We're basically talking about a small team of allied soldiers undertaking harassing and disruptive missions behind Rommel's Afrika Corps lines. The plots were fun, action packed, and the good guys always won.
This was one of the funnest, cleanest shows on TV in the 60's, and a nice break from what was typically a western or family sitcom. It introduced Hans Gudegast (aka: Eric Braeden) to the world, and I'm sure the soap fans know him well. I was never disappointed when watching this show, except that I thought it should be a full hour, rather than thirty minutes. It may not have always been historically correct, but it was a "feel good" show that entertained adults and children alike. My folks used to complain about all the shooting going on, but I never thought it was any more violent then some of the "shoot em up" westerns. I also remember one interesting tidbit: the British were miffed at the very small role they were given in all this North Africa campaign fighting - one token Sergeant!
To think that a group of 4 allies with two jeeps could destroy loads of German tanks and kill many enemy soldiers, even get captured by the Germans several times, yet managed to stay alive and fighting, is just too much to believe. That said, the stories were interesting, and it was a well crafted show that gave a welcome diversion from the silly sitcoms and shoot em up Westerns of the time.
A well done, yet at times, hard to believe, rapid paced Wartime action series. Set in the early arrivals of the American forces in North Africa, The Rat Patrol takes on a true to life tactic created by the British of lightening attacks by jeep on German targets behind German lines.
The stories are well written, nicely directed, yet a bit of a stretch at times, and definitely studio produced. With the exception of the dune desert scenes, the Southern Spanish Mountains can be seen in the background more often than not and that anyone knowing geography would know that there isn’t many mountains along the North African Coastline.
Though, The Rat Patrol has many good story qualities, is a great 30-minute action show that is swift and constantly entertaining.
I recommend this series as a more flip side to a more serious series like Combat!.
This series is available on DVD and is reasonably priced.
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