U-571 More Hollywood Propaganda

This was originally posted in October 2013 and somehow it disappeared so here is a reprise

Yesterday evening I happened to be watching TV, a program named Command Centre and the War office told me that there was a movie on later that might interest me: U571.

Now normally movies about naval events of WWII are of interest to me so I decided to have a look in. It took me all of ten minutes to realize that this movie was a load of rubbish. Or worse.

As per usual it is American propaganda about how they won the war without any help thereby saving the free world from, in this case Nazi tyranny!

To say this movie is a pack of lies is being overly generous; obviously produced to remind and make the citizens of the good ol’ US of A feel good about themselves and proud of their armed services hero’s; for are not all servicemen & women considered as such once donning the uniform.

From what I could see and gathered from my ten minutes of viewing, the US Navy were going to send one of their submarines to capture the Nazi’s ‘Enigma’ machine. This movie is set in 1942, 6 months after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

For those unfamiliar with the Enigma’ machine it was a brilliant coding machine used by the German Navy to transmit messages to and from their vessels especially the U-Boats (Unterseeboot = Undersea boat).

The British for all their brilliance in decoding at Bletchley Park were unable to crack the Germans code The only hope was for them to capture an  Enigma’. from the Germans.

This they did quite successfully in 1941, the 9th May 1941 to be exact (which just happens to be one year before the Yanks decided that they’d go and get their own) when a Royal Navy Corvette the HMS Aubretia located the U-110 with ASDIC the forerunner to Sonar; the ‘Aubretia’ in company with HMS Broadway attacked with their depth charges and severely damaged U-110 so much so that the boat surfaced and the boats crew were given the order to abandon ship. Which technically speaking is incorrect as a submarine is not a ship but a boat, that’s not being pedantic that’s being accurate!

However, the sub didn’t sink as expected, the Captain of the sub tried swimming back to his command so that he could scuttle her but never made it. He was either shot by the British or drowned.

Anyway a boarding party from HMS Bulldog that had come to join in the fun was sent aboard and to their delight managed to get not only the “Enigma” machine but also the German code books.

HMS BULLDOG & U110

From then on once the machine and books were at Bletchley Park ;  England was able to decode all radio transmissions from the German Naval HQ (who had no idea that the English had captured all these goodies) and whilst the Germans went merrily on their way sending messages to their subs, the RN knew every step they were taking.

In January of 1942 a month after the US was forced into the war the British advised President Roosevelt that they had this machine.

So now we have some idiotic Yanks in Hollywood deciding that they’d change the true course of history. Why do they do this? Surely they know that many, if not most American have no idea what goes on outside of the United States; many would be hard pressed to know what goes on outside their own state I imagine. Is it just to build up self esteem? To make them look good in their own eyes? You really have to wonder what makes these Hollywood types tick!

Needless to say I didn’t watch anymore of the movie once the penny dropped; why insult my intelligence?

But just for the information of any of my American chums who may read this diatribe; there was a ‘U-571′ and she was sunk by the crew of anRAAF (the Royal Australian Air Force) Sunderland of 461 Squadron on the 28th January 1944 two days after we celebrated Australia Day. What a nice birthday present. 🙂

(The photograph is of  HMS Bulldog and the abandoned U-Boat U 110 taken on the 9th May 1941 courtesy Wikipedia)

26 Comments on “U-571 More Hollywood Propaganda

    • It’s not that we’re sensitive it’s that we are not overly fond of distortion of the facts, I reprised this as I received notification of a blog where once again the US Navy got an Enigma; http://donmooreswartales.com/2015/06/12/jack-mcclinden/ and here’s the tale of one of the men who helped capture this machine. in 1944. , by which time the biggest threat and the Battle of the Atlantic was just about over.
      There was one Yankee, a Wall Street banker (Alex H Cherry) who broke the US Neutrality Act went to England served in the RN rising to the rank of Commander RNVR and recieving an OBE who actually served in the Atlantic, “YankeeRN’ is the title of his story which he wrote shortly after the war, He along with several other Americans went to England to fight the Germans right from the start. Strangely one never hears about these men. There is a plaque in the Painted Hall at Greenwich, (where Nelsons body lay before burial) commemorating these brave men. Copies of the book YankeeRN are available still in the US on Amazon well worth reading. I had a copy given to me for my 16th birthday and it was this book that aroused my lasting interest in the history of the RN and things naval.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder why they do this, is it an inferiority complex? Always trying to boost their own importance and showing their impotence.

      Like

      • You infer more than might be there . . . the Wiki entry says they basically did it for the money. It stands to reason that when one makes entertainment that needs to be profitable, one might take some liberties (as they did with Pearl Harbor and any other movie aimed at certain audiences). I presume British movies do the same (if I ever watched one).

        The credits do reference the British exploits, but like all “adaptations” the disclaimers are not prominently displayed.

        My personal opinion is that it was easier making the protagonists American than teaching a bunch of actors to mumble through their dialogue with a funny accent and without moving their lips. Of course, that’s conjecture on my part.

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        • That’s my point they do it for money but I think you’ll agree that the amount of ignorant people who get their education and take whatever hollywood churns out as being fact is astounding; you are not an average American no matter how you might wish toportray yourself and I’m sure you would treat the stuff (your favorite (US) word by the looks of things) that Hollywood churns out with your usual caustic humor (US)

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      • I’ll let you in on a secret . . . I know many, many people who are not taken in by what Hollywood churns out. That said, there are many who accept the fantasy, both here and around the world.

        I don’t think the capacity for self-delusion and wishful thinking is uniquely American; I think it is uniquely human.

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        • I too know many people who are not taken in by Hollywood but there are a damned sight more that are; it’s just that we don’t tend to meet and socialize with them because they bore us, we, you and I are snobs in certain respects now if that doesn’t get you up in arms then I’m a Dutchman’s Uncle! 😈

          Liked by 1 person

      • Me, a snob! Au contraire, mon ami! I give all equal consideration . . . until they prove their lesser worth.

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  1. You have to remember Beari that Hollywood’s purpose is to entertain, not teach. To get a ‘movie’ with facts [or a close facsimile there of] you need to locate a documentary. Don’t ever take Hollywood seriously, you might as well say that Bollywood or Dollywood made the movie. Even during WWII, Hollywood’s job was to amuse the public, keep the morale up and get young men to enlist – not create propaganda for the world. [the gov’t and military had their own men for that] Come on, Beari – The rest of the world give us here in the States enough bad press.

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    • I’m sorry gp actually I should have explained my reasons for reblogging this post; it was a post that I read that actually had no connection to the movie but reminded me of my post. http://donmooreswartales.com/2015/06/12/jack-mcclinden/ this post if you read it the same way as I read it will give the idea that the USN did something unique whereas in fact the Royal Navy had actually done what the USN did 3 years earlier.

      As you are aware or at least I hope you are gp, I am very fond of America and the American people and have many good chums/buddy’s a couple of which I have actually met and who’s company I’ve enjoyed. I know that the US does get a lot of bad press, some deserved much not deserved, just as the English do, perhaps the English get put down quite a deal more than the Yanks. I also understand the American need for morale boosting.

      I assure you I cherish my many Yankee chums/buddy’s of which you are now one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s just that so many people think the US actually IS like Hollywood. Some people refuse to believe that the movies & TV are fantasy!

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        • I’m sorry about the delay in replying to your comment gp I understand and agree entirely with what you said. But it was not the Hollywood movie that triggered off this reblog but this post which I’d read that day; http://donmooreswartales.com/2015/06/12/jack-mcclinden/ now I do believe that this post reinforces that movie in the sense that it shows the US Navy actually did something as amazing and exciting as the capture of a German U-Boat complete with the ‘Enigma’ machine for which the leader of the boarding party from the USS Pillsbury was given a Congressional Medal of Honor.

          Frankly I fail to see what was so heroic about that deed making it worthy of the US highest award for bravery, which again appears to signify a greater degree of heroism than was actually needed or displayed. The U-boat war was pretty well under control in 1944 thanks to the sterling efforts of Capt. F.J. Walker RN DSO and 3 Bars; and his Second Escort Group, which had Lt Alex H Cherry RNVR (ex Wall Street banker serving as No.1; the title bestode on the second in command of a warship of the RN ) on HMS Wren. A bit of useless information

          By comparison to the the Royal Navy officer who retrieved the Enigma from the U110 it was easy going, the U110 was actually in the the same condition as the U505 and was taken in tow, but sank whilst being towed being the difference. The leader of the HMS Bulldogs party did have a more nerve wracking time than his US counterpart in that at that time the Battle of the Atlantic was raging in full force and whilst the party were on the U-110 stripping it there was an enemy submarine warning and the boarding party were left onboard the disababled and barely seaworthy sub whilst the HMS Bulldog went haring off after another U-boat and didn’t return for some time. The Sub-Lieutenant left on the U110 didn’t get a Mention in Despatches, (just about the lowest award you can think of given out by the British War Office), it was just ” another day at the office”, his fellow officers probably shouted him a couple of extra gins in the Wardroom when he got back onboard the Bulldog. The Royal Navy ships are not dry.

          Liked by 1 person

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