Standartenführer Ernst Vogel was the commanding officer of the Nazi forces assigned to Walter Donovan. A very abrasive, physically imposing man, Vogel died when his tank went off a cliff near the Canyon of the Crescent Moon.
Vogel first appears at Castle Brunwald, where famed archaeologist Henry Jones, Sr. has been held captive. Jones' son Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. and his assistant Dr. Elsa Schneider arrive to rescue Jones, Sr. Having separated from Elsa, Indy reunites with his father and attempts to escape, but the two are cornered by Vogel, holding Schneider at gunpoint. Indy is divided over surrendering to save Elsa, despite his father warning him that she's in league with the Nazis. He drops his gun and Elsa proves herself allied with Vogel after taking the Grail Diary they've been searching for.
She and Vogel escort Indy and Henry to where they discover that Donovan is also a Nazi. Leaving the father and son tied up, Elsa mockingly kisses Indy saying "That's how Austrians say goodbye." Vogel adds how Germans say goodbye, with a punch to Indy's jaw. As Elsa leaves the castle to answer a summons in Berlin, Donovan confides in Vogel that Indy's friend Marcus Brody has been captured, with a written order from Hitler to execute Indy and Henry, adding in a joke, "Germany has declared war on the Jones boys," much to Vogel's amusement. Indy and Henry escape the castle before Vogel can carry out the order.
He is later seen at a Berlin air field, supposedly been informed by Schneider that Indy and his father were present in Berlin earlier to take back the Grail Diary. Vogel discovers Henry among seated passengers in a zepplin leaving Germany. He greets Henry with mock dignity, but is interrupted by a crewman demanding a flight ticket, first in German, then in English. Vogel turns to face Indy in disguise, who punches the SS officer and throws him out the window into a pile of luggage. Vogel recovers in time to see the zepplin flying away. All he can do is scream a series of enraged curses.
Vogel continues to accompany Elsa and Donovan to the Republic of Hatay, where they meet the ruling sultan. Being aware of the Grail in a foreign land, Vogel offers compensation in the form of various valuables made of precious metals in exchange for the Grail. The sultan ignores the offer, much to Vogel's irritation, in favor of a Rolls-Royce Phantom II. Vogel is also provided with local military assistance, including a large tank, which he takes command of during the journey to the Grail's location in the desert.
En route, Vogel's forces are ambushed by the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a secret society dedicated to protecting the Grail. During the skirmish, Indy, Henry and their friend Sallah arrive to rescue Marcus, held inside the tank. Henry is captured in the process and Vogel repeated slaps him with his leather glove. Henry grabs the officer's wrist and gives an insulting retort. Before Vogel can continue, he's informed by Donovan that Indy is eluding them and slowly reducing their forces. Vogel pursues Indy in the tank, but is eventually forced to come out to confront Indy directly. With Henry and Marcus safe with Sallah and the tank operator dead, Vogel and Indy brawl it out until the tank plummets over a cliffside. Screaming the entire fall, Vogel was killed upon impact, the tank rolling over him several times.
- Iron Cross 1st Class
- Iron Cross 2nd Class (WW1)
- Blood Order
- SA Sports Badge (Bronze)
- Wound Badge (Black, WW1)
- Golden Nazi Party Badge
- Vogel's first name isn't mentioned in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but rather given in the Marvel Comics adaptation.
- At one point, Vogel is incorrectly referred to as "Oberst."
- Hasbro released him as an action figure in their Indiana Jones toy line, in his desert uniform (but without his goggles). He came with a Luger P08 and baton and his Nazi armband was colored entirely black and had no Swastika due to censorship issues forbidding any Nazi imagery. Oddly, though, the lack of goggles on his hat meant that his SS Totenkopf insignia was plainly visible.