Combat! (1962–1967)
6 user 1 critic
In enemy territory, his hands badly burned, Saunders weaves a treacherous path back to his own lines.


Robert Altman


John D.F. Black


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Episode cast overview:
Vic Morrow ... Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason ... Lt. Hanley
Pierre Jalbert ... Caje
Dick Peabody Dick Peabody ... Littlejohn
Tom Lowell ... Billy Nelson
John Siegfried John Siegfried ... Kurt (as John Seigfried)
Donald Ein Donald Ein ... Sergeant
Michael Murphy ... 1st Tanker (as Mike Murphy)
Matty Jordan Matty Jordan ... 2nd Tanker
Joby Baker ... Kelly


Running low on ammunition and facing superior German numbers and firepower, Saunders' and Hanley's unit is forced to surrender. The men are taken to a barn where a chance artillery strike allows the men to escape, but leaves Saunders with badly burned hands and forearms, and separates him from the rest of the squad. Meanwhile, Hanley and the rest of the men fare little better; they are behind German lines with no weapons, food, or warm clothes -- and one man even has lost his boots. Written by aldanoli

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | War


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Last episode directed by Robert Altman. See more »


Featured in Altman (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Lackluster Screen Writing - Outstanding Performance By Morrow
18 July 2014 | by jmarcheseSee all my reviews

In "Survival" we see White Rook toughing it out after fate sets them free. It's time to acquire food & water while avoiding the Germans en route to their lines.

In a bombed out French town, White Rook is slugging it out with the Germans when they run out of ammunition and are taken prisoner. Marched at high rate to a farm house, they are tied up in the barn when Americans begin shelling the area. Barn on fire, Germans running for dear life, the squad is mercifully set free by the Germans. Sergeant Saunders loses the use of his hands in the chaos and is forced to fend for himself while in a state of shock. Lieutenant Hanley and the rest of the squad head toward their lines in search of food.

The apple tree scenes are very touching & memorable, and contrast the able bodied with poor Saunders.

Private Kelly (played by Joby Baker) is cast in his last Combat episode and proves out Darwin's Natural Selection Theory.

Vic Morrow does a superb job portraying an incapacitated GI in shock, the ending sequence a terrific piece of acting on his part.

Considering a somewhat below average script, Morrow and White Rook carried the episode well.

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Release Date:

12 March 1963 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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