NAZI TITANIC: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship

NAZI TITANIC: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship

ROBERT P. WATSON    Book Number: 87586    Product format: Paperback

Hitler was fascinated by the power of film and Leni Riefenstahl's ground-breaking chronicle of the 1934 Nuremberg Rally gave him the idea of harnessing film to his propaganda effort. Following the German defeat in the Battle of Britain, Hitler's propaganda minister Goebbels resolved to create a German film industry to counteract anti-Nazi films such as the Charlie Chaplin spoof The Great Dictator and popular British patriotic films such as In Which We Serve. When screenwriter Harald Bratt proposed a film about the sinking of the Titanic, Goebbels thought this would be the blockbuster he was looking for, feeding Hitler's fascination with large ships and presenting the tragedy as "a national disaster hugely embarrassing for Britain". The title role would be taken by one of Germany's biggest ships, Cap Ancona, and Bratt's script was rewritten to have more action, with Ismay, the Titanic's owner, demanding that the ship should sail through icy waters while a German hero was the only person to see the dangers. Herbert Selpin was chosen as director, a man already legendary for rudeness to his actors. When he called his extras from the German military "a bunch of assholes and braggarts" Selpin was arrested and his "suicide" in prison followed. Meanwhile Goebbels realised that a sinking ship captained by a foolish leader could be interpreted quite otherwise from how he intended, and the film was a withdrawn. Cap Ancona ended her life in a horrific incident in the last days of the war, transporting concentration camp victims from Neuengamme and mistakenly sunk by the RAF Typhoons of the 198th led by Captain Johnny R. Baldwin, the most accomplished Typhoon pilot of the war. Papers relating to this disaster have not yet been released. 292pp, paperback, photos.
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ISBN 9780306825439
Browse these categories as well: Transport, War & Militaria

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