As the moon shines over the Atlantic Ocean, an ailing German submarine bobs to the surface. Seizing the opportunity, a nearby Allied destroyer fires on the U-boat, sending it spiraling down into the depths below. The crew abandons ship, soon to be captured and held as prisoners of war. All except the captain, that is, who masterminds an incredible escape.
The ill-fated U-boat in question was U-581, a 220 foot Type VIIC vessel. During their heyday in the ’40s, these were the most common type of German submarine. Even though their range was limited, they were considered to be reliable and durable fighting machines.
During World War II, the Atlantic Ocean had become the battleground for a naval war, as Allied forces maintained a blockade of Germany. Just as the Allies fought the Germans on land and in the air, their combined naval forces battled German U-boats and warships on a daily basis.