U-Boote westwärts! (in English: U-boats Westward!) is a 1941 German war propaganda film promoting the Kriegsmarine. It concerns a U-boat mission in the Battle of the Atlantic and was produced by UFA. The U-boat used for the film was U-123, which would later play a major role in Operation Drumbeat.
|Directed by||Günther Rittau|
|Written by||Georg Zoch|
|Music by||Harald Böhmelt|
|Edited by||Johanna Meisel|
The film opens aboard a U-boat as it returns from a mission. It then follows the crew onshore the day before they ship off for their next mission—meeting their family and sweethearts, spending a last night at a club, and so forth. Then they ship off, soon sighting and boarding a Dutch merchant ship, which they inspect for contraband. The boarding of the ship is shown being done professionally and in a non-confrontational manner. While they are aboard the Dutch ship, a Royal Navy ship spots them and tries to torpedo them, but the U-boat ends up sinking it.
- Herbert Wilk as Kapitänleutnant Hoffmeister
- Heinz Engelmann as Olt. zur See Wiegand
- Joachim Brennecke as Lt. zur See v. Benedict
- Ernst Wilhelm Borchert as Olt. Griesbach
- Karl John as Matr. Ob. Gefr. Drewitz
- Clemens Hasse as Masch.-Maat Sonntag
- Ilse Werner as Irene Winterfeld
- Admiral Karl Dönitz as himself
The British are shown as cowardly and duplicitous. It also glamorizes death in battle: the British ship was torpedoed even though it had German POWs, and one dies, speaking of the honor of dying for the fatherland.
- Hertzstein, Robert Edwin (1978). The War That Hitler Won. New York: Putnam. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-399-11845-6.
- Gannon, Michael (1991). Operation Drumbeat: The Dramatic True Story of Germany's First U-boat Attacks Along the American Coast In World War II. New York: Harper Perennial. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-06-092088-3.