Downfall (Der Untergang)

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Downfall (2004)

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...

The following guns were used in Downfall:

Note: Spoilers are present in some image descriptions

Contents



Pistols

Walther PP

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.

The lesser-known, full-length barreled Walther PP is available in 6.35mm auto (.25 ACP), 7.65x17mm (.32 ACP) Auto or 9x17mm (.380 ACP).
SS-Oberscharführer Rochus Misch contemplates suicide with his Walther PP pistol.
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling turns over his Walther PP sidearm before seeing Hitler.

Walther PPK

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 carries a PPK as do other officers, and Nazi diplomats such a Walther Hewel.

Early Walther PPK in 7.65x17mm Auto (.32 ACP)
After committing suicide Hitler's Walther PPK pistol is seen on the floor of his study.
Wilhelm Burgdorf uses his PPK to threaten to shoot Nazi Official Hans Fritzsche for wanting to surrender unconditionally to the Red Army.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Schädle (Igor Bubenchikov) decides to commit suicide rather than leave with SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke during the breakout.
Nazi Party Diplomat Walther Hewel keeps his promise to Hitler and commits suicide before the Russians can capture him.

Walther Model 8

After Hitler 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 Hitlers suicide they discovered him with two pistols. A Walther Model 8, which Linge claimed Hitler often carried in a concealed pocket, and a Walther PP or PPK pistol. Gunsche unloaded the weapons and noted that the 7.65mm Walther Model PP or PPK, he couldn’t recall the exact model, had been fired. The Walther Model 8 6.35mm had not been fired.

Walther Model 8 - 6.35mm
Hitler's Walther Model 8 pistol - 6.35mm.

Walther P38

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.

World War Two era P38 Pistol - 9x19mm
Fanatical Hitlerjugend plan to commit suicide to escape the Red Army.
SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Günsche and some of the last remaining German officers prepare for the Red Army with their Walther P38 pistols.
Joseph Goebbels stands with his Walther P38 as he and his wife prepare to commit suicide.

Luger P08

SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke (André Hennicke) carries a Luger P08 pistol as his sidearm. He is seen with it when the last remaining German officers prepare for the Red Army.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm.
SS-Brigadeführer Mohnke,to the left, aiming his Luger P08 in preparation for the Red Army.

Submachine Guns

MP38

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.

MP38 Submachine gun - 9x19mm.
A German NCO with a rusted MP38 escorts Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) and Gerda Christian (Birgit Minichmayr) (disguised as male German soldiers) in an attempt to sneak across enemy lines.
Schenck's adjutant grabs his MP38 when going with Schenck to confront the SS troopers.
SS-Scharführer aims his MP38 at Schenck.
Schenck's adjutant tells the SS troopers to stop.

MP40

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.

MP40 submachine gun - 9x19mm
Guards armed with MP40 submachine guns at an entrance to the bunker.
Weidling's adjutant hands over his MP40 submachine gun.
Two SS-unterscharführers prepare petrol for the cremation of Goebbels remains, MP40 submachine guns slung on their backs.
SS approach Goebbels remains.
Soldier seen with MP40 after the breakout from Berlin.

PPSh-41 Submachine Gun

The PPSh-41 submachine gun is seen throughout the movie, but seen in massive amounts at the end. Normally, PPSh-41 were not issued in such quantity, but the Red Army, upon entering Berlin, had issued nearly every soldier with PPSh-41s in anticipation of the street fighting that ensued. So this abundance of PPSh-41s is in fact, historically correct.

A PPSh-41 submachine gun.
PPSh-41 submachine guns in the hands of waiting Soviet Soldiers
The soldiers standing behind them are carrying PPSh-41 submachine guns.
Russians seen with PPSh-41 submachine gun.
Still even more PPSh-41 submachine guns.

Rifles

Karabiner 98k

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.

Karabiner 98k - German manufacture 1937 date - 7.92x57mm
Guard at Hitler's Wolf's Lair armed with Karabiner 98k rifle in 1942.
Soldiers seen armed with Karabiner 98k rifles above the Führerbunker.
A soldier with a slung Karabiner 98k restrains a civilian trying to intervene in a lynching.
Soldier to the right seen holding his Karabiner 98k.
Several dozen soldiers armed with Karabiner 98k after the breakout from Berlin.
Karabiner 98k rifles seen "stacked" while soldiers wait for advancing Red Army.

Karabiner 98AZ

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.

Karabiner 98AZ - 7.92x57mm
The rifle furthest on the right in this image is the K98AZ.

Sturmgewehr 44

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.

Sturmgewehr 44 - 7.92 Kurz
Lots of Waffen SS line up with StG-44s and one MP-40
Waffen SS fights with StG-44 in the streets of Berlin.
SS soldiers stand guard at one of the bunkers entrances with their StG-44.
A soldier jumps from the sidecar to seek cover carrying his StG-44. It looks as if it has a log of AK, but in fact it is not.
Soldier carrying his StG-44 emerges from the ruins of Berlin upon hearing they have surrendered to the Russians.

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.

Soviet Army M38 Carbine - 7.62x54R
Red Army soldiers with M38 Carbines & PPSh-41 submachine guns.
Red Army soldiers stands with his M38 Carbine - 7.62x54R.
Red Army soldiers seen with their M38 Carbines.

Machine Guns

Visually Modified PK Machine Gun

German soldiers are seen laying down suppressing fire with visually modified PK Machine Guns during the Red Army’s assault on the city. The PKs are modified to resemble the MG34.

A comparison between a mocked up PK and a real MG34.
An MG34.
German soldiers fight off the Russians with an MG34. Notice that the belt feeds from the right side, instead of the left.

Degtyarev DP-28

Only seen for a few seconds on screen, a Degtyarev DP light machine gun is seen being fired by German soldiers.

Degtyarev DP-28 machine gun, 7.62x54mm R
German soldiers fire a Degtyarev DP-28.

Miscellaneous Weaponry

Panzerfaust

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 Panzerfaust.

Panzerfaust 44mm with 149mm projectile
Hitlerjugend awaits the Red Army with his Panzerfaust.
Volkssturm troops under Goebbels command seen armed with Panzerfaust.

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.

Antipersonnel fragmentation M24 hand grenade.
Soldiers seen with M24 hand grenades.

Model 39 Eihandgranate

SS-Reichsarzt Ernst-Robert Grawitz (Christian Hoening) uses 2 Model 39 Eihandgranates to commit suicide.

Model 39 Eihandgranate High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
SS-Reichsarzt Ernst-Robert Grawitz prepares two Model 39 Eihandgranates.
SS-Reichsarzt Ernst-Robert Grawitz ready to set off his Model 39 Eihandgranates.


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