Das Boot

La Rochelle, (occupied) France, in late 1941: The adventurous, naive German war correspondent Leutenant Werner volunteers to go aboard U-96 and experience life as a crew member on a German U-boat hunting allied convoys in the North Atlantic. Little does he know the "adventure" is going to be a nightmare trip: After sinking three cargo ships, the U-boat is relentlessly hunted down by enemy destroyers, dropping endless rounds of depth charge and making the U-boat crew go through hell. Escaping narrowly, U-96 (already on its way back home) is re-assigned to sneak through the heavily guarded Straits of Gibraltar, virtually a suicide mission. The U-boat is discovered, attacked and sent to the bottom of the Straits. However, unbeknownst to the enemy, the crew manages to survive and repair the vessel underwater. U-96 resurfaces and finally makes it home. Having just arrived, however, allied fighters air-raid the port. Half of the crew gets killed (Werner among the survivors) and the boat is sunk in the dock - this time for good.

Continuity mistake: At the end of the first attack by the destroyer - where she misses the U-boat and throws her bombs further away - the boatswain makes 22, then 23 strokes on the slate of the Control Centre,thus counting the number of depth charges used against the boat. A few seconds later, in a shot from another angle, with the slate in full view, we see only 22 strokes. (01:03:30)

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Captain: Phillip, the old bunch is gone. Look at these new heroes. All wind and smoke. Just big mouths.
Thomsen: Yeah, yeah. They keep together, balls in hand. And the belief in our Führer in their eyes.
Captain: They will know in time.

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Trivia: The full sized mock up of the U boat was rented by Steven Spielberg for use in the first Indiana Jone's film.

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Question: I know practically nothing about submarines, so this seemed a bit strange to me. When there's that huge storm, why do they keep staying at the surface, only going down for an hour at a time?

Answer: U-boats also travelled much faster on the surface...about 18 knots, vs only 8 knots or so beneath the surface.

Answer: Because that's what the U-boat was designed to do. Unlike modern nuclear boats, they didn't have the capacity to stay submerged for long periods - basically just as long as the air lasted; there wasn't atmosphere control equipment. They would 'snorkel' near the surface, recharge the batteries with the diesel engines, and then dive for a few hours at most before having to come back up and repeat the process.

Rooster of Doom

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