A Nazi gunner was present at the Tanis digsite for the Ark of the Covenant outside Cairo, Egypt in 1936, under the orders of Colonel Dietrich and Major Gobler, and after the Ark was found he was among the men who prepared to defend the convoy transporting the relic. After the Ark was loaded onto a cargo truck, the gunner, a Lieutenant and Major Gobler boarded a troop car in order to defend the Ark from American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his comrades. During a chase which ensued as a result of the arrival of Jones, the gunner, Gobler and the Lieutenant all ended up falling over a cliff after the truck was hijacked by the American.
Tanis, Egypt Edit
In 1936, this German gunner was among the men who made up the Nazi party who attempted to unearth the Ark of the Covenant from the Well of the Souls at Tanis outside Cairo, Egypt under the orders of Colonel Herman Dietrich, Major Gobler, French archaeologist René Emile Belloq and Gestapo agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht. The Ark was secretly dug up overnight by American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his associates, including Arab excavator Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir, but Dietrich and Belloq confronted them, took the Ark, arrested Sallah and his men and sealed Jones and Marion Ravenwood inside the cave. However, the two soon managed to escape, and ended up blowing up the Flying Wing, the jet plane meant to transport the Ark to Berlin, Germany.
Following the Flying Wing's destruction, Colonel Dietrich decided that the Ark would instead be transported from Tanis to Cairo by truck. With Jones' location unknown, this gunner watched as four of his fellow men carried the Ark into the back of a Mercedes-Benz LG3000 cargo truck, before getting inside themselves to protect the relic along with two other men and a Sergeant, with two other men in the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was protected by a Mercedes-Benz G5 troop car driven by Major Gobler, containing a Lieutenant who sat in the passenger seat and the gunner in the back, behind which was a motorcycle and sidecar helmed by a driver and his passenger. As he entered the troop car, the gunner drew his machine gun and put on his goggles.
The Desert Chase Edit
Soon, the truck, jeep and sidecar began moving, following a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 carrying Colonel Dietrich, Major Toht, Belloq and their driver. All seemed to be going well as the convoy's journey through the desert began, but Indiana Jones promptly appeared behind the truck riding an Arabian stallion. Gobler's gunner began peppering Jones with gunfire, but both he and his horse made it to the truck and the American leapt onto the vehicle. Opening the door at the front of the truck, he hurled its front passenger out into the desert, before hopping inside and wrestling the driver. Their brawl caused one soldier to fall out from the back of the truck into the troop carrier's windshield, smashing it. The soldiers in the back struggled to remain inside the truck as it rocked back and forth from the fight, even going right through a construction site and destroying it, which provided a distraction allowing Jones to toss the driver out of the vehicle and over a cliffside.
As the gunner was inside, the troop carrier drove forwards to level with the truck in an effort to allow their gunner to shoot the archaeologist, who was now driving the vehicle. However, Jones rammed into the jeep and knocked it off course into a forest. When the motorcycle and sidecar did the same thing, the truck swiftly knocked the vehicle fully over easily, but as he did the troop carrier stumbled back onto the road and made another attempt to shoot Jones, only to be bashed into and knocked over a cliff to its destruction and the deaths of its passengers. As the vehicle toppled to its doom, the gunner lost his grip and fell right off, falling separately to his death.
Behind the scenes Edit
The gunner was portrayed by the late stuntman Billy Horrigan in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Horrigan went on to provide stunts for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
In the third draft of the film's original script, written by Lawrence Kasdan, the gunner is flipped out of the back of the car when Gobler sideswipes a boulder before he and Major Arnold Ernst Toht fall to their deaths. His fate after this isn't mentioned.
In Campbell Black's novelization, the troop car is driving alongside a cliff when Jones tries to force them over the edge, and in retaliation the car swerves sharply, throwing the gunner out and over the cliff edge.