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Hogan

The Ultimate Weapon - S3-E28

New today Factual error: Towards the end of the episode, Burkhalter gets a call from a General Seidenbaum. Anybody with such a "Jewish" name would have been weeded out of the officer corps by the Nazis. In fact, anyone of that name would have had great trouble even getting his Ariernachweis (proof or aryan ancestry), and without carrying a copy with him he could not have opened a charge account at the local bakery. Most people with such names (those who managed to pass the Nazi board of racial review) had them changed to more "German" ones like Müller or Schmidt to escape the constant bullying. At some time during the medieval period, Jews in the German Reich who traditionally didn't use last names were forced to have them. Many selected names like Gruenbaum, Cornfield, etc. Which over time were perceived as "typical Jewish" names, even though many bearers weren't even of Jewish faith any more.

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New this month Factual error: In many places throughout the series, the characters transmit real names or other identifiable personal traits over the radio. In S5E12 for example, LeBeau asks for and gets the name and phone number of the female Resistance member he is talking to. For her sake we can just hope the German signal intelligence corps was sleeping on both ears that night, if not the Gestapo could find her with nothing more than a phone book. For the younger ones among us: Today radio links are digital and encrypted. Back then, voice communication over the radio was pretty much "in clear" unless you transmitted only code words.

Doc

Man's Best Friend Is Not His Dog - S4-E6

Factual error: When Hogan heads into Klink's flower bed to get the dog, you can see a modern steel water tank in the distance.

The Softer They Fall - S5-E18

Factual error: Burkhalter refers to Jesse Owens winning the gold medals in the Berlin Olympics, and that Hitler left the stadium every time Owens was to be presented a medal. Truth was, Hitler left the stadium when another black man won the day before, and didn't snub Owens at all. In fact, Hitler wasn't in attendance the days Owens won.

Six Lessons from Madame LaGrange - S5-E22

Factual error: Hilda is writing with her left hand. At the time of the Third Reich, it was still the practice in Germany to force left-handed children to learn to write with their right hand.

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Factual error: In several episodes, German hand grenades, the famous "potato mashers" are seen. In (almost) all cases the Stielhandgranate 43, easily identified by its pull pin through the base of the head, was used. If the series is set in 42, the grenades should be the 24 or the 39 model, because the Stielhandgranate 43 - as the name suggests - was introduced in 1943 and didn't see widespread deployment until 1944. The earlier models didn't have a pull pin but used a pull cord that ran through the handle and was hidden by a screw cap at the end.

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Klink vs. the Gonculator - S4-E2

Factual error: They would never use their real names and whereabouts when talking on the radio.

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Factual error: Throughout the show, German officers talk about "Nazi" this, "Nazi" that, even in official capacity. In fact, the mere mention of the diminutive "Nazi" could get you in serious hot water for the disrespect and dissent it implied. Correct would be either "National Socialist" or some reference to the Reich: e.g. "Officer of the Third Reich" instead of "Nazi officer."

Doc

The Sergeant's Analyst - S5-E23

Factual error: In this episode, the running gag is that Schultz keeps flattening Col. Hogan's pumpernickel loaves. In reality, pumpernickel is a very compact bread that contains virtually no air at all and is impossible to flatten in this way. The shape is also wrong: pumpernickel is almost always baked in rectangular baking pans.

Doc

Hogan Gives a Birthday Party - S2-E1

Factual error: When the crew in the plane gets ready to drop the bombs on the refinery, Hogan (in the pilot seat) tells Carter (who is looking through the bomb sight) exactly when to push the button. In fact, the pilot of a WW2 bomber had no way of even knowing when exactly to release the bombs - it was the job of the bombardier, looking through his targeting optics, to know that. Carter at the bomb sight should be telling Hogan how exactly to steer to get the bombs onto the target.

Doc

Man in a Box - S4-E14

Factual error: When the safe doors blow, we have another case of a fuse still burning after the charge blows. Since the charge blows when the fuse is burnt up, that's literally impossible.

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Will the Blue Baron Strike Again? - S4-E12

Factual error: The "Blue Baron" tells the dancer that the Kaiser gave him a certain medal. In fact, the medal he points to (and the girl fondles) is a WW2 repeat badge to the Iron Cross first class, instituted in 1939 to denote presentations of the Iron Cross first class to personnel who had already received it in WW1. He may have received the original Iron Cross from the Kaiser, but by the time he had a chance to receive that repeat badge, the Kaiser was long through handing out medals.

Doc

Klink's Old Flame - S4-E20

Factual error: When the farmer sticks his turning fork into the haystack, a scream is heard, but then everybody emerges unscathed. Wounds from turning forks aren't like sitting on a brass tack - even a quick jab usually earns you a trip to the surgeon (I've seen such wounds), a vigorous stab like the one in the scene would go through limbs and could easily kill a man. There's no way anybody would walk away from such a hit.

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Factual error: Klink usually wears an EK1 (EK= Eisernes Kreuz = Iron Cross first/second class) chest cross with a WW1 EK1 repeat badge, but he neither wears an EK2 ribbon nor a WW1 EK2 repeat badge. This is not a legal combination, he either has to wear both or none at all. The EK1 and EK2 repeat badges were awarded to soldiers who were awarded an EK1 in WW1 and another in WW2. To be awarded an EK1, you had to have the EK2 already. The Legal combinations would be: EK2 ribbon in the button hole with or without EK1 chest cross, EK2 ribbon in the button hole with repeat badge with or without EK1 chest cross, again with or without repeat badge. One legal way of wearing it is seen in S5E3, "The Klink Commandos", where Hogan wears a black-and-white WW1 EK2 ribbon with repeat badge and an EK1 chest cross with repeat badge. It doesn't make any sense for him to wear that (separate mistake), but the way of wearing it is correct.

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Factual error: During the show, many (not to say most) higher officers are seen wearing a Knight's Cross with Crossed Swords and Oak Leaves, the fourth highest award for military valor of the Third Reich. In fact, a total of 177 of this and higher-ranking medals were awarded during the entire war, most of them in '43 and after. The series is allegedly set mostly in '42. Historically correct, most Knight's crosses should be of base rank or with oak leaves only, as of these categories more than 8000 were presented.

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Factual error: In many episodes, SS members of all ranks appear - the most notorious recurring character being Major Hochstetter. Curiously enough, Hochstetter couldn't have been a Major in the SS, simply because that rank didn't exist there. The SS used the SA rank system, not the Wehrmacht one. Hochstetter for example would have to be a Sturmbannführer. Colonel Feldkamp would have to be a Standartenführer.

Doc

The Rise and Fall of Sergeant Schultz - S2-E6

Factual error: General Kamler awards Schultz what he calls "The Iron Cross Fourth Grade." There never was a version of the Iron cross called that. The Iron cross came in two ranks, called 2nd class ("zweiter Klasse") and 1st class ("erster Klasse"). The ranks higher than that were called the Knight's Cross ("Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes") and were never pinned to the chest but worn around the neck.

Doc

Drums Along the Dusseldorf - S3-E30

Factual error: All through this episode, characters keep referring to the river the bridge *du jour* spans as "The Düsseldorf" or "Düsseldorf river." The city of Düsseldorf is situated on the river Rhine - there is no "Düsseldorf river." It's a well known fact that the producers were hardly geography whizzes, but not knowing the Rhine is bad even by their standards.

Doc

Everyone Has a Brother-in-Law - S2-E23

Factual error: Schulz repeatedly calls Klink's adjutant "Kapitän." In the German army the rank Kapitän only exists in the Navy, the German equivalent for the American rank of Captain (which is obviously meant here) is Hauptmann or Stabshauptmann.

Tanngrisnir

Easy Come, Easy Go - S6-E15

Factual error: Klink and Hogan sit behind each other in the P-51 they try to steal. The P-51 is a single-seat airplane, the only twin-seat P-51 are trainers. A trainer would not be at the flight line with the regular airplanes, and if a trainer would actually scramble with the others, it would at least arouse suspicion.

Doc

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Quotes

Captain: Auf Wiedersehen, Colonel. Heil Hitler!
Klink: Heil Hitler, and get out.

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Mistakes

When Hogan heads into Klink's flower bed to get the dog, you can see a modern steel water tank in the distance.

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Trivia

Hogan's Heroes was originally conceived as a comedy set in a U.S. Penitentiary. Creator Bernard Fein tried for four years to sell it, gave up, and was headed home on a plane when he saw a passenger reading the novel Von Ryan's Express. That gave him an idea. He flew back to Hollywood with a proposal for a show now set in a German P.O.W. Camp, and sold the series in four days.

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