The Americans are pulling back as a result of a German breakout. As they withdraw, Saunders and his men are ordered to destroy heavy construction equipment in a French quarry to keep it from being used by the Germans. As they place thermite grenades in the equipment, they are fired upon by the Frenchman, Vertrain, who owns the quarry and the equipment. Saunders manages to get behind Vertrain and disarm him, but before they can finish destroying all the equipment, more than a dozen Germans arrive with a machine gun and trap them in the quarry. Saunders asks Vertrain to help them get the bulldozer running so they can use it to get out of the quarry. Vertrain refuses until he is wounded by the Germans and Saunders risks his own life to pull him to shelter. In spite of what the Americans did to his equipment, Vertrain finally agrees to help by driving the dozer. Kirby welds steel plate to the dozer and makes it into a do-it-yourself armored personnel carrier. Written by
"Breakout" is a story about White Rook getting pinned down by the Germans inside a quarry after obeying a direct order from Lieutenant Hanley.
Vertrain (excellently played by Fernando Lamas) owns a large collection of heavy equipment which could be used by the Germans to repair and make key roads more passable. He vainly tries to protect his equipment from destruction by White Rook by scaring the Americans from an adjoining hillside. Upon his capture, he antagonizes The Sarge and the rest of the squad.
Ed Lakso wrote some outstanding dialog in "Breakout" between Vertrain, Saunders, & Doc which generates constructive conflict on both sides. Lamas puts his heart & soul into the episode only to butt heads with the equally stubborn & persistent Morrow, and some memorable scenes and dialog are created. Doc comes in with some excellent words of wisdom as well.
The plot is believable and the story flows. I imagine younger viewers probably loved this episode at the time it was first telecast in December 1965 because of the ingenuity, creativity, and ending sequences. I love the ever persistent Saunders' ideas on how to get out of a desperate jam. I enjoyed Kirby's resourcefulness and mechanical ability. But there is one major flaw which Director Peyser overlooked. The effect of German machine guns firing beneath the vehicles used for cover would have caused great damage to legs and feet considering the apparent unlimited fire power they had.
Aside from this, "Breakout" was very entertaining and the ending sequence along with the background music were very memorable.
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