He was an enormous bull of a man with a shaven head, who was one of two mechanics servicing the Nazis' Flying Wing at Tanis in 1936. He only spoke German. Highly skilled in boxing and brutally strong, he was able to best Indiana Jones in hand-to-hand combat in spite of being killed by the plane's propeller blade during their confrontation.
When the Flying Wing was being prepped to fly the Ark of the Covenant out of Tanis to Berlin in 1936, the mechanic emerged from his hut to see Indiana Jones brawling with the other mechanic.
Apparently being pugnacious enough, the huge Bavarian stepped in after the first mechanic had been taken down by Jones, and challenged the hero to a fistfight.
The mechanic absorbs a right hook. Although he easily outmatched Jones, he unintentionally saved the archaeologist's life at one point. When the Flying Wing's pilot was about to shoot Jones, the mechanic unknowingly stepped in between Jones and the pilot, blocking his line of fire before he was knocked unconscious by Marion Ravenwood.
Finding the challenge all too easy and the archeologist never trounced, the mechanic ordered Indiana to fight back, oblivious that the rotating plane was drawing the propellers ever closer. Bemused by Jones ducking for safety, the concerned mechanic turned around to look behind him and was confronted by the propellers, chopping him to bloody bits. In this way he was much like a Chief Guard Jones had encountered a couple years ago in that he was killed by his own side's machinery.
Despite his minor role in the plot, bits can be gathered about the German Mechanic. For one, while drafted in the wehrmacht military as a mechanic, his true passion was for boxing, which he enjoyed more then anything. He saw Indiana Jones arrival as a chance to test his skills, as such he refrained from shooting Jones and challenged him to a one on one duel of hand to hand combat.
Despite his brutality, the mechanic insisted on a fair fight; he could've easily finished Jones when he was knocked to the ground, but chose to pull up the archeologist to continue their duel. Ironically it was the mechanic's insistence on playing with Jones that proved to be his demise, as he had simply shot with the nearby pistol Jones, the archealogist would've been dead and the movie would've been over.
The German Mechanic's last moments.
He was portrayed by the late Pat Roach, a stuntman and professional wrestler who appeared in all three of the original movies.
Despite being credited as "1st Mechanic," Roach's character is actually the second of the two mechanics to appear onscreen.
According to the Pen and Paper supplement, the German Mechanic was a prize fighter back in Germany and achieved the rank of sergeant in the army.
In Campbell Black's novelization, this mechanic is described as being a young man with tattoos, thought of as a kid by Marion Ravenwood. He is not as tough as he is in the film, but is nonetheless persistent in his fight with Indiana Jones. Although in the film he overpowers Indy and knocks him to the ground before being killed by the Flying Wing's propellers, in the novel Indy knocks him into the propeller.
The Mechanic appears as "Enemy Boxer" as an end-of-level boss in LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures who can only be defeated when the player is carrying an anvil. It is possible for Indy to defeat him without getting hurt, unlike Indy's confrontation with him in the film.
In the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! attraction spot at Disney World, the second German Mechanic is absent from the plane fight scene. The German Mechanic is thus the one who spots Indy while working on the plane's wing. The pilot, who leaves the plane after landing, gives the German Mechanic instructions before going back to the Nazi camp. In some performances the mechanic is even directing the traffic for the Flying Wing as it prepares to land.
In Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures, the plane fight is omitted, but the German mechanic still appears in Cairo as an end of level boss in the streets at night, which occurs before Indy finds the Well of Souls. As the player jumps on a horsecart, the mechanic hops on and kicks away the player's gun, and the player is forced to have a fist fight with the mechanic. When he dies, the level is accomplished. As with LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, it is possible to defeat him without getting hurt in Greatest Adventures.