Screen adaptation of Janusz Przymanowski’s novel in the form of a TV series under the same title. Adventures of the heroic crew of “Rudy 102” tank during World War II, very well received by many generations of viewers. The series combines humor with epic battle scenes, soldiers’ everyday life and subject-subordinate relations. An unquestionable asset of the film is its cast consisting of the best Polish actors as well as impressive and dynamic shots of panzer division, which the tank’s crew belonged to, on the battlefield.
Episode I “Crew”
The young Janek Kos is a hunter from the Siberian mountains. He keeps thinking about his father he lost contact with when the war broke out. He decides to join the newly formed panzer brigade and gets on a train to arrive at his destination. He gets to know Lidka and Gustlik. Janek and Gustlik become members of the tank crew, driven by a Georgian – Grigorij. Janek’s dog – Szarik also becomes a crew member.
Episode II “Joy and bitterness”
Janek and Gustlik are sent to work in the kitchen. Lidka is a telegraph operator in the division’s staff. The long-awaited moment comes and they set off for the front. On the way, the tank column is attacked by German fighter aircrafts. Grigorij drives onto a mine as a result of which the tank’s caterpillar track gets damaged. Gustlik, who is very strong, fixes the damage. The crew continue their journey. They arrive in Lublin that has already been liberated. Gustlik finds a hiding place of German soldiers. Olgierd does not allow them to shoot the enemy without proving their guilt.
Episode III “The border is there where we are”
The Germans put up strong resistance. The crew is to help the fighting Polish-Russian troops. Janek and Gustlik expose a spy directing the German canons onto their target. They manage to stop the enemy’s offensive at Studzianki. Janek and Olgierd shoot at German positions with a cannon of a captured tank.
Episode IV “Dog’s claw”
The German army takes over Studzianki. Baranow’s battalion is circled. The tank 102 comes to their rescue, but unfortunately its caterpillar track and fuel pump break down. Szarik is sent with a message to the staff. After a long and difficult journey he manages to reach his goal and the lieutenant immediately sends a troop with parts for the damaged tank. The battalion is freed and comes back to join the military buildup.
Episode V “Rudy, honey and crosses”
A sniper hiding in the tree shoots Marusia. Janek kills him with a single shot and the girl is taken to the hospital. The tank is called “Rudy”. Another order comes from the staff and the crew is to attack a farm taken by the enemy. The offensive destroys beehives on the farm and bees attack the soldiers. The whole tank crew is presented with Crosses of Valor for their successful fight and Szarik gets a bowl full of sausages.
Episode VI “Bridge”
The division gets close to Warsaw. Lidka, dressed up a pedestrian, wants to check whether her house in Warsaw has survived the war. “Rudy” is hit with an armor piercing shell. Besides Olgierd, who suffers just a minor wound, the whole crew are taken to the hospital, where Marusia takes care of them. All the crew members are promoted to a higher rank. Happy Janek spends every moment with Marusia.
Episode VII “Crossroads”
The team get well and leave the hospital. They want to continue fighting as quickly as possible and they set off for Kołobrzeg. They find their damaged tank. The damage is serious but, jointly, they refuse to accept a new tank. Persuaded by Janek, the lieutenant agrees to replace all the broken parts. Olgierd dies while attempting to extinguish a tank on fire. Janek becomes the new commander.
Episode VIII “Seaside”
Russian soldiers take a crew from a German bunker hostage. Since the radio station is broken, they cannot inform the staff about capturing the bunker. In the meantime, preparations are underway for an offensive of Polish-Russian troops and the artillery, not aware of the fact that the bunker has been captured, destroys it with soldiers inside. Szarik is sent off to the staff to report about the situation. The panzer division takes part in liberating other cities. Lieutenant West, partisan commander, travels with the crew of Rudy. Using Morse code Janek accidentally identifies his long missing father – lieutenant West.