- “Basically, we have all our rotten eggs in one basket. The objective of Operation Kino: blow up the basket.”
- ―Ed Fenech
- Bridget von Hammersmark (Creator of the plan, Fenech said the Operation was her "brain child")
- Winston Churchill (Supporter, authorized Hicox's transfer to France)
- General Ed Fenech (Creator of the plan along with Hammersmark)
- Lt. Archie Hicox (Main participant, supposed to be present as a special guest for going undercover)
- The Basterds (Wicki and Stiglitz, as German-speaking members of the Basterds, were the main participants)
- Hans Landa (switched sides)
The original plan was to send covert British agent, German actress Bridget von Hammersmark, into the premiere, where she would be joined by Archie Hicox, a British operative, and two other covert agents as guests, Hugo Stiglitz and Wilhelm Wicki. Hicox, who has vast knowledge of German cinema from the 20s and during Goebbels' regime and speaks fluent German, would be her accompany, while Stiglitz and Wicki, both Germans, would provide cover and would bomb the cinema.
First phase of a plan was to rendezvous with Von Hammersmark in a small village of Nadine, where she would wait in a tavern called La Louisiane. Hicox, Stiglitz and Wicki arrived in the tavern dressed as SS officers, while the Basterds provided cover from a house next to the tavern in worst case scenario.
However, the meet turned into a disaster when Major Dieter Hellstrom, who joined their table, blew Hicox's cover when he noticed that he ordered three whiskeys with his index, middle and ring finger instead of his thumb, index and middle (the German way of ordering drinks with fingers), and a massive shootout occurred in which only Von Hammersmark and Wilhelm survived (who was later shot by Von Hammersmark in anger for calling her a traitor).
After Von Hammersmark explained the original plan to Aldo Raine, and they devised a Plan B where she would attend the premiere with Raine, Donny Donowitz and Omar Ulmer, who would play Italian directors and stuntmen (counting on the fact that Germans have a bad ear for Italian).
After they arrived in the cinema, they were greeted by Hans Landa, who unfortunately spoke Italian as well. Even though they barely managed to maintain their cover, Landa realized the plot and brought Von Hammersmark into his private room, where he indirectly revealed that he investigated the tavern and found her shoe, and then strangled her to death.
Raine and Smithson Utivich were kidnapped and brought to a closed bar to talk to Landa, who explained that he knew that Donny and Omar were still in the cinema and planning to destroy it. He blackmailed them into talking to their OSS superior officer, and Landa requested a Medal of Honor, a house on Nantucket Island, a full Colonel's pension and recognition as a double agent of the OSS.
Just as Landa was negotiating with the Americans, Shosanna Dreyfus and Marcel set the cinema ablaze while Donny and Omar killed Hitler, Goebbels and most of the attendants before their bombs blew up, destroying the cinema, making Operation Kino a success.
Landa's demands were honored (albeit in a stroke of poetic justice, he was punished by Raine by carving a swastika on his forehead).
While the goal of Operation Kino was to end the war by decapitating the German High Command, its exact outcome is unknown. Killing the top party members of the NSDAP would be a huge shock to the Third Reich, and while it's possible the remaining party members and military commanders would consider surrendering, it's also possible that they would continue to fight.
- Landa recognized Stiglitz's corpse in the tavern. This means that, even though Von Hammersmark could make it out with Hicox, Wicki and Stiglitz to the premiere, Stiglitz would be recognized by Landa and the operation would likely have a similar outcome.
- Furthermore, Stiglitz was well publicized in the newspaper (with his picture taken) and would likely be recognized by members of the German High Command.
- Likewise, since the Nazis would know how the other Basterds look like from the testimonies of the German survivors, Wicki would too be identified easily. The only way the plan could work is for the two Basterds to wear heavy make-up (fake beards e.g.), which increases the risk of them being found. However, Raine, Omar and Donowitz weren't recognized (despite Landa realizing the ruse), although it can be considered that they weren't properly sketched and their pictures publicized, nor did the German High Command pay any attention to them, obviously failing to consider any sabotage, even though Americans have already landed so the security should have been more strict than usual, especially with the Basterds roaming around.