Hogan's Heroes

Hogan's Heroes (1965)

5 mistakes in I Look Better in Basic Black

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Suggested correction: "Hogan's Heroes" is an American television show produced for an English speaking audience. The whole show is shot in English! Did you expect Schultz and Klink to speak German and LeBeau to speak French?

I have seen MANY instances in the show where German characters are speaking actual German phrases (many quite accurately, by the way) and ranks of fellow German soldiers. When the German characters are addressing English-speaking characters in this American-made show, you do expect them to speak German-accented English, however, when German-speaking characters speak German to each other, one expects them to use the proper address and vernacular Germans would use and not mix in other languages. In this case, the SS guard did not know a lick of English when he was questioning some prisoners who were out their barracks, but addresses Sergeant Schultz as "Sergeant" rather than "Feldwebel." Furthermore, why aren't little things like buckets of water used in the show are labeled, "Water" rather than the German "Wasser"? Why isn't the list of rules tacked onto the barracks say "Forbidden" rather than "Verboten"?


The point is that when German characters are speaking to each other, it is assumed by the audience that they are speaking German and we are hearing an English translation for our convenience. In the world of the show, they are using the German term, but we hear the English equivalent.

I Look Better in Basic Black - S1-E28

Other mistake: When Hogan asked the girls if they wanted to try to escape to England, the one in "basic black" said that anything is better than being booked in a German prison camp for three years. How did she know when the war would be over?

I Look Better in Basic Black - S1-E28

Factual error: The American women the SS brings into camp claim to be entertainers having performed for troops. The series is allegedly set in 1942. Before June 6th, 1944 there were no allied troop concentrations in central Europe, certainly not in Germany, and very certainly none of a size and security rating the USO (or probably rather its predecessor organization, since the USO was founded in 1941 and would not have been fully operational yet) would send a troupe of female entertainers to.

Doc Premium member

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Question: Many times Hogan and company manage to actually escape Stalag 13, especially at night. If they can escape so easily, then why doesn't everybody in the whole Stalag do it and head to an American Embassy?

Answer: The core POWs regularly escaped the prison camp but they made it their mission to conduct espionage and commit sabotage in the surrounding German territory. They also collaborated with different underground resistance groups and used a network of secret tunnels to help prisoners from other POW camps to escape, who then relayed vital information back to the Allied forces. Hogan and his men maintained the illusion that Stalag 13 had never had any prisoners escape in order to avoid their covert operations being shut down. Being that the prison camp is set in Germany during WWII, there were no American embassies.

raywest Premium member

Hogan has mentioned to different characters that they are actually stationed at Stalag 13 to help allied soldiers and prisoners from other Stalags to escape Germany.

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