Dad's Army Wiki
Command Decision
Series 1, Episode 3
Command Decision Title Card
Air Date 14th August 1968
Written by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures 8.6 Million
Previous episode Museum Piece
Next episode The Enemy Within the Gates
List of episodes

Command Decision is the third episode of the first series of Dad's Army. It first aired on 14th August 1968.


Leadership agrees with Captain Mainwairing, but the men, still without uniforms and arms, are getting restless. The platoon's fortunes take a turn when old campaigner Colonel Square arrives with an offer of rifles and horses. There is a catch; to secure the weapons, Mainwaring must hand over command to Colonel Square


The platoon are all feeling blue due to their lack of rifles. Mainwaring promises them some before the week is out, but time is running short. He eventually puts the platoon under the command of Colonel Square on a promise of rifles, but after being forced to ride horses holding elephant-shooting muskets, he takes control again. In the end, rifles arrive.

Full Story[]

The platoon are all feeling blue due to their lack of rifles. In a rather rash bid to raise spirits, Mainwaring promises them some before the week is out, but time is running short. He then is visited by a local nobleman called Colonel Square, who reveals that he has got rifles which he is willing to allow the platoon to use, however Mainwaring discovers that Square will only allow this if he himself is in charge of the platoon, as they are his own weapons.

Mainwaring is hesitant but as he runs out of options to keep his word to the men, he contacts Colonel Square and agrees to his terms, putting the platoon under the command of Colonel Square. The Platoon is then marched out to Colonel Square's estate, where he has them ride horses. Mainwaring then inquires about the horses to Square's butler, who reveals that the horses belong to Bailey's Circus, and that Square is only looking after the horses for the duration of the war. Square's attempts to have the platoon use swords on horseback goes badly wrong, and Frazer tells Mainwaring that they would be happier as they were than using 'four-legged dragons'. Mainwaring is flattered but reluctant, until he discovers that the rifles are elephant-shooting muskets, and so Mainwaring ends the deal and takes control again.

Back at the church hall, a dejected Mainwaring gets a phone call telling him that the Local Defence Volunteers are being re-organised and will now be referred to as the 'Home Guard', which worsens his negativity. Taking a few minutes alone in his office before facing the platoon, a corporal arrives with a late delivery of five hundred LDV armbands, and, to Mainwaring's shock, five rifles. With his head high that he has been able to keep his word, Mainwaring takes the rifles into the main hall as the platoon cheer.


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