It's essay time, my sleep-deprived friends.
Hogan's Heroes uses one of the oldest and most underrated fictional tropes, the heroic trickster. For centuries, people all over the world told stories of otherwise weak characters getting their happily-ever-afters through cunning rather than luck or magic. Everywhere you turn in folklore, you find tales of farmers, tailors, and other clever people turning the tables on those in power. Hogan's Heroes is just such stories brought into World War II.