Von Schletow is a character appearing in both the film Sahara and its remake.

Original FilmEdit

Hauptmann von Schletow was a Luftwaffe pilot who strafed Joe Gunn's M3 Lee in his plane, fatally wounding British soldier Fred Clarkson. Gunn managed to shoot him down using the Lee's turret-mounted machine gun, and von Schletow parachuted out. He was then taken prisoner by the Allies and accompanied them to Bir Acroma.

A die-hard Nazi, he was contemptuous and racist towards Sergeant Major Tambul because he was black, and often clashed with his fellow prisoner and ostensible ally Giuseppe, who openly despised Hitler and Mussolini and eventually sided with their captors.

When taken prisoner von Schletow feigned not understanding English, allowing him to overhear his captors conversations with free reign as they assumed he couldn't understand them. Though the American Sergeant Joe Gunn is suspicious, but von Schletow is instantly hated more by the Free French Jean Leroux, than Tambul.

When von Schletow and his captors arrive at Hassan Barrani a well, but the well has got limited amount. When his captors brought in two prisoners from a German reconnaissance, and Allies attempt to convince their prisoners that the well still has water. Releasing their intent von Schletow attempts to warn them, but is shut up ending his 'game'.

When Afrika Korps troops led by Major von Falken besieged Bir Acroma thinking that the well had water, von Schletow knew it was actually empty. He killed Giuseppe and escaped, intending to make it to the German lines and inform von Falken of the Allies' deception and their intent on simply holding von Falken up long enough for escaping British troops to make it to safety. However, Tambul noticed him escaping and pursued him. The two fought, and Tambul managed to kill von Schletow by pushing his face into the sand and smothering him.

Although in doing so he was fatally shot by von Falken's men, Tambul managed to survive long enough to make it back to the Allied side. He collapsed and gave a thumbs up to his comrades before dying.

Awards Edit

  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Iron Cross 1st Class
  • Pilot's Badge
  • Wound Badge (Black)

Notes Edit

  • Played by Kurt Krueger
  • When the scene where von Schletow was pushed into the sand the actor almost killed


Oberleutnant von Schletow was a Luftwaffe officer serving in North Africa.

Awards Edit

  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves and Swords
  • Pilot's Badge
  • Wound Badge (Gold)
  • Luftwaffe Flying Clasp (Silver)