The German Mechanic was a sergeant in the Wehrmacht. He was an enormous mountain of a man with a shaven head, who was one of two mechanics servicing the Nazis' Flying Wing at Tanis in 1936. Highly skilled in boxing, brutally strong and able to soak up and deliver blows that should have felled any man, the muscular sergeant was able to best Indiana Jones in hand-to-hand combat before he was torn to shreds by one of the airplane's propellers.
In 1936, when the Flying Wing was being prepped to fly the Ark of the Covenant out of Tanis, Egypt to Berlin, Germany, this man, a Nazi who held the rank of sergeant, was assigned as chief mechanic of the Flying Wing's airstrip. He was designated a companion too, who was thinner in comparison.
The day in which the Ark was recovered by the American archaeologist Indiana Jones from the Well of the Souls, the other mechanic became engaged in a fight against Jones to stop the American from taking control of the plane. When the huge Bavarian emerged from his hut to see what was happening, he found Jones brawling with his companion. Apparently eager for a fight, the mechanic took off his shirt and his cap and stepped in after his companion had been taken down by Jones, challenging the American to a fistfight. Jones, who had been trying to take the Flying Wing's pilot unawares, resigned himself into accepting the fight with the mechanic.
Upon starting the fight, Jones distracted the mechanic and kicked him in the groin to no avail, later getting punched in the face by the mechanic, knocking Jones to the ground. However, when the mechanic grabbed Jones to beat him, the archaeologist bit the Nazi's arm, who pushed Jones aside for the pain. With the pilot failing to shoot Jones with his luger, the mechanic knocked Jones to the ground once more and unknownwingly blocked the pilot's line of fire when he was about to shoot Jones, allowing Marion Ravenwood to knock the pilot before he could have another chance and saving Jones' life as Jones threw sand into the mechanic's face.
As the fight continued, several soldiers came to succor the mechanic, but Ravenwood, trapped in the cockpit, used the Flying Wing's gun to kill them all. Though one of the airplane's wings accidentally caused fuel to be spilled from the fuel truck and Ravenwood blasted fuel pits into pieces by killing a soldier, the fistfight continued. Unable to take the pilot's luger and avoiding the propellers, Jones got on the plane and tried to release Ravenwood from the cockpit, but the mechanic got on the plane too and blocked a blow from Jones before puching the archaeologist's face again and knocking him to the ground once more. However, after punching Jones three times in a row, Jones decidad that he had had enough and pummeled the mechanic's face four times, breaking the Nazi's nose.
This had little effect, unfortunately, as the mechanic grabbed Jones and knocked him one last time to the ground, ordering him to fight back, unaware that the rotating plane was drawing the propellers ever closer. However, Jones crouched on the ground. Bemused of Jones ducking for safety, the mechanic turned around to look behind him somewhat surprised and was horrified to look at the propellers. But it was too late. The mechanic screamed as he was shredded alive, with his blood going off to the Flying Wing's tail and cockpit. His body was then consumed by the explosion of the Flying Wing.
Three years later, in 1939, when Jones fought against a giant goon, Jones recalled his encounter with the mechanic by saying that this was like the time in which the mechanic and him fought near the Flying Wing and it was quite messy.
Behind the scenes
The German Mechanic was played by the late stuntman and professional wrestler Pat Roach in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In addition to the mechanic, he also played the Giant Sherpa in the same film and later went to portray the Chief Guard in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the Gestapo in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Despite being credited as "1st Mechanic," Roach's character is actually the second of the two mechanics to appear onscreen.
In Campbell Black's Raiders novelization, this mechanic is described as being a young man with tattoos, thought of as a kid by Marion Ravenwood. He is not as tough as he is in the film, but is nonetheless persistent in his fight with Indiana Jones. Although in the film he overpowers Indy and knocks him to the ground before being killed by the Flying Wing's propellers, Indy punches him into the propeller in the novel, reflecting an earlier version of Lawrence Kasdan's script. In the comic book adaptation, the German Mechanic's demise is notably different. There he is knocked out by the chocks of the Flying Wing, firing his gun into the plane's fuel tank which causes an explosion which kills him and his companion in the process.
In Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures, the plane fight is omitted, but the German Mechanic still appears in Cairo as an end of level boss in the streets at night, which occurs before Indy finds the Well of Souls. As the player jumps on a horsecart, the mechanic hops on and kicks away the player's gun, and the player is forced to have a fist fight with the mechanic. It's possible for Indy to defeat him without getting hurt, unlike Indy's confrontation with him in the film. When he dies, the level is accomplished.
In the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney World, the second German Mechanic is absent from the plane fight scene. The German Mechanic is thus the one who spots Indy while working on the plane's wing. He is also directing traffic for the Flying Wing as it prepares to land. Roach reprised his role as the mechanic until his death in 2004. The mechanic's death alternates in different performances of the show; he either meets his film demise of being killed by the Flying Wing's propellers (accomplished through a trapdoor) or is accidentally shot by Marion with the Flying Wing's gun.
The Mechanic appears with the name of "Enemy Boxer" as an end-of-level boss in LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures who can only be defeated when the player is carrying an anvil. Like in Greatest Aventures, it is possible for Indy to defeat him without getting hurt. After he is defeated, he is accidentally beheaded by the propellers and in a some comical way, his headless body tries to recover his head, which jumps in the floor. Although playable in the game's sequel, the Mechanic is absent from the story along with the Flying Wing sequence.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark novel (First appearance)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Raiders of the Lost Ark comic
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark junior novel
- Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Non-canonical appearance) (As "Enemy Boxer")
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance) (As "Enemy Boxer")
- Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (Indirect mention)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook (As "Chief Mechanic")