This German newsreel opens with BISMARCK departing harbor, assisted by tugs, through the Kiel Kanal, out to open sea. We look around the bridge and into the engineering spaces. The film clips of BISMARCK going through heavy seas is impressive!
Then we ship aboard U-46 with Englebert Endrass, winner of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaf. There is a meeting with another boat and a surface gun action against a steamer. We tour inside the boat – Endrass is on the periscope, setting up a torpedo attack. LOS! This is all great combat footage. There are scenes of U-boats returning with Victory Pennants fluttering in the fresh breeze, being met dockside by bands and pretty girls with flowers. You’ll see smiling, happy U-boat crewmen arriving and opening mail from home during the so-called ‘Happy Time’
We see U-81 under FRITZ GUGGENBERGER (269-1987) entering the harbor and coming dockside after sinking the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL. A hero’s welcome awaits them all on the dock. This was a good time for the U-boatmen. Targets were there for the taking and British anti-submarine tactics were not all that effective.
The DVD ends with a Propaganda Kompanie film about the good life aboard U-boats – clean clothing, fresh leathers and enjoying sumptuous meals while destroyers drop depth charges far, far away. They show an easy life with singing and card playing. Military music and German folk music is played throughout this tape. You’ll rush right out to your nearest Kriegsmarine recruiting office.