16 April 2010 | ma-cortes
Portrayal of German commandant Prien who penetrated Scapa Flow and sank British battleships
This is a wartime movie full of stock shots,underwater attacks , tension and historical events.At the beginning of the film is planned a military operation by high command (Doenitz) because of being sunk many civil ships, as Captain Prien is assigned a dangerous mission at Scapa Flow. Prien goes back successfully Germany where is decorated. Later on, a priest, Prien's ex-partner school, ask him help for hide some refugees. Mediocre performance by Dieter Eppler as Prien, an unknown actor who does a wooden acting. As secondaries appear Joachin Fuchsberger as 2º commandant and Peter Carsten , booth of whom played during the 60s several European co-productions. The motion picture is regularly directed by Harald Reinl with too much stock-footage and scale models. He is a craftsman who directed all kind of genres as terror (Torture chamber, The invisible Dr Mabuse), Western (Winnetou saga), Epic (Nibelungen) Krimi and warlike.
The film provides a brief detailing of life aboard and a portrait about the crews subjected to stressful and psychological tensions.In fact the sailors had sleep in shifts.For months they were lodged in close quarters because every inch the space was needed for machinery,supplies and torpedoes.The air was heavy with odors from bilges,diesel oil and unwashed bodies.The men faced sudden death from depth charges ,aerial bombing attacks or the sharp bow of a swift destroyer as happen in this film. Rating : 5,5 average.
The picture is based on on real events , these are the following : Commander Günther Prien (16 January 1908 – presumed 7 March 1941) was one of the outstanding German U-boat aces of the first part of the Second World War, and the first U-boat commander to win the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Under Prien's command, the submarine U-47 sank over 30 Allied ships totaling about 200,000 gross register tons . By far his most famous exploit, however, was the sinking of the British battleship HMS Royal Oak at anchor in the Home Fleet's anchorage in Scapa Flow. Early in World War II, on 14 October 1939, U-47, under the command of Günther Prien, penetrated Scapa Flow and sank the World War I–era battleship HMS Royal Oak anchored in Scapa Bay. Her second torpedo attack blew a 30-foot (9 m) hole in the Royal Oak which, as a result, flooded and quickly capsized. Of the 1,400-man crew, 833 were lost. The wreck is now a protected war grave .