Hogan's Heroes

How to Win Friends and Influence Nazis - S3-E7

Factual error: Burkhalter pulls some papers out of his bags marked "Top Secret." Why would German papers be marked in English, so the prisoners know what not to look at?

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Factual error: In several episodes, the fence around the cooler is visible, and hanging on it, a sign saying "Eingang verboten" meaning "no entry." The correct German term would be "Zutritt verboten." In German, "Eingang" is the opening where you enter a building, not the act of entering one.

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Hold That Tiger - S1-E2

Factual error: The tank used in the episode was not a tiger tank but an American M7 tank.

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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.

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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.

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Nights in Shining Armor - S3-E8

Factual error: When the prisoners are in the workshop to "fix" the plumbing, sergeant Shultz is armed with a krag Jorgensen rifle. German soldiers were armed with the k98 mauser, not the krag.

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Steve Kozak

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.

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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.

00:15:10

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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.

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Factual error: While the barracks were reasonable replicas of the real POW barracks, there was one main difference. The original buildings were elevated to ensure any escape attempts could be stopped. In this series, the barracks are flush on the ground, which makes the tunnel access possible and easy.

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Praise the Fuhrer and Pass the Ammunition - S2-E19

Factual error: In the ammunition dump, a sign saying "Warnung Hoche Sprenggefahr" can be seen. That is not correct German. First, and foremost, it must be "hohe" and not "hoche", the latter form does not exist. Secondly, the word "Sprenggefahr", while not formally wrong, was never used in German. Depending on what the meaning of the sign is supposed to be, it must either be "Explosionsgefahr", if the overall danger of an explosion is meant, or if the property of the ammunition of being explosive is meant, it should be "Hochexplosiv." If the general presence of explosive material is being warned of, "Explosivstoffe" or "Hochexplosives Material" would be possible.

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Factual error: Throughout the entire series, there are often uniforms that are incorrect; an oversized eagle on German Visor Caps appears most often.

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Bad Day in Berlin - S4-E11

Factual error: Hogan and his men are in Berlin to capture a traitor. They arrive at the Hotel Berlin in an ambulance and park near a K2 phone booth, something only found in England and its colonies, certainly never in the heart of Nazi Germany.

00:13:55

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Factual error: In many episodes, mainly the early episodes, some German guards carry Thompson submachine guns; an American weapon.

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Rockets or Romance - S6-E24

Factual error: Frankel suggests manipulating the missile's gyroscope, and Hogan suggests an electromagnet as means to do it, which is later implemented. Gyroscopes however are not affected by any magnetic force, which is what makes a gyroscopic compass superior to a magnetic one in many situations. To enhance that effect, gyroscopes are deliberately built out of materials with as little magnetic susceptibility as possible. A large electromagnet next to the missile could potentially cause all kinds of havoc with all kinds of parts of the missile guidance and control, but the gyroscope itself would not be among them.

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D-Day at Stalag 13 - S3-E3

Factual error: The motorcycle courier coming in wears sunglasses that are definitely newer than 1942. Sunglasses with domed, wrap-around lenses were not invented in the 1940s.

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Kommandant of the Year - S1-E3

Factual error: A sharp brass cone has been put over the spike on Klink's Pickelhaube, so Hogan can pin the page torn from the Geneva Convention onto it. The real spike of a Pickelhaube has concave slopes, and it isn't pointy enough to pin a piece of paper onto it.

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How to Catch a Papa Bear - S4-E3

Factual error: In the tunnel Hogan loads a magazine into a US issue .45 pistol and points it at Myra, but he never chambered a round and didn't cock the hammer on the pistol. The .45 pistol in WW2 was single action. For a single action pistol to fire, a round needs to be chambered and the hammer has to be cocked manually before the trigger is pulled and the pistol to fire.

00:22:00

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The Big Broadcast - S6-E12

Factual error: Hogan calls the radio detection truck "radar" when he orders the SS guard to switch it off. From other episodes, we know that Hogan knows what radar is, and back then, the difference between radio homing equipment and radar was even clearer to people than it is today, because radio homing was an established technology, while radar was brand new, and most people were not even aware it existed.

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The Big Broadcast - S6-E12

Factual error: Baker picks up a lot of static in his radio, then suddenly signs off and says "Sounds like the radio detection unit picked up our signal." Unlike radar, radio signal homing relies entirely on measuring the signals emitted by the transmitter that is tracked. It works by comparing the strength of the signal arriving at each component of an array of directional antennae. The process is completely passive and does not cause any alteration of the signal measurable at either receiver or transmitter at all, and certainly not any audible interference or humming.

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Axis Annie - S3-E23

Factual error: After Carter realises Hogan got the envelope off so fast, Newkirk says "Speedy Gonzales." 'Hogan's Heroes' was supposed to take place from 1942 to the end of the war. Speedy Gonzales first appeared in "Cat Tails for Two" in 1953.

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Factual error: The rank badges on the SS Uniforms often do not match the character's spoken rank. For example, Maj. Hochsteter the regular Gestapo officer displays the rank of a SS Colonel (Standartenführer). His correct title would be Sturmbannführer.

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Factual error: The first episode of Hogan's Heroes (Season 1) begins with a view of Stalag 13 and a title: "Germany, 1942." That said, Colonel Hogan indicates in several episodes that he has worked in the Pentagon although construction of the Pentagon was actually completed in 1943.

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Klink's Masterpiece - S6-E3

Factual error: As the staff car comes up the street, there are a number of neon signs lit up, as well as store fronts. This is wrong as during the night in wartime Europe, such lighting would be dark to avoid night bombing.

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Operation Hannibal - S4-E17

Factual error: The cover of the plan for Unternehmen Hannibal is marked "SEHR GEHEIM." That phrasing does not exist in German. The correct term would be "streng geheim".

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A Russian Is Coming - S3-E12

Factual error: On the map in Klink's office, the nearest town's name is Hamilburg. This a misspelling, as the real name is Hammelburg.

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Get Fit or Go Fight - S5-E16

Factual error: In the rec hall where Klink is weightlifting, there is an advertisement poster for the Grindelwald region on the wall, which is in Switzerland. The German propaganda poured a lot of money into promoting the Reich's own recreational regions through the "Kraft durch Freude" program. With the war going badly, they especially wouldn't want a "Look how beautiful Switzerland is" poster in plain view of their troops every day.

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The Swing Shift - S2-E21

Factual error: In this episode, the HofBrau (which should correctly be written "Hofbräu") is displaying a big red neon sign above its door. From 1939 on, air raid regulations throughout Germany strictly prohibited any unnecessary display of light at night. Any light visible from more than 500m away was considered a breach of air raid regulations.

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The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery - S2-E18

Factual error: In the restaurant in Hammelburg, where Schultz discovers Hogan and Newkirk, there's an advertisement for "Brauerei der Jager, Stadt Wien." (Wien = Vienna) Vienna and Hammelburg are more than 500km apart, and if Hammelburg were near Düsseldorf, where the series puts it, it would be more like 700km. That's a bit far away for a brewery to advertise in the pre-globalisation era.

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Monkey Business - S3-E29

Factual error: In several episodes, Hogan's men communicate by radio with a British submarine, and the dialog hints that the sub is submerged at the time. During the WWII era, submarines could not communicate by radio without surfacing first. In most episodes one might argue that the sub could be running shallow with a mast up, which would perhaps be within the technical possibilities of the era, but in this episode, the sub is talking to Hogan's men while under attack by a destroyer. This pretty much rules out running at periscope depth, because ramming was regularly-used tactic for killing subs that were in the process of diving or surfacing. To avoid confusion: Nowadays, subs can communicate while running several hundred feet deep by using VLF and ELF. However, these are definitely not capable of transmitting voice, but are text-only.

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Bad Day in Berlin - S4-E11

Factual error: The ambulance Major Teppel transports the prisoners in is a Dodge WC54, which is an American military ambulance, not a German one.

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Guess Who Came to Dinner? - S4-E9

Factual error: Schultz says, Von Grubner has "a castle right next to the Führer's in Berchtesgaden." Hitler's famous real estate in Obersalzberg wasn't a castle but a mountain chalet based on a former farm estate called the "Steinhaus".

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That's No Lady, That's My Spy - S6-E17

Factual error: Hogan tells Carter that the bush he's camouflaging himself with is poison ivy. Poison ivy is not native to Germany, the very few wild plants that exist today descend from those introduced to botanical parks after 1942.

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The Gypsy - S6-E13

Factual error: In this episode, LeBeau pretends to be a psychic gypsy to fool Klink. Gypsies generally didn't fare too well in the Third Reich. Admitting to being of Gypsy origin would probably have earned LeBeau a ride to the concentration camp.

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Factual error: Numerous times throughout the series, there are palm trees seen in different shots. Stalag 13 was supposed to be just on the outskirts of Hammelburg. The only place anywhere near there that could support palms was the area around the Bodensee (Lake Constance), so therefore the palms seen are a big mistake.

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Bombsight - S5-E7

Factual error: About 10 minutes into the show, Newkirk is using binoculars to watch Klink put the combination into his safe. He goes one direction for the first number, the opposite direction for the second number, then goes in the same direction for third number. Opposite for the fourth number. For the radial tumblers to set, it has to be alternating directions.

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Factual error: The program depicted WW2, 1939-1945 but several vehicles are 1947-48's.

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Factual error: Throughout the series, the SS and the Gestapo are often used interchangeably, as if the two organisations were basically the same. The most notorious example is "Major" Hochstetter, who sometimes claims to be Gestapo, sometimes SS, most of the time wearing an SS uniform. This is historically incorrect. The SS was a paramilitary and military organisation, while the Gestapo was a secret police force and since 1939 part of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. The Gestapo, being essentially a plain clothes police, never had any uniform of their own.

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The Ultimate Weapon - S3-E28

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. A little bit of background on "jewish" names: 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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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."

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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. To avoid confusion: the original, German pumpernickel is quite different from what's sometimes referred to as pumpernickel in England and America.

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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.

00:20:00

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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. To avoid confusion: Hochstetter sometimes claims he is Gestapo, even when he's wearing an SS uniform (different mistake). However, he couldn't be a major there either - he'd have to be a Kriminalrat or Kriminaldirektor, because the Gestapo, which was in principle a civilian police organisation and wasn't half as closely integrated with the SS or the military as the series would have us believe, didn't use military ranks at all.

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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.

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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.

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

Factual error: Schulz repeatedly calls Klink's adjutant "Kapitän." In the German armed forces 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.

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Factual error: In several episodes, Hogan and his men are confronted with mobile missile launchers. These are depicted as a missile on a flatbed from which it is launched at the push of a button. While there existed mobile German missile launchers for the A4 missile better known as "V2", they consisted of a whole column of trucks, among them a transport truck for the missile with erector hydraulics, at least two tankers for the fuel, a control vehicle and several other trucks full of equipment, not counting the transport capability for a dozen or more operators that were necessary to launch them. Also the missiles weren't launched from the transport vehicles, but placed on mobile launch racks that were transported separately.

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Factual error: Baker and Kinchloe, the radio experts of the troupe, often use Morse code to communicate by radio. When they do, they hammer the Morse key in different intervals, but always just barely tap it. Morse code is made up of "short" and "long" beeps. To produce a "long" in Morse code, you have to hold the key down three times as long as you would for a "short". A tap would be a "short" - the beeps they are sending are spaced long and short, but that's not how Morse code works.

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A Russian Is Coming - S3-E12

Factual error: The guard delivering the Russian captive in the tunnel at the start of the show has a paratrooper M1 carbine with a bayonet lug. Bayonet lugs were not attached to M1 carbines until after the war.

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Factual error: In three episodes of season 1, an aircraft is shown dropping parachutists. This aircraft is a Fairchild C-119. First flown as the C-82 Packet on Sep. 10, 1944, it wasn't operational until 1947.

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Hogan's Hofbrau - S1-E13

Factual error: Hogan mentions a store that offers "thirty percent off on T-shirts." T-shirts were mostly unknown in Germany during the 3rd Reich, and didn't see widespread use before the 1960s. Before that, the traditional Unterhemd, known in America as tank top or wife beater, was worn almost exclusively.

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Monkey Business - S3-E29

Factual error: In this episode, the Royal Navy submarine that acts as a radio relay for Hogan's men is hunted by a destroyer. Like in most such Hollywood scenes, depth charges are seen exploding right next to the submarine, which just shrugs the blasts off. In reality, any depth charge that went off closer than 100 meters was instantly deadly to a submerged sub.

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Duel of Honor - S3-E22

Factual error: Erica says she has a plane to take Klink and her to Argentina. The only transatlantic airplane in Germany at that time was the FW-200 Condor, whose military value would have made it hard to requisition even for an SS Gruppenführer (which would be the real rank a "General" would hold in the SS, different mistake), let alone for his wife. Plus, even the FW-200 could not have made it even to the Brazilian coast without a refueling stop somewhere along the African west coast, which would have been a problem, because Germany had no possessions there. Klink, being a Luftwaffe (Air Force) officer, should have at least been suspicious of that plan, even if he didn't know all the details off the top of his head.

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Factual error: During the whole show, the iconic Prussian helmet, the Pickelhaube, is present on Klink's desk. If Klink was a flier in WWI as he often hints, that is wrong. The German Reich's air corps didn't wear such helmets but had peaked caps instead.

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Factual error: Every episode and season there is "snow" on the ground even if it is warm.

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Klink's Old Flame - S4-E20

Factual error: When the farmer sticks his pitchfork into the haystack, a scream is heard, but then everybody emerges unscathed. Wounds from pitchforks 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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The Great Impersonation - S1-E21

Factual error: When the three captured heroes stand before the Gestapo officer, he sweeps three sets of US identification tags into his hand. The names and uniforms suggest that the three captured personnel are from three different armies. Identification tags differ greatly between armies, all wearing US-style with their usual uniforms they would be worse off than wearing none at all. The Geneva convention would allow for them to be shot on the spot as spies under these circumstances since they initiated combat (blew something up) wearing false uniforms.

00:03:20

Tanks for the Memory - S2-E9

Factual error: In the very end, Klink comes up to the boys. As he stands beside Hogan, the Desilu Studios Water Tower is present behind them.

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Anchors Aweigh, Men of Stalag 13 - S1-E16

Factual error: When Shultz is standing at the top of the ramp with a crate marked "hors d'oeuvres", talking with Carter and Lebeau, if you look to the right of Shultz's head (camera's left) you can see the Desilu Studios water tower.

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The Gold Rush - S1-E18

Factual error: When the men are lined up to take the strongboxes of gold to switch with bricks, each man in line easily hefts and tosses them to the next man. Gold bricks weigh over 27.5 pounds (12.4kg) apiece. If there 10 bricks per box (going by the size of the boxes), then that comes to 275 pounds per box, plus the weight of the box, which these guys are tossing around without a problem.

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Color the Luftwaffe Red - S4-E8

Factual error: The medal Newkirk steals from the German officer in the pub is a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. There were a total of 148 presentations, most of them 1943-45. By 1942 (where the series is apparently set), less than 25 had been presented. That Newkirk should actually stumble across a wearer by pure chance is highly unlikely, that the wearer should actually "never miss it" as Newkirk states, is plainly impossible. Being the fourth highest ranking military decoration of the Wehrmacht, it would have been missed almost immediately - if not by the wearer himself, then by his fellow officers.

00:22:35

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Quotes

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

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Mistakes

General Burkhalter is eating Klink's dinner. When finished he places a metal cover over the plate. In the next shot the cover is lying on the table and there is extra food on the plate.

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Trivia

When Klink is begging Hogan to trade places with him for fear of assassination, he says to him something like."I want to live til 80...all my family has lived til 80." Werner Klemperer, who played Klink, passed away in 2000 aged 80.

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