A Suncompass Guide to the Episodes

 

The Field of Death Raid

 

drawn from the 
not award
winning

SunCompass
portfolio

Regular Cast

The
Guests

Suncompass Guides

Tug of War Raid

The Double Jeopardy Raid

The Field of Death Raid

more to come
(eventually)

Columnists

Suncompass (SC)
&
Ed. (Ed)

Sergeant Troy:  Christopher George
Captain Dietrich:  Hans Gudegast (who doesn't appear in this episode)
Sergeant Moffitt:  Gary Raymond
Hitchcock:  Larry Casey
Peterson: Darwin Joston

 
Guest Stars

Capt. David Troy: Nick George
Major von Brugge: Albert Paulsen
Lt. Koenig: Jack Bannon
Lt. Hardt: Horst Ebersberg

Produced by Jon Epstein
Directed by Herschel Daugherty
Written by  Richard K. Brookway
Running time:  about 24 minutes. 
Rated about PG-14 (for mature subject matter)

 

 

by Suncompass*

Part One


"That's...uh...a smashing start, Peterson."
- Moffitt

     The action begins with one of the jeeps balanced, one wheel in mid air, on a pointy bit of desert rock. Moffitt cooly assesses the situation with a supporting comment to the driver and we suddenly notice that it isn't Tully under that helmet.
[SC: Those of us paying close attention would instantly have known that Tully wouldn't get a jeep stuck on top of a pinnacle. Sure, now and then he might get a jeep stuck in flat sand, but never up on a pointy rock.]


"Tully picked a great time to get shot up."  - Troy

      Hitch to the rescue! With Tully  all shot up, Hitch has been forced to learn the difference between a wingnut and a tie rod nut. Good lad! While Hitch rocks the tire back and forth and looks earnest, Troy bemoans the fact that Tully's sense of timing at getting shot up was unfortunate.
[SC: Is there a time when it's a 'great time' to get shot up, Troy?] .

 

"Sarge! Arabs!" 
- Hitch

      With a handy tie rod nut (what don't they carry under the seats of those jeeps?) and a little pushing  the jeep situation will be fixed. No one  much wants to push a jeep in the 150F desert sun so are happy when eagle-eyed Hitch spots two locals on horseback fortuitously cantering by.
[SC:  With the entire Sahara desert about them what an astounding bit of luck! Suspicious I say.]
     Moffitt puts his language skills to work and asks them in what sounds something like French to help "poussez" the jeep. And they silently agree to assist.     

      Their joy with the extra hands doesn't last long because before doing any pushing one of the Arabs drops a live grenade under the feet of the lads.  Moffitt grabs it up and tosses it away.
SC: So, in which direction does Moffitt toss the live grenade? Right at the fleeing Arabs. That's not a bad idea unless you  happen to want to question them later. In that case it is a distinctly rotten idea.

       One of the Arabs escapes the grenade blast and fires a pistol at them so Hitch leaps to the .50 and mows him down.
SC: Good job, Hitch.  Now we have no one left to interrogate.
[Ed:  Now now, SC, sarcasm is not your style (well, in truth it is, but we are trying to curb that). To be fair to the lads, when under fire one might be excused for shooting for greatest effect regardless of future interrogation wishes.]

"What the devil was that about?"
-Troy

     At Troy's command the others jump to checking the two - now dead - bodies. Are they checking to ensure themselves that they won't rise up again in attack?  Not so. They are frisking them for clues.

      And clues they find.  They discover that one of the Arabs had a wallet full of German money and a photo of  Troy with his brother. Troy's jaw drops.
[SC: You can see the photo of Troy and bro here but not the German money.]
[Ed: warning - that link takes you to a nitpick]

 

 

Part Two


      The lads drop whatever mission they are on and hurry back to HQ to report the strange incident where they are told two things. One, that Troy's brother, David, has been assigned to the area; and two, that someone must be trying to kill them.
[SC:  Well, duh!  Someone other than Hauptmann Dietrich and the whole Afrika Korps?] 

"Just the obvious. Somebody's trying to kill us."
- Troy

 

     It is arranged. Troy (and the lads) will go to El Hakim Oasis to meet David.
[SC: Hakim Oasis? Again? It sure is a popular desert watering hole for the Rat Patrol. How come they ALL have to go to meet David?]

 

"When hunting rats it's necessary to use the proper bait."
- Major Von Brugge

 

     Meanwhile on the other side of the war a German major is intent on hunting down some particular rats - our rats.
[SC:  Scoundrel! I've seen that Major before somewhere - and he was mad then too.]
[Ed: Yup. He was a mad German in the 'Life Against Death Raid' too.  See here.  He gets around and somehow gets a promotion too.]


'The bait'

     It's time for that mad Major to prepare the 'proper bait'  for his rat trap - Captain David Troy, OUR Troy's brother. 
     David is tricked into stopping on a remote and lonely stretch of desert road. There he is captured by some of the enemy - including a weasely Lt. Hardt.  David is hustled away while Hardt is left to lead our rats to the trap.

       Our lads happily barrel along the road to Hakim Oasis [That sounds like a good movie title for Hope and Crosby - SC] but pull up short when they see something ahead - something puzzling. Something that doesn't look good.
     Not wanting to be long puzzled, they hurry up to the stopped vehicle and Troy literally uncovers Lt. Hardt's true nationality beneath his drab coveralls.

 

[SC: Not that his heavy German accent would have been a tip off .]
       They also discover a satchel belonging to David Troy.  With the proof in hand Troy becomes more than a trifle irritated with Hardt.  He musses up Hardt's shirt creases and then hoists his pistol.  Hardt looks suitably terrorized but begins to remind them that the Geneva convention will protect him from a wild man with a pistol. Even though Moffitt points out a flaw in that logic a smug look comes over Hardt's face. He's been told the Americans are too sentimental to shoot an unarmed man.
[SC:  Troy with a weapon in his hand is no one to trifle with but Hardt is  being Mr. Silly and goes blithely on being silly.]
     The silliness finally comes to a head when Hardt spouts off about how Germany will win the war because they aren't sentimental. Troy has had enough and does a bit of fancy shooting.  Hardt  looks suitably startled and suddenly considerably less smug. NOW he is prepared to cooperate and take them to David.


"You're a long way from Geneva, dear heart."
- Moffitt

 


You won't shoot.  You are an American. Americans are too sentimental."
- Lt. Hardt

 

Part Three


"Your brother has been a tremendous influence in my life."
- Major

     Meanwhile, back at the ranch...err...at the German camp...The mad Major is explaining to David how Sam Troy had been a tremendous influence in his life - negatively in regards his mobility and appearance.
[SC: He neglects to mention that Troy has damaged his sanity too. If Troy causes madness in the German officers he contacts, Dietrich ought to seek out a good therapist. He's bound to need one.]

'the canyon'

     The mad Major is of course planning to trap the rats and punish Troy - with David's help.
     Being a Troy, David naturally says, "Not a chance."
[SC: Did you expect anything else?]
     The scoundrel (mad Major) baits the trap anyway, tying David down in the middle of a well-mined canyon.

 

[SC: Both the rats and the Germans keep referring to the gently sloping valley as 'the canyon'.  If that's a canyon, then the Grand Canyon deserves a name far more auspicious.]
     There is even a land mine buried directly beside David so anyone attempting to move him will surely set it off. Things look very bad for the rats - and David.

 
"This man's leading us into a trap. I can feel it."  - Moffitt

"You want to back out? I'll handle it all."  - Troy

     With Hardt's guidance, at last our heroes arrive at the canyon, but Moffitt has a bad feeling about it.  Troy gets positively snippy at Moffitt's well-meaning advice to slow down,  and so he completely ignores it.
[SC: So what else is new?]

     Everyone who has them, digs up a pair of binoculars to check out David's demise.   The rats are appalled, but the mad Major is pleased. Seeing David trussed in the middle of the canyon, Troy is all for racing right in to rescue him. 

     Hitch and Moffitt urge caution and Moffitt  tries again to reason with Troy.  This time he uses a less subtle approach - fewer words and more knuckles. A fist to the jaw gains Troy's full attention.
[SC:  Good thing Troy isn't an officer or he'd have had Moffitt's head for that.]
     Troy stops long enough to decide that the safest route is to take Hardt along as insurance. Hardt, the weasel that he is, cringes with fear and spills the secret that the entire area has been mined.  He won't go another step.


"Not until you listen to reason." - Moffitt

   Before any steps are taken by anyone, a little proactive strafing a pathway seems prudent, and is immediately done.
[SC: Far be it for me to be critical, but I'd worry that some of that falling debris might set off more mines and blow poor David to smithereens.]
[Ed:Since when have you not been critical, SC?]
     Hardt is then 'persuaded' by Troy and his pistol to 'get going!'

 

strafing

      Moffitt and Peterson decide it is high time they find the hidden Germans - for surely that's a whiff of German diesel they smell.  They set off to create a little diversionary racket leaving Hitch to watch over Troy and man the .50.

 

Part Four

   Halfway into the mine field, Hardt suddenly grows guts and poor Troy gets another fist to the jaw.
[SC: it is probably safe to say that this hasn't been one of Troy's better days. Hardt's, however, is about to get MUCH worse.]
      Hitch, ever vigilant at the .50, promptly  and efficiently removes Hardt from further hostile action - permanently.

"My vengence is the mission."
- Major

 

 

     The Major is definitely not any more pleased about that turn of events than Hardt. 
     Troy, now on his own, reaches David and begins the delicate task of defusing the mines nearby.
[SC: Darn, but he's good!]
     The Major is livid and orders the various big German guns to get into position to finish off the rats.  What he doesn't know is that Moffitt and Peterson are about to wreck that option.
[SC: Naturally they find the enemy without any difficulty, and without injury or even breaking a sweat, manage to dessimate them. Darn, they're good! ]

 

     Meanwhile, the Major, still obsessed with destroying Troy, begins forward on foot to finish off Troy with his bare hands if necessary.
[SC: He has his side arm just to be on the safe side even though he's seen Troy knocked down twice in the space of 10 minutes -  once even by that disreputable weakling Hardt.]

      Hitch sees the Major advancing on Troy and David with evil intent, but suddenly Hitch  can't seem to hit the side of a barn door. He's unable to shoot the Major.

     Luckily Troy has David free at last!  He helps him up and they start the long climb out of the canyon.
     In as much as no one seems to be able to shoot the Major, it is apparently up to him to see to his own death - by stepping on one of the land mines he himself ordered buried there. 
[SC: poetic justice. That he finishes himself off saves Troy from having to kill a disabled and unbalanced man.]

 

     With the mad Major and all Germans in the immediate vicinity now out of commission, Troy and David, sheltering behind some scrubby bushes, take time for a little reminiscing about Troy's graduation party.
[SC: They go on about vanilla extract and who drank too much of it and got sick, and who didn't. Typical guy stuff.]

[SC:  Because of some nasty scissor wielding near the end of this episode, the last minutes were cut from the version that SC viewed. She has seen the finale though and can report that the lads bid David a fond goodbye and then someone or other drives off into the dusty sunset, no doubt to save the day somewhere in the desert.]

 

"Boy, I can say one thing for you. When you throw a party, it's sure a big one."
- David

"No food. Lot's of noise."
- Troy

 

Too much episode nitpicking for you?  Then be sure not to visit the Nit-Picker's Bunker.

*disclaimer:  With each airing of the Rat Patrol series it seemed a different editor took scissors to  the episodes to make room for ever more commercials.   Suncompass acknowledges that the version of any one episode that she has seen, and reviewed here, may not be identical to the one you may have seen.

The webmaster reminds that Suncompass has her own special way of viewing/interpreting anything Rat Patrol related.  The views expressed here by Suncompass are not necessarily those of the management....unless they happen to agree, of course.

 

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