Odds and Ends too!
(page 2)

 

Suncompass was unsure as to whether to include the item below, but decided it might serve to remind us that injuries happened during the making of The Rat Patrol - and sometimes to those not even named.

The fans of the series thank the stunt persons who took chances with life and limb to help create the show enjoyed to this day.

 

The Delilah Raid

The episode mission briefing:
The Rat Patrol destroy a German supply convoy and find themselves transporting a female prisoner of the Germans - or so they believe. At one point she makes a break to escape and they discover she is not precisely what she claims to be.

 

In the filming of the escape attempt, the woman's stunt double jumped from the truck cab and fell to the ground very close to the side of the moving vehicle.  Looking at the two images below one can see that although travelling on a flat sand surface the rear wheel bounced suddenly upward when it got to the stunt person's leg. It is quite possible the wheel ran directly over her leg.

In the left hand picture the stunt person is lying face down in front of the rear wheels - her head toward the truck cab. Her left leg is bent upward while her right leg falls across the wheel path.  In the right hand picture note how the first rear wheel rises abruptly as it clearly rolls over something.  Could it be her leg?

The stunt person is not named in the episode credits, but she should have been.

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Cigarette, Anyone?

This picture of Hauptmann Dietrich of the Afrika Korps comes from the Violent Truce Raid, a raid that sees Sergeant Moffitt try to keep Dietrich - or anyone else for that matter - from making use of some contaminated blood plasma.  Naturally Dietrich doesn't listen to Sergeant Moffitt's warning. 

A picture of Dietrich smoking could have been drawn from any number of episodes, however, for he is often seen with a cigarette dangling from his lips.


Hauptmann Dietrich

It might be that Dietrich had his own private source of cigarettes to keep him in his smoking habit because  Hitler encouraged as many Germans (soldiers and civilians) as possible to give it up.  Hitler, who had given up smoking, was a rabid anti-smoker and was further encouraged by the link that the German scientists of the time had made between smoking and cancer and other serious health conditions.  As a result, by late in the 1930s many places in Germany had banned smoking within their premises.

In 1940 Hitler ordered cigarette rations to the soldiers be of such a number as to dissuade smoking.  Six per day were issued to soldiers who smoked and non smokers were given other treats instead (e.g. chocolate).  Soldiers wanting more than six cigarettes per day could sometimes buy up to 50 per month more.  But these extra supplies were often unavailable during times of rapid advance or retreat.  Women accompanying the Wehrmacht were forbidden any cigarettes whatsoever.

Did Hitler's efforts accomplish his desire of a smokeless citizenry?  In 1944 a greater proportion of the male population in uniform were smoking but a significantly lower proportion were heavy smokers.  Did Dietrich cut down on his smoking under pressure to do so?  If he did not during the war, he might well have in the impoverished post-war Germany when smoking in the German population dropped significantly.

An easy to read, informative website examining this subject:  http://web.archive.org/web/20041029154829/http://forces.minnesota.321webmaster.com/documents/proctor.htm

 

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Look at all that saluting! What's it all about?

There is some question about the origins of the military salute, but no matter the origins, the salute is practised by the military of all nations - in one form or another.

The British
Note the palm-forward salute as demonstrated by Moffitt and these officers. Their form of salute indicates they are with the British (or Commonwealth) Army (or Air force or Royal Marines), but not the Royal Navy.  Had they been in the Navy their salutes would have looked like Troy's salute. (hand raised and held palm down).  If Moffitt and those British officers had lost their hats (covers), they would not have saluted. (heaven only knows why Tully wasn't saluting the General though)


Sgt Moffitt salutes the General 
(Hide and Go Seek Raid)


Major Bracken salutes Dietrich 
(Violent Truce Raid)


General Simms salutes Troy
(Hide and Go Seek Raid)

The American
The generally accepted theory is that the military salute used for all the American forces is derived originally from the British Naval one. (Why? Suncompass does not know.) Unlike Moffitt, even if Troy, in the American army, lost his hat (non-issue as it may be) he would still salute.


Sgt Troy salutes the General
(Hide and Go Seek Raid)


Sgt Troy (sans chapeau) salutes the Major
(Wild Goose Raid)

The German
The straight-armed salute, adopted by Mussolini and Hitler, was rarely seen in the series. [The lads pictured below are NOT who they appear to be.]

 
More commonly, Dietrich and the other German soldiers in the series used a salute similar to the American salute.

 
One more German salute seen occasionally in the episodes was the lifting of a hand to the shoulder, palm forward. Suncompass found only one internet reference to that particular ‘salute' and the source called it Kameradgruss (comrade greeting).


Germans in Rats' clothing saluting
(Holy War Raid)


Hauptmann Dietrich salutes
(Decoy Raid)


Hauptmann Wansee salutes
(Decoy Raid)

The Italian
The Italian soldier shown here used what looked something like an American salute, but with a little extra flourish. Suncompass was unable to determine if the salute presented was authentic Italian military or not.


Lt. Cristalde salutes
(Never Say Die Raid)

for more about military salutes, the history and rules:
http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/salute.htm

http://www.surch.co.uk/-/Salute.html

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A Dog's Life

Whoever suggested that a dog's life isn't a good one didn't know this dog.  In this episode of the Rat Patrol ('The Last Harbor Raid') a rather pampered pooch can be seen sitting in his owner's best chair and 'smoking' a pipe (probably his owner's too). How odd!

 

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this page last updated October 28, 2004
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