Wow! Episode 15 is the start of a three-parter that continues into epsiode 17! Many shows at that time had a few multi-parters, but in this case, the episodes were later combined and released as a movie. I'll examine that in more detail later. This episode begins with some nifty color stock footage of B-17's bombing their target. Our cool narrator tells us that this is Rommel's last harbor on the North African coast, and vital to the Afrika Korp's supply lines. Other footage of the harbor blowing up seems to be from another movie, since it is B&W. We also see Allied prisoners escaping from their POW camp while the bombing is going on; all of this stinger seems to be what has already happened prior to this coming mission. After the credits, the story begins. The Rat Patrol have been summoned to appear before a special staff at Allied High Command to receive briefing concerning their next mission. They pull up to the HQ building with their ragged jeeps and go inside--I would think they might want to change into their regulation uniforms beforehand, but thankfully, General Patton doesn't seem to be at this meeting, and none of the other officers seem to care that they are out of uniform. They quickly get down to business, being briefed by video, maps, and scale models pertaining to the mission. Rommel has one intact harbor to supply his forces; everytime the Allies bomb the harbor, it is repaired by the 5000 Allied POWs held nearby (a clear violation of international laws regarding POWs) The only way to close down the harbor is to evacuate the POWs and remove the source of the Germans' forced labor supply. The Rat Patrol's mission is to be carried by Bertaine's fishing boat into the harbor along with guns (for the POWs) and explosives, make contact with Major Indrus in the POW camp, set up a prison break, and then evacuate all 5000 POWs with a fleet of fishing boats. Seems fine to Troy, his only concern is what to wear; he is informed to wear proper uniforms at all times, so as not to be shot as spies (of course, the Rat Patrol are never in "proper" uniforms!) The mission gets underway--the Rat Patrol are steaming into the harbor aboard Bertaine's boat. Mission planning seems to have already broken down, as they are approached by a German boat for inspection. It seems Bertaine's boat is out after curfew--surely Bertaine would have known this and landed the Rats at a non-suspicious time. But his own error leads to a quick death when he tries to stop the Germans from boarding. The Germans tow the boat into the harbor to search later, unaware that the Rat Patrol and munitions are hidden below deck. Once into the harbor, the Rats quickly spring out and kill the few Germans on the boat and toss them overboard. I'm not sure if all of his is supposed to be taking place at night or what--I certainly can't tell by the way the scenes are shot, but another German guard shows up carrying a flashlight. He fails to notice the bodies floating in the harbor and moves on. Troy decides to leave the munitions behind and get out of there before they get caught. The cool narrator reminds us what a predicament the Rat Patrol are now in, and they need a sanctuary to pause and replan their mission--I'll agree with that! Since Bertaine is dead, they now have no place to go, and no way to contact the fleet of fishing boats for the pick-up. Here we get a few minutes of the Rats scampering all over the village and dodging German patrols (and cats). They notice they are being followed and accost their pursuer; it's a fat Arab called El Gamil, and he's there to help the Rats. El Gamil takes the Rats to his house (note the dog from the previous episode!) and feeds them dinner with his huge family, while giving them bits of info. He knew Bertaine and tells the Rats that their best option is to contact Bertaine's daughter, Marianne. Unfortunately, she seems to be on the German side, as she works at the German Officers' Club. Luckily, El Gamil has all kinds of things the Rats can use, such as German uniforms and even a staff car in his garage. Troy sends Moffitt and Hitch to the Officers' Club, dressed as officers in the staff car. Meanwhile, the Germans have discovered the bodies in the harbor, and have sent a dispatch to the Club, warning the area commanders that something is going on (although nothing seems to come of this plot thread). This is how Part 1 ends--the episode is somewhat shortened by the prologue at the beginning and the "next week's episode" clip at the end. A good set-up episode for the most ambitious of Rat Patrol productions.
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