Hand-to-Hand Combat is the twentieth episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It aired in Japan on August 18, 1979 and in North America on August 16, 2001.
White Base is parked over a lake during which the crew is given some downtime. The crew has been told not to move from their location until Odessa Day. Down in the prison block, Ryu keeps an eye on Amuro as Fraw Bow delivers his meal. Amuro says that Ramba Ral will attack soon. When Ryu says he'll be the one to pilot Gundam, Amuro says that he'll leave White Base entirely. Ryu gets angry at this, punching him in the face. He tells Amuro that Lt. Matilda had thought him to be something special. Ryu and Fraw soon leave.
Hayato heads to the bridge and talks to Bright about whether they'll be relying on Amuro after all, which Bright confirms. Mirai says that it was originally Bright's idea to take Amuro off of Gundam and Bright claims that the thought kept passing in his mind about why Amuro didn't bring the Gundam to the Zeon. Ryu soon enters the bridge and says that Amuro will be fine.
Elsewhere, Ramba Ral receives a message from Dozle via M'Quve that says that three land-type Doms are being sent to them. Ral plans on attacking the Trojan Horse as soon as they arrive. M'Quve however, not wanting Gihren to find out about the resources his mines are providing to Kycilia decides instead to hold off on sending them to Ral.
Back on White Base, Ryu is awakened by Sayla and is told that Hayato, Kai, Howard, and Maximilian have all ran off. Ryu jumps in a jeep to go after them. After he leaves Bright wonders if they have been paying too much attention to Amuro at the expense of the other crew members. Bright also says that while Amuro was away, he had horrible doubts about being the commander of the ship.
M'Quve's subordinate Uragang heads to meet with Ramba Ral at the planned rendezvous point and lies to him about the Doms being destroyed. Ral tells him to report to M'Quve that he will still carry out his mission. Ral tells Hamon and Clamp that they will carry out the mission anyway using guerilla tactics. Ral plans on using the Gallop and a Zaku to distract White Base while he and several other soldiers utilize Cui tanks to approach White Base and board it.
Ryu finally catches up to Hayato and the others, who tell him that they are sick of Bright spending so much time on Amuro and that they want to join up with another Federation ship. This angers Ryu who punches Kai. They soon notice the Gallop and the Cuis and Ryu gets up, telling the others it's up to their conscience on whether they will follow him or not. Hayato and the others decide to return to White Base.
As the Gallop and Cuis approach White Base, Amuro sits in his cell, putting on his uniform and preparing to sortie. On the Gallop, Hamon muses on Amuro being the pilot of the Gundam and wonders what will happen to him in the battle. With the enemy approaching, everyone returns to the bridge on White Base. Sayla heads into the Gundam and launches, fighting with the Zaku. Bright authorizes Fraw to let Amuro out of solitary and put him on one of the portside guns. Mirai directs the White Base near a cliff as the two jeeps approach, and they launch off the cliff onto it.
Sayla is busy engaging the Zaku with the Gundam as Amuro watches. With Amuro's direction, Sayla is able to destroy the Zaku. Mirai realizes that the Gallop would be firing more at White Base if they intended to simply destroy White Base. Ral and his men soon launch from their Cuis using jetpacks and approach White Base. Sayla realizes that the Gundam's weapons are too powerful to take out any of the soldiers. Ral's men fire upon the White Base crew as they attempt to defend White Base from the attack. Clamp blasts a hole in White Base so as to enter, but is shot soon afterwards. Ral and the rest of his men are able to make it inside however.
Ral and his men head through White Base, engaging in fire fights with the crew. Ral comes across Fraw and knocks the gun out of her hand, telling her to hide someplace safe. Fraw recognizes him from before. Meanwhile Amuro is confronted by a Zeon soldier but is rescued by Bright, who tells him to get into the Gundam and destroy the second bridge if it is taken by the enemy. Amuro heads outside and switches places with Sayla in the Gundam.
Sayla heads back inside and quickly encounters Ral, who immediately recognizes her as princess Artesia. Ral tells her that he is the son of Jimba Ral, who served her father, Zeon Zum Deikun. Ryu arrives and shoots at Ral, hitting him. Ral fires back as he barricades himself into the second bridge and Ryu is wounded as well. Bright tells Amuro to destroy the second bridge.
Inside the second bridge Ral tells his men to retreat and that the mission is a failure. He contacts Hamon, telling her that in the middle of a fight, he forgot to fight. Seconds later Gundam blasts through the second bridge with its javelin, killing his fellow soldiers. Ral thinks of how ironic it is that the enemies he's been fighting all this time are children. Bright and the others are soon able to enter the second bridge. Ral tells them that they have fought splendidly and he will show them the fate of a true soldier. He pulls out a grenade and jumps off of White Base, exploding near the Gundam's hand.
Hamon continues to fire at the Gundam, using the Gallop and Amuro cries out to her that Ramba Ral is dead and she must escape. He throws the beam javelin at the Gallop, destroying it. Hamon is able to eject the bridge and escape seconds before. Inside White Base, the crew carries away one of the wounded crewmembers on a stretcher.
- Deceased: Ramba Ral, Clamp
- Mecha Introduced: Cui
- Sayla's identity as Artesia Deikun is revealed for the first time.