In the midst of World War II, the battle below the seas rages. The Nazis have the upper edge as the Allies are unable to crack their war codes. That is, until a wrecked U-boat sends out an SOS signal, and the Allies realize this is their chance to seize the 'enigma coding machine'. But masquerading as Nazis and taking over the U-boat is the smallest of their problems. The action really begins when they get stranded on the U-boat. Written by
Although it has been reported that the U-571 had never been captured, there was enough evidence by German headquarters, notably the absence of any messages by U-571 while still under German command, to change the enigma code and render the entire American plot useless, as the Germans had changed the code before whenever there was the slightest hint that the current enigma code had been compromised. See more »
You're the skipper now. And the skipper always knows what to do whether he does or not.
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The REAL story behind the films exploits is far more embarasing & not one that Hollywood is going to tell the great American public.
The British cracked Enigma before the US even entered the War! Admiral Doenitz, suspicious that the UK had cracked the 3 code wheel Enigma (used by the German army), ordered a 4 wheel device & the British no longer were able to decode the U-Boat's messages. Sinkings of convoy vessels went up as a result, until a Royal Navy officer had the bright idea of knocking over a German weather ship in the North Sea & pinching the Enigna (they couldn't decode the messages from this ship so suspected, correctly, that it was a new, 4 wheel device). Code breaking recommenced & the U-Boats suffered such heavy losses that Doenitz eventually recalled them.
In "Operation Drumbeat", where the US, now in the war, had the shipping of it's East coast targeted, the British supplied the US Navy with intercepts, giving the U-Boats locations, courses, speed & intended target areas. Also passed on were suggested tactics for dealing with the U-Boat threat, all learned the hard way & shown to be effective. The US East coast commander, Admiral King, IGNORED them!
A bigoted Anglophobe, Admiral King refused to mount any anti submarine patrols & so condemed thousands of his own countrymen (the people he was supposed to PROTECT) to death. So many ships were sunk the U-Boat commanders called it "The New Happy Times".
Contrast this with Canada, also the target of the U-Boats, where the UK supplied intelligence was used & the anti submarine tactics employed. So few were the sinkings of ships & so heavy the U-Boat losses they were withdrawn to the SAFER waters of the US coast!
Only when Admiral King was finally replaced, after losses to shipping which could no longer be covered up, did effective anti submarine operations begin off the east coast of the US & the menace receded.
One man's obstinacy, stupidity & wrecklessness sacrificed thousands of US lives to satisfy the cravings of his ego. No Hollywood studio is going to dramatise that, so crap like "U571" is churned out. This is even more shocking when you consider that the people who died in this shameful episode still have living relatives.
The film Titanic was bad enough, but this is a step too far.I am appaled to think that if this carries on what the next step might be? How about the US wins the Vietnam War really? The US actually invented pennicillin (it was Dr Flemming, he was born in Darvel, just down the road from me)? The US wins the Battle of Britain?
Hollywood needs a kick up the pants for this film. Sadly most will go & see it & believe it's true. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose, but for the Americans killed & the families bereived, it is not the case.
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