Directed by: Uwe Janson
Countries & Regions: Germany, United Kingdom
Length: 171 mins
Region: Region 0
Released: 14 March 2011
Cat No: FHED2814
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The Sinking of the Laconia
BBC drama based on real events in World War Two. In September 1942, a German U-boat sinks the British ocean liner RMS Laconia 600 miles... Read More
A truly moving story of integrity, honour, friendship and the triumph of the human spirit in the most incredible situations, this is a powerful TV mini-series from Alan Bleasdale, acclaimed creator of GBH and Boys from the Blackstuff, returning after 10 years with a powerful true WW2 based drama.
Lindsey Duncan heads an excellent cast. Brian Cox stars as Captain Sharp, captain of the RMS Laconia, a luxury cruise ship turned troop ship carrying civilians, children, wounded soldiers and Italian prisoners of war, which, on 12th September 1942, was attacked by a German U-boat and hit by two torpedoes while sailing 130 miles off Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
As the ship began to sink, the commander of the U-156, Werner Hartenstein (Ken Duken), found out that the passengers were prisoners of war and civilians and instructed his crewmen to save as many of the shipwrecked survivors as possible. During the next few days, the crew of the U-156 saved a total of 400 people, with 200 crammed on to the deck of the surfaced submarine and another 200 in lifeboats towed behind it. As Hartenstein arranged for messages to be sent to German U-boat Command and the Allies to organise a full rescue of the survivors, in a terrifying twist of fate, a wrongly briefed U.S. B-24 bomber moved in to attack…