Novel vs MovieThe novel also has, apart from all new passages, obvious exceptions to the picture - for whatever reason. We have tried to list these exceptions in a way that supposedly would not spoil the novel for those who haven't read it. But it might spoil some details that are interesting to spot.
In the novel, our heroes' airborne escort is a Lancaster bomber, and on their way home it's a Mosquito. The reason for using a German JU-52 "Iron Annie" in the picture are probably several: 1st, as an allied airplane (that of General Carnaby) has just been shot down over nazi-held territory, it would seem a bit strange why a lone Lancaster bomber in the middle of the night wouldn't get the same treatment. A stolen "Iron Annie", on the other hand, wouldn't attract as much attention. 2nd, the availability of working Lancasters were near non-existent by the time the picture was made (today there are only two!), whereas there were a number of "Iron Annies" to chose from; Lufthansa still uses the type.
In the novel, Schaffer repeatedly calls Smith "Boss", and also lets everyone know how much he hates horses. It's not unlikely that Mr. Eastwood objected loudly to both. ;-)
In the picture, when our heroes get a first glance at the Schloss Adler from the woods, Schaffer inquires about the fences at the foot of the castle. Smith replies "Fences can be climbed, Lieutenant", to which Schaffer, in turn, replies "I doubt those fences can, probably have around 2000 volts running through them". In the novel, it's vice versa.
Similar to the picture, the novel shows Smith leaving Zum Wilden Hirsch, meeting Mary in a hut nearby. But then, in the novel, they walk back to the café, entering through a backdoor leading to Heidi's room, where Mary gets introduced to her new "cousin". In the picture, Heidi comes to the hut herself.
In the novel, Smith stumbles over the dead Torrance-Smythe (=Jock McPherson in the picture). He also discovers the place where the fight took place and what actually happened during it.
In the novel, Smith thinks it's about time Schaffer gets to know what is going on when already two people of their crew have been found dead within the nearest few hours. In the picture (and in the interpretation of Clint Eastwood), he demands it.
The tall, blonde and blue-eyed Major von Hapen in the picture is replaced by the novel's tall, dark and wiry Captain von Brauchitsch. The same transforming happens to the colonel's female secretary in the picture - the dark, middle-aged Lieutenant Schwartz. She gets replaced in the novel by a the young, blonde, blue-eyed girl named Anne-Marie. She is very beautiful, and is described as a potential pin-up girl of the Third Reich. And she is certainly more hostile than in the picture!
In the picture, Smith & C:o turn themselves in when colonel Weissner comes looking for them in the Zum Wilden Hirsch. In the novel, Heidi "commits treason" and points them out, figuring they would have been caught within the nearest few minutes anyway, and thus frees herself from any suspicions. Yet, she knows that our heroes will ride out the storm anyway.
In the novel, Colonel Weissner & C:o survive Smith and Schaffer's escape as Smith orders the car to be stopped and shows his passport where it says 'Bernd Himmler'. On their way back to the village, Smith and Schaffer leaves the nazis unarmed in the snow. When they have 'ditched' the car near the village, Colonel Weissner & C:o returns to look for the stolen car, which has been seen driving back through the village. They find the place where the car went off the road, and Weissner orders his men to search the area. When the squad returns, without success (Smith and Schaffer hide nearby), Weissner declares that he hadn't expected them to either, as he's just caught sight of a Major's cap (Smith threw his down earlier), floating around in the lake.
The cable car is described as being brightly red in the novel. And if you stand on its roof, you can hold the cable - there is no need to climb up to it, like they do in the picture.
In the novel, when Smith calls the HQ, delivering the news of the death of Torrance-Smythe, he actually receives the order to "Pul out, save yourselves", and argues upon it, refusing to follow it. In the picture he cleverly avoids breaking the order by saying "You must be joking, over and out" before Admiral Rolland has the time to say "That is an order, Broadsword".
Instead of rigging a bomb-trap for the nazis in the warehouse the way they do in the picture (the bombs are actually not even in the novel), Smith tosses a handgrenade beneath a truck standing just outside the warehouse, and so manages to create enough confusion to get out of their assumed prison alive.
Instead of using ice axes, our heroes use their knives (!) to get up on the roof of the cablestation, as they have thrown themselves off of the cable car.
In the picture, Major von Hapen doesn't believe the least even in Colonel Kramer ("Sit down, Colonel!"), and wants to "know exactly what is going on". In the novel, he has already figured it out.
In the novel, Smith does Schaffer's part of getting everyone inside the cable car, then running after it after he's started it.
The bus they drive in the novel is a yellow Alpine postbus, with a snow shovel on the front, of course, but also with a horn that cleans their road off of people.
In the novel, Schaffer takes over the bus after Smith, shortlybefore they arrive at the Oberhausen airfield.
If there is an Oberhausen control tower in the novel, it's not manned by the time our heroes' escort reach the airfield.
The novel has a longer, and quite different end-scene. It finishes off with a (not-so-very-unexpected) pun about how much Schaffer hates horses.