Das Bot Analysis

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Comm 150 Alex Brown Das Boot: the war that never was

The movie Das Boot is known as the greatest German-produced war movie that has yet been made. However, the movie-advertised as a realistic look into a WWII U-boat crew during the war- was horribly overdramatized to make the film more attractive to movie-goers. This perception was produced by an overdramatization of the crew, both enlisted and officers, and their actions during the movie, and damage to the sub that was completely unrealistic and created a false situation to the crew, which demonstrates the lack of realism in the movies depiction of a WWII U-Boat. Das Boot (or ‘the boat’, in German), is the story of a German WWII U-Boat, U-96, which is assigned to patrol the
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There is no way the officers that were portrayed in this movie were representative of real officers in the Kriegsmarine. As patriotic and reaffirming to the American point of view it is to see a captain of an enemy sub insult Hitler, like when Kapitänleutnant Philipp Thomsen gives a drunken speech for his presentation of Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, or Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Shirer, 1960) in the first scene of the movie, the U-boat service of the Kriegmarine, during the early stages of the war, was commanded and crewed by experienced, loyal professionals, necessary because of the fact that U-boat production leading up to the declaration of war was a major violation of the Versailles Treaty. (Shirer, 1960) There are some realistic moments of doubt that the movie displays in the officers, like the Chief Engineers struggles with the unknown fate of his wife after hearing report of an air raid on Cologne, but those are spoiled by scenes like when the Chief Mechanic, Johann, goes into a mental breakdown during a depth charging just because his engines are taking damage. Somebody that sensitive would not have been accepted into service in the first place, or been given a medical discharge once that tendency was discovered. The author also commented on that, stating (warning-translated from German) “I…show more content…
Das Boot, the movie, was nominated for six Oscars, grossed over 80 million dollars in the box office, and is considered by many to be the greatest German made film of all time. No evidence presented in this paper has contradicted that claim. However, it seems that for a viewing audience, the details of reality were sacrificed for the use of exciting, but completely inconceivable events that have no bearing on the actual history of the U-96 and U-boat crews in general. In that, the director created what Buchheim described as (warning-traslated from German) “this film is, whether this is intended or not, are the documentary evidence of the use of all submarines in World War II. Everyone will form their conception of submarine warfare after this film. There are so many books may seem like the authors write: You will not change the fact that this film is regarded as the only "correct" document. This has to do with the persuasive power of images, which is stronger than that of words.” (Buchheim, n.d.) While this may have created an enjoyable movie, it was not one that was true to

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