Sergeant Schwalberg is a minor antagonist appearing in the movie Hornets' Nest. He serves as the principal enemy's right-hand man. He was portrayed by Giacomo Rossi-Stuart.
Schwalberg was Captain von Hecht's trusted second in command. He was a competent squad leader who was almost always seen with von Hecht, to whom he was fiercely loyal and prepared to lie for.
Von Hecht often entrusted him with leading squads of his men on missions. He was usually seen with two other sergeants, Hermann and Ehrlich. If Schwalberg had a fault it was overconfidence. He was often too sure of himself and too quick to jump to conclusions.
He also was apparently on friendly terms with Major Taussig, despite his dislike of the SS. When von Hecht failed to persuade Taussig of the threat to the Della Norte Dam, Schwalberg insisted Taussig would listen to him instead. Taussig also knew Schwalberg by name, implying familiarity and possible friendship prior to the war. Like his Captain, Schwalberg was a principled and highly disciplined soldier. He kept his brutality to the battlefield and disliked the SS' brutal killing of civilians, particularly Colonel Jannings' watchdog Gunther.
When von Hecht went to convince Taussig of the threat to the Della Norte Dam with Schwalberg's help, they found that all of the SS in Reanoto had been massacred in reprisal for the killing of the town's adults. When von Hecht subsequently murdered Taussig in an argument, Schwalberg's loyalty to his Captain was never stronger; he kept his mouth shut when von Hecht told Taussig's lieutenant that the Major had committed suicide.
After this, he accompanied von Hecht to the dam. Von Hecht sent him to the opposite end of the structure along with Hermann and Ehrlich. He was never seen again after this and his fate is unknown.
- Schwalberg's fate is unknown. He is last seen in the film being told to go to the other side of the dam by von Hecht. While it is possible he, Hermann and Ehrlich all died with the rest of the Nazis when the dam exploded, this is not confirmed in either the film of in Michael Avallone's novelization.
- In the novelization, Schwalberg is described as being overweight, a far cry from the skinny soldier depicted in the movie.