Deadliest Warrior (2011): S03E05 – Saddam Hussein vs. Pol Pot


Deadliest Warrior is a 2009 documentary series in which the great warriors of history are examined for fantasy combat simulations.


Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator who utilised chemical weapons on those who opposed him, vs. Pol Pot, the Cambodian terrorist who killed a quarter of his country’s population.

  • Saddam Hussein team: Sabah Khodada (Former Iraqi Army General), Calvin Bondley (Saddam Weapons Specialist), Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona [retired] (Former USAF & CIA Agent)
    Saddam Hussein weapons: Combat Knife, Browning Semi-Automatic Pistol, RPK Light Machine Gun, RGD-5 Grenade
  • Pol Pot team: Jonathan Khan (Pol Pot Weapons Expert), Kilong Ung (Cambodian Genocide Survivor)
    Pol Pot weapons: Cane Knife, Tokarev TT-33, RPD Light Machine Gun, Chinese Stick Grenade
  • This is the first episode to use multiple weapons in a single test.
  • For short-range weapons, the combat knife was tested against the cane knife in eliminating two targets. The combat knife killed both targets with a stabbing speed of 40 mph while the cane knife had a slashing speed of 45 mph but failed to kill the second target. The edge was given to the combat knife for its flexibility and portability.
  • For mid-range weapons, the Browning Hi-Power was tested against the TT-33 in eliminating two targets at phase 3 of the first test. Although the TT-33 finished the test at 2:02, the edge was given to the Browning Hi-Power for its 13-round capacity and heavier calibre.
  • For long-range weapons, the RPK was tested against the RPD in eliminating a missed target in phase 1 of the first test, five targets in phase 2 of the same test, and eliminating two targets in a motorcade ambush with 80 rounds. During the first test, the RPK completed Phase 1 at 0:09 and Phase 2 at 1:20, but had to be reloaded, while the RPD completed Phase 1 at 0:12 and Phase 2 at 1:49. During the Motorcade Ambush test, the RPK completed with 59s while the RPD completed with 46s. The edge was given to the RPD for its 100-round Drum Magazine.
  • For explosive weapons, the RGD-5 grenade was tested against the Chinese Stick Grenade in eliminating four targets at phase 1 of the first test. Although both Grenades only killed three targets, the edge was given to the Chinese Stick Grenade for its higher explosive payload and lower risk of rolling off-target.
  • Sabah Khodada, who served under Saddam Hussein until he was imprisoned for insubordination, is the first expert of the series unable to speak English, necessitating fellow expert Rick Francona to translate for him. He is also the only expert to have personally known one of the named warriors.
  • This is the only episode in season 3 where both warriors use more than 3 weapons.
  • This is the second episode in which a warrior was able to take out two opponents in the simulation at once with an explosion, the first being Navy Seal vs Israeli Commando.
  • The RPD Light Machine Gun is one of two weapons to not score any kills in the Season 3-formatted simulation.
  • Despite the results being close, this is the most lopsided match-up of season 3.
  • Saddam Hussein is the thirteenth warrior of thirteen to win after scoring more kills at mid range and long range.
  • The RPD Light Machine Gun is the seventeenth weapon to get the edge and score fewer kills than the opposing weapon.
  • A bonus clip showcases each dictator’s preferred method of torture: Pol Pot’s electric shock and Saddam Hussein’s chemical bath.

Re-enactment 27

Inside a war-torn Iraqi city, Saddam Hussein sits in his office looking over paperwork while 3 of his Republican Guard soldiers stand watch outside his building and 1 is inside protecting him. Outside, 4 armed Khmer Rouge guerrillas run in, hiding behind building and pillar cover. One Khmer Rouge takes out his stick grenade and lobs it at the checkpoint’s guardhouse. The grenade explodes, killing two soldiers. Both Hussein and his bodyguard are alerted to explosion as they both exit the office to see the commotion. Back outside, a firefight starts between the only Republican Guard soldier unscathed by the grenade and the Khmer Rouge rebels. The Iraqi soldier takes his RGD-5 grenade and lobs it to the pillars, killing one Cambodian insurgent and stunning another to his knees. Both Hussein and his bodyguard burst from a second-story balcony and join the fray, shooting and killing the guerrilla before he can get back to his feet. The bodyguard stops for a minute to reload a fresh magazine into his RPK machine gun as Pol Pot enters the scene and takes the dead rebel’s RPD machine gun and fires at the balcony. Under heavy fire and outgunned, Saddam calls for a retreat as he, his bodyguard, and the last checkpoint guard fall back inside the building. Pol Pot and his remaining soldiers cross the street and are about to raid the building when Saddam’s motorcade comes veering around the corner, with a worried Saddam telling the driver to hurry. Pol Pot and two of his men quickly head him off and fire on the automobile, with Pol Pot’s Tokarev shooting the driver in the face and killing him, making Saddam very angry. The Khmer Rouge forces dive out of the way as the motorcade speeds ahead uncontrollably and crashes into the side of a house. Saddam and his bodyguard quickly exit the vehicle as one Khmer Rouge rebel fires at the car with his RPD, shooting the gas tank and causing the motorcade to explode. The Khmer Rouge guerrilla moves in with his gun raised, inspecting the flaming wreckage to see the driver dead. The last Republican Guard pops out of the doorway of the building he entered and fires at the rebel, forcing him to regroup behind cover with Pol Pot and the other rebel, who return fire. The RPD guerrilla stands up to fire at the guard, but is shot down by Saddam who emerges from the second-story window, firing his Browning pistol. Saddam’s bodyguard finishes the last of his RPK ammo and quickly draws his Browning while withdrawing into the safety of the building. Pol Pot and his remaining soldier then move on to the building, Tokarevs at the ready with Pol Pot quickly pointing his upward and shooting. In the alley behind the building, the bodyguard waits for the Khmer Rouge forces to show themselves. The Khmer Rouge rebel soon enters the alley and engages the bodyguard, but Pol Pot quickly puts him down from behind with a strike from his cane knife. Pot then motions for the rebel to move into the house while Pot frees his knife from the dead guard’s back. The rebel moves into the house, but sees nothing. He motions for Pol Pot to come in, but is soon attacked by Saddam, who stabs his combat knife through the front of his chest. Pol Pot empties the rest of his Tokarev ammo as Saddam drags the dead rebel inside. He drops his Tokarev on the ground and cautiously enters the building. Through a window, he sees Saddam standing behind a wall with only his left arm visible. Pol Pot makes his move and rounds the corner, swinging his cane knife into the dictator’s neck. However, he realises too late he has cut into his dead comrade, wearing Saddam’s jacket. The real Hussein comes to his side, wearing an undershirt, raises his Browning to Pol Pot’s head, saying “This is a weapon” in Arabic, and pulls the trigger. After Pol Pot drops out of view, Saddam raises his gun in the air and shouts “Allāhu Akbar!” (God is great) in victory.

Winner: Saddam Hussein.

Deadliest Warrior Series

You can find a full index and overview of Deadliest Warrior here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 17 August 2011.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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