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



Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[Season 2 (1963 - 1964)]
[Bridge at Chalons]
[The Long Way Home]
[A Distant Drum]
[Infant of Prague]
[The Wounded Don't Cry]
[The Little Jewel]
[Glow Against the Sky]
[The Party]
[Anatomy of a Patrol]
[What Are the Bugles...]
[Thunder from the Hill]
[The Pillbox]
[Gideon's Army]
[General and the Sergeant]
[The Hostages]
[A Silent Cry]
[Eyes of the Hunter]
[Mail Call]
[The Hunter]
[Weep No More]
[The Short Day of Pvt Putnam]
[The Glory Among Men]

Back Up Next
reviews by Jo DavidsmeyerEpisodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets

Gideon's Army



Written by Charles B. Smith
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 31-Dec-1963 (Episode 16 of Season 2)
Produced by Gene Levitt


Saunders and his squad liberate a concentration camp of sick and starving Polish laborers. Unwilling to leave these helpless men behind, Saunders lies to Hanley in order to buy time and get transport for them. When a German column approaches, Saunders enlists the aid of these unarmed men in convincing the enemy that they are outnumbered.


"Gideon 's Army" is Combat's only venture into the holocaust -- pity they did it so tentatively. The episode starts out very well: the first act is rather excellent, the second act still above average, but then it slides rapidly downhill.

This story avoids the ethnicity of the prisoners, simply referring to them as D.P.s (displaced persons), just off-the-street Poles, not Jews or members of any of the other groups that the Nazis targeted. The likelihood of finding Polish D.P.s in France at the time was low. The death trains ran from West to East. The Nazi-labeled "undesirables" from France were shipped to Poland, not from it. This labor camp (and there were lots of them in France) should have been peopled with Frenchmen.

What rescues this story, as usual, is Saunders. Some excellent moments as again he tries to win an unwinnable situation (with an off-stage assist from Hanley). That radio call between Hanley and Saunders is classic, epitomizing their relationship caught somewhere between friends and soldiers.

Director John Peyser creates some beautiful visual images in this episode. He has great long shots from the top of the guard tower and across the prison yard. One sweeping shot going from a closeup of a nervous Billy high in a tree down to a stoic Littlejohn on the ground is magnificent.


  • Richard Jaeckel enters battle with an MP40, but surrenders with an 98K rifle.
  • Saunders asks an awful lot when he orders the squad to allow one German to survive the shootout. With all the lead flying, how did they decide which one would survive?
  • Keep an eye out at the top of act two when two Germans burst into the house between Billy and Saunders: they both open up, killing the Germans, but should also have killed each other in their cross-fire.


Conlan Carter did the Bible-reading scene in one take. "We didn't even rehearse it. I just took the Bible and said 'Why don't we shoot this thing. Cause it's gonna be tough to get it. You might as well run the camera and if it works, fine, and if not ...' And it just rolled out. I'll never forget that. It was one of the few shows they did that with, the voice-over thing."


    Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

    Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley

    Milton Selzer as Colonel Glinski

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

    Albert Szabo as Karacz
    Reggie Nalder as Man With One Eye
    Ray Baxter as Cougher
    Marc Cavell as Jan
    Peter Hellman as German Sergeant
    Dean Heyde as German Soldier
    Lou Robb as German Lieutenant

    Richard Jaeckel as Sgt. Buxman

Back Up Next


Military Magazines

Military Posters

Patriotic Jigsaw Puzzles

WWII Video Games

WWII toys

American Flag Jewelry


SITE MENU: Combat TV Series
The Show
The Cast
The Crew
Combat! A Viewer's Companion
Combat!  Fandom
Combat TV Trivia
Combat! Collectibles
WWII Weapons
WWII Books
Military Posters


HomeWeb site copyright 1995 - 2011 by Jo Davidsmeyer.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy
File last updated June 28, 2012

Other WWII TV Shows: Black Sheep Squadron Twelve O'Clock High

Combat! is owned by ABC Television and distributed in the US by Paramount Pictures. It is not our intention to infringe on the copyrights of the creators of Combat! This web page is meant for the free enjoyment of Combat! fans everywhere. Unless otherwise noted, materials Copyright Jo Davidsmeyer. All rights reserved. Photographs from the TV series  copyright ABC-TV.

Dollar Bargains:  Christmas Stocking Stuffers for a Dollar * Halloween Party Favors * July 4th Favors