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German U-boat 'real star' of new WWII drama

By Enda Brady, Sky News Correspondent in La Rochelle
A 240-tonne replica of a German U-boat is being moved to a French harbour ahead of filming for a major new Second World War drama series.
The plot for Das Boot will pick up where the critically acclaimed movie of the same name ended and will focus on both a fictional German U-boat crew and the French resistance trying to disrupt their activities.Sky Germany is behind the €25m eight-part drama series and filming gets under way this week in the French seaside town of La Rochelle.The naval base that the Nazis built using slave labour in the 1940s still stands, thanks largely to the 8m-thick reinforced concrete that they used.
German U-boat 'real star' of new WWII drama

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The new series follows on from the critically acclaimed 1981 Das Boot film
"This is an absolutely perfect location because the producers don't need to change anything," said French historian Herve Sinquin, who is working as a historical adviser on the project."This was where the Germans were based for five years and they built that structure to protect their U-boats."This stretch of Atlantic coast was hugely important to the German navy, so that's why they put so much effort into ensuring it couldn't be bombed. And it was bombed, but it withstood those Allied bombardments."La Rochelle was one of the last French towns to be liberated from Nazi control and the residents here are curious to see how the producers will take their famous harbour and coastline back to some of the darkest days in French history.
The 1981 Wolfgang Petersen Das Boot film was nominated for six Oscars and is widely regarded as the most important German film ever made."It had a huge impact all around the world," said producer Holger Reibiger, who is working on the new series."People watched that movie and saw that German cinema had something, it put us on the map. So yes, there's a big responsibility taking on a project of this scale, especially given the name and the history attached to it."Germans will watch this and no doubt they will compare, that is real pressure. I really hope we can do it justice."We have German stars, French stars and American stars in the cast, but if you ask me, the real star is the actual U-boat itself."The boat measures 67m and was shipped to western France from a base in Malta this week.Das Boot will be broadcast in the autumn of 2018.
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