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Combat! Season 1 episodes
Combat! Season 2 episodes
Combat! Season 3 episodes
Combat! Season 4 episodes
Combat! Season 5 episodes



Season 3 COMBAT! episodes:
[Season 3: Overview]
[Silver Service]
[The Long Walk]
[Mountain Man]
[The Duel]
[Operation Fly Trap]
[The Impostor]
[Losers Cry Deal]
[Point of View]
[Brother, Brother]
[The Hard Way Back]
[The Little Carousel]
[Fly Away Home]
[A Rare Vintage]
[The Enemy]
[A Gift of Hope]
[A Walk with an Eagle]
[Birthday Cake]
[The Cassock]
[The Town that Went Away]
[The Convict]
[The Steeple]
[More than a Soldier]
[The Long Wait]
[The Tree of Moray]
[Cry in the Ruins]
[The Hell Machine]
[Billy the Kid]
[Beneath the Ashes]

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reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

(084) The Cassock

RATING: bayo1.gif (815 bytes) bayo1.gif (815 bytes) bayo1.gif (815 bytes)3 bayonets

Story by James L. Wixted
Teleplay by Esther and Bob Mitchell
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 12-Jan-1965
Episode 17 of Season 3


A German captain, Hertzbrun, is ordered to blow up a bridge that the Americans will use to enter a French town, but Saunders' squad moves in before he can complete his mission. He poses as the local priest while awaiting the chance to finish his mission. He offers spiritual guidance to the men, but former altar boy Private Ryan discovers his deceit and dies for it.


"The Cassock" is a taut thriller about a German officer posing as a priest. The episode boasts strong acting, good direction, and a well-crafted script. But, in an abandoned French village, who keeps lighting all those candles in the empty church?

James Whitmore, who starred in Robert Pirosh's Battleground, plays Hertzbrun superbly. Mart Hulswit is the sensitive soldier who seeks the comfort of the church from a heartless saboteur.


  • Mart Hulswit appears again "The Ringer " in season four.

  • The teaser re-uses footage from season one, showing Kirby carrying an M1 rifle. After the battle, he again has his B.A.R.

  • The story for this episode is by James Wixted, who played Mason in "What Are the Bugles Blowin' For?"


The black gown of the priest, called a cassock or soutane, is simply the ordinary outer garb of a priest. The Columbia Encyclopedia states: "The cassock, a close-fitting gown buttoning down the front and reaching to the feet, is not a vestment so much as the daily uniform of the Western priest." The cassock is floor-length, with 33 buttons total (representing Christ's earthly years), topped with a Roman collar. The cassock for priests is black. The vestments for Mass are put on over the cassock.


Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley [does not appear]

Guest Star
James Whitmore as Hertzbrun

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn

Glen Stensel as Weaver
Ross Sturlin as Stevens
and Mart Hulswit as Ryan  

Reading recommendations by Combat! fans for Combat! fans

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Battlefield Chaplains:
Catholic Priests in World War II

by Donald F. Crosby

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Book Description
wpe12B.jpg (121584 bytes)"If death must come — then far better for it to come when I'm shoulder to shoulder with these men who are fighting to preserve our country. . . . They are going to know that, in spite of being 'scared as hell' like the rest of them, a Catholic Priest is still going ahead and doing his work."

Father James P. Flynn could have been speaking for the rest of the chaplain corps, for he and his comrades shared fully in the lot of the common soldier: in Pacific island jungles, Europe's battered cities, North African deserts, and the oceans in between. And like the common soldier, chaplains endured the same combat perils, exposure to the elements, internal conflicts, boredom, and intense longings for peace and home.

Father Donald Crosby chronicles the little-known but crucial wartime role of Catholic chaplains and celebrates their compassion, courage, good humor, and humility. Their wartime efforts saved lives, provided comfort and hope, and renewed lost faith in a dark time. In the process, he shows, they also forged the beginnings of what would become the widespread ecumenical spirit of cooperation among Catholics, Protestants, and Jews that followed the war's end.

Although Crosby praises their heroic efforts, very much like those of Protestant and Jewish chaplains, he reveals that they were subject to the same human frailties as the men they comforted. They were also intensely patriotic and raised few objections to the racist and propagandistic depictions of the enemy, to the massed bombings of German and Japanese cities, or even to the use of the atomic bomb at war's end. (On the other hand, they zealously opposed many of their charges' sexual activities, including the use of prophylactics.)

Drawing upon many previously untapped church and government archival sources, as well as extensive interviews, Crosby's study vividly portrays faith under fire and grace at groundlevel, reminding us again that "there are no atheists in foxholes."

From the back cover of Battlefield Chaplains : Catholic Priests in WWII

"A story both authentic and stirring. Under hostile fire, the chaplains risked their lives. They sought the wounded, the dying, and the dead who lay exposed and helpless. They succored them, rescued them, brought them back to medical aid stations, and prayed over them. They buried bodies and wrote to the families of the deceased. . . . Crosby's words will bring lumps to the throat, tears to the eyes, and a sense of wonder and joy for their heroism."--Martin Blumenson, author of The Patton Papers

"Crosby captures the experience of war from the grass roots: the human agony, fearful anticipation, omnipresent danger, and the overwhelming reality of death, and he demonstrates the crucial role played by chaplains. This is a significant contribution to the field of American Catholic and religious history. Scholars and general readers alike will find it fascinating because of the compelling personalities and dramatic anecdotes."--David J. O'Brien, author of Public Catholicism

"Unsentimental and realistic in his approach, painstaking in his research, and stirring in his presentation, Crosby has given us a story never before told. And he has done so in a style characteristic of the finest examples of America's vast World War II literature."--Eric Hammel, author of Guadalcanal: Starvation Island

300 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 0.81 x 9.02 x 6.04
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: 0700608141

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