German Bridge Is Falling Down
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: German Bridge is Falling Down
Original Airdate: October 29, 1965
Production Number: 5784-7
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Gene Reynolds
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & Bernard Fein

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

The heroes plan to blow a bridge near camp when a bomber raid fails.

Plot Details Edit

The episode begins with Schultz conducting a night time count of the prisoners of Barracks 2. The count has been asked for by Hogan, after he has earlier claimed that some of his men have been thinking of "some crazy escape plan." After the count has been conducted and the prisoners have been dismissed, Klink tells Hogan how appreciative he is of being informed about his men thoughts of escaping. Hogan, as he speaks with Klink, tells his men to "Smoke 'em if you got them," which his men do. Meanwhile, high in the air, the pilot and co-pilot of a passing American bomber soon sees the lighted arrow that is created by the prisoners' lighters, which point towards a nearby bridge. The plane, which is the lead plane of a bomber squadron, leads the others towards the bridge. The plane then leads the attack on the bridge, as the pilot promises the bombardier that he would give him a 3 day pass if he hits the bridge. The planes then start the attack before heading back for England.

The next day, Klink informs the prisoners that the bridge is still standing, only being damaged by the attack. After a prisoner (Carter) in the ranks comments that they would eventually get the bridge, Klink demands that the guilty party confess by stepping forward. All of the prisoners from Barracks 2 then step forward. After they have done it a second time, Klink informs the prisoners that since they are all guilty, then the recreation hall would be closed to them for a week. Hogan protests, announcing that they would be deprived of hearing their Tommy Dorsey records. Klink shows his 'sympathy' by announcing to them that the rec hall would now be closed for two weeks. He then have the prisoners dismissed. Now knowing that the planes have been unable to destroy the bridge, the prisoners decide to come up with a plan of their own to destroy it.

Inside Hogan's office, Carter is asked by Hogan to create a bomb with which to blow up the bridge. Carter quickly suggests that they create one by using chlorine gas, to be made from a combination of bleach and ammonia, which should be available in the camp's kitchen. Hogan then tells Newkirk to volunteer for kitchen duty so that he can get the ingredients that Carter will need to make the bomb, while he tells LeBeau, after the latter has asks what he could do to help, to stand by for chow mein duty so that he can poison the bridge in case Carter's plan doesn't work out. Later, Carter, assisted by Kinch, starts his experiments to create a bomb, which is soon creating some loud explosions underground. To keep the Germans from becoming too curious about the explosions, Hogan orders LeBeau to put up a sign (in English) which warns of nearby construction work.

As this is happening, Klink is signing some requestion forms for Helga inside his office. Klink then watches Schultz enter his office as Helga leaves with the forms. He quickly asks Schultz for the prisoners' reaction to his closing of the rec hall before he informs Schultz that he wants him to go check the barracks for any sign of tunneling activity just in case the prisoners decide to use the rec hall closing as a reason to escape the camp. As he tells Schultz this, the two hears several explosions, with Schultz complaining about them. Klink tells him that he has earlier called Berlin about the explosions and he tells him that they had told him that they have no idea about them. But, Klink then says that he thinks that what is going on must be a top secret military project, although the sign out in the woods makes it appear that it is a civilian one. Klink then tells him that if he is asked about the explosions by the prisoners, he is to tell them that he knows nothing. Schultz replies that he didn't think he would have a problem doing that, to which Klink quickly agrees. Schultz then leaves.

Back in Barracks 2, some of the prisoners are playing cards, and still hearing explosions. They then hear some tapping coming from beneath them. Newkirk and Kinch soon goes over to a trunk which sits over a tunnel, and open it, from out of which comes a frazzled Carter, just as Schultz and Corporal Langenscheidt are about to enter the barracks. The prisoners quickly put Carter into a bed and as LeBeau pretends to feed him some 'medicine', LeBeau informs Schultz that Carter is sick, while Langensheidt starts searching for any possible tunnels. Newkirk then convinces Schultz to play some poker with him. After Langensheidt tells Schultz that he is finished searching and have found nothing, the pair then leave, not knowing that Newkirk has in the meantime pilfered some cartridges from Schultz's weapon belt. He then muses to Hogan that the powder from 500 of them should help to make a nice bomb. Hogan agrees and starts on a plan to get them from inside the camp's ammo dump. Although being informed by Carter that the last explosion have caved in the tunnel, thus making it impossible to get to the building secretly, Hogan tells LeBeau to get ready the paints and brushes that they still have left over from the earlier sign painting.

Schultz is seen walking the grounds and comes in sight of the ammo building, which he soon sees is covered with insults. After reading them, he quickly informs Klink, who is now furious. Hogan tells him that the other prisoners are just letting off some steam in response to Klink's closing down their recreation hall. Klink demands that the building be painted by the prisoners to cover up the insults, after being talked into it by Hogan. After a tarp is placed over the building, and so that they can have the necessary time they will need to sneak out the right amount of ammunition that they need for the bomb, Hogan has his men put on only a thin coat of paint on the building to help delay things. Klink, upon seeing it, demands that it be painted over. It is, but it is now painted pink. Klink, now furious, demands that it be painted once more, but only right this time. Carter then appears with a board with paint samples on it to show to Klink which colors are available. Several minutes is then taken up suggesting which color is to be used before the building is finally painted.

Later, Carter is shown wrapping up a box that is loaded with the newly made bomb. Once this is done, the Heroes start to wonder how to actually get the bomb to the bridge. Upon seeing the mail courier for a nearby unit arrive, it is decided that the bomb would be placed inside the sidecar of his motorcycle, since he would be going along the road to Braunstien which would get it across the bridge. After Kinch has calculated the distance and travel time to the bridge to set up the timer, LeBeau distracts the courier by sitting on the seat of the motorcycle while Newkirk places the bomb package among the rest of the mail. Only later do they learn from Schultz that he has just bribed the courier so that he would make a detour for him to Düsseldorf so that he could give a pound of coffee to his wife.

After learning this, the prisoners go back into Barracks 2 and look at the maps, where they soon discover that there are three posts placed along the courier's route, all connected by telephone, with #9 being the closet one to the detour point. Hogan then goes to Klink's office and informs him that his men had plan to bribe him with some wine to get him to reopen the rec hall, which the courier would be picking up for them in Düsseldorf. Upon hearing this, Klink gets on the phone, phones the nearest post and orders that under no circumstances is the courier to be allowed to make a detour. He then informs Hogan that he plans to send all the prisoners involved into the cooler, and to add to that he will destroy not only all of their Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey records, but also those of The Andrews Sisters. At about this point, as the courier is driving across the bridge, the bomb in his sidecar explodes, destroying him and the bridge. Klink, who is now adding Bing Crosby to the list of those whose records he would destroy, and Hogan hears the bridge explosion from inside Klink's office, and when Klink comments that he wishes that they would finish with the construction, Hogan replies that he didn't think that he would be hearing any more explosions. When asked how he is so sure of that, Hogan comments that it is a guess.

The next day, Klink, during another roll call, informs the prisoners that the Adolf Hitler bridge has been destroyed, which is being investigated. And that he is asking for volunteers to help rebuild it. Hogan quickly offer his men, in exchange for the reopening of their rec hall, which Klink accepts. The other prisoners then start to protest as Klink leaves, which Hogan quickly stops. He then informs his men that they are going to plant a new bomb within the new bridge's structure during it construction so that it would explode after its completion.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is both the seventh produced episode of the series, and the seventh one to be shown on television.
  • The episode's title is based on the traditional nursery rhyme, London Bridge is falling down.
  • In an oddity, Carter has to escape a collapsing tunnel and comes up through a foot locker. This is the only time that this apparent "emergency escape hatch" is used in the series. It is also the first time, but not the last, that Carter will wind up inside a footlocker (he does so again in The Most Escape-Proof Camp I've Ever Escaped From).
  • This is the first and only time the title of the show was mentioned in the show itself. Though the title is implied in The Softer They Fall as Hogan mentions he wouldn't want to be known as leading "Hogan's Cowards."

Background Trivia Edit

Timeline Notes and SpeculationsEdit

Quotes Edit

Inside an American bomber which was leading a squadron that was flying near Stalag 13, the plane's Pilot and Co-Pilot are looking down and see the lighted arrow that was formed by the prisoner's lights, which pointed towards the nearby bridge, the planes' target:

  • Pilot: Hogan's Heroes. I don't know know how they do it. Now that's what I call service.
  • Co-Pilot: They sure turned this mission into a milk run.

After learning that the bombers had been unable to destroy the bridge:

  • Kinchloe: Look, I know that arrow was pointed in the right direction! I took the bearings from the roof of Klink's office.
  • Hogan: It doesn't matter, Kinch. The Adolf Hitler bridge is still in business.
  • Carter: Yeah, and Klink's happy - nasty happy.
  • Hogan: Let's make him unhappy - nasty unhappy. Let's knock out that bridge.

As the prisoners start gathering materials so that he could destroy the bridge after the bombers have failed:

  • Hogan: What kind of explosions we got, Carter?
  • Carter: Three firecrackers and a can of lighter fluid.
  • Hogan: Firecrackers?
  • Carter: Well, sure. You remember - when we told Klink that LeBeau was part Chinese, we had to have firecrackers to celebrate Chinese New Year.
  • Hogan (nodding): Oh, yeah.
  • LeBeau: And I cooked that whole pot of chow mein... with sauerkraut.
  • Hogan: Please - not while I'm plotting.

After Hogan has come up with a plan to destroy the bridge:

  • Hogan: Kinch, you go with Carter and help him set up a bomb factory in tunnel number 3. Get him anything he needs.
  • Kinchloe: Right, Colonel.
  • LeBeau: What about me, Colonel? What do I do?
  • Hogan: LeBeau, my boy, I'm holding you in reserve to make chow mein.
  • LeBeau: What?
  • Hogan: If Carter's bombs don't do it, we may have to poison that bridge.

After Carter's experiment causes a loud explosion inside one of the tunnels:

  • Hogan (to Carter): Carter? Carter? You OK?
  • Carter: Oh, yeah. Boy that stuff is really unstable!
  • Hogan: Yeah.
  • Carter: You've got to get the mixture just right.
  • Hogan: Yeah, I know, I know.
  • Carter: You gotta expect a few little explosions.
  • Hogan: Oh sure, sure.
  • Kinchloe: Oh, boy, you keep that up and Klink'll be down here in a minute and there goes the ball game!
  • Hogan: I have an idea on how to explain the noise. Carter, keep working... oh, you do have insurance?

Inside Klink's office, Colonel Klink is speaking to Sergeant Schultz, telling him that he was going to go to the barracks to check for any tunneling. Klink also commented on the recent explosions that had been occurring around the camp:

  • Klink: If the prisoners asks any questions about these explosions, you know nothing. You are ignorant.
  • Schultz: Oh, I can handle that.
  • Klink: I know. Dis-missed!

After Carter suggests giving it one more try, after having destroyed one of the tunnels:

  • Hogan: We still gotta figure out a way to make more ammunition.
  • Carter: Well, I'm still willing to try, Colonel.
  • Hogan: Whose side are you on?

Schultz turns a corner and sees a number of insults which had been painted on the ammo building:

  • Schultz: Hess is a mess. Himmler is a rat fink. Göring is a fat rat fink. Colonel Klink is bucking for rat fink.

A short time after Carter has finished wrapping up the bomb inside Barracks 2:

  • Newkirk: (in German accent) Hello, Adolf? Did you just see a bridge go by at 5000 feet? Ja? (normal voice) Well, it had your name on it, mate!

Kinch starts to calculate the distant and travel time between the camp and the soon to be destroyed bridge, Hogan comments:

  • Kinch: Right, so all we have to do is measure the distance from here to the bridge at 40 miles per hour and set the timer so that it blows up when he's crossing the bridge.
  • Hogan: My son, the mathematician.

After learning that the courier was planning to make an unscheduled stop in Düsseldorf to pick up a gift for Sergenat Schultz, Klink announces while on the phone:

  • Klink: If these orders are not carried out, you and the messenger will be court-martialed, shot and sent to the Russian front! That's all! Oh, yes, of course, Heil Hitler.

After Klink, Schultz and Hogan hears the explosion of the bridge while inside Klink's office:

  • Schultz: Herr Kommandant, that was the worst!
  • Klink: It's that construction work. I wish they would finish. I'm getting sick of it.
  • Hogan: Oh, I don't think there's going to be any more explosions, Colonel.
  • Klink: And, how do you know, may I ask?
  • Hogan: Just a wild guess.

After stopping his men protests of having been volunteered to help the Germans rebuilt the Adolf Hitler bridge:

  • Hogan: Shhh. Alright, alright. We're going to rebuild the bridge with a very special feature.
  • Newkirk: What do you mean by that?
  • Hogan: It'll be the only bridge in the world with a built-in bomb.

Bloopers Edit

  • The first clip of bombers heading for the bridge shows B-17 Flying Fortresses. The next clip, they've suddenly changed to B-24 Liberators. Furthermore, it is an uncharacteristic night bombing mission for American bombers, which almost exclusively engaged in daylight raids, while the British heavy bombers undertook the night missions.
  • No bulletin board outside Klink's office.
  • Klink's office window appears to the left (his right) of his desk in this episode. Later in the series, the window is consistently to Klink's left.
  • The map of central Europe behind Colonel Klink's desk, shows a West and East Germany. Germany is not divided until after World War II.
  • At one point in the episode, the prisoners put up a sign to divert attention from what they are really doing - the sign is in English - an obvious red flag in the middle of Germany (but understandable in terms of cost - if they showed a sign in German, it was expensive back then to add text in English to the screen.
  • An explosion under the barracks shakes the place and dislodges dust from the ceiling without disturbing a background clothesline.
  • In one scene where they are painting a building, in the background, you can clearly see palm trees - unlikely to be growing in any part of Germany.
  • Larry Hovis accidentally shows his wedding ring during this episode. His character, Carter, was supposed to be single and naive in the ways of women. You can see the wedding ring in every scene where Carter is down in the tunnels attempting to make explosives. You can also see it in the sequence of scenes where a dazed Carter is pulled up from the tunnels into Barracks 2, then has to be hidden in a bunk, pretending to be sick, from an over-inquisitive Schultz.
  • The German city of Düsseldorf, which is mentioned as being near the courier's route to the bridge, is located in the northwestern German Rhineland, which is no where near Hammelburg, which is located in the southeastern German state of Bavaria.
  • The German sentry who waved down the motorcycle courier under orders from Klink is armed with a US Thompson submachine gun.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
The Prisoner's Prisoner
Next episode:
Movies Are Your Best Escape