U-571

Plot hole: In the movie the German sub is in the middle of the Atlantic about 1500 miles from the American coast the American submarine is an S-Class boat which had a top speed on the surface of 12 Knots even less underwater and it spent part of the trip submerged. This means that it would have taken them at least 5 or 6 days to reach the German Sub. This is 1942 There would have been dozens of other German subs a lot closer who could have come to their rescue.

Clarence Daugette

Plot hole: The Americans disguise S-33 as a German Type VII U-boat to pose as the German resupply boat. This is a pretty bad idea, since all resupply boats are of the Type IXV and not Type VII. Of course in a severe storm the differences between types might go unnoticed, but the plan could not rely on that alone. In good visibility, any able German watchman would be able to spot the difference quickly.

Plot hole: At the beginning of the movie, the German commander sends a radio transmission with the damaged sub's position at "AL 85-32." The German Kriegsmarine divided up the Atlantic in grid squares like these, but "AL 85-32" means the damaged sub is just roughly 375 miles west of Ireland, but more than 2700 miles from the US east coast. There is no way on earth the Americans beat the Germans to this location, especially since the German supply sub is already en route. Funny enough considering the controversy about the movie, for this position the British would have been in perfect position to intercept.

Character mistake: At the beginning of the movie, the German sub gets surprised and severely damaged by a destroyer. The sonar man first notices the enemy destroyer approaching, but only a short time before the destroyer is already literally on top of the sub. German sonar at the time had the capacity to detect ships up to more than 7 miles away, so the sonar man really had to be asleep at his sonar station not to notice the destroyer approaching. (00:03:40)

More mistakes in U-571

Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren: Relax gentlemen. She's old... but she'll hold.

More quotes from U-571

Trivia: U-571 cause quite a stir in England especially in the small northern town of Horsforth (where I actually live), because we felt the movie 'Hollywood-ised' a British victory. The people of Horsforth raised an astonishing £241,000 in one week (about £4million today) to fund the building of the HMS Aubretia, the ship that captured the first enigma machine when it depth charged U-110. It caused so much upset amongst people that President Bill Clinton wrote a letter to the people of Horsforth praising the town for their part in the war effort. The letter is now on display in the local museum.

More trivia for U-571

Question: Throughout the film you can see that Tank, played by Dave Power, has funny-looking thin black scars on both cheeks. Was this a makeup effect for the character (and if so, why did they do it), or does the actor really have these scars on his cheeks (and if so, what from)?

Answer: The scars you see on Tank's face are fake, pure makeup. They wanted the character to have a gritty look.

More questions & answers from U-571

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.