War of Nerves (M*A*S*H)

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"War of Nerves"
M*A*S*H episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 5
Directed by Alan Alda
Written by Alan Alda
Production code 604
Original air date October 11, 1977
Guest actors

Allan Arbus (Maj. Sidney Freedman)
Johnny Haymer (SSgt. Zelmo Zale)
Peter Riegert (Pvt. Igor Straminsky)
Michael O'Keefe (Tom)

List of M*A*S*H episodes

"War of Nerves" is an episode from the TV series M*A*S*H, the fourth episode of its sixth season. Originally airing on October 11, 1977, with a rebroadcast on June 5, 1978 (which saw CBS move the show to Mondays at 9 p.m.), it was written and directed by Alan Alda.


Tensions are building at the 4077th, and morale is at an all-time low. Dr. Sidney Freedman is visiting to follow up on a soldier he sent back into battle, and helps Colonel Potter realize that a big bonfire may be what it takes to let people vent their frustrations and get back to work. Freedman's bitter and angry patient vows never to forget or forgive Freedman for sending him back to the front lines.

When Radar expresses concerns over what his attachment to his teddy bear means in terms of his sanity, Freedman assures him that he isn't crazy. Freedman predicts that Radar won't need the teddy bear anymore when he leaves. In "Good-Bye Radar," he leaves it behind.


Guest cast is Allan Arbus as Major Sidney Freedman, Johnny Haymer as Staff Sergeant Zelmo Zale, Peter Riegert as Private Igor Straminsky, and Michael O'Keefe as Tom.

In "Mad Dogs and Servicemen," Michael O'Keefe played a soldier who suffered from hysterical paralysis. While the name of the soldier was Corporal Richard Travis, his middle name/nickname might have been "Tom."

One of two episodes where Private Igor Straminsky was played by Peter Riegert, instead of Jeff Maxwell, who portrayed Igor in 59 episodes over the run of the show.