Hans von Falken is a character appearing in both the film Sahara and its remake.

Sahara (1943)Edit

"You've come a long way, Sergeant, to pull British chestnuts out of a fire."

Major Hans von Falken was the leader of a detachment of Afrika Korps troops during World War II who were searching for water. He was a hard and ruthless man unafraid to do anything it took to win. He and his men came upon the well at Hassan Barani as well as the grave of Fred Clarkson. They found the well empty. Von Falken instructed Arab scout Sheik Ali to guide a group of his men to the next well at Bir Acroma, hoping to find water there.

Only one man, Feldwebel Krause, returned, the scouting party having been killed by Allied troops at Bir Acroma. Another soldier survived but betrayed the strengh of von Falken's forces to senior Allied NCO Sergeant Joe Gunn and was killed by Krause. Upon learning from Krause that their was water at Bir Acroma, von Falken took his men in force and attacked the mission. Despite outnumbering the Allied defenders, the Germans found that taking the well was harder than it seemed.

When von Falken attempted to parley with Gunn, he rejected the American's offer of water for guns. The fighting continued. When Frenchman Jean Leroux, who was eager to vengeance against the Nazis, instigated a second parley without Gunn or Captain Halliday's permission, von Falken went to meet him. Leroux repeated Gunn's terms, which von Falken again rejected.

As Leroux returned to the mission, von Falken ordered his men to open fire, shooting Leroux in the back and killing him. Von Falken was slain by the barrage of return fire from Gunn, leaving his troops effectively leaderless. They surrendered to the surviving Allies they outnumered not long after his death.


  • Iron Cross 1st Class
  • Wound Badge (Silver or Gold)


Sahara (1995)Edit

"Our victories are based on discipline! A good German soldier understands this. There is no room for weakness. And no forgiveness for treachery!"
Major Hans von Falken was the leader of several Afrika Korps troops searching for water. A veteran of World War I, he was an extremely ruthless man even to his own men. When Feldwebel Kraus and Soldat Bergman returned from their scouting mission to tell the Major of the well at Bir Acroma, von Falken, upon learning that Bergman had accepted water from Sergeant Gunn in return for telling him and Captain Halliday the strength of his forces, shot him on the spot. He later bragged about having killed Bergman to a visibly disgusted Gunn during their parley.

He refused Gunn's offer of German guns in exchange for water from the well, and the bloodshed continued. Hauptmann Mueller begged his commanding officer to accept the American's terms, since their men were all dying of thirst, but von Falken refused to bend. When Leroux went for a second parley with the Germans against the wishes of Gunn and Halliday, he stabbed von Falken in the stomach and killed him, then shot Mueller using von Falken's gun, before being shot and killed by the Major's men.

Von Falken and Mueller's deaths signalled the beginning of the end for the Germans. Although the fight over the well continued for some time even after their deaths, eventually, their leaderless and desperate men surrendered to their enemies in return for water.


  • Iron Cross 1st Class
  • Iron Cross 2nd Class
  • Infantry Assault Badge
  • Wound Badge (Gold)
  • Cross of Honour with Swords
  • War Merit Badge
  • Hanseatic Cross