Archer J. Maggott (portrayed by Telly Savalas) was a member of the Dirty Dozen team. Maggott considers himself a very religious man, using his religious beliefs to justify his racism and hatred (including rape) of women under the guise of wanting to rid the world of sinners and punish those who had acted against the ways of God. He has particular problems with Jefferson, who as a black man is his main target among the Dozen. Captain Kinder, after conducting interviews with each of the Dozen, identifies Maggott as the worst of the bunch and most likely to cause problems with the raid. At the post-jump school training party, Maggott is left on guard duty rather than being allowed to fraternize with the prostitutes that were brought to entertain the men (likely due to concerns that Maggott might rape, kill, or otherwise get violent with one or more of the women).
During the raid, Maggott kills a German officer’s wife who stumbles across him while hiding in her room. Maggott then turns on the Dozen, blowing their cover and threatening to kill Jefferson, who ultimately kills him in return.
- In the novel, Maggott was a bigot from Phenix City, Alabama who had committed the crime of rape.
- His traits were taken from prisoner and bible thumper Calvin Ezra Smith.
- Unlike in the film, Maggott survived the raid in the novel but was listed as Missing in Action.
- Telly Savalas was later cast into the last two Dirty Dozen TV movies as Major Wright.
- George Kennedy wanted to portray the role of Maggott but director Robert Aldrich suggested that the role of Major Ambruster was better.