Downfall (Der Untergang)
Downfall (2004) , (the original German language/International title is Der Untergang ) is a visceral, dark and disturbing account of the last days of the Third Reich, most notably the story of Traudl Junge, the young and pretty secretary for Adolf Hitler in his last days in the bunker. The movie chronicles the varied responses of the German military and civilian populations to the invasion of Berlin as Hitler insanely believes the war can still be won.
The remaining fanatical Nazis collapse into violence as they try to stave off the Red Army and are caught in a fate of their own making, while other Germans try to survive the insanity and fruitlessly try to convince Hitler that the war is over and further loss of life is pointless. Being a German in Berlin in the spring of 1945 is about as close to Hell on Earth as one can imagine...
N.B. Bruno Ganz, who portrayed Adolf Hitler in this film, appeared in 1978's The Boys from Brazil as Dr. Bruckner, a scientist explaining to Yakov Lieberman (Laurence Olivier), the mechanics of Josef Mengele's (Gregory Peck) plan to clone Hitler.
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) carries a Walther P38, also Joseph Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes) 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 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. 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, but seen in massive amounts at the end. 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 (98K). It is seen most during an interior scene where weapons are being handed out (however the vast majority of weapons in the scene are StG-44 assault rifles) and at the end of the film, where surrendering German soldiers are smashing their pristine Karabiner 98k rifles against the ground 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
A lot of M38 Carbines are seen in the hands of Red Army soldiers, but not that many full sized M91/30 rifles, which is rather odd, since the Mosin Nagant M91/30 was the most common weapon in any Red Army Infantry unit. As in the case of the PPSh-41, M38 carbines were issued in anticipation of the heavy street fighting. Other than submachine guns, the M38 Carbine was issued to truck drivers and secondary members of crew served weapons. 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.
Hitler Youth and German soldiers are armed with Panzerfaust to defend Berlin against Red Army Tanks. Hitler Youth Peter Kranz (Donevan Gunia) is seen with one. The Volkssturm under Dr. Joseph Goebbels command also are seen armed with Panzerfausts.
Model 24 Stielhandgranate
As Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS soldiers in the Reichstag are preparing for battle you can see Model 24 Stielhandgranates being passed out.
Model 39 Eihandgranate
3.7 cm Pak 35/36
There is an abandoned 3.7 cm Pak 35/36 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.