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Captain Steiner

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Captain Steiner is a villain appearing in the TV series Combat!, wherein he was portrayed by Richard Basehart, who also played Charles Reynolds Ainsley in The Satan Bug.


Steiner was an officer in the Waffen-SS to whom the captured Sergeant Saunders and his platoon were brought for interrogation. He took them back to the temporary prison camp he commanded, where he attempted to question Saunders, using one of his men, Gates, as a proxy, having him beaten up unless Saunders gave him the information he wanted about American troop movements. He believed that despite having a powerful army, the Americans were too compassionate for their own good. When Saunders refused to talk, he had Gates tortured.

After this, Saunders pretended to cooperate, and was taken into Steiner's office, where he begged the SS officer to let Gates be given medical treatment, but Steiner refused to do so until Saunders talked. In truth, however, this was so that his other men could escape. But the escape attempt went awry when one of his guards shot and killed a prisoner, and the Americans were all recaptured. Later, Steiner interrogated Caje, and when the Cajun refused to talk, he whipped him with a riding crop. He tried Doc next, but got more of the same. He began getting frustrated.

Kirby was brought in next. Like Caje and Doc before him, he would only give Steiner his name, rank and serial number. He had him taken out, then received a phone call from a superior officer demanding an update. The prisoners escaped when Saunders used a live wire to electrocute a guard, getting the keys off of him. When Saunders broke into Steiner's quarters to free Gates, Steiner caught them and held them at gunpoint with his Luger. The American knocked the gun from his hand and tackled him, knocking him into the next room. The two men fought, with Steiner eventually getting the upper hand.

As Steiner went to telephone for assistance, however, Gates pointed the SS officer's own Luger at him, forcing him to hang up. Steiner taunted Gates, telling him he didn't have the courage to kill him. Gates quickly proved him wrong, shooting him in the shoulder, then in the back as he turned and staggered away. Recovering, Steiner tried to attack him, and was shot a third time. He finally collapsed and died.

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