A German Mechanic and Sergeant in the Wehrmacht served as part of the Nazi effort to locate the Ark of the Covenant in the Well of the Souls at the Tanis digsite outside Cairo, Egypt in 1936, an enormous mountain of a man with a shaven head. Serving under Colonel Herman Dietrich, Major Gobler, French archaeologist René Emile Belloq and Gestapo agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht, the mechanic was assigned to help prepare for the transportation of the Ark from Tanis to Berlin, Egypt aboard the jet plane Flying Wing following the Nazis' locating of the relic. However, American archaeologist Indiana Jones and bar owner Marion Ravenwood intervened. 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 Jones in hand-to-hand combat before he was inadvertently torn to shreds by one of the airplane's propellers.
A man of German descent, he grew up in Bavaria, Germany, where he became a prizefighter. As an adult, he became a Nazi Wehrmacht Sergeant as well as a military mechanic. Large and tough, he was bigger than most of his superiors, with a shaven head and muscly chest. The man preferred to work with his shirt either unbuttoned or completely off.
In 1936, the German mechanic was assigned to the Nazi digsite at Tanis outside Cairo, Egypt for the Ark of the Covenant in the Well of the Souls, serving under Colonel Herman Dietrich, Major Gobler, French archaeologist René Emile Belloq and Gestapo agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht. He served as a Sergeant and Chief mechanic at an airstrip housing the German jet plane Flying Wing, in charge of an inferior mechanic and pilot.
When American archaeologist Indiana Jones, his friend Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir and several Arab excavators including Sallah's brother-in-law Omar located and infiltrated the Well of the Souls and unearthed the Ark, Belloq and Dietrich, upon spotting the unauthorized dig, surrounded and detained the intruders, taking the Ark from them. Jones and his associate Marion Ravenwood were sealed inside the well, whilst Sallah was to be shot and the rest of the diggers were released thanks to Sallah's lies. However, Sallah ended up being released, and shortly afterwards Jones and Ravenwood managed to break out of the cave.
Meanwhile, it was arranged for the Ark to be transported from Tanis to Berlin, Germany to Adolf Hitler via the Flying Wing. As the ancient relic was readied to be loaded onto the plane, Major Gobler and his driver were sent by Colonel Dietrich and Belloq to inspect the airstrip and report back to his superiors. But, Jones and Ravenwood sneaked onto the airstrip just as Major Gobler and his driver left following an inspection, the Americans planning to take control of the Flying Wing and depart with the Ark. Just as Jones prepared to take the airplane, he was spotted by the inferior mechanic who was working on the plane, forcing him to engage in a fight with the mechanic behind the oblivious pilot.
Flying Wing brawl and death
Jones landed the first kick on the other mechanic's face from the roof of the plane, sending the Nazi stumbling backwards. As the American leapt down from the jet, the German attempted to fight back with his metal wrench, but the archaeologist was too quick. Despite the mechanic's greatest efforts to defeat the intruder, all of his attacks were quickly proven to be futile. Jones managed to knock the soldier to the ground, the mechanic hitting the side of the plane on the way down and being knocked unconscious, but at around the same time, this mechanic came out of his hut, menacingly removing his cap and shirt.
Laughing aggressively and marching over to the plane, fists raised, the mechanic called out to Jones, also alerting the pilot to the archaeologist's presence. Jones turned around and stepped down from atop the plane, just as, at the same time, Marion removed the bricks holding the jet's wheels in place. As Jones and the Sergeant prepared to brawl, the archaeologist distracted the mechanic by staring briefly at the ground next to him, before suddenly throwing a punch at his opponent's chin, but in return the mechanic swiftly delivered a single punch to his attacker, which was enough to knock him to the ground.
As the plane's pilot drew his gun, the mechanic picked him up as he gasped in pain, only being released from the larger man's tight grasp when he bit his opponent's bare arm, causing him to drop the intruder. As the two large men continuously brawled and struggled, the pilot attempted several times to shoot and kill the American attacker, until eventually he was knocked out by Marion using two wooden blocks, inadvertently causing the engines of the plane to activate and make the vehicle begin turning around.
The plane's wing smashed against a nearby oil tanker attached to a truck, which set into motion the first in a chain of unlikely events which ultimately lead to the destruction of the Flying Wing. As Jones and the Sergeant fought, the oil leaked, slowly streaming under the plane and awaking the other unconscious mechanic. At the same time, a troop carrier arrived to reinforce the mechanic, but Marion managed to shoot down everyone inside - and also inadvertently blow up several explosives nearby, which also contributed to the explosion of the plane when the fire from the explosion spread to the oil.
But, as all of these other events occurred perfectly consecutively, Jones beat the mechanic's face until his mouth was bleeding. However, once again overpowering his opponent, the mechanic knocked Jones to the ground after punching him several times. Finding the challenge all too easy, the mechanic ordered the archaeologist to fight back, unaware that the rotating plane was drawing the propellers ever closer. Bemused by Jones ducking for safety, the mechanic turned around to look behind him and was immediately cut down by the spinning blades.
After the Sergeant's death, the other mechanic fled the scene as the plane and oil tanker exploded, killing the pilot and delaying the transportation of the Ark to Berlin.
Personality and traits
The German mechanic loved boxing. He kept in shape via a punching bag located in the mechanics' shed and through sparring with his fellow soldiers. When he witnessed Indiana Jones fighting against one of his fellow workers, he saw the opportunity to beat up the American and demonstrate his skills. Unfortunately for him, however, the fight turned out to be his last.
Behind the scenes
The German Mechanic was portrayed 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' 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 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, and 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 comical way, his headless body tries to recover his head, which jumps around on 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)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Raiders of the Lost Ark
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark junior novel
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- ↑ Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- ↑ Raiders of the Lost Ark novel
- ↑ Raiders of the Lost Ark comic
- ↑ Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
- ↑ Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
- ↑ LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues