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Das Boot

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Das Boot
The Boat
Das boot poster.jpg
Theatrical Movie Poster
Country GER.jpg West Germany
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Release Date September 17, 1981
Language German
Studio Bavaria Filmbr
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)
Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR)
Distributor Neue Constantin Film
Triumph Releasing Corporation (USA)
Main Cast
Character Actor
Kapitänleutnant Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock "Der Alte" Jürgen Prochnow
Leutnant Werner - Correspondent Herbert Grönemeyer
Bootsmann Lamprecht Uwe Ochsenknecht
2. Wachoffizier (II. WO) Martin Semmelrogge
Obermaschinist Johann Erwin Leder
Funkmaat Hinrich Heinz Hoenig
KptLt. Philipp Thomsen Otto Sander

Das Boot is the 1981 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, directed by famed German director Wolfgang Petersen (In the Line of Fire, Air Force One). The film is set in World War II in November and December 1941 and depicts the experiences of the crew of a German VII-C submarine on an enemy voyage during the U-boat warfare of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The movie was a very elaborate and expensive production for the German film - even by today's standards - at DM 32 million (converted and adjusted for inflation, € 32.5 million today). Thus, in addition to several models of different sizes, the entire interior of a German Class VII submarine was faithfully reproduced. The film enjoyed great international success; it was nominated for six Oscars, one Golden Globe, and one BAFTA Award each, and also won numerous German film awards. The classic film was one of the cornerstones of director Petersen's and cinematographer Jost Vacano's later moves to Hollywood, and for many of the actors, the film also meant a career boost or breakthrough in the film business.

In June 2016, a sequel produced by Bavaria Film as well as Sky Deutschland in the form of a TV series was announced for 2018. The plot is again based on novels by Lothar-Günther Buchheim. The sequel was directed by Andreas Prochaska. The sequel takes place a year after the events of the predecessor and stages the first wartime experiences of a young submarine crew, while the nascent Resistance is forming in the port of La Rochelle.

The following weapons were used in the film Das Boot:


Walther PPK

A Walther PPK is fired by a drunken Kapitänleutnant (Captain lieutenant) at the party.

Pre-WWII Walther PPK - 7.65x17mm Auto (.32 ACP)
The drunken officer fires his PPK at the ceiling.
"Kämpfen, siegen oder untergehen!" ("Fight, win or perish!")
Brandishing the pistol offers a view of the right side.
Firing the Walther at a mural.

Walther P38

During a crisis, the Capt.-Lt. (Jürgen Prochnow), gets his Walther P38.

Walther P1 - 9x19mm
The Capt.-Lt. returns to his crewmen with the P38.
The P38 lies on his officer's cap.

Submachine Guns


Some sailors are seen with MP38s.

Maschinenpistole 38 - 9x19mm
A sailor (lower left corner) carries an MP38.
Another sailor unslings his MP38 behind Lt. Werner.
A slightly different view of the same MP38 lowered by the sailor.


Karabiner 98k

Several Sailors carry Karabiner 98ks in the U-Boot harbor.

Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A sailor on the left carries a Karabiner 98k.
Another Karabiner 98k carried by one sailor.
A sailor watches the homecoming U 96 with his carbine over his back.
A soldier running for cover with his Kar98k.

Unidentified Rifle

One of the German soldiers fires an unidentified rifle during the air raid.

The soldier opens fire at attacking Allied planes.
He drops the gun.
The gun appears to be equipped with a tripod.


2 cm FlaK 30

The U-Boot is armed with a 2cm FlaK 30 antiaircraft gun.

2 cm FlaK 30 - 20x138mm B

8.8 cm/45 (3.46″) SK C/35 naval gun

The U-Boot is armed with an 8.8 cm SK C/35 naval gun.



A four-barreled antiaircraft gun can be seen on top of a building at the harbor.



Submarine U-96

A 1:1 scale model of the submarine was recreated in Munich for the film. This model was disassembled into three individual parts and transported to La Rochelle, where it was reassembled. This set had propulsion and was steered by one person, but otherwise had no interior fittings. During the filming of the storm, the boat broke apart and sank in the harbor of La Rochelle. This incident almost led to the end of production. The boat was then reassembled from individual recovered parts and wood but without propulsion. It was towed for further shots with this boat. There was also a remote-controlled, submersible 11-meter model for outdoor scenes, a 5.50-meter model for underwater shots in the Bavaria basin, and other various ship models ranging from one to three meters in length. Director Steven Spielberg borrowed the 1:1 and remote-controllable model from Bavaria Film in 1980 for two submarine sequences in his film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

U-995 Type VIIC/41 at the Laboe Naval Memorial near Kiel.

G7a torpedo


North American T-6

Several North American T-6 trainer aircraft are seen standing in for British planes.


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