Downfall (German language/International title: Der Untergang) is a 2004 historical war drama chronicling the last ten days of Adolf Hitler's life during the Battle of Berlin. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the film is based on numerous primary and secondary accounts of the final days of Adolf Hitler, set in and around Hitler's Fuhrerbunker. The film stars Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler. Filming took place in Berlin, Munich, and Saint Petersburg.
The following firearms were used in Downfall:
Note: Spoilers are present in some image descriptions
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling (Michael Mendl) and SS-Oberscharführer Rochus Misch (Heinrich Schmieder) carry Walther PP pistols as their sidearm. Weilding's pistol is seen briefly when he turns it over before entering the bunker. Misch is seen gazing at his Walther PP pistol while manning the radio.
Adolf Hitler's (Bruno Ganz) Walther PPK is seen lying on the floor of his study after he commits suicide. General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf (Justus von Dohnányi) carries a PPK as do other officers, and Nazi diplomats such as Walther Hewel.
Walther Model 8
After Hitler (Bruno Ganz) commits suicide, a Walther Model 8 pistol is seen lying on his coffee table. This is historically accurate according to Hitler's personal valet Heinz Linge, and his adjutant Otto Gunsche, who testified that upon Hitler's suicide they discovered him with two pistols: a 6.35 mm Walther Model 8, which Linge claimed Hitler often carried in a concealed pocket, and a 7.65mm Walther PP or PPK pistol. Gunsche unloaded the weapons and noted that the PP or PPK (he couldn't recall the exact model) had been fired, while the Model 8 had not.
Most of the Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS, and Hitler Youth soldiers are seen with a Walther P38 pistol as their sidearm. SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Günsche (Götz Otto) also carries a Walther P38. Joseph Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes) also uses a P38 to commit suicide with his wife, Magda (Corinna Harfouch).
The MP38 submachine gun is seen in use by Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS troops. SS-Standartenführer Ernst-Günther Schenck's adjutant Max Müller (Mikhail Tryasorukov) carries one as well.
Several members of the Waffen SS are seen armed with MP40 submachine guns, most notably when preparing to cremate the Goebbels remains. SS officer Peter Högl uses an MP40 to execute Hermann Fegelein. General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling's adjutant also carries an MP40, which he turns in before entering the bunker.
The PPSh-41 submachine gun is seen throughout the movie. Massive amounts are seen at the end of the movie used by Soviet soldiers, when the Red Army arrives to inspect the surrendered German forces. Normally, the PPSh-41 was not issued in such quantity, but the Red Army, upon entering Berlin, had issued nearly every soldier with a PPSh-41 in anticipation of the street fighting that ensued. So this abundance of PPSh-41s is in fact, historically correct.
The standard battle weapon of the German Army during WW2, the Karabiner 98k can be seen throughout the film. Many are seen during an interior scene where weapons are being handed out (though the vast majority of weapons in the scene are StG-44 assault rifles). At the end of the film, surrendering German soldiers can be seen smashing their Karabiner 98k rifles prior to the arrival of the Red Army.
At least one of the soldiers above the Führerbunker is armed with a Karabiner 98AZ. It can be identified by the short barrel and the metal hook under the front barrel band which was used to facilitate stacking the rifles in a pyramid.
Arguably the most Sturmgewehr 44s ever seen in one movie. The StG-44 is more seen than all other German weapons. As confirmed by a WW2 historian, the German army held back issuing their StG-44s to elite units, but towards the end of the war, starting handing them out in large numbers, figuring that they were running out of troops to arm.
Mosin Nagant M38 Carbine
Lots of Mosin Nagant M38 Carbines are seen in the hands of Red Army soldiers. Oddly, the standard Red Army infantry rifle, the full sized Mosin Nagant M91/30, is rarely seen (the M38 Carbine was normally issued to truck drivers and secondary members of crew served weapons); as in the case of the PPSh-41, M38 carbines were issued in anticipation of the heavy street fighting, so the mix of PPSh-41s and M38s is historically correct.
Visually Modified PK Machine Gun
Only seen for a few seconds on screen, a Degtyarev DP light machine gun is seen being fired by German soldiers.
German soldiers and Volkssturm militia (including Hitler Youth child soldiers) are seen armed with Panzerfaust to defend Berlin against Red Army tanks. Hitler Youth child soldier Peter Kranz (Donevan Gunia) is seen with one.
Model 24 Stielhandgranate
Model 24 Stielhandgranates can be seen being passed out to Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS soldiers as they prepare to defend the Reichstag.
Model 39 Eihandgranate
3.7 cm Pak 35/36
An abandoned 3.7 cm Pak 35/36 can be seen in the streets of Berlin.
85mm Air Defense Gun M1939 (52-K)
A 85mm Air Defense Gun M1939 (52-K) is used by Hitler Youth members in the streets of Berlin.