chapter  20
11 Pages

The Battle of the Atlantic in Feature Films

WithLawrence Suid

The battle for the Atlantic shipping lanes during World War II undoubtedly determined the outcome of the European conflict. Consequently, at least for American filmmakers, the US participation in the Battle of the Atlantic lacked the visual excitement of air to air, air to surface, or surface to surface combat that made the war in the Pacific so exciting on motion picture screens. Following the end of hostilities, the movies about the Battle of the Atlantic, like all the other portrayals of Germany in World War II, have reflected the political realities of the Cold War. In fact, Lifeboat becomes a story about the Battle of the Atlantic for one reason: the strongest, most complex, most practical, and most interesting character aboard the boat is the German submarine captain, who has survived the sinking of his ship. Likewise, the British and American films portraying the Battle of the Atlantic also benefitted from considerable military assistance.