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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: Prisoner of War Indiana Jones
"Prisoner of War"
(Originally TV episode "Germany, Mid-August 1916")
(44:29-end on the Trenches of Hell DVD)
Written by Jonathan Hensleigh
Story by George Lucas
Directed by Simon Wincer
Bookends directed by Carl Schultz
Original air date: October 5, 1992

As a POW, Indy meets Charles De Gaulle.


Read the "August 1916" entry of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this episode


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This episode takes place in Germany in Mid-August 1916.


Didja Know?


The title I've used for this episode ("Prisoner of War") is borrowed from the title of the novelization of this episode.


Besides being incorporated into the TV movie The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Trenches of Hell, the same pair of episodes was also known as Young Indiana Jones and the Great Escape when televised in Australia. 


Notes from the Old Indy bookends of The Young Indiana Chronicles


Watch the bookends of this episode at YouTube 


The sketch that makes up this episode's Old Indy bookends is a continuation from the bookends of "Trenches of Hell".


As Old Indy is locked in a holding pen by the police, he grouses that there is no prison made that can hold him, adding that he knew Houdini. Harry Houdini was a renowned Hungarian-American escape artist and stunt performer in the early 20th Century. Teen Indy will mention having flown with Houdini in Australia in "Daredevils of the Desert".


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB. The FSB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The August 1916 entry covers, minimally, the events of this episode.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Indiana Jones

police officers

rude donut shop clerk (mentioned only)


Allied prisoners

Remy look-alike


Lt. Pierre Blanc (mentioned only, deceased)

Captain Francois Tussant (mentioned only, deceased)

Captain Jean Benet

Captain Heinz

Lt. Devereaux

Colonel Plantier

Colonel Von Reichmann

Captain Bordenais

Commandant Otto Richter

Charles de Gaulle

Jean Paul








German prison guards


Corporal Heinz Muller

Private Karl Schmidt

Corporal Fritz Donner 




Didja Notice?


Arriving at the German prison camp, Emile manages to scrounge two uniforms of dead French officers for himself and Indy that were being thrown in the trash by the German guards. The officers' identifications are found inside the clothing, so Emile becomes Captain Francois Tussant from Lyons and Indy becomes Lt. Pierre Blanc from Paris for the duration of their incarceration.


The vehicle seen at 47:00 on the DVD is a 1925 Praga.


After a failed escape attempt from a standard prison camp, Indy is taken to Dusterstadt, a medieval castle on the Danube that has been converted into a prison by the Germans. This is a fictitious castle and prison, though based on the name of the city of Ingolstadt on the Danube, where future French president Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) was held as a captain in the French Army. The Danube is the second longest river in Europe, flowing from the Black Forest in Germany eastward to the Black Sea.


At 49:17 on the DVD, the German tower guards fire a mocked up Austrian Schwarzlose M1907 machine gun made from a Czech ZB-53 / Vz.37 (see the Internet Movie Firearms Database).


When Indy tries to explain to Commandant Von Reichmann that he is not really Lt. Pierre Blanc, but Corporal Henri Defense, Von Reichmann sarcastically retorts, "And I am Kaiser Wilhelm." Kaiser is German for "emperor" and  Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) was the ruler of Germany at the time.


The introductory exterior shot of Dusterstadt prison seen at 1:00:23 is actually Orava Castle in Slovakia. The prison interiors and interior structures were shot at Pernstejn Castle in the Czech Republic.


At 1:01:03 on the DVD, the horizontal tricolor black, white, and red flag of Germany is flying from a tower of the prison. This was the national flag of Germany from 1867-1918.


Indy tells Charles de Gaulle that the French and its Allies should have been studying the American Civil War and Ulysses S. Grant's realization that trench warfare had replaced the cavalry charge. The American Civil War took place from 1861-1865, with General Grant leading the Union forces to victory from 1864-65.


    Indy, still using the Lt. Blanc alias, falls under suspicion from the other inmates that he may be a German spy working to ferret out information to the commandant. De Gaulle asks Indy which three roads lead from Paris to Versailles. Indy is only able to answer the Rue de Napoleon. De Gaulle gives a nod as if that is one of the roads, but as far as I can tell, it is not. The only actual road by the name Rue de Napoleon in France is a small one at Dhuys et Morin-en-Brie.

    Versailles refers to the Palace of Versailles, the former royal residence of the sovereign of France in parts of the 17th and 18th Centuries.

   Realizing that Indy is not Parisian, but is not a German either, de Gaulle suspects he is American and asks him who won the World Series in 1912. Indy correctly answers it was the Boston Red Sox. The World Series is Major League Baseball's annual championship series of games in the United States and Canada. The Boston Red Sox did, in fact, win the series in 1912.


The Russian inmate Yuri receives a mail package from Saint Petersburg.


Indy asks de Gaulle if he hates the Germans and the Frenchman answers that Germany is the natural enemy of France and they fought them in 1870, are fighting them now, and he guarantees they will be fighting them again before the century ends. De Gaulle is predicting World War II, in which France and the Allied powers fought Germany and the Axis forces from 1939-1945. The 1870 war he refers to was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, generally considered a German victory.


The 1415 battle mentioned by de Gaulle, between a small band of English soldiers and an army of French knights, won by the English through the power of archery, is a reference to the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War. De Gaulle's ending statement that the next war will be won not with men but with superior machines like tanks and airplanes is another foreshadowing of World War II.


De Gaulle tells Indy that he was captured at Verdun. Verdun is a city in France. De Gaulle points out that he got his limp and leg scar in Verdun, plus a scar on his forearm from Dinant and one on his chest from Mesnil-les-Hurlus. Dinant is a city in Belgium and Mesnil-les-Hurlus a town in France. The novelization also adds a scar from Berry-au-Bac, another town in France.


The Russians Yuri and Leonid rope Indy into helping them with their escape plan, thinking Indy is an American cowboy who can lasso a spinneret of the castle on the other side of the river with a rope they've made out of pieces of string. The novelization of this episode reveals that Indy had done some lassoing on a summer ranch job he'd had in Utah.


On page 79, Yuri and Leonid argue about the worthiness of Czar Nicholas as the ruler of Russia. This was Czar Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia, who ruled from 1894 until his abdication in 1917 at the end of the February Revolution.


Lambert tells Indy and de Gaulle that the dead of the prison are buried at a small graveyard at the edge of the nearby town. Most likely this is the town of Ingolstadt, mentioned previously as the real life place where de Gaulle was held as a prisoner of war.


The novelization reveals that the two German drivers of the truck that hauls the coffins hiding Indy and de Gaulle are Corporal Heinz Muller and Private Karl Schmidt.


The German town Indy and de Gaulle run to after their escape from prison was actually shot at Lomnice, Czech Republic.


At 1:25:40 on the DVD, Indy and de Gaulle find a pair of bicycles to steal in front of a small business called Damen Frisir Salon (this is German for "Ladies Hairdressing Salon"). At 1:25:49, the pair walk past Erst Zahntechnikerin (Erst Dental Technician).



The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Prisoner of War Notes from the junior novelization of this episode, Prisoner of War by Les Martin

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, 1993)


Characters appearing in the novel not mentioned in the televised episode


Remy (mentioned only)

Siegfried Sassoon (mentioned only) 


Didja Notice?


The first 10 pages of this novelization cover about the last 10 minutes of the previous episode, "Trenches of Hell", and then all of the current episode fills out the rest of the book.


On page 27, a German guard shouts, "Raus!" to Indy and Emile as the pair are prodded out of the bomb crater in which they'd sought shelter. Raus is German for "out".


On page 53, Indy contrasts the gray and ugly Danube that flows past the Dusterstadt with the popular waltz known as "The Blue Danube." "The Blue Danube" is the common title of Johann Strauss II's 1866 composition more properly translated as "By the Beautiful Blue Danube."


    On page 64, Indy wonders how the pennant race is going back in the States, reflecting that last he'd heard, the Red Sox were still the best in the American League. Indeed, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 1916.

    Indy also recalls that the Red Sox had a new, young southpaw pitcher named Babe Ruth who was also a good hitter and that perhaps he would become as a big star as Ty Cobb or Grover Cleveland Alexander. George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895–1948) was an American Major League baseball player, playing for the Boston Red Sox from 1914–1919. Ty Cobb played professional baseball from 1905-1928 and was said to be Indy's favorite player in "My First Adventure". Grover Cleveland Alexander was an MLB pitcher from 1911-1930.


On page 67, de Gaulle tells Indy that his father is a professor of philosophy. Although Henri de Gaulle (1848-1932) fostered philosophical debate among his children, he is traditionally said to have been a professor of history and literature.


Memorable Dialog


there's no prison made that can hold me.mp3

the smell of Germany.mp3

we will fight them again.mp3 


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