Colonel Jannings was the cold, machine-like commander of the Waffen-SS in Italy in 1944. He did not see eye to eye with Captain Friedrich von Hecht on anything, since von Hecht never bothered to conceal his contempt for the SS. He distrusted von Hecht so much he assigned Corporal Gunther to keep an eye on the Wehrmacht captain's headquarters. Jannings believed against all evidence to the contrary that Captain Turner's target was to be the Grimaldi Tunnel, even thought von Hecht insisted it was more than likely the Della Norte Dam. He was mostly kept in check however by support for the dam theory from von Hecht's superior General von Kleber.
When Gunther was killed by Turner, a vengeful Jannings turned the hunt for the American into an all-SS operation. He pulled strings and to von Kleber removed from command, and tried to divert all resources to guard the Grimaldi Tunnel, placing von Hecht under the command of his likeminded subordinate, the ruthless Major Taussig. But Taussig's men were wiped out by the vengeful orphans of Reanoto, and Taussig himself eventually murdered by von Hecht.