A soldier is assigned to guard a fortress on a remote Greek island and finds himself unable to cope with the crushing boredom of the task in this interesting drama, an early film by renowned-director Werner Herzog. The story is set during WWII and concerns a soldier who was wounded and stationed on the Nazi-controlled island. He is accompanied by his wife and two other guards. It is a very quiet island and soon the men begin looking for constructive things to do. First they paint houses. Then they try raising goats. One of them finds a small stockpile of explosives, so the men begin making bombs. Another of the men can read Greek and so begins translating some of the ancient inscriptions on the castle walls. He discovers that pirates once controlled the island. Meanwhile, the other guard invents a little machine that systematically captures and kills roaches. Eventually the lead soldier finds himself beginning to crack up, suffering a minor breakdown when he hears someone playing Chopin on the piano. When, to escape their tedium, the guards are assigned a detail on a ridgetop, the lead soldier begins shooting at windmills. Further agitated by his perceived betrayal by his comrades, he then attacks the local village and threatens to use his bombs to destroy it. In the end, the insane renegade is stopped. Herzog is said to have based the story on an article describing similar events that occurred during the Seven Years' War.