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 Its guns are outdated, its captain, Sharp, lost his last ship and the Italians, unhappy at being caged below the water line, are tormented by their Polish guards.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

Not perfect, but pretty close
13 November 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Complete nonsense about this being anti-American.... the bombing of the submarine while it was clearly displaying a huge Red Cross emblem is not fiction... it happened. If there's anything anti-anybody in the story, then it's also anti-British and anti-Polish while it's clearly pro-German and Italian. However, the Polish guards looking after Italians DID open fire on them while the ship was sinking and they may have been assisted by some British servicemen. Why was there a cowardly British father, a totally unscrupled Irishman, the usual 'oaf' of a British army officer... all standard make-believe that Hollywood has churned out all the time, so it's fair play to portray the Americans as trigger-happy and wet-behind-the-ears... the USA was in its first year of the war, only nine months after Pearl Harbor.

A couple of trivial 'goofs'.... the U-156 was, in reality, a Type XIC Uboat - a better-armed submarine, used for long range patrols, and a lot bigger than the Type VIIC used - but we can't blame anybody for that.... there are no Type XI boats around, while there are a couple of sea-going Type VIIs. A little more attention to detail could have been paid to the uniforms of the British seamen.... and the 'wardrobe' department (if there was one) lost the plot completely with the Sierra Leone personnel.

One other reviewer seems to show disgust at the 'lack of discipline' of the Uboat crew.... oh really? The reviewer has served on submarines? I have - and I found it 100% accurate. Long patrols in a tin-can with 52 other men, under the pressure of war... all kinds of things go on. Do not confuse a lack of reverence for a lack of discipline.

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