The Misfit Brigade

The Misfit Brigade is a 1987 American television film loosely based on the Sven Hassel novel Wheels of Terror.


Germany 1943, a German tank is driving through the burning ruins of an unnamed city. The crew of the tank come across a hysterical woman, crying for her "baby" trapped in a partially demolished building. Ignoring an air raid warden, Porta, Tiny, Stege, Old Man and Sven rescue the woman's "baby" only for it to turn out to be her cat. More wildly improbable situations follow, including Little Legionnaire beating Tiny in a fight, before they are sent to the Russian Front. In their assault guns, Bertha I and Bertha II, they launch an attack on Soviet T-34's. Bertha I, commanded by Wilhelm "Old Man" Beier, successfully knocks out a T-34. Meanwhile, Bertha II manage to knock out another T-34 before being knocked out themselves, by a self-propelled gun hidden in a nearby wood. Bertha I is immobilized but still manages to knock out the Soviet SPG, they escape back to German lines on foot, losing only young Pvt. "Freckles" Fredericks.

Back at the German lines the platoon witness enemy propaganda before having a wild escapade at a field brothel, returning to their bunker only to find out they're being ordered on a suicide mission.



The film was produced under the working title Wheels of Terror and was shot in Yugoslavia.


The film has been described as "a German Dirty Dozen, due to its story of military prisoners forced on a suicide mission deep behind enemy lines."[1]


  1. Szarabajka pours energy into film, TV: [NORTH SPORTS FINAL, C Edition] Christiansen, Richard. Chicago Tribune 21 Aug 1989: 7.
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