Documentary telling the true story of the sinking of the liner Laconia by a German U-boat in 1942 through the eyes of six survivors.




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Series cast summary:
 Thomas Mortimer 2 episodes, 2011
 Werner Hartenstein 2 episodes, 2011
 Admiral Dönitz 2 episodes, 2011
 Captain Sharp 2 episodes, 2011
 Elisabeth Fullwood 2 episodes, 2011
Matthias Koeberlin ...
 Vincenzo Di Giovanni 2 episodes, 2011
Jacob Matschenz ...
 Mannesmann 2 episodes, 2011
 Harro Schacht / ... 2 episodes, 2011
 Laura Ferguson 2 episodes, 2011
 Sarah Fullwood 2 episodes, 2011
 Captain Coutts 2 episodes, 2011
 Declan McDermott 2 episodes, 2011
Lenny Wood ...
 Billy Hardacre 2 episodes, 2011
 Harry Townes 2 episodes, 2011
Matthew Aubrey ...
 William Williams 2 episodes, 2011
Paul Hilton ...
 Henry Bates 2 episodes, 2011
Josef Du Plessis ...
 Anthony Bates 2 episodes, 2011
Rebekah Nathan ...
 Charlotte Bates 2 episodes, 2011
Jörg Malchow ...
Oskar Brown ...
 Waldemar 2 episodes, 2011
Stefan Rudolf ...
 Walter Drexler 2 episodes, 2011
 Additional Voices 2 episodes, 2011


Part one:- In 1942,the Laconia,an old British cruise liner turned troop ship, is returning to Liverpool from Egypt with civilian passengers and Italian prisoners. Its guns are outdated, its captain, Sharp, lost his last ship and the Italians, unhappy at being caged below the water line, are tormented by their Polish guards. Third officer Mortimer learns that his family have been killed in an air raid and seeks comfort with Hilda Smith, a mysterious widow who seems to have visited Germany recently. At that moment the ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat, whose humane captain, Kapitanleutnant Werner Hartenstein, learning that the Laconia was not a warship, decides to rescue the survivors, bringing some into the submarine and towing others in life-boats. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

u boat | survivor | ship | captain | german | See All (58) »


Drama | History



Official Sites:





Release Date:

6 January 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Laconia elsüllyesztése  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The number of lifeboats being towed often changes from shot to shot. See more »


Featured in When TV Goes to War (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

interesting true story
18 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

It's 1942. Old British cruise liner Laconia captained by Sharp (Brian Cox) is transporting 1800 Italian prisoners to Liverpool. They are guarded by cruel Polish guards. There are many civilians including mysterious Hilda Smith (Franka Potente) with a baby who is befriended by Third officer Mortimer. They are torpedoed by a German U-boat whose captain Hartenstein decides to rescue the survivors risking his own boat. As more ships and U-boats join in the rescue, an American plane from Ascension attack.

This is a little-known much-ignored story from WWII. It is an interesting story but the movie is too scattered and too long. I imagine this would be a great U-boat story in the vein of Das Boot. A three hour mini-series is too long and the movie has relatively low tension. Also the movie makes the American bombing a mistake by a young crew rather than a deliberate action. This seems like an excuse more than a realistic assessment.

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