The General Flipped at Dawn

The General Flipped at Dawn

Infobox Television episode
Title = The General Flipped at Dawn
Series = M*A*S*H

Caption =
Season = 3
Episode = 1
Airdate = September 10, 1974
Production = K308
Writer = Jim Fritzell
Everett Greenbaum
Director = Larry Gelbart
Guests = Harry Morgan
Jamie Farr
William Christopher
Lynnette Mettey
Theodore Wilson
Brad Trumbell
Dennis Erdman
Episode list = List of "M*A*S*H" episodes
Prev = "A Smattering of Intelligence"
Next = "Rainbow Bridge"

Aired September 10, 1974 and rerun on Christmas Eve, 1974, "The General Flipped at Dawn" is the premiere of the third season of "M*A*S*H".


An inspection by the strict Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele ("That's "three" E's, not all in a row") puts the 4077th on edge. The final straw comes when he orders the unit to move the camp closer to the front, to be more economic and to show that a MASH unit should be mobile ("You do your best business on Main Street!").

On an inspection tour of the new site, Steele takes along Blake and Burns. After Steele forces Blake to salute him and all three are shot at by snipers, Steele gives Blake & Burns a choice — to fight or have lunch! "(Blake and Burns choose lunch)"

When Hawkeye sends a chopper off with a patient instead of letting the general use it to scout the new site "(and calling the general "nuts" to his face)", Steele calls for a court martial for Capt. Pierce. When Steele goes into a song and dance routine "(the song he sings is "Mississippi Mud"; the helicopter pilot is African-American)" the Army hurriedly closes the court-martial and Steele gets sent back to the United States, where he is promoted to a three star general and is put in charge of the entire Asian theater.


* General Steele is portrayed in the episode by character actor Harry Morgan, who impressed the producers with his performance in the episode that they asked him back for the next season as Col. Sherman T. Potter, the replacement for McLean Stevenson's Lt. Col. Henry Blake once it became apparent that Stevenson intended to leave the series. This episode, therefore, marks -- albeit unintentionally -- the only time in the series that the two colonels are on screen together.

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