|The RAT PATROL Episode and (shameless) Ratings Guide|
The Holy War Raid|
Season 1 Episode 21 (Airdate: Feb 13, 1967)
Must have been real bad 'cause he never took his helmet off.
|No heart of gold for Dietrich|
Abraham Sofaer -- Arab holy man
Writer: Ronald Sossi
commentary: Using a fake (German) Rat Patrol, Dietrich abducts an Arab holy man that he will then "rescue" so that the Arabs will give their help to the Germans. The real Patrol is captured by the Arabs, though, and when they convince the Arab leader -- who is a friend of Moffitt's -- that they aren't guilty, Troy and Moffitt go to find the holy man. To do so means a horse trip across the desert.
Read Jan's Notes: Two Men, Two Horses, and A Knife
Read Jan's Notes: Two Men, Two Horses, and A Knife
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Jan's notes: The Holy War Raid, a.k.a. Two Men, Two Horses, and A Knife
26 April 1999
Dietrich has been out in the sun way too long. He comes up with a plan that has holes in it big enough to drive one of his panzers through. In order to obtain Arab cooperation with the German war effort in North Africa, he arranges to have the Arab Holy Man kidnaped. However, in order to have the Arabs think the Allies were responsible, he has his men dress up as the Rat Patrol. That way he figures the Arabs will naturally assume that the Rat Patrol is responsible and spread the disinformation through out the Arab community, making the Allies persona non grata. Dietrich will then offer the aid and comfort of the Afrika Korps, rescue the Holy Man, and thus earn the eternal gratitude of the Arab peoples. Sounds good, doesn't it. Just one problem. He forgot about the real Rat Patrol and that the Arab leaders won't just sit around wringing their hands and crying to Allah.
Dietrich has four of his men dress up as the Rat Patrol and kidnap the Holy Man. How do we know that these men are fakes? Well, first of all, Troy and Moffitt ride together and Hitch and Tully ride together. This is a big NO-NO!! Second, the Rat Patrol don't go around kidnapping harmless Arab holy men. The fakers ride off with Holy Man, leaving a ransom note. The Arabs get on their horses and ride off in a different direction altogether. Why didn't they just follow the tracks of the jeeps and rescue their own Holy Man? But the Arabs, figuring that the Rat Patrol had kidnapped their Holy Man, ride off to find them. And find them they do, minus Holy Man, because the real Rat Patrol had been minding their own business do some quick maintenance on their jeeps. Because Moffiitt knows the head Arab, Dhakhil, they don't take any precautions. Dhakhil spits at the Rat Patrol to demonstrate his anger, then carries them off to his camp. Just one question: where did Dhakhil figure the Rat Patrol had stashed Holy Man -- under a rock somewhere?
At the camp, Dhakhil shows the Patrol the note and rock left by the fake patrol. Troy protests their innocence and says if Dhakhil lets them go, they will go find their Holy Man. Moffitt reminds Dhakhil that Alistair (Moffitt's dad) and the father of the girl are brothers in blood. Due to this family relationship, Dhakhil agrees to let Troy and Moffitt go to rescue Holy Man. He allows them only one weapon, the sacred knife, and two horses for transportation. They have until sundown, which is less than five hours away, to return with Holy Man or Tully and Hitch will become food for the jackals. Chief Torturer dude is already heating up the iron pokers. So off Troy and Moffitt go like the Lone Ranger and Tonto to locate Holy Man -- their only clue the rock which accompanied the note.
Meanwhile Dietrich is explaining his plan to his fake patrol who have a hard time remembering that they are supposed to be Americans as they keep speaking German and Heil Hitlering all over the place. His men are suitably impressed by the deviousness of their commander's plan. Dietrich of course doesn't realize that Troy and Moffitt are on their way armed with the sacred knife. Guess he hadn't planned on the patrol being in the area. Or did he figure the Arabs would kill the Patrol and then sit around wringing their hands?
Tonto, I mean Moffitt, locates the area where the rock was taken from. "Look, Kemo Sabe, it is same rock." Okay, so they have narrowed it down to half of the North African terrain, they still haven't found Holy Man. Troy and Moffitt ride off is what they figure is as good a direction as any while demonstrating their superb horsemanship.
Meanwhile, Chief Torturer dude has those iron pokers white hot. He gazes longingly over at Tully and Hitch imagining, I am sure, where he is going to stick those pokers. Tully and Hitch looked suitable impressed by their situation -- they were never told about this during basic training. In fact, I bet this was never covered in advanced training. Lesson Four -- How to neutralize the Chief Torturer dude with white hot iron pokers while tied to a post in the middle of the desert.
After they have wasted two and half hours riding around in circles, Troy and Moffitt are beginning to feel a little anxious. Then Moffitt hears the sounds of trucks. They peek over the ridge, and lo and behold there is Dietrich and his fake U.S. army camp. Troy says one of the best lines in this episode. "That uniform doesn't do a thing for Dietrich" Troy is right. With that helmet, Dietrich looks like a long, gangly mushroom. They also immediately figure out exactly what happened and why Dhakhil thought it was the Rat Patrol which kidnaped Holy Man.
Troy and Moffitt figure out where Holy Man is being kept and head toward the building. They take out the two guards and enter the building to find Holy Man. Moffitt attempts to explain to Holy Man what really happened but Holy Man is real cool: "No explanations necessary -- you are here to rescue me." He has all the confidence in the world that Troy and Moffitt will reunited him with his people because they were sent by Allah. Troy and Moffitt start to escort Holy Man back to their horses but Dietrich shows up and stops them. Troy looks at Dietrich with absolute disgust and uses his Kill look but it doesn't work.
Dietrich's plan is beginning to fall apart. He can't be the "great rescuer" anymore because Holy Man now knows the truth. So he tells Holy Man that he is going to be sent to Berlin where he will be treated with the utmost courtesy. And then he tells fake Troy and Moffitt to take Holy Man and Real Troy and Moffitt back into the building and don't let them escape. Famous last words.
Dietrich in the meantime takes three men and heads off towards the Arabs' camp, where he will commiserate with the Arab community. Though how he is supposed to know the Holy Man has been kidnapped in the first place is a mystery. Another big hole. Or is he just going to hang around waiting for the Arabs to volunteer the information? And then what, is he going to claim that the Germans would never do such a thing as kidnap the honourable and venerable holy leader? Yeah, right.
Fake Troy and Moffitt do a bang up job of restraining real Troy and Moffitt. In other words, they fail miserably. These two do a real good impression of Laurel and Hardy. Fake Troy tells Fake Moffitt to tie them up. Fake Moffitt puts down his gun and starts to fiddle around with a rope. Real Troy puts out the candle which was the only source of light in the room. Fake Troy tells Fake Moffitt to use the flare gun. Now these guys are approximately a yard apart. Fake Moffitt shoots the flare towards real Troy and Moffitt. This flare effectively blinds Fake Moffitt and Troy because real Troy has the time to pick up the flare and throw it back at the fakers. The fakers turn their backs in horror and Moffitt and Troy rush them, putting them out of commission.
Troy and Moffitt then peek outside and see two more Germans playing with their rifles by a jeep. The Germans see Troy and Moffitt. Now, do both of them go and check out what is happening? No, of course not, that would make too much sense. First, one goes so he can be killed, then the second one goes so he can be killed by the first one's rifle. Sort of reminded me of those kung fu movies where ten bad guys surround the one good guy, then take turns attacking the good guy so the good guy can defeat them one by one. Troy goes and gets the jeep and Troy, Moffitt, and Holy Man climb in. I guess all the German soldiers in the camp have either been eliminated or they went with Dietrich because no more opposition is encountered. Troy then realizes that they will be following Dietrich and probably drive right up his "tailpipe". Moffitt attempts to send Dietrich off on a wild goose chase by radioing him and telling him his prisoners have escaped and gone in the opposite direction that Dietrich took. Unfortunately, Moffitt says something that alerts Dietrich. And Dietrich sits and waits for Troy, Moffitt, and Holy Man to show up.
Now Dietrich does something really stupid. When he sees the jeep, he tells the soldier manning the machine gun attached to the half track to fire. Now, Dietrich was on his way to the Arab camp. He knows where this camp is and that he was getting fairly close to it. What did he think was going to happen when the Arab leaders heard gunfire? Especially since Troy and Moffitt were sent to rescue Holy Man and the Arab leaders are anxiously awaiting his return. Not to mention Tully and Hitch, who by now are real tired of Chief Torturer dude and are probably being eaten alive by sand flies and other wee beasties. As soon as the gunfire is heard, the Arabs leap upon their horses knowing something is up. So much for Dietrich's grand vision of German and Arab cooperation.
When the jeep is close enough, Dietrich tells the soldier to stop firing. He then approaches the jeep with his two other soldiers and orderx Troy and Moffitt to throw down their weapons and vacate the jeep. Troy and Moffitt throw out the rifles but Troy still has the sacred knife which he secretly passes over to Moffitt. Troy and Moffitt refuse to leave the jeep. The two soldiers approach the jeep and get close enough to allow Troy and Moffitt to disable them. Dietrich just stands there and watches. (Don't ask) Then Troy drives the jeep toward Dietrich causing him to jump out of the way. Dietrich fires at the back of the jeep, igniting one of the gas cans. The soldier in the half track starts firing the machine gun but since he hasn't had training yet in how to hit a moving target he is pretty ineffectual, and Moffitt throws the sacred knife at him, which lodges firmly in the soldier's gut.
Moffitt and Holy Man then leap out of the burning jeep. Troy turns the jeep around and aims it towards the half track and leaps out . The jeep hits the half track and they both explode. Dietrich watches his magnificent plan go up in smoke. The cavalry, I mean the Arab leaders, then ride over the hill and Dietrich figures he'd better skedaddle or he will be jackal food. So he and the surviving German (amazing! one survived) hightail it in the Thingmobile.
The Arab Leaders are very happy to see the Holy Man alive and well and are grateful to Troy and Moffitt. And Tully and Hitch are released from the pole, and Chief Torturer dude goes away disappointed.
Tully then is given a horse so he can go and get the other jeep while Hitch tries to start another international incident by fooling around with Alistair's brother by blood's daughter. Troy tells Moffitt to go get Hitch, and Tully shows up driving the jeep with one hand and leading the horse with the other. Whey didn't he just tie the horse to the back of the jeep? The Holy Man then goes to Troy and thanks him for his efforts. Troy is humble and self-effacing, but the Holy Man calls Troy a saint. This gives Tully a real chuckle. Guess he didn't realize he was in the presence of a real live saint. And Tully has the second-best line: " Your halo's crooked, Sarge." Too bad Moffitt was busy trying to pull Hitch off the girl. Maybe he could have been made Assistant Saint or Saint, Second Class. When Hitch finally shows up, Troy throws him the look though we don't see it.
And the Rat Patrol leave with the gratitude and prayers of the Arab people. By the way, I certainly hope the two horses that Troy and Moffitt were originally given made their way back to the Arab camp.
May Saint Troy guide and protect you.
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return to the briefing room by jeep
return to the briefing room by tank
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