13 September 2013

Having a bit of a U-boat phase

As the title says, I'm having a bit of a U-boat phase right now. It started with me re-watching Das Boot (the 3 hours 36minute version). Soon I found myself re-installing Silent Hunter III and added the "Grey Wolves expansion" mod which completely enhanced the experience and added geographic locations and historical stuff to the core game that was missing.

And over the last couple of days I've been altering between the Silent Hunter III game and watching documentaries about U-boats on YouTube (there are quite a lot).

Starting with Das Boot though, for those that still have not seen this movie - it is the best submarine movie ever made. If you can, get the extended version of the movie. No other movie has been as good as Das Boot to recreate the claustrophobic experience of coming under depth charge attack or been able to show the mundane long periods of searching the sea for prey. A true cinematic war movie masterpiece which should together with Stalingrad and Der Untergang be sold as a boxed set labeled "best WW2 movies ever made" (and all 3 are German production).

Silent Hunter III is now an old submarine simulator, there have been two additions to the series since its release (Silent hunter 4 and 5). Though the later games had few improvements apart from the graphics, and were lacking in many areas - making the older SH3 the preferred game. I have been playing this game for a long time, and have always loved it. I learned about a mod called "Grey wolves expansion" which I figured I would try out as I was going to start a new campaign anyway. I really recommend playing with it, as it adds a lot of extra detail to the game. Historical updates on events such as war declarations, updates over radio on what ships may or may not be attacked at various points during the campaign depending on what nations are involved in the war, a world that is more alive with more friendly U-boat involvement and wolf-pack coordinated  wolf-pack attacks. The modification also features a ton of small tweaks that improve the overall gameplay experience.

As for the YouTube documentaries, a few of those worth mentioning are:

U Boat War : Documentary on the Submarine Battle of World War 2.
This is a 2 1/2 hour long documentary chronicling the war at sea, and rise and fall of the German U-boat terror as the allies began reasearch of effective countermeasures.

Greatest Mysteries of WWII: Hitler's Last U-Boat U-234 .
This is a 1 hour long documentary, a bit sensationalistic title, but very interesting subject. It tells about a U-boat mission at the end of the war, just prior to the fall of Berlin. A lone submarine was to be sent to Japan with weapon blueprints, technology, air force liaison personnel and uranium for the Japanese atomic weapon research program. A very interesting documentary.

The U-boat War part 1-3:This is a documentary miniseries in 3 parts, each episode being 1 hour long. It features interviews with U-boat and navy personnel from the war and adds a lot of interesting details through firsthand accounts of the service on U-boats/convoys/merchant ships. Each episode focuses on different aspects of the U-boat war, episode two for instance is about the U-boat attacks off the coast of the USA.

You can find the documentaries by copy pasting the titles into the search bar.


  1. As to Das Boot, you're totally right. A fantastic film.
    The oldest son (15 years old) looked at Stalingrad the other day, and was totally taken. Part of a school project to watch a WWII movie, so daddy pushed him away from Pearl Harbor... So, yes, that is a faboulus film also.
    Der Untergang is another good one. I totally agree with you, three great films that is mandatory if you're inte WWII.

    1. That's some great parenting right there :-D
      The Stalingrad theme always give me goosebumps, the same can be said of the Das Boot theme.

  2. Das Boot is a great film. I'll have to search out the directors cut. I'll also take a look for the other two, I don't think I've seen them.


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