A law student becomes a lieutenant during World War II, is captured and asked to defend a black prisoner of war falsely accused of murder.
Fourth-generation Army Col. William McNamara is imprisoned in a brutal German POW camp. Still, as the senior-ranking American officer, he commands his fellow inmates, keeping a sense of honor alive in a place where honor is easy to destroy, all under the dangerous eye of the Luftwaffe veteran Col. Wilhelm Visser. Never giving up the fight to win the war, McNamara is silently planning, waiting for his moment to strike back at the enemy. A murder in the camp gives him the chance to set a risky plan in motion. With a court martial to keep Visser and the Germans distracted, McNamara orchestrates a cunning scheme to escape and destroy a nearby munitions plant, enlisting the unwitting help of young Lt. Tommy Hart. Together with his men, McNamara uses a heros resolve to carry out his mission, ultimately forced to weigh the value of his life against the good of his country.
In the last months of the Second World War, an American administrative Lieutenant is captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge. Sent to a German Stalag Prison camp, Lieutenant Hart is at once thrust into the social order of POWs, where every man thinks of himself first with bribery and trading with German captors commonplace. When two African American pilots become the first non-white soldiers in the camp, one is murdered and the other accused of killing a white sergeant. Lieutenant Hart must then defend the black pilot against charges before an obviously racist American tribunal; unaware that the trial itself is only a front for the real secret of the prison camp.