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)
 Hilda (2 episodes, 2011)
 Admiral Dönitz (2 episodes, 2011)
 Captain Sharp (2 episodes, 2011)
 Elisabeth Fullwood (2 episodes, 2011)
Matthias Koeberlin ...
 Rostau (2 episodes, 2011)
 Vincenzo Di Giovanni (2 episodes, 2011)
Jacob Matschenz ...
 Mannesmann (2 episodes, 2011)
 Fiedler (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 ...
 Weber (2 episodes, 2011)
Oskar Brown ...
 Waldemar (2 episodes, 2011)
Stefan Rudolf ...
 Remmert (2 episodes, 2011)
 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 Its guns are outdated, its captain, Sharp, lost his last ship and the Italians, unhappy at being caged below the water line, are tormented by their Polish guards.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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

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

Abominable attempt of clearing German conscience and offending Poles, Jewish and other victims
1 February 2014 | by (Bloodlands) – See all my reviews

1. The movie focuses on one of a few moments when Germans and Italians could claim moral superiority over Allies during the IIWW. What the movie makers forget and do not show on purpose is why the "heroic" Uboot commander is hunting British merchant ship. He is hunting it in name of no less than Adolf Hitler. The "heroic" crew of Uboot witnessed treatment of (mostly Polish) slaves in Germany and in French ports, with high probability they enjoyed the services of sexual slaves (in 1939-1941 mostly French and Polish) in Kriegsmarine brothels, they used goods stolen from Jews and Poles etc.

2. The villains of the movie are Polish soldiers, who escort Italians. Again it remains unclear where those people come from. It is simple: after fighting in Poland, they left Poland, via Hungary got to France to fight Germans, then some of them fought in Narvik (as a Polish unit), got back to Britain and went to Africa to fight Rommel. Their families got executed and enslaved (Germans executed 15 000 Poles in one place called Piasnica in 1939-40 to name an example). Their sons got sent as slaves to Germany (approx 2 million Polish slaves), their daughters raped. They could nourish certain hate against Axis soldiers.

3.It remains to wait for a movie about Sonderkommando Jewish prisoners, Russian kapos in KZ and heroic SS-men who protect KZ-prisoners from them. There could be one such case - so the movie will be based on facts.It is all about choosing which facts are to be depicted.

4. To put it short: it is an abominable dance on graves because not a minute is devoted to the context of the story.

5. The captain of Laconia deserves certain respect but he fought for Nazi Deutschland. Polish, Belorussian, Russian peasants who risked their lives as guerilla fighters had more courage than this idealized Uboot captain. They knew their survival chances were non-existent but they refused to comply.

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