A cage full of heroes

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Television series
German title A cage full of heroes
( cable one )
barbed wire and heel money
( Sat.1 )
Original title Hogan's Heroes
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 1965-1971
length 25 minutes
Episodes 168 in 6 seasons
genre Comedy
idea Edward H. Feldman
Albert S. Ruddy
Bernard Fein
music Jerry Fielding - March (varies by country)
First broadcast Sep 17, 1965 (USA) on CBS
first broadcast
March 22, 1992 on Sat.1

A cage full of heroes (original title: Hogan's Heroes ) is an American sitcom that takes place in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II . The series was produced by Bing Crosby Productions under the umbrella of Desilu Studios (most recently Paramount Television ) for the television network CBS . The series, which originally ran from 1965 to 1971, consists of 168 episodes of 25 minutes each.


The series takes place in the fictional German prisoner-of-war camp Stalag 13 , which is located near the town of Hammelburg . In the Luftwaffe camp , prisoners of the western allied armed forces, mainly US , British and French soldiers, are being held.

Taking advantage of the caricature simplicity of its guards, the camp serves the prisoners as their own base from which they carry out numerous acts of sabotage and thus support the war efforts of the Allies with their modest means.


The series was developed by Bernard Fein and Albert S. Ruddy , who also wrote the script for the pilot episode, which was still shot in black and white. It was produced by Edward H. Feldman for Bing Crosby Productions in collaboration with Bob Crane Enterprises Inc. and the CBS Television Network . The series was shot by Cinema General Studios on a Deluxe color film.

As a source of inspiration for the authors of the film was often Stalag 17 by Billy Wilder called. After all, the producers of the film sued the makers of A Cage Full of Heroes because they saw it as plagiarism. However, the lawsuit was unsuccessful. It has also become known that Fein and Ruddy originally wanted the series to be set in an American security prison, but couldn't find any sponsors. Instead, the plot was moved to a prisoner-of-war camp, for which a rumor about the Campo 44 series, which was being planned at the same time and which was supposed to take place in such a camp, should have been decisive. The Campo 44 pilot was only broadcast later; no series followed it. Campo 44 was therefore mistaken for a copy of Hogan's Heroes .

After the sixth season, the series was discontinued because Bob Crane struggled with his success. His wage demands rose immeasurably, while he made more and more negative headlines with women’s stories and excessive alcohol . At CBS, a new program director was also appointed, in whose concept there was no longer any room for the series.

Werner Klemperer received an Emmy in 1968 and 1969 for his role as Colonel Klink . In a 2002 "List of the Worst TV Shows of All Time" compiled by the television magazine TV Guide , A Cage Full of Heroes landed at number 5.

German version

In Germany, the series ran for the first time in 1992 under the title Barbed Wire and Fersengeld on Sat.1 , but was not well received when it was broadcast late on Sundays and was canceled after 24 episodes. However, since all 168 episodes had already been purchased, the Kirch Group, as the owner of the broadcasting rights , decided to do a new dubbing under the direction of Rainer Brandt . He had already put more on slapstick in Die 2 and other series by incorporating Schnodderdeutsch and thus helped them to be successful in Germany. In this version, which ran under the new title A Cage Full of Heroes on weekdays on Kabel 1 from 1994 , the series was finally a success.

In addition to the freer translation, which is only roughly based on the original, the entertainment value of the episodes was increased primarily through the use of dialects. Colonel Klink speaks Saxon , Sergeant Schultz's cosiness is accompanied by a Bavarian dialect. It is similar with General Burkhalter, who speaks with an Austrian touch. The actors from Schultz and Burkhalter, John Banner and Leon Askin , both actually came from Austria.

Such means were also used with the “heroes”. LeBeau speaks with a French accent and the Englishman Newkirk stutters, an invention of the translator, because Newkirk speaks British English in the original without speech defects. The Americans speak a neutral standard German . The Germans do the same when they appear in small supporting roles or as extras.

Klink's figure is portrayed much more sympathetically in the German version; in the episode The Darn Maneuver, for example, he replies to the statement that the prisoners of war are scum with "This is not a pack, these are people", which does not appear in the original. In general, dialogues in which he originally looked like a German loyal to the state are often completely left out or taken to the point of absurdity. Klink often starts to rhyme for no reason or to gossip about his housekeeper Kalinke, and in telephone calls his Hitler salute is usually replaced by “Yes, you me too”, “Heil Kräuter!” Or something similar.

Frau Kalinke, Colonel Klink's Silesian cleaning lady, who is the subject of numerous jokes, is also a creation of the German version and does not appear in the American original. It can therefore not be seen or heard in any episode, although it seems to be well known to all actors. The subject of the mostly lewd jokes is that she not only runs Colonel Klink's household, but also has an affair with him.

The German version also takes great liberties in terms of content. So from the sabotage targets, which in the original mostly consisted of arms factories, ammunition transports and the like, in German without further ado factories for schnapps, "synthetic toilet paper" and ready-made fried potatoes for the front. This often results in inconsistencies; In the episode With Bow and Arrow, an alleged "transport of counterfeit Coca-Cola" is blown up by shooting a burning arrow at it, which is far more plausible with the original target, a truck full of experimental aircraft fuel.

When casting the roles, Rainer Brandt increasingly relied on voice actors from the former East Berlin. In addition to Thomas Wolff as Colonel Hogan, Joachim Siebenschuh as Colonel Klink and Andrea Kathrin Loewig as Secretary Hilda, other former DEFA actors could be heard in the series, including Victor Deiß , Madeleine Lierck , Dieter Wien , Dietmar Richter-Reinick and Horst Kempe . Thomas Wolff, who already played the lead role with Alan Alda in the series M * A * S * H , also edited by Rainer Brandt , also directed most of the episodes of Ein Käfig Vollherden . Several well-known West Berlin voice actors were also used in guest roles. B. Wolfgang Spier , Edgar Ott , Gerd Duwner , Jürgen Thormann , Lothar Blumhagen , Christian Rode or Judy Winter . As the author of the German dialogue books, Rainer Brandt, in contrast to other of his productions, was only heard in a small role in the entire series (as Pierre in the episode Die brave Lockente) .

Pilot episode

As is common in the United States, the series was initially filmed as a pilot episode. This is used for the early development of the series idea and serves as a preview copy for those responsible at the major broadcasters before ordering a season. The pilot episode of "A Cage Full of Heroes" was used as the first episode of the series, but differs in some details from the later episodes. It's the only one that was shot in black and white.

In this episode, the Soviet prisoner of war Vladimir Minsk is part of Hogan's team, who was a tailor in Moscow before the war and tailors various German uniforms, but also civil disguises, for the refugees, but also Hogan's team. Actor Leonid Kinskey , who portrayed him, said the Nazis weren't taken seriously enough on the show. He therefore refused to sign a contract for the series. He still did not appear again. Newkirk and LeBeau took over his duties as tailors. In the first episodes after that, Soviet prisoners of war appear in the background and also as meaningless team members, but then disappear from the series.

Sergeant First Class Andrew J. Carter is a lieutenant and refugee from another camp in the pilot who is being sent home. In episode two he only appears again in the background in Hogan's team, but soon becomes one of the main characters.

Colonel Wilhelm Klink has an adjutant in the pilot episode and there are other energetic NCOs, none of whom appear later.

Klink's secretary Miss Helga is part of Hogan's team in the pilot and willingly manicures refugees not only in the underground area of ​​Hogan's escape tunnel system. In later episodes she is fond of Hogan, but does not actively support his plans and is no longer aware of them. She is more likely to be degraded to a naive blonde.

In the pilot episode, Hogan's underground escape tunnel system has some facilities that no longer appear, such as a counterfeiting workshop in which, among other things, large amounts of German money are forged, a sauna, a hairdressing salon and an underground factory that, for example, is deceptively real Walter Manufactures pistols, which are only cigarette lighter and the sale of which is said to bring the prisoners in the pilot a big profit. These workshops are mentioned from time to time in the following episodes (in episode three they are making a medal for Colonel Klink and forging an award certificate, for example), but are no longer shown and disappear from the series.

The tunnel system does not have any exits outside the fence in the first episodes. These entrances that exist in the later episodes play an essential role for the later actions.

In the first episodes of Klink's office the desk is opposite the door, later it is at right angles to her. Furthermore, in Klink's office there is a picture on the wall with the Führer giving a speech. In the first episodes in this picture the microphone is visible as a bug , through which Hogan can overhear every conversation in the office, later the bug disappears, but the picture remains.

Oscar Schnitzer is actually a German veterinarian who looks after the watchdogs in the pilot episode and only unconsciously helps the prisoners, in the series he is a member of the German resistance and actively helps Hogan's troop.

In the first episodes the camp gate is a simple one, although the camp is surrounded by a double fence, later the gate is also double. This is clearly evident in the opening credits for the series, as it shows both variants of the goal.


actor figure Voice actor in
a cage full of heroes
Voice actor in
barbed wire and heel money
Bob Crane Colonel Robert E. Hogan Thomas Wolff Martin Keßler
Werner Klemperer Colonel Wilhelm Klink Joachim Siebenschuh Klaus Jepsen
John Banner Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz Tom Deininger Jochen Schröder
Richard Dawson Corporal Peter Newkirk Wolfgang number Gerald Paradise
Ivan Dixon Staff Sergeant James Kinchloe Jörg Hengstler Klaus Munster
Robert Clary Corporal Louis LeBeau Dietmar miracle Santiago Ziesmer
Larry Hovis Sergeant First Class Andrew J. Carter Andrej Brandt Uwe Paulsen
Leon Askin General Albert Burkhalter Robert Dietl
Howard Caine Major Wolfgang Hochstetter Klaus Jepsen
Kenneth Washington Sergeant Richard Baker Michael Deffert
Cynthia Lynn Helga Andrea Aust Daniela Hoffmann
Sigrid Valdis Hilda Andrea Kathrin Loewig
Bernard Fox Colonel Rodney Crittendon Karl Sturm
Nita Talbot Marya Helga Sasse
Arlene Martel "Tiger" Viola Sauer
Kathleen Freeman /
Alice Ghostley
Gertrude Linkmeyer Barbara Dittus
Stewart Moss Sergeant Olsen Michael Deffert
Jon Cedar Private Karl Langenscheidt Hans Hohlbein
Walter Janowitz Oscar Schnitzer Alexander Duke

Important figures

main characters

  • Colonel Robert E. Hogan (all episodes): thought leader and most senior (American) prisoner of war . The most beautiful women are always reserved for him. Because of his charm, he can often access important information. Most of the "hero's" plans are worked out by Colonel Hogan. Basically, it is not Colonel Klink who runs the camp, but Hogan, who has built up a feigned friendship with the commanding officer. This gives Hogan some secret files and plans.
Werner Klemperer, actor of Colonel Klink, 1998
  • Colonel Wilhelm Klink (all consequences): The head of Stalag 13 is only moderately intelligent, suffers from overconfidence and does not miss a fool. He has to be saved again and again by the “heroes” from being transferred to the Eastern Front, since their undertakings are based on his inability. He allegedly comes from an old Saxon noble family that is apparently impoverished. He was born in Dresden and only made it to officers' school because his uncle was the hairdresser of the Dresden mayor; he was the worst in his class. During the First World War he served first in the Imperial Army, then with the air force. He later received the Iron Cross . After the war he stayed in the restructured army of the Weimar Republic . He was promoted to colonel in 1922 and has hoped to become a general ever since. When the National Socialists took power, he returned to the Air Force and was a pilot during the French campaign. Colonel Klink likes to play the violin, although he has neither musical talent nor tact. Klink also suffers from his hairlessness and his always too tight boots. He is afraid of General Burkhalter and Major Hochstetter, who would be only too happy tosend him to the Eastern Frontbecause of his obvious unsustainability for the Wehrmacht . However, he has something in common with General Burkhalter: both dislike Major Hochstetter and hate the Gestapo. Before the war, Klink worked as an accountant in an eggnog factory. Burkhalter's widowed sister tries to tie in with Klink, which Burkhalter would welcome, but which fails because of Klink's pronounced aversion to her. In the German version, he has a fuss with his housekeeper Kalinke, who, however, does not appear in any episode (she does not appear in the American original). In both the original and the German version, it is more or less openly indicated that Klink actually thinks very little of the war and the “Third Reich”.
  • Sergeant First Class Andrew John Carter (all episodes except "Your Biggest Bluff" and "The Big Bank Robbery"), Lieutenant in the first episode: He is the explosives expert among the "heroes". Despite his clumsiness in handling the “hot stuff”, none of the “heroes” were ever hurt. He is usually the first choice for sabotage operations, is often disguised as a German general and also plays Hitler twice- each time deceptively real. However, some outdoor use is screwed up because it does not set the timer or loses the compass. Carter is of American Indian descent. Its Indian name is " Little deer that wanders nimbly and safely through the forest ". He only appeared in the first episode, but became an integral part of the series in the second episode. According to his own admission, he once ran a drugstore.
  • Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz (all episodes except “The Blue Baron”): He is a Bavarian civilian at heartand is regularlybribedwith delicacies and sweets from the prisoners' Red Cross parcels. For an apple strudel, a knuckle of dumplings or g'selchtes (cured and then smoked pork), he sees everything he should see and overlooks everything he shouldn't see. In contrast to Klink, he is well aware of what is going on in the camp, but his motto is: "I see nothing, I hear nothing and I don't know anything." The heroes often convince Schultz to help them with their actions, mostly by threatening him with a transfer to the Russian front. In the end, however, they always make sure that Schultz is untouched and thus spared from the front. During the First World War, Schultz also fought as a sergeant and was considered an indomitable soldier, before whom all the riflemen stood at attention. The soldier in Schultz is brought out by the heroes every now and then when they need an impressive German general or field marshal for their missions. Before the war he ran a company for women's underwear, the "Schatullenkrönung" (in the original English version of the series, he is the owner of the toy factory "Schatzi"). Schultz's shoulder boards are incorrect; the silver edges should be completely closed. Based on the number of stars, Schultz is a sergeant major. However, he wears two so-called piston rings on the sleeves of his uniform jacket, which identifies him as a sergeant major ("spit"). Schultz was inspired by the character of the same name from Billy Wilder's 1953 film Stalag 17 .
  • Corporal Louis LeBeau (167 episodes): A French prisoner, an excellent chef from Hogan's team. He often cooks for Klink and his high-ranking guests on Hogan's initiative. His small body size, which is why Klink oftencalls hima cockroach , is an advantage in many acts of sabotage. LeBeau is very patriotic but also very stubborn, especially when it comes to his recipes and remedies. The little Frenchman is also very fond of animals; the camp's watchdogs even listen to his orders.
  • Corporal Peter Newkirk (166 episodes): A stuttering Englishman with skilled hands, thanks to which the "heroes" can repeatedly open safes and locks. Before the war he was supposed to be a pretty good wizard; According to his own statements, he was " loved in the palladium ". To spy and scout out, he always has to dress up as an old mother. In the original version it does not stutter, this was only introduced with the second German dubbed version.
  • Staff Sergeant James Kinchloe (145 episodes): As a former employee of a Detroit telephone company, he is the first choice when it comes to wiretapping and radio equipment. He maintains the radio equipment of the "heroes" and maintains contact with headquarters. Since he would attract attention as an African American because of his dark skin color, he is rarely chosen for the foreign missions. Due to problems with the producer, the actor Ivan Dixon left the series after the fifth season, so that the character of Kinchloe was missing in the sixth season.
  • Helga (22 episodes) / Hilda (46 episodes): Klinks blonde and attractive secretary and receptionist. She helps the “heroes” with little things (for example, she makes letters and invitations that were actually intended for Klink disappear in order to make them accessible to Hogan). She is Hogan's boyfriend and would like to marry him. In the first season her name is Helga (played by Cynthia Lynn ), from the second season she was replaced by Hilda (played by Sigrid Valdis ). The two roles are practically identical and also very similar outwardly, as both are blonde and attractive and are called "Schnulle" by Klink and Hogan. Both actresses can be seen in other roles in the course of the series.
Leon Askin, actor of General Burkhalter, 2001
  • General Albert Burkhalter (67 episodes): He is the nemesis of Klink, but is repeatedly tricked by the "heroes". He's grossly overweight and cowardly when things get really serious. He likes to push Klink the buck to, get away with it by itself. He tries again and again - albeit unsuccessfully - to marry his unattractive sister Gertrude to Klink, but Klink is not taken with it, since he prefers lovely blondes. However, he and Colonel Klink also have something in common: both don't like Major Hochstetter and hate the Gestapo.
  • SS - Major Wolfgang Hochstetter (37 episodes): Choleric SS major who quickly loses patience and yells around. He is always on the trail of the “heroes”, but in the end he has to cover them again and again in order notto be transferred tothe eastern front because of the inability to placethem. A typical Hochstetter saying and a kind of “running gag” is, as soon as Hogan shows up in Klink's office, “Who is this man?!?”, Or, with a raised finger, “What is this man doing here?”. In the German dubbed version, the prisoners often refer to him as "SS ass". This is the translation of a play on words from the English original, where it is called "SS-Ass". A third is added to the two “S” in “SS”, which corresponds to the pronunciation of the English word “Ass” (German: ass). However, the left collar tab of his uniform, which identifies the wearer as an SS standard leader ,is grossly flawed in Hochstetter's depiction. This is a rank thatcorresponded to that ofa colonel in the Wehrmacht, i.e. two ranks above that of a major. Incidentally, it was unusual to address an SS officer with a Wehrmacht rank. In addition, the SS did not use the salutation "Herr" before the rank of service. The epaulette however Hochstetter corresponds to the rank of major. If he had been equipped with a correct collar tab, he should have been addressed as Sturmbannführer.
  • Sergeant Richard Baker (24 episodes): Successor to "Kinch" from season six. He's an African American and the team's radio specialist.

More figures

  • Private Karl Langenscheidt (16 episodes): Langenscheidt is part of the Stalag 13 team and keeps appearing briefly, e.g. B. to announce or escort Klink's guests. More important watch jobs are seldom assigned to him. In the episode "The Blue Baron" he represents Schultz as a non-commissioned officer on duty.
  • Oscar Schnitzer (13 episodes): Member of the resistance movement. As a vet, he looks after the camp's dogs, often smuggling people into and out of the camp with his delivery van.
  • Colonel Rodney Crittendon (8 episodes): British prisoner of war, who is higher in rank than Hogan due to his longer period of service and therefore occasionally takes over the leadership of the prisoners. With his clumsy approach he messes up all secret actions. He believes that the prisoners' only job is to escape, since everything else is to cooperate with the enemy. As a result, he is not afraid to blacken people when they seek refuge with Hogan's team. However, this can usually be prevented. Hogan and his men therefore always do everything in their power to get rid of Crittendon as quickly as possible, be it by supporting an escape to England or by moving to another camp. Crittendon is the inventor of the "Crittendon Plan", the planting of the British military runways with flowers to raise morale.
  • Sergeant Olsen (8 episodes): Olsen is an American prisoner of war and "foreign correspondent" for Hogan's troops. He keeps leaving the camp at times so that refugees can take his place. From time to time, however, he also takes an active part in acts of sabotage.
  • Marya (7 episodes): Marya is an agent of the Soviet Union . She pretends to be nobles who have been driven out by the communists, associates with the highest circles, is very well networked there, is very intelligent and at least as sly as Hogan. Since she never discusses her actions with Hogan, she often puts the "heroes" in trouble, but still needs their support. Hogan and his team are usually forced to play along with their plans, but always to Hogan's advantage. She has no problem with important information about Hogan falling into the hands of the British first and not first benefiting the Soviet Union. She doesn't recognize Hogan as boss, which annoys Hogan. But if he does everything the way she wants, she likes to share all successes with him.
  • Tiger (7 episodes): An underground agent of the French resistance. She works with Hogan's men on several occasions. When she faces execution, Hogan disobeys his orders and saves her.
  • Gertrude Linkmeyer (5 episodes): General Burkhalter's sister. He tried several times in vain to couple her with Colonel Klink; her husband is missing on the Eastern Front. Klink often uses coarse terms (“Zippelgusse”, “Zuppelgusse”, “face bucket”, “Runfttutte” and “fighting hen that wants to karniefel”) to refer to it because it is already around 50 and not very attractive. Although she succeeds in building relationships with other men, these, too, are always short-lived. She is played by another actress in her fourth of five appearances.
  • Major Bonacelli (2 episodes): An Italian who is initially sent to Stalag 13 for further training. Actually, he is fed up with the war and wants to flee to Switzerland , but is then persuaded by the "heroes" to stay (in Italy) and provides the Allies with information. He is played by two different actors in the two episodes in which he appears.

Properties and special features

Since the basic idea of ​​the series and the location only allow a limited number of plots, certain patterns appear again and again in the stories. In addition, the series deviates in numerous details from the reality in a German prisoner-of-war camp for dramaturgical reasons. In the English-language original, most Germans have a differently pronounced German accent and often use short German phrases (“Jawohl, Herr Kommandant”, “Der Führer”).

Recurring patterns of action

Certain action patterns can be found again and again in the series.

The National Socialist rulers often assume that a prisoner of war camp would never be bombed. So they try to find new secret weapons, important prisoners or top scientists to be accommodated there.

The camp's infrastructure is also used to rescue or support defectors and members of the underground. So the camp for this intermediate station is on the run or a secret base for the execution of operations such as obtaining secret information and carrying out acts of sabotage.

In order to let the Germans act in their own way, Hogan and his men often use the threat scenario of a transfer to the Eastern Front. The idea of ​​having to swap their comfortable home post in Stalag 13 for the harsh conditions at the front made Klink and Schultz in particular become semi-voluntary assistants of Hogan. But even with Burkhalter and Hochstetter, Hogan succeeds time and again in using the Eastern Front or another unpleasant scenario as a real-looking threat so effectively that the two leave without having achieved anything, although they know that something is not going well.

Pretty women are involved in many episodes, most of whom are members of the resistance movement and, thanks to Hogan's charming manner, turn out to be welcome helpers. That there is at least one quick kiss with Hogan is almost standard.

When depicting air raids or "deliveries of goods" for the heroes, the same original scene of a parachute jump is always shown (even if it is a box). Most of the transport aircraft shown here are, however, Fairchild C-119s , developed after the war , which flew for the first time in 1947 and also bears typical post-war paintwork. The scene shown belongs to a well-known video that shows a mass jump of an airborne unit. However, only the seconds are shown that suggest the jump of only one person, but in some episodes you can just make out the round canopy of the opening parachute of the airborne soldier who jumped off earlier on the right edge of the picture. Likewise, in the event of radio contact with the corresponding submarine , the same scene of a passing model submarine is often played.


A city called "Hammelburg" is named as the location of the camp in the series. There was a camp with a similar name, the Stalag XIII C , near the Lower Franconian town of Hammelburg , but parallels to the Stalag 13 camp shown in the series are speculative. A proximity to Düsseldorf is often suggested. B. a map of Düsseldorf in Klink's office. However, the geographical indications in numerous episodes are inconsistent.

In one episode, Colonel Klink shows the Danzig area as a location. Episode 56 says that the distance from Stalag 13 to Heidelberg is 106.75 km. However, Düsseldorf and the real Hammelburg are much further away from Heidelberg. The operations shown are also difficult to reconcile with the suggested locations. Members of the Resistance resistance operating in France often appear and allied soldiers who flee through Stalag 13 are picked up by submarines. As a result, the route to Schweinfurt, which is around 20 km from the real Hammelburg and around 270 km from Düsseldorf, is covered there and back in one night on foot. In episode 9 ("What's in the barrel?") A transport with heavy water on the way from Norway to Berlin passes the Stalag, which is contradictory in all constellations. Apart from that, the German nuclear research was in Thuringia, verifiably in Stadtilm and tests probably took place on the military site near Ohrdruf .

Language and culture

There is no language barrier, ie Hogan's men can easily pretend to be Germans, which is used in numerous episodes.

Labels are often in German, but often also in English - even where it is inappropriate, such as at Klink's office (there is COL. Klink instead of Colonel Klink ). In some cases, English terms were incorrectly translated into German. For example, a sign in episode 19 of the second season warns with the incorrect label Hoche Explosive Hazard . The outside wall of a barracks is labeled with Barracke , which is probably borrowed from the American barracks .

In German, too, some terms do not match the common or historically correct names. The Eastern Front is almost consistently referred to as the “Russian Front”, although this term is quite uncommon and the front was only partially in Russia . In many episodes, the eastern front is the threatening backdrop for Klink and Schultz - in order to avoid being transferred there, the two do almost anything. Siberia is often used as a synonym for the Eastern Front, although the Wehrmacht never penetrated as far as Siberia. Likewise, the terms used for the two world wars do not match the ones used at the time, since the First World War was called the “Great War” or simply the World War and the Second World War was the “current” war.

In general, the image of Germany conveyed in the series corresponds strongly to American clichés . A “Hofbräuhaus” can be found in almost every place, the inventory and architectural style of houses are always kept in a rustic Bavarian ambience, and place names almost always end with -stadt, -burg, -heim or -hof.

Military hierarchy

Middle ranks are rare. A prisoner of war camp can indeed be headed by a colonel, but the second highest person in the camp is usually (main) sergeant Schultz, who is much lower in the military hierarchy. A lieutenant or captain is obviously not part of the permanent staff. These ranks can only be found as part of a single episode. Likewise on the Allied side: Hogan himself is a colonel, which corresponds to a German colonel. His people are all just sergeants or corporals , so sergeants, and thus no higher than Schultz, if you disregard the fact that Carter was a first lieutenant in the first episode . Here, too, the middle ranks only appear occasionally as part of an episode.

The visit of high officers is very common. General Burkhalter, who is responsible for the prisoner-of-war camps in the Stalag 13 area, appears in a total of 67 episodes, i.e. more than a third of the entire series. Even field marshals general , of whom there were only a good 20 in World War II, plus two grand admirals, appear repeatedly. All of these minor characters are fictional. Except for two phone calls with Himmler, during which he can neither be heard nor seen, and a visit from Field Marshal Albert Kesselring , there are no historical figures, but are only mentioned depending on the context.

General Burkhalter is Colonel Klink's superior, although he is clearly wearing an army uniform. Klink is a member of the Luftwaffe, so Burkhalter would have to be a general in the Luftwaffe to be Klink's superior according to the hierarchy of the Wehrmacht.

The SS people all have regular army ranks. Hochstetter, known as a major, wears the uniform of a standard leader , which would, however, correspond to a colonel. In addition, the SS men wear black uniforms, which only the SS-Totenkopfverband (responsible for concentration camps and the Holocaust) and the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler wore. The Waffen-SS as a weapon carrier alongside the Wehrmacht wore field-gray uniforms from March 1938 . Otherwise the SS-typical rank designations hardly ever appear. In addition, members of the SS were not addressed as “Herr”, but only with their rank. In reality, this could have resulted in severe disciplinary penalties, as the SS saw itself as a privileged elite association and disregard of these rules would also have been viewed as disregard for the SS.

The terms SS and Gestapo are often mixed up. Hochstetter is once with the SS and sometimes with the Gestapo. Although these were organizationally interwoven, the SS and the Gestapo, represented by Hochstetter, sometimes take care of things in the series that are not their responsibility (secret weapons, counter-espionage, etc.).

Although Schultz is constantly referred to as a "sergeant", he still wears the insignia of a sergeant major (two stars on the shoulder pieces, four wings on the collar tab). The two thin stripes on each lower sleeve of the uniform also identify him as a sergeant major, which, however, did not mean a rank in the Wehrmacht, but rather the position of a " spear ".

Although Crittendon is English, he is persistently addressed as "Colonel". This is wrong insofar as this rank does not exist in the Royal Air Force . The comparable rank - the "Squadron Leader" or Group Captain - had the same powers and was at the same salary level, but was never referred to as "Colonel". In another episode, however, a friend of Hogan's is addressed as "Group Captain".

Another historical mistake is that Hogan demands that newly admitted prisoners only give their name, rank and service number in accordance with the service regulations. This is historically wrong, because such an instruction was only issued in the Korean War , when many captured US soldiers used North Korean propaganda to call their compatriots to peace negotiations. The instruction was subsequently z. B. in the Vietnam war only negligently followed.

Camp building and the infrastructure of the heroes

A fixed component in the series is the infrastructure available to the “heroes”. Hogan and his men have created an extensive system of tunnels that extend into almost every building in the camp. In the pilot episode, this underground system even includes other facilities such as a money printer, a steam bath, a weapons workshop, an extensive clothing store, a hairdressing salon, which even offers manicures from Klink's own secretary. A German spy smuggled in in this episode is considered insane when claiming that he saw this, so that the facilities shown could only have been a trap. After the pilot episode, you can practically only see the radio room of the underground systems. The accesses to the system are shown again and again. One entrance has an automatic opening mechanism in which a bed moves up and the mattress base swivels into a hatch underneath and serves as a ladder. Four further entrances are under the guard dog's kennel, outside the camp in a tree stump, in the wall of the detention cell and under the stove in Klink's private apartment.

Even after thorough and long-term searches by the SS, nothing is found. A tunnel is discovered in the episodes “The common goal” and “Once upon a time a general”, but this has no consequences.

Furthermore, the "heroes" have numerous useful extras. If the "heroes" sit in their radio room and want to radio to England, they usually first have to extend their transmitter mast, which is located in the rod of the swastika flag on the roof of the commandant building. In a picture in Klink's office, on which Hitler can be seen giving a speech, a real microphone is built into the picture instead of the microphone.

In some of the episodes, a picture of Heinrich Himmler hangs in Klink's office. One of the "heroes" then usually climbs into the closet that is in the anteroom with Klink's secretary Hilda, in order to be able to take his eyes from Himmler's picture through the wall unit and thus follow the conversations in Klink's office.

The commandant's office is not separated from the barracks by a fence or the like. Therefore, Hogan can drop by Klink at any time.

As the outdoor photos were taken in California , the vegetation around the camp differs significantly from that of Central Europe.


Cars are often right-hand drive , although left-hand traffic did not exist in either the USA (the production site) or Germany . There were also areas with left-hand traffic in continental Europe , e.g. B. in Czechoslovakia (until 1938), in Hungary (until 1941) and in parts of Austria (until 1938), but why these vehicles should be used in a POW camp far away from these countries remains open. Hardly any vehicle was actually used in the German army. Episode 147 ( Klink's blue period ) is waiting e.g. B. with a VW Beetle from the 1960s. The VW Beetle is a pre-war development, but was only developed and built as a prototype before the war. The post-war models are not only visually different from the prototypes, which is not surprising given that there is a decade of development history between them.

Klink's company car has a license plate beginning with "WH". "WH" but stood for " W ehrmacht H eer", his official car had a "WL" must have -flag for " W ehrmacht L uftwaffe".

A Mercedes-Benz W 31 can also be seen in the opening credits and in the series . This type of vehicle was also used in the Wehrmacht, but only eleven vehicles at all and practically all of them were only used for representational purposes. They were all convertibles.

In several episodes, including episode 2 of the first season ( Operation "Tiger" ), a heavy German Tiger I battle tank is represented by a light American M7 Priest self-propelled howitzer . The guards often carry American Thompson submachine guns . German standard weapons such as the Mauser K98 in particular are rarely seen, while Schultz often carries a Norwegian Krag-Jørgensen rifle. In contrast, the MP40 is often shown, although this was produced in smaller numbers and actually more aimed at group leaders such as B. NCOs and higher ranks was issued. However, it is historically correct that the Wehrmacht used captured weapons and only used their own “modern” weapons on the front lines. The further a soldier was from the front, the “worse” the equipment became.

Locomotives and trains can be seen in several actions. These always have a central headlight, as was usual on US locomotives, but never the triple top headlights of European locomotives. In addition, the locomotives and wagons never have the two buffers between the locomotive and the wagon, which are common in Europe and which never existed in the USA, since there were only ever the central buffer couplings that are exotic in Europe. In Germany, central buffer couplings were only available in the form of the Scharfenberg coupling for express railcars, but never for steam locomotives or individual wagons.


Although the series takes place in a specific historical setting, there are almost no specific references to real events. In the pilot episode it is indicated at the beginning that the action takes place in Germany in 1942 . Historically, this is problematic as there were notable American prisoners in German camps only from 1943 onwards, because after the entry into the war in December 1941 and the delays resulting from mobilization and troop dispatch to Europe, the Americans only carried out air raids on the European continent from the end of 1942, in which American flight crews could get into German captivity.

One episode shows a sign with the year 1943. The episode "The great mess" ("D-Day at Stalag 13"), which is the third episode of the third season, takes place around the time of the D- Day , so it relates to June 1944.

Another reference to the summer of 1944 is in episode 84 (season 3), when Hogan enters Klink's office and the current war situation is recorded there on a glass wall. In the east it shows the situation at the front in spring 1944, before Operation Bagration , and in the west D-Day has not yet taken place. However, the borders of the countries are sometimes wrong. Germany still has access to the Mediterranean, which Austria lost after the First World War.

Significant war events are hardly reflected on. The increasing number of air raids in the last years of the war is also not addressed. With a running time of six years, the series also lasted significantly longer than the three years that, according to the time specified in the pilot episode, would remain until the end of the war.

When the series was first broadcast, the seasons of the series were always on television from September to March / April. In addition, there are general seasonal events such as Christmas . However, autumn and spring hardly take place. Instead, the area is almost always wintry with snow and z. B. Ice flowers on the window.


  • Werner Klemperer came from a Jewish family and fled Germany in 1933. His father Otto Klemperer was an important conductor of the 20th century and his second uncle Victor Klemperer became known worldwide for his language analysis work LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii . He therefore only took on the role of Colonel Klink on the condition that he would always lose to Hogan. Before the series began, Klemperer played an officer in the Wehrmacht in The Judgment of Nuremberg and The Ship of Fools . In contrast to Colonel Klink in the series, he played the violin (and also the piano) very well.
  • Klink, Burkhalter and Schultz and Major Hochstetter, almost all of the main German characters in the series, were played by actors of Jewish faith.
  • John Banner originally auditioned for the role of Colonel Klink.
  • Originally Walter Matthau was supposed to play the role of Col. Hogan.
  • Robert Clary was a prisoner in a German concentration camp during World War II and still had the tattooed registration number on his arm. That is why he wears clothes with long sleeves almost without exception. He is the last surviving lead actor in the series.
  • Sigrid Valdis, who played Hilda, was married in real life to Hogan actor Bob Crane. She was once seen in a different supporting role as Klink's lover, but she is turned away from him by Hogan.
  • The Colditz Castle POW camp in Saxony, known in Great Britain , provided templates for the series through a series of spectacular escapes and attempts to escape.
  • In some episodes you can see short night the Hausner courtyard with Grindelwald Palace labeled. However, it is actually the hotel complex of the Hotel Palace in Wengen in the canton of Bern, Switzerland.
  • In some episodes, the actors' original voices can be heard briefly, mainly in vocal interludes, for example in episodes 1x6 ("The Gray Phantom") and 1x27 ("Die Safeknacker Suite").

Marketing and Pop Culture

According to estimates by producer Albert S. Ruddy , Hogan's Heroes grossed around $ 87 million by 1993.


  • In 1965 the Fleer company brought out a 66 trading card set for the series.
  • Between 1966 and 1969, Dell Comics published a comic book series with nine issues for the series . The first eight issues appeared between 1966 and 1967. Two years later, the ninth and final edition appeared. However, this was a reprint of the first edition, but cost 3 US cents more than the previously published edition.
  • In 1966 a record entitled "Hogan's Heroes Sing the Best of World War II" was released. Robert Clary, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon and Larry Hovis have sung.
  • In 1968 MPC brought a kit of a Jeep model in 1:25 scale as "Hogan's Heroes' World War II Jeep" on the market. In 2003, AMT / ERTL also brought out a Jeep model, also on a scale of 1:25, but with minor changes.
  • In addition, toys were brought onto the market from time to time. 2003 the toy car "Kübelwagen" from the company Johnny Lightning from the collection series "Hollywood on Wheels", in 1975 a zinc cast toy car of a Horch 830 from LJN Toys was released. In 1977 Harmony brought several small plastic toys onto the market, for example a Signal Sender & Compass , Peri-Peeper, Periscope, ID Card & Badge and an Armored Patrol . In 1966 the board game "Hogan's Heroes - The Bluff Out Game" was published by Transogram .
  • In 2002, the American figure manufacturer Sideshow Collectibles released 12-inch action figures by Colonel Hogan, Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz, which were limited to 10,000 pieces.

Video game

  • In the Battalion Wars series, the infantrymen of the Western Frontier units are referred to as "Herman's Heroes," an obvious reference to the series' original title. There is also a mission in the video game called "Herman's Heroes" with the aim of liberating a prison camp and capturing supplies from the opposing unit.


  • In January 1967 MAD magazine published a multi-page parody of the series under the title "Hokum's Heroes". In the same issue, the series was parodied again under the title "Hochman's Heroes" and taken to extremes: The plot now takes place in the Buchenwald concentration camp .

watch TV

  • In the cartoon series The Simpsons , Colonel Klink has a guest appearance in the episode Homer Loves Mindy , he is dubbed by Werner Klemperer himself. He is also mentioned in the episode General Curfew in a musical song. Sergeant Schultz is mentioned in the episode to sell Kraftwerk ("Good morning. I'm Horst. The new owners have chosen me to speak to you because I don't seem threatening. Maybe I remind you of the lovable Sergeant Schultz from the prisoner-of-war series. ").
  • Colonel Klink also played a guest role in the Batman series from the 1960s. In the episode High Noon in Gotham City - Part 2 (Original title: It's How You Play The Game ), while Batman and Robin are climbing along a wall, the two meet Colonel Klink. Klink's appearance on Batman is also unusual, as A Cage Full of Heroes was broadcast on CBS while Batman was on network rival ABC at the same time .
  • Sergeant Schultz's well-known statement "I see nothing, I hear nothing and I don't know anything" - undoubtedly an allusion to the three monkeys  - has stuck in the minds of many. For example, in season 5 episode 1 Live Free or Die (Original Title: Live Free or Die ) of the series Breaking Bad , Saul Goodman makes a suggestion as to how Skyler White should react if the police ask Ted Benekes about the accident : “In the unlikely event , I want you to think of one thing: a cage full of heroes. Sergeant Schultz. Do you remember Sergeant Schultz? 'I don't see anything, I don't hear anything and I don't know anything.' Do you remember how he ... I want you to do the same. "
    • Also mentioned in season 3 episode 23 of the series Navy CIS , by Tony: “Just like Sergeant Schultz. I don't know anything. "
    • In the episode of the animated series Family Guy (original title: Emission Impossible ), Procreation prevented , Cleveland Brown sees Stewie getting out of a robot that is supposed to resemble Peter and reacts with “I didn't see anything, nothing at all!” (Original: “I. see nothing, nothing! "). The allusion is partly lost in the German dubbing.
  • The animated series Recess points in the sequence , the retirement home on Hogan's Heroes : An old World War II veteran named Logan remembers his days in a POW camp. A flashback begins and one recognizes a prisoner of war camp in the style of the series. In addition, the number 13 can be seen in the background of one of the barracks when Logan's men have just lined up in front of Commander Pricklyton. Commander Pricklyton himself is a reference to Colonel Klink. The nameless sergeant is an allusion to Sergeant Schultz, who says to the commandant "I don't know anything".
  • In the stop-motion series Robot Chicken , Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz can be seen in the episode Metal Militia , dubbed by Seth Green . In the last chapter of the episode, the series is parodied as follows: Hulk Hogan and other wrestlers - instead of Col. Hogan and his fellow prisoners - plan to escape from the prison camp, while Adolf Hitler wants to pay a visit to Colonel Klink in Stalag 13.
  • The Welcome to Oktoberfest episode of the Community series contains several references to A Cage Full of Heroes .
  • In the episode restart (original title: Tomorrowland ) of the series Mad Men , Megan tells her boyfriend Don that her friend is an actress who starred in two episodes of A Cage Full of Heroes .


  • An allusion to the series can be found in the film Shock Troop Gold , when the replenishment officer "Speckbacke" ( Crapgame ), who is well networked in the underworld , calls a Hogan who is involved in "enemy reconnaissance". The original title Kelly's Heroes can also be understood as an allusion.
  • The film Auto Focus , which is based on the biography of Hogan actor Bob Crane, takes up A Cage Full of Heroes directly. Crane is portrayed by Greg Kinnear , Sigrid Valdis by Maria Bello , Werner Klemperer by Kurt Fuller , John Banner by Lyle Kanouse , Robert Clary by Christopher Neiman and Richard Dawson by Michael E. Rodgers .

Episode overview

Season 1 1965–1966 (32 episodes)

001. Cuckoo in the nest ( b / w )
002. Operation "Tiger"
003rd Commander of the Year
004. Once upon a time there was a general
005. The duty to flee
006. The gray phantom
007. With built-in bomb
008. Attention, recording!
009. What's in the barrel?
010. Do you know Lilli Marleen?
011. The dentist's appointment
012. In a flash action
013. The wrong fifties
014. Everything in oil
015. Reservation requested!
016. A ship will come
017. Happy birthday
018. They are worth gold!
019. Hansi and Putzi
020. Nothing beats dynamite
021. Schultzie about everything
022. Pizza and Santa Lucia
023. Hogan's henchman
024. Radar and missiles
025. The surefire shell game
026. The prince's money
027. The safe cracker suite
028. All in black
029. The diversionary maneuver
030. The widow Linkmeyer
031. The fire devils
032. A crazy mission

Season 2 1966–1967 (30 episodes)

033. Eagle and the devil
034. The Schultz Brigade
035. The milkmaid bill
036. Operation "briefcase"
037. Controlled chaos
038. A hero piece
039. Source of joy
040. The code book
041. The automatic baby armor
042. Marya, the agent - part 1
043. Marya, the agent - part 2
044. Film and Guide
045. No replacement for Colonel Klink
046. Klink and his rocket
047. Valuable information
048. The general and art
049. The exchange general
050. The great bank robbery
051. The darned maneuver
052. A woman of stature
053. A man in great demand
054. Guess who's coming
055. Get hold of yourself, Kurtz
056. Flowers for the lady
057. Lift the veil!
058. Malcolm, the wonderful
059. All the best, your Lily
060. What a scandal!
061. Company "Wasserjungfer"
062. The brave curling duck

Season 3 1967–1968 (30 episodes)

063. The Crittendon Plan
064. Wolves among sheep
065. The big mess
066. Dung bee is looking for boobies
067. Caution and perfection
068. Klink, the Casanova
069. Hogan plays Cupid
070. Bulletproof vests
071. Wrong, forger, forgery
072. Off into the tunnel!
073. Off to Paris
074. The Russian is coming
075. The secret meeting
076. The man in the snowman
077. Marya and the experts
078. Carter as a traitor
079. The "Manhattan Project"
080. The miracle sauce
081. They must be crazy!
082. Gretel and the men
083. Your biggest bluff
084. What about Argentina?
085. Propaganda Anna
086. Hush, hush, into the basket
087. The beautiful Wilhelmina
088. Against ten thousand alone
089. Shanghai-Lilly
090. Schultzie - A genius!
091. Real monkey theater
092. With a bow and arrow

Season 4 1968–1969 (26 episodes)

093. Drunk with love
094. For the attention of ...
095. Papa Bear and the Miss
096. Confusion about Colonel X
097. What interrogation methods!
098. Are you Rumpelstiltskin?
099. Please step away!
100. Caution, fresh paint!
101. Dinner with the agent
102. But no names, please
103. It's a powder keg
104. The "Blue Baron"
105. Alibi for Col. Klink
106. The man in the box
107. The brilliant Nimrod
108. Hogan on the air
109. Secret plans in the safe
110. The used baroness
111. A shock for life
112. No sandpit games!
113. Whiplash or what?
114. Carter's plan
115. Marya and her witness
116. Lady S. - The driving force
117. Bonacelli, the traitor
118th Hogan's birthday party

Season 5 1969–1970 (26 episodes)

119. Hollywood sends its regards
120. Fell into the well
121. The journey into the unknown
122. The five from the gas station
123. The lonely Wilma
124. Save the clinic!
125. Of course: bombproof
126. The darn negative
127. Very risky game!
128. Marshal on the run
129. The parachute trick
130. The ancient Tik Tak
131. Voluntarily to treason
132. Schultz knows something!
133. Thunder, thunder!
134. The medical examination
135. The art thieves
136. Off to the fight!
137. Yvette from Paris
138. Service in two armies
139. Seven in one go
140. Invitation to dance
141. The Pumpernickel Messenger
142nd "Merry Widow" campaign
143. The shame in uniform
144. Now flee!

Season 6 1970–1971 (24 episodes)

145. Louis is a devil
146. Experts among themselves
147. Klink's blue period
148. Lady Chitterly's Lover - Part 1
149. Lady Chitterly's lover - part 2
150. The common goal
151. The tough nut
152. With best condolences
153. A record for mom
154th week of contraception
155. Surrender!
156. Don't despair, brake failure!
157. As if struck by lightning
158. Very distinguished visitor
159. Spy ring blown!
160. The heroic spy
161. Transvestite on duty
162. Fur or life!
163. The defense counsel has the floor
164. Marya and the super weapon
165. Attention, Commander Linkmeyer
166. The man in the photo
167. Health, sir
168. Hogan, Lily and Rockets


In the USA and Germany, all 6 seasons have been released on DVD; in Germany on the following dates:

First season September 4, 2008
Second season December 4, 2008
Third season March 5, 2009
Fourth season September 3, 2009
Fifth season April 8, 2010
Sixth season September 9, 2010


  • Brenda Scott Royce: Hogan's Heroes - Behind the Scenes at Stalag 13 . McFarland & Co., 1993, 3rd edition, 1998, ISBN 1-58063-031-6 .

Web links

Commons : A cage full of heroes  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Barbara Stelzl-Marx, Between Fiction and Contemporary Witness , American and Soviet Prisoners of War in Stalag XVII B Krems-Gneixendorf, Tübingen, 2000, ISBN 3-8233-4661-X .
  2. ^ Campo 44 in the Internet Movie Database
  3. Entry for prices Werner Klemperer IMDb
  4. "TV Guide trashes Springer," The Seattle Times , July 14th 2002, page A6.
  5. Late cult series: A cage full of heroes. Article on einestages / Spiegel online from October 11, 2008.
  6. Brenda Scott Royce, "Hogan's Heroes - Behind the Scenes at Stalag 13"; McFarland & Co., 1998, pp. 61-62.
  7. Hogan's Heroes: Season 04. In: Starpulse.com (English).
  8. In the episode "Die Witwe Linkmeyer" he is named by Ms. Linkmeyer both Herbert (approx. At 11:26 min) and Otto (approx. At 21:36 min).
  9. A cage full of heroes: " All the best, your Lilly ", 11 minutes and 26 seconds after the beginning of the episode.
  10. Cast list in the Internet Movie Database