A French Foreign Legion commander is told to assemble a unit and capture an Algerian rebel leader. He gathers in his old unit, most of whom are no longer in top form. One is having nightmares of past indiscretions, another is now drinking, another has lost his nerve. He takes them in captures the leader, but then is unable to make it to the pick up. He encounters a rebel patrol and is trapped unless they can escape before their water runs out.