Naval Warfare Movies

Suicide Missions: U-Boats

Producer: History Channel

Suicide Missions
Published: 2000
Country: USA
Length: 50 min.
Keywords: Documentary, WWII

This is the VHS release (see more).


From the distributor: "In the early years of World War II, they were the most feared hunters of the seas, claiming countless ships and lives. By the end of the conflict, the hunter had become prey, and more than half of all U-boat crews died.

U-boats were one of Hitler's deadliest weapons when war broke out. Nearly impossible to detect until they had fired, and difficult to sink even then, they dealt horrific losses to the Allies. But as SUICIDE MISSIONS details, the discovery of sonar and the capture of a German decoder turned the tables in the underwater war. U-BOATS goes under the waves with the men who manned the "Iron Coffins," as the German submersibles came to be called. We'll hear from the captain of the last U-boat to pass through the straits of Gibraltar, the youngest U-boat commander of all, and one of the few U-boat crewmen to be captured by the Allies.

This is an intimate glimpse into what it was like to serve beneath the waters in World War II."

Includes an interview with Erich Topp.


A visitor shares his comments:

"This documentary was partially narrated and co-produced by Mr. Harry Cooper from Sharkhunters.

I liked it, however, it was too short. There were several U-boat crewmen interviewed, including Hardegen, Topp, and the first officer of U-99, Kretchmer's boat.

This documentary in my opinion had great footage but should have been a series. My reason for this opinion is the fact that the interviewees are excellent people and they only make a few mere points. They could have expanded on the life on a U-boat.

In addition, Mr. Cooper's comments to everything were rather dull. He knows his stuff and I have that respect for him, but he just seemed uninteresting(ed).

One other item that concerned me was the fact that they did not elaborate on Dönitz's actions when he became Führer, as he saved thousands of innocent civilian German lives from the onslaught of the Russians. It was merely stated that Dönitz received a lesser sentence because he fought with honor. That is absolutely right, but he did more than that and the world should be aware of this."