Standard WWII issue lost-in-the-desert exercise set during the North African campaign, with Fonda as the diffident Canadian corporal who has to shape up and assume command of a depleted British Eighth Army patrol on the death of Thomas Mitchell's stalwart veteran sergeant. Flashbacks fill us in on Fonda's background. He's pleasant but gauche, a would-be writer and a timorous lover who still considers himself 'a civilian with a couple of chevrons on my sleeve'. Rations are low, the Eyeties are everywhere, and an impressive sandstorm is brewing. Fortunately, at moments of crisis Fonda is prompted by the voice of experience (that is to say, the voice of Thomas Mitchell), and he returns a hero with a valuable lesson under his belt: 'If I want anything worthwhile in this life, I have to fight for it. That's not a bad thing for a man to learn, is it...or a nation? To fight!'