Set in a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, Hogan's Heroes is lightly based on the play/film, "Stalag 17." Hogan's Heroes focuses on the exploits of five main prisoners of war (Hogan, LeBeau, Newkirk, Carter & Kinchloe who, while under the cover of being typical prisoners of war, are really secretly doing their best to sabotage the German war effort through whatever means necessary. They communicate regularly with the outside, easily move throughout the camp and outside to town by using numerous tunnels, and have all the munitions, money, and uniforms to do pretty much as they please.
While the enemy is often gullible, easily fooled or downright incompetent, the real strength of Hogan's men is the elaborate ruses and sometimes dangerous lengths they will go to in order to complete their missions.
These missions included regular sabotage, helping prisoners escape, and aiding the underground opposition. The more elaborate tasks include immobilizing battalions, confusing the German general staff, and kidnapping important scientists. The silly Germans of Stalag 13 are the head Sergeant (Schultz) and the camp Kommandant (Klink).
For those who only know the show peripherally, it is dismissed as being produced in poor taste because of the horrors of WWII, but this show takes place in a POW camp run by the German Luftwaffe and not the SS or Gestapo. The exploits of Hogan's heroes were often based on real POW stories from WWII. Leon Askin as General Burkhalter, Howard Caine as Gestapo Officer Major Hochstetter, and Bernard Fox as British Colonel Crittendon appear as recurring characters to cement the show's ensemble cast.
Enjoy the show.