Surrounded by a few party officials, Alexei Ivanov, a stakhanovist smelter, is decorated by Stalin. The "Little Father of the Peoples" takes this opportunity to invoke threats of war.... One day, war indeed breaks out. Bombs fall on the field where Alexei finds himself in the company of the schoolmistress Natacha, his fiancée. Alexei joins the Red Army and soon becomes a sergeant. Fighting rages and German troops advance. Natacha is arrested and deported. But the tide turns decisively with the German defeat at Stalingrad. Now the major offensive against Hitler can begin.
Lilli Marlene, a French girl working as a bar maid in her uncle's café in Benghazi, Libya, turns out to be the girl that the popular German wartime song Lili Marleen had been written for before the war, so both the British and the Germans try to use her for propaganda purposes - especially as it turns out that she can sing as well.
Recently paroled from prison, legendary burglar "Doc" Riedenschneider, with funding from Alonzo Emmerich, a crooked lawyer, gathers a small group of veteran criminals together in the Midwest for a big jewel heist.