During World War II Germany sent out 40,000 U-boat sailors. 30,000 of them never returned. Das Boot is director Wolfgang Petersen's masterpiece following the young and inexperienced crew of the ill-fated U-96. Ordered to patrol the Atlantic and sink an armada bringing supplies to Britain, U-96 comes up against the firepower of the allies forcing the new crew to brace themselves against both the Allied depth charges and their inner fear whilst their experienced captain (convincing played by Jürgen Prochnow), tries to inspire confidence and turn his crew into seasoned mariners (despite his lack of faith in his fanatic superiors and a feeling that the war may not be going so well for Germany). The story is also told through the watchful eyes of a young journalist sent to observe the mission. Acting as a surrogate for the audience, he slowly realises that the propaganda and heroic tales he has read are not quite true to life and begins to understand the truth consists of overwhelming claustrophobia as well as sheer terror.