Dad's Army Wiki

Big Guns
Series 3, Episode 7
Big Guns
Air Date 23 October 1969
Written by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures 13.2 Million
Previous episode Room at the Bottom
Next episode The Day the Balloon Went Up
List of episodes

Big Guns is the seventh episode of the third series of Dad's Army, which was originally transmitted on Thursday 23 October 1969.


The platoon is given heavy artillery and, directly in the line of fire of their naval gun, the town's bandstand is at grave risk.


Mainwaring and Wilson are discussing a church parade in the Vicar's office when they are interrupted by the Verger, accompanied by an official from Pickfords, complaining that a large gun has been left in the yard. It is revealed to be a 13-pounder naval gun. As it is a navel gun the platoon call in Frazer, who was in the navy, to tell them how it works, but Frazer reveals that he was only a cook. The man from Pickfords returns with the manual however, and Captain Mainwaring begins to read it.

The platoon are each assigned different positions, with amusing consequences. However, when they attempt to rehearse the drill, they cannot open the breech until the verger reveals that they had the safety catch on, to the indignation of the platoon.

The next day, the platoon organise a TEWT (Tactical Exercise Without Troops) and make a miniature version of Walmington to test their new battle strategy, using, among other things, a powder puff, a back-scrubbing brush and a whisky bottle. Mainwaring orders the destruction of the cricket score-board (much to Wilson's annoyance), the allotments (to Frazer's disapproval) and the bandstand (to the dismay of Lance Corporal Jones, who reveals that he was present when it was erected and dedicated to Queen Victoria) within 48 hours. He tells Wilson he is meeting with the Town Clerk to confirm it. However, Mr Rees, the Town Clerk, is less than pleased, and asks for a demonstration.

On the day of the demonstration, Mainwaring gives the command "enemy tank right! Action!", and the platoon jump to it. However, the gun is now covered by camouflage netting. This proves to be the downfall of the platoon, as they all become entangled in the netting whilst attempting to remove it. Mr Rees has had enough at this point, and promises to tell his committee that "They can sleep sound in their beds, provided they make them inside that enemy tank."


  • When the town clerk says he is not used to getting ultimatums, a member of the platoon standing behind him can be see mouthing his words.