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  • Did they not have a latrine at Stalag 13? I recall in one episode, Carter mentions that he takes a bath every Saturday night, but I've often wondered why there never appeared to be any kind of facility in camp for the POWs to do just that, and otherwise take care of business as well. I know Klink had a bathroom in his private quarters... I suppose the POWs figured out a way to sneak in to take care of business while Klink was preoccupied. Nevertheless.
    • I'm pretty sure one episode has LeBeau come out of barracks fresh out of the shower (he's not in full uniform and wearing a towel around his shoulders). Considering the barracks looks much bigger from the outside than the inside, I think it's safe to assume they have a bathroom, we just never see it.
    • We do see sinks in the barracks, and a delousing station and showers are mentioned in passing. We even hear Schultz singing in the shower at one point.
  • I know the prisoners made their own German uniforms for whenever a scheme involving them masquerading as Krauts or Gestapo officers arose, but did they make clothing for themselves as well? Realistically, the prisoners would have been shot down and taken prisoner only with whatever uniform they were wearing at the time, however, in some situations, Hogan and Carter (and I think Kinchloe and Baker) are wearing dress/Class-A uniforms; as well as bedtime scenes, the prisoners wear pajamas (Hogan and Newkirk wearing civilian pajamas, and Hogan even having a bathrobe).
    • It really makes no sense, unless they were shot down with a suitcase full of extra clothing. It's just one of those things we're supposed to chalk up to Rule of Funny. Like Newkirk "sleepwalking" in a nightgown as a distraction.
    Hogan: Try not to get shot.
    Newkirk: (indicates his pajamas) In this getup, would you blame them?
    • It was not uncommon for families to send packages of effects, and even food, through the Red Cross (when the Nazis did not censor/filch them on the way).
  • Realistically, would either Schultz or Burkhalter be allowed in the Luftwaffe? I remember M*A*S*H did an episode where Hawkeye and B.J. try to help a corpsman lose weight because the army was going to discharge him because he was too fat to be a good soldier... I figured other armies around the world would have similar concerns.
    • That's probably why he's only a guard. As for how he got in in the first place, nepotism? I think I recall him mentioning having an uncle or something fairly high up.
    • It's mentioned that most of the men at Stalag 13 barely passed the physical fitness requirements. Schultz still probably wouldn't have passed, but as a former soldier (he's said to have fought in World War I) he might have been drafted and assigned to Stalag 13 to bring some experience to the unit.
    • It was stated that he ran the largest/most famous toy company in Germany before the war, so clearly he was conscripted; they took his toy factory for the war effort and assigned him to Stalag 13 to keep him out of their way which likely means one of the ball bearing plants the team blew up used to be his.
  • Did Hogan always have to have four men on his team for any given mission? I always find it interesting that whenever one of the actors is absent from an episode, a character replacement is brought in for that episode (no other TV show I can think of has done that), like whenever Larry Hovis was absent, a pre-M*A*S*H William Christopher would fill in for him, or the episode from the first season where LeBeau is absent, another POW named Scotty took his place. I can't remember, though, if any of the episode Ivan Dixon missed (prior to his departure after Season Five) had someone fill for him though, but still, it just makes me wonder if Hogan felt he needed at least four other prisoners working with him on a mission.
    • It seems to have been more of a means of keeping a good mix of personalities in shot to allow for witty banter. Besides, most of them seem to operate in two-man teams, so with Hogan overseeing everything, they have to have an even number of operators.
    • It is mentioned that when anybody leaves, the prisoners bring in a new man so that it'll look like nobody escapes.
  • I’m sort of intrigued by the extras you see in almost every episode - the “other” prisoners in Hogan’s barracks. Usually, they are seen lounging on their bunks or standing in the background, passively watching and listening as Hogan and the other principals discuss their latest scheme. Once in a great while, we see a few of them assisting on the periphery of an operation, like lookouts or signalers. But they never do any “away” missions with the main characters. It’s apparent, though, that they are all in on the sabotage shenanigans going on (it would be hard to keep them in the dark in such a confined space anyway), but still 99% of the missions involve just the principal five actively taking part. Sure, Hogan may feel that the main crew are the only guys he trusts with going outside the camp, but one would think the others would at least be drafted to do some of the “grunt work.” It doesn’t make sense that valuable “first teamers” like LeBeau, Newkirk, Carter and Kinchloe are, say, digging a new tunnel extension while the no-names are reading magazines in their bunks. Maybe some of the background guys are “on deck,” ready to step in if one of the principals are captured or otherwise rendered unavailable (which would explain Baker’s sudden and unexplained replacement of Kinch), but it doesn’t seem like they are getting any real training that would prepare them to fill the shoes of the Big Five on short notice if need be.
    • This can be mostly explained by The Main Characters Do Everything. It's possible that the extras do help with a lot of the grunt work like tunnel digging while the first teamers supervise or do the finishing touches. In "The Great Impersonation", LeBeau, Newkirk, and Carter are captured red-handed in an act of sabotage; Hogan mentions that they are irreplaceable and that their heists are finished if the three can't be rescued.
    • They actually do mention that other prisoners are used occasionally for operations - two separate prisoners (oddly enough both named Williams, oddly enough both either traitors or actually enemy agents) are mentioned in "Diamonds in the Rough" and "One in Every Crowd" as having been used on a couple of jobs, so presumably one or two other prisoners occasionally come along to blow up a bridge or help extract an agent. It's just never shown onscreen.
    • Realistically, it probably makes sense that only a small core of the men directly participated in the missions; the rest of the prisoners are necessary to keep up the illusion that everything is functioning like a normal prison camp.
  • Why was all of Battling Bruno's dialogue dubbed? Not only did the lines not match his lip movement half the time, but it sounded like Ivan Dixon faking a German accent recorded the dialogue.
  • What is Colonel Hogan doing in a camp that seems to be otherwise almost all enlisted? Real life militaries, when keeping prisoners of war, separate officers from enlisted, and often try to separate NCOs from privates, to deprive them of leader figures.
    • It really depends on just how far into the war the series took place; yes, in the beginning, officers would not have bunked with enlistedmen, and likewise, different nationalities and races would usually be kept in their own separate compounds, so LeBeau would have been kept with other Frenchmen, Newkirk with other Englishmen, Kinchloe with other Blacks, Carter with other White Americans, etc. I'm not entirely 100% sure, but from what I understand, later in the war, after a while, the Germans stopped bothering trying to separating prisoners that are brought in, and just started placing them wherever, regardless of rank (or ethnicity); so if this series took place later during the Allies' involvement in the war, a situation like Colonel Hogan bunking with enlistedmen could very well be possible... just about the only true inaccuracy is that Hogan would not have had his own room/office inside the barrack.
    • As long as we're putting officers in with enlisted men, why not have Carter keep his commission? The disrespect that Carter gets would be more appropriate if he was a Second Lieutenantnote  instead of a Tech Sergeant, as would Kinchloe being Hogan's Number Two despite Carter outranking him. Most Tech Sergeants would have more time in service than Staff Sergeants,note  most 2nd Lts. would have less.
  • How, exactly, is Hochstetter's name pronounced? With all the different characters from different cultures and having different dialects and accents, I almost never hear his name pronounced consistently; we've got: HAWCH-STETTER, HAWSH-STETTER, HAWK-STETTER, HAWK-SCHTETTER, HOESH-STETTER... I'm just not entirely sure of the properly pronunciation.
    • Klink's pronunciation is probably the most accurate since Werner Klemperer is the only German in the cast (John Banner and Leon Askin are Austrian which while still German speaking has a different dialect so pronunciations may be a bit different from High German). Personally, I think its HOCH-SHTETTER (with emphasis on the "CH" like a strong harsh "H" sound).
    • There were, and are, various dialects of German in Germany, (let alone other German speaking countries.) The different pronunciations make sense. Consider pronunciation of words in different parts of the US or the UK.
  • Carter's chemistry lab...How exactly does that even work? I know this show runs on Willing Suspension of Disbelief but the chemistry lab is just going too far. If that lab is underground, it means that it doesn't have proper ventilation and you can see right in the opening that Carter does not have any protective equipment (even worse, the episode the opening shot is taken from, has him specifically mention mixing ammonia and bleach, and he mentions having nitroglycerine in later eps, both very toxic chemicals), so how exactly does Carter protect himself (and by extension the rest of the guys in the tunnels) from the fumes? This Troper worries that he is going to wind up with numerous health problems after the war...
    • I think this is one of those examples where you have to suspend your disbelief. This is the same show where Hogan and Klink can fly a military plane together, have Hogan push Klink out of the plane, and at the end of the episode, Hogan's totally still alive after his stunt and chilling out in his cabin, and Klink somehow survived being pushed out without suffering injury.
      • Not to mention the crew having what look to be numerous oil-fueled torches or lanterns lighting the tunnels, which would put off tons of smoke.
  • Don't any of the other prisoners ever eat? Anytime we see LeBeau cooking up a meal, only Hogan and his men eat, while the other prisoners in the barracks are seen in the background, doing their own thing (reading books, writing letters, playing cards, whatever).
    • Watsonian answer: They aren't hungry, they already ate (in the barracks or the mess hall), or they will after someone vacates a place at the table. Doylist: To have LeBeau serving everyone in the barracks would bog the show down.
    • It's presumed they, prisoners and Germans alike, bathe, eat, clean their clothes, etc. As the above troper said, showing them doing all that would really bog the show down in useless filler.
  • Was Bob Crane getting tired of the show in the end? Admittedly, I added the Flanderization entry on the main page based on observation, though I was recently rewatching some early episodes (which I tend to skip), and the stark contrast in Hogan's demeanor is a lot more noticable than I remembered: watch an episode from the first season, and even Hogan is not above cranking up the ham factor, especially whenever he poses as a Kraut, then he cranks it up to eleven (and uses the cheesiest-sounding phony German accent you ever heard). Then watch an episode from the last season, and Hogan seems to deliver every single line of dialogue with the exact same deadpan monotone - whether it's a straight line or a wisecrack - and as also mentioned on the main page, he doesn't even bother faking a German accent whenever he poses as a Kraut. I think I remember hearing that he was having financial problems in Real Life, causing him to invest in the show itself (notice during the final season, the credits say, "A Bing Crosby Production in association with Bob Crane Enterprises)... think maybe that was eating away at him?
    • Post-show cast interviews indicate that most of the main cast generally got along well, with the exception of Bob Crane. His personal political views were the opposite of everyone else and he was more distant with them(the only one he seemed close with was Ivan Dixon, while he kept more of a professional relationship with the rest). But considering what came out about Crane's personal life after his murder, he may have been more... interested in that aspect of his life than in his public acting career, choosing to not make friends or show much passion for his work compared to everyone else on the show. Not that he couldn't have also become burned out with doing the show for so long, too- this is pretty noticable with The Andy Griffith Show's later seasons as well, as Andy Griffith went from playing a lovable, cheerful sheriff to having a rather visible disdain for the town & people he served as well as more of a bad attitude with Opie. Tom Baker also began to express dislike for his work on Doctor Who after 7 seasons, to the point he wouldn't associate with the series for several decades after. Some actors get bored with long-running TV shows they're stuck working on.
  • In S3 E18, Hogan and his crew cure Klink of a mild bout of the flu which threatens to derail their plans by surreptitiously injecting him with penicillin. Since when did antibiotics like penicillin cure viral infections like the flu? And how did they know that Klink wasn't allergic to penicillin like 10% of the population is?
  • Schultz and Klink both frequently refer to LeBeau as "Cockroach." Was there ever a backstory or explanation as to why they hung this less than affectionate nickname on him? They don't seem to have come up with derogatory monikers for any of the other of Hogan's men.
    • A cockroach is a small, annoying pest and it fits well for LeBeau as he is short, scrappy, and apparently from one episode where he reveals that, pre-Stalag 13 but post-POW, he (LeBeau) had been strung up by his thumbs and interrogated to no avail. In the alternative, it is clear that LeBeau is a regular army man whereas all the other POWs are connected to the Army Air Corps (Hogan is a pilot, Carter an AAC Technical Sgt, Kinchloe is also a Tech. Sgt and radioman, and Newkirk is in the RAF). Klink is in the Luftwaffe, as are all the guards —- LeBeau is seen by the Germans as a pest and by his captors as a mere soldier in the army (a tiny cockroach) unlike flyers and airmen, he is viewed as diminutive both physically and militarily.
    • There is a much simpler explanation. In German there are two words for cockroach, "Kakerlake" and "Küchenschabe" ("kitchen blattodea"), because cockroaches are often found in kitchens. And LeBeau is the designated cook for Hogan's men and sometimes for the Germans.
  • In "The Gold Rush," the crew uses the cover of building brick steps up to Klink's office to heist some gold bricks. At the end of the episode, one of the red-painted gold bricks gets scuffed. Why put the gold bricks in the steps at all? They already had them down in the tunnel.
    • The steps were part of the plan - hide the gold in plain sight as a set of steps.
      • The question was more of why hide the gold in plain sight instead of down in the tunnel. The steps were needed to get their hands on the regular bricks in the first place, but why not just use regular bricks on the steps and keep the gold where it couldn't be accidentally exposed?
      • The real bricks were needed to be fake gold bars. After all, if the Germans discovered that the gold was missing, Stalag 13 would be the first place inspected. Although, to be fair, they did discover that the weight of the "gold" was indeed off, but think that someone only took a few bars. Also, let's not factor in the fact that building bricks and gold bars of the same dimensions would have different weights, with gold being much heavier.
  • Why the fuck is Colonel Crittendon still in the British Army. Comedy purposes aside, I know that peerage and stuff like that is important in the British Army, but considering he's probably one of the most incompetent men in the entire war (even with Klink and Schultz being taken into consideration) and has, multiple times, been the sole survivor of his units due to his own incompetence, how is he still being sent on very important missions like being a resistance leader and things like that? You would think that High Command or whoever is in charge of him would realize he's a dumbass and is better either behind a desk or outright discharged, honorably or otherwise.
    • Because it's a comedy, really. Though as any study of British military history (or British individual having served in the military, for that matter), if there is one organisation that has not been entirely spared the scourge of incompetents finding their ways into positions of power, authority and influence, it is the British Army.
  • Why no medical staff at the stalag? Even if the Nazis had no real interest in the medical safety of the prisoners(yet with their open adherence to the Geneva Convention and Swiss inspectors, they'd probably at least keep up appearances), surely they would need staff on site for the guards or the commandant if needed? Yet if anyone has any issue they either have to be taken out of camp to the local hospital or medical personnel have to come to camp. While it makes for convenient excuses to get someone out of camp(see Newkirk faking a toothache), it's hardly believable.