazi captors or else he would not take the part of Klink. He defended his playing a Luftwaffe Officer by claiming, "I am an actor. If I can play Richard III, I can play a Nazi." Banner attempted to sum up the paradox of his role by saying, "Who can play Nazis better than us Jews?" Ironically, although Klemperer, Banner, Caine, Gould, and Askin play stereotypical World War II Germans, all had actually served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II — Banner[63] and Askin in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Caine in the U.S. Navy, Gould with the U.S. Army, and Klemperer in a U.S. Army Entertainment Unit.


During the original run of the program, Hogan's Heroes was three times nominated for the Emmy for Best Comedy Series.[64] The television academy's faith in the show is generally confirmed by most modern viewers. As of 2008, online participants overwhelmingly deemed it a show that "never jumped the shark".[65] Likewise, about 93% of respondents at TV.com rated the show as "good" or better, as of 2008.[66]

Nielsen ratings[edit]

NOTE: The highest average rating for the series is in bold text.

Season Rank Rating
1) 1965–1966 #9 24.9
2) 1966–1967 #17 21.8 (Tied with The CBS Friday Night Movies)
3) 1967–1968 Not in the Top 30
4) 1968–1969
5) 1969–1970
6) 1970–1971


At time of broadcast[edit]

Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, the writers of the 1951 play Stalag 17, a World War II prisoner of war story turned into a 1953 feature film by Paramount Pictures, sued Bing Crosby Productions, the show's producer, for infringement.[67][68] However, their lawsuit was unsuccessful. While the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs, the federal judge overruled them. The judge found "striking difference in the dramatic mood of the two works."[67] In his book, My War, Andy Rooney, who was a friend of the Stalag 17 authors, changed the facts to portray their suit as successful, stating that "... someone at CBS apparently ripped off their idea and made a television series called Hogan's Heroes of it. The television program had too many similarities in character and plot to be coincidental, and when Don and Ed sued the network they won a huge award."[69][67][70]

In fact, under Writers Guild of America rules, Hogan's Heroes was determined to be an original work, and an arbitration hearing was scheduled in 2012 to determine whether Bernard Fein and Albert S. Ruddy, the creators of the show, had transferred the right to make a movie of Hogan's Heroes to Bing Crosby Productions along with the television rights or had retained the derivative movie rights.[67]

Retrospective criticism[edit]

In spite of its three Emmy nominations, TV Guide in 2002 named Hogan's Heroes the fifth worst TV show of all time.[71] The listing for Hogan's Heroes in particular accuses the show of trivializing the suffering of real life POWs and the victims of the Holocaust with its comedic take on prison camps in the Third Reich. However, many of the actors in the series themselves had been affected by the Holocaust and/or internment camps. Several of these actors said they were comfortable with playing Germans and Nazis as long as the show made the Nazis look foolish.

Historical Inaccuracies[edit]

Aside from inaccuracies concerning the correct medal, proper uniform, location of buildings, etc., the series farcically plays extremely fast and loose with historical events and persons, implausibly involving prisoners of war in nearly everything from impersonating Hitler, Himmler, Göring, numerous generals and officers to involvement in the highest levels of the German military to traveling to Paris to destroying Nazi Germany's most advanced weapons programs. In a way, the series seems to have been merely the mixing of the prisoner of war (POW) movies, like the The Great Escape and The Password is Courage (with POWs, escapes, tunnels, German guards), and the James Bond phenomenon (with spies, espionage, sabotage, beautiful women) that was so very popular in the 1960s. It also often parodies history, usually for comical effect, such as with the character Mannfred von Richter, "the Blue Baron", which is a parody of Manfred von Richthofen better known as the Red Baron.[23]

  • As such the series is hardly reflective of all that much that actually took place inside prisoner-of-war camps or how the actual events many of the episodes are based on actually occurred outside of the camps. For that matter, the series fails to fully reflect the life, the rather harsh life, of POWs in a German POW camp during World War II (their main concern was simply surviving the ordeal and if possible escaping).[72] While it is possible that some camp commanders were vulnerable to manipulation and most certainly many guards were bribed and military personnel assigned to prison camps were usually the least capable, just about all of the premise is otherwise just fiction and even a bit silly (it is a comedy after all). There is no evidence of Allied prisoners being involved in sabotage except of discreet acts of sabotage, such as wrecking machines and damaging railroad cars when they were on work parties, let alone use a prison camp as a base of operations to directly commit numerous acts of sabotage and espionge.
  • The producers may have wanted to (quite inaccurately) portray most Germans as disloyal or at least indifferent towards the Third Reich and the military fate of their country and those in authority and uniform as bumbling fools. In reality, while many Germans became more and more disilliusioned by Hitler and the Nazi cause as Germany started to lose the war, nearly all Germans were willing to support and fight on in the defense of their country (no matter who was running it). Even for those few Germans who were willing to help escaped POWs and the Allies, the threat of being found out, arrested and being sent to a concentration camp or shot was very high and deadly serious (the Hitler Youth were the most vigilant about turning in anyone who was disloyal in this respect).[72]
  • There is no evidence that the Germans used prisoner-of-war camps to protect secret weapons or important persons from Allied aerial bombings let alone keep them within close proximity to the prisoners within the same compound. The tunnels are totally unrealistically tall and spacious. The series depicts the prisoners communicating by radio with submerged submarines. The technology needed to be able to communicate with a submerged submarine wasn't developed until after World War II. Swastikas on the camp flagpole and in a picture in Klink's office are incorrectly shown as left facing (possibly a deliberate slight on the part of the producers).
  • In the episode "Hold That Tiger",[73] the German Tiger Tank is actually an American self-propelled howitzer called the M7 Priest and is not considered a tank. It has no turret and weighed less than half of what a real German Tiger Tank weighed. The two versions of the tank, Tiger I and Tiger II, were massive even by today's standards.
  • Historically correct German rank designations, such as Hauptfeldwebel (Senior Master Sergeant), Leutnant (lieutenant), Hauptmann (captain), Oberst (Colonel) and others were almost always given American armed forces equivalents in the series, presumably because it would be easier for the American TV audience to understand. Most of the proper designations provided on this webpage are the historically correct designations, but are not necessarily ones ever verbally used in the series for the persons indicated (although indicated by the insignia on their uniforms).
  • The presence of Colonel Hogan, Colonel Crittenton and occasionally other Allied officers mixed together with enlisted personnel in a Luft Stalag, other than temporarily, is partially historically inaccurate. While Luft Stalags, unlike most Stalags, had a mixture of officers and enlisted personnel, they were generally put into compounds separated by barbed wire fences and not permitted to move between the compounds. Also Luft Stalags were considerably larger than the 103 prisoners depicted on the series and normally held thousands and in the case of one Stalag over 130,000 Allied prisoners.[72]

Later broadcasts[edit]

Universal HD broadcasts Hogan's Heroes in 1080 High Definition, with the picture being mildly cropped to better fit 16:9 television screens, rather than being fully "pillarboxed" as most non-widescreen programs are when viewed on high-definition television. The picture is cropped only slightly from the top, and more from the bottom, so that the tops of characters' heads are not usually affected. The series was filmed in 4:3, so the cropping used by Universal HD — similar to the 14:9 compromise aspect ratio already in use to transition shows and commercials to/from 4:3 and 16:9 — leaves a narrow vertical black strip at each side of the picture, each about 1/3 the width of the normal "pillarboxing" borders characteristic of 4:3 content shown on a 16:9 screen.[74][dead link] The series is also broadcast on Me-TV.

German-language version[edit]

Hogan's Heroes was not broadcast in Germany on German television until 1992. The original German-language dubbed version was titled Stacheldraht und Fersengeld ("Barbed Wire and Turning Tail"). The program was next re-dubbed and re-broadcast in 1994 as Ein Käfig voller Helden ("A Cage Full of Heroes"), which gained considerable popularity.[citation needed]

In the newer German-language version of Hogan's Heroes, the Germans and Austrians speak in a number of different accents. It amplifies the contrast between Colonel Klink (who portrays the Prussian stereotype but has an accent from Saxony) and Sergeant Schultz (who portrays the Urbayern Bavarian stereotype), which gives the German version of Hogan's Heroes another slapstick element. Furthermore, Klink's choice of vocabulary and memorable quotes add more gags that would not be possible in a direct translation of the original English-language version of Hogan's Heroes.

The American characters in Hogan's Heroes speak a neutral High German (Standard German). Lebeau speaks German with a French accent. General Burkhalter speaks with strong Austrian accent, especially to go along with the fact that the actor who played this role, Leon Askin was born in Vienna.

A major change to the German version of Hogan's Heroes is that Corporal Newkirk, who speaks with a British accent in the original, has his voice changed to that of an exaggerated stutterer in the German version. Another change is in Sergeant Schultz's first name was "Hans" in the English version and "Georg" in the German version.

Apart from all of the above, there are numerous departures from the original stories, which introduce factors that are not present in the English Hogan's Heroes. Among other things, the German version introduces a new character, "Kalinke", who is Klink's cleaning lady and also his perennial mistress. Of course, she is referred to, but never seen, because she was nonexistent in the films of the television program. Colonel Klink describes her as performing most of her cleaning duties in the nude.[75]

DVD releases[edit]

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all six seasons of Hogan's Heroes on DVD in Region 1 & 4. The series was previously released by Columbia House as individual discs, each with five or six consecutive episodes.

DVD Name Episodes Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The Complete First Season 32 March 15, 2005 July 30, 2008
The Complete Second Season 30 September 27, 2005 November 7, 2008
The Complete Third Season 30 March 7, 2006 March 5, 2009
The Complete Fourth Season 26 August 15, 2006 June 3, 2009
The Complete Fifth Season 26 December 19, 2006 August 4, 2009
The Complete Sixth and Final Season 24 June 5, 2007 September 30, 2009
The Complete Series (The Kommandant's Collection) 168 November 10, 2009 December 3, 2009

In popular culture[edit]


  • In the Battalion Wars series of video games, the soldiers of the Western Frontier faction are referred to as "Herman's Heroes", an obvious allusion to Hogan's Heroes.[citation needed]


In 1965, Fleer produced a 66 trading card set for the series.[76]

Between 1966 and 1969, Dell Comics produced nine issues based on the series, all with photo covers.[citation needed]

In 1968, Robert Clary, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon, and Larry Hovis cut an LP record, Hogan's Heroes Sing the Best of World War II, which included lyrics for the theme song. The record did not sell well and as a result is today considered a collector's item.[77]

In 1968, MPC (Model Products by Craft Master, Model Products Corporation) released a model Jeep in 1/25 scale with spurious markings labeled as "Hogan's Heroes World War II Jeep". In 2003, another model (from the same mold, but with slightly different—though still spurious—decals) was released by AMT/ERTL. It cannot be built as a correct World War II military Jeep, regardless of markings, without body work because it has a tailgate opening, but it includes alternate parts to build a correct CJ-2A. A decal on the model read, "If found, return to Colonel Hogan".[citation needed]


  • Mad magazine #108 (January 1967) parodied the show as "Hokum's Heroes". An additional one-page parody called "Hochman's Heroes" took the show's premise to the next level by setting it in Buchenwald concentration camp.


  • In the December 1, 1966 Batman episode "It's How You Play the Game", Colonel Klink appears in one of the show's trademark window cameos as Batman scales the side of a building. When Batman and Robin ask why Colonel Klink is in Gotham City, Colonel Klink states that he is looking for an underground agent. Batman tells Colonel Klink to try not to get picked up as Chief O'Hara can be very tough with aliens incognito. Colonel Klink quotes "incognito, in my monocle?" When Robin tells Colonel Klink to say hi to Colonel Hogan for him and Batman, Colonel Klink quotes that it is a wonder Hogan has not borrowed one of Batman's bat-ropes for one of his escapes.
  • The television series The Simpsons has made several references to Hogan's Heroes including:
    • The episode "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" when Mr. Burns sells the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to a German company. One of the Germans alludes to the show when he says, "The new owners have elected me to speak with you because I am the most non-threatening. Perhaps I remind you of the lovable Sergeant Schultz on Hogan's Heroes."
    • Colonel Klink (voiced by Klemperer himself) appears in the episode "The Last Temptation of Homer", as a guardian angel assuming the form of a character Homer knows, who shows Homer what his life would be like without Marge. Throughout the episode Homer tells Klink of the tunnels and radio that were hidden from him throughout Hogan's Heroes.
    • In the episode "The Great Louse Detective", Rainier Wolfcastle references Sgt. Schultz's catchphrase. When discussing a nudist Nazi exploitation film he made early in his career, he says "I Wore Nussing!"
  • Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz appear in the Robot Chicken episode "Metal Militia", voiced by Seth Green. In a segment that parodies this show, Hulk Hogan and other wrestlers are in the place of Colonel Hogan and his inmates as they plan to make their escape when Adolf Hitler pays a visit to Colonel Klink's Stalag 13 camp.
  • The children's Disney TV show Recess makes reference to Hogan's Heroes on the episode "Old Folks Home". In the episode, an old war hero named Logan reminisces about his days in the war to T.J. While he reminisces, a flashback appears of his days in a German-style POW camp. In the flashback, one of the barracks reads the number 13 (as in Stalag 13) in the background of the formation of Logan's men. While in formation, "Kommadant Pricklyton" questions Logan after losing his secret communique. In the flashback, many renowned Hogan's Heroes gag lines are used, such as the Kommadant's shouting "Logan!" and a husky man in a World War I style German uniform's stating: "I haven't seen a thing!"
  • The 2010 TV series Pound Puppies utilizes remarkably similar plot structure with gags including an inept pound manager and the kennel keeper mirroring Klink and Schultz, respectively, puppies using networks of underground tunnels, and a Hogan's Heroes theme song as the inspiration for the show's theme.[78]
  • Schultz's very popular catchphrase "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" (undoubtedly an allusion to the three wise monkeys) has entered public conscience. For example, in S5/E1 of Breaking Bad, "Live Free or Die", Saul Goodman warns Skyler White that the police may question her about Ted Beneke's "accident" and advises: "On the off chance, I want you thinking one thought: Hogan's Heroes. Sergeant Schultz. Remember Sergeant Schultz? 'I know nothing. I see nothing.' Remember how he... I want you like that."[79]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (15 March 2013). "'Hogan's Heroes' Rights Won Back By Creators Al Ruddy And Bernard Fein; They're Plotting New Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  2. ^ "Will the Real Adolf Please Stand Up". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 12. December 2, 1966.
  3. ^ a b c d "A Tiger Hunt in Paris: Part 1". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 10. November 18, 1966.
  4. ^ a b c d "A Tiger Hunt in Paris: Part 2". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 11. November 18, 1966.
  5. ^ a b "Everybody Loves a Snowman". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 14. December 9, 1967.
  6. ^ a b c "Hogan Gives a Birthday Party". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 1. September 16, 1966.
  7. ^ "Who Stole My Copy of Mein Kampf". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 16. January 11, 1969.
  8. ^ "Reservations Are Required". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 15. Dec 24, 1965.
  9. ^ "Crittendon's Commandos". Hogan's Heroes. Season 5. Episode 25. March 20, 1970.
  10. ^ "The Flight of the Valkyrie". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 5. October 15, 1965.
  11. ^ a b "D-Day at Stalag 13". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 3. September 23, 1967.
  12. ^ "The Softer They Fall". Hogan's Heroes. Season 5. Episode 18. January 23, 1970.
  13. ^ "Is General Hammerschlag Burning". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 11. November 18, 1967.
  14. ^ "The Prince from the Phone Company". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 26. March 18, 1966.
  15. ^ "The Scientist". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 12. December 3, 1965.
  16. ^ "Will the Real Adolf Please Stand Up?". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 12. December 2, 1966.
  17. ^ "Request Permission to Escape". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 32. April 29, 1966.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "The Informer". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 1. September 17, 1965.
  19. ^ "Gowns by Yvette". Hogan's Heroes. Season 5. Episode 19. January 30, 1970.
  20. ^ "Go Fit of Go Fight". Hogan's Heroes. Season 5. Episode 16. January 9, 1970.
  21. ^ a b "Commander of the Year". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 3. October 1, 1965.
  22. ^ "The Schultz Brigade". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 2. September 23, 1966.
  23. ^ a b c "Will the Blue Baron Strike Again?"". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 12. December 14, 1968.
  24. ^ "Operation Briefcase". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 4. October 7, 1966.
  25. ^ Woo, Elaine (8 December 2008). "Werner Klemperer; Played Col. Klink in ‘Hogan’s Heroes’". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  26. ^ "Hogan's Heroes: Quotes". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  27. ^ "Cupid Comes to Stalag 13". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 30. April 15, 1966.
  28. ^ a b c d "War Takes a Holiday". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 21. January 27, 1968.
  29. ^ a b "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 5. October 7, 1967.
  30. ^ "Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 4. September 30, 1967.
  31. ^ "To the Gestapo With Love". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 5. October 26, 1968.
  32. ^ "The Rise and Fall of Sergeant Schultz". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 6. October 21, 1966.
  33. ^ "Happy Birthday Adolf". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 17. January 7, 1966.
  34. ^ "The Battle of Stalag 13". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 5. October 14, 1966.
  35. ^ "Hogan, Go Home". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 19. January 13, 1968.
  36. ^ "The Crittendon Plan". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 1. September 9, 1967.
  37. ^ "Lord Chitterly's Lover: Part 1". Hogan's Heroes. Season 6. Episode 4. October 11, 1970.
  38. ^ "Lord Chitterly's Lover: Part 2". Hogan's Heroes. Season 6. Episode 5. October 18, 1970.
  39. ^ "The Assassin". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 29. April 8. 1966.
  40. ^ Shandley, Robert (September 15, 2011). Hogan's Heroes. Wayne State University Press. p. 90. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  41. ^ "Don't Forget to Write". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 13. December 9, 1966.
  42. ^ "Art for Hogan's Sake". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 16. December 30, 1966.
  43. ^ a b c "Watch the Trains Go By". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 19. February 1, 1969.
  44. ^ "Kommandant Gertrude". Hogan's Heroes. Season 6. Episode 21. February 28, 1971.
  45. ^ "That's No Lady, That's My Spy". Hogan's Heroes. Season 6. Episode 17. January 24m 1971.
  46. ^ "The Pizza Parlor". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 22. February 11, 1966.
  47. ^ "The Return of Major Bonacelli". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 25. March 15, 1969.
  48. ^ "Clearance Sale at the Black Market". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 1. September 28, 1969.
  49. ^ "The Witness". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 23. March 1, 1969.
  50. ^ "My Favorite Prisoner". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 18. January 25, 1969.
  51. ^ "No Names, Please". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 10. November 30, 1968.
  52. ^ "The Big Broadcast". Hogan's Heroes. Season 6. Episode 12. December 6, 1970.
  53. ^ "Will The Real Adolf Please Stand Up?". Hogan's Heroes. Season 2. Episode 12. December 2, 1966.
  54. ^ "Klink's Old Flame". Hogan's Heroes. Season 4. Episode 20. February 8, 1969.
  55. ^ "The Dropouts". Hogan's Heroes. Season 6. Episode 14. December 27, 1970.
  56. ^ "The Late Inspector General". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 4. October 8, 1965.
  57. ^ "A Russian is Coming". Hogan's Heroes. Season 3. Episode 12. November 25, 1967.
  58. ^ "Is There a Traitor in the House?". Hogan's Heroes. Season 5. Episode 13. December 19, 1969.
  59. ^ "Hogan's Heroes "Frequently Asked Questions" File". Grooviespad.com. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  60. ^ "Theme songs of early UK TV programmes". Headington.org.uk. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  61. ^ Weintraub, Bernard (8 December 2000). "Werner Klemperer, Klink in 'Hogan's Heroes,' Dies at 80". The New York Times (NYTimes.com). Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  62. ^ "John Banner aka "Sergeant Schultz" query". Axis History Forum. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  63. ^ "Awards & Ratings". Hogan's Heroes Fan Club. 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  64. ^ Jumptheshark.com rating for Hogan's Heroes[dead link]
  65. ^ "Hogan's Heroes Fan Reviews". TV.com. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  66. ^ a b c d Gardner, Eric (21 March 2012). "WGA Fights Over Movie Rights to 'Hogan's Heroes'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  67. ^ Null, Christopher. "Stalag 17: A film review". Filmcritic.com. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  68. ^ Rooney, Andy (1995). My War. New York: Random House. p. 264. ISBN 1-58648-159-2. 
  69. ^ Royce, Brenda Scott (15 October 1998). Hogan's Heroes: Behind the Scenes at Stalag 13. Renaissance Books. p. 22. ISBN 978-1580630313. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  70. ^ Cosgrove-Mather, Bootie (12 July 2002). "The Worst TV Shows Ever". CBS News. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  71. ^ a b c Levine, Alan J. (30 August 2000). Captivity, Flight and Survival in World War II. Westport, CT: Praeger. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  72. ^ "Hold That Tiger". Hogan's Heroes. Season 1. Episode 2. September 24, 1965.
  73. ^ Hogan's Heroes in HD
  74. ^ Steinmetz, Greg (31 May 1996). "In Germany Now, Col. Klink's Maid Cleans in the Nude". The Wall Street Journal (Hogan's Heroes Fan Club). p. A1. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  75. ^ http://oldbubblegumcards.com/1960s/Hogans-Heroes/index.html
  76. ^ "Hogan's Heroes Sing the Best of World War II". Hogan's Heroes Fan Club. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  77. ^ "Pound Puppies". FilmScoreMonthly.com. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  78. ^ Ralske, Josh (7 August 2013). ""Better Call Saul!" The Best of Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad". TWC Central. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 

External links[edit]