Young lieutenant Riedel, the leader of a motorized unit of NVA riflemen, is always concerned about his men. Thus, he is all the more happy that everything is running smoothly with the new recruits when he returns from his honeymoon. It seems to him that lance corporal Weißenbach, who is not only the oldest of the men but also a formidable armoured personnel carrier driver, has been a reliable stand-in for him. Thus, Riedel is all the more surprised when he learns that Weißenbach boosts the squad′s performance with partly questionable methods. For instance, Weißenbach reports non-swimmer Maier sick when a swimming test is called for. Instead he waits until Maier is off duty and literally throws him in the cold water to teach him swimming. Maier nearly dies in this incident. Thus, the recruits take their protest to Riedel who makes short shrift of Weißenbach and removes him from his post. But lieutenant Riedel soon realizes that this decision jeopardizes the combat readiness of his squad, when Weißenbach′s successor screws up during a manoeuvre. After squadron commander Kaiser brings Riedel back into line, Weißenbach returns to his post and Riedel realizes that he had acted precipitately.
The contents of this entry were funded with the support of the DEFA-Stiftung.