Under Ten Flags

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German raider, using various disguises, forces British ship to surrender. Story told from German point of view.

ACTORS : Van Heflin, Charles Laughton, Mylène Demongeot

YEAR OF RELEASE : 1960

SHIPPING COST : Postage in Australia Free

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Storyline

Under Ten Flags In 1941, the British Admiralty is worried about the large number of Allied ships being destroyed in the Indian Ocean by a mysterious enemy vessel. Initially, British Admiral Russell suspects that a German submarine is the culprit. However, the few revealed pieces of the mystery puzzle rather point to a German Navy surface warship.The British don’t know it yet but the enemy ship in question is the German Navy raider Atlantis commanded by Captain Reger.His success in sneaking upon unsuspecting enemy vessels is due in large part on Atlantis’ ability to disguise itself in a benign, non-combatant, neutral ship.To achieve this ruse, the Atlantis uses props, camouflage, paint, fake foreign flags and even theatrical costumes for its crew to make itself appear something it’s not.When Atlantis is close to its prey, it reveals its true identity and opens fire sinking the duped victim. Finally realizing the truth, British Admiral Russell decides to set traps in order to persuade Atlantis to … Has striking similarities to the sinking of HMAS Sydney by the German surface raider Kormorant.

It’s like “The Enemy Below”, but without the sub.

Under Ten Flags Sadly, this movie has not been commercially available for many years. It is story about a rarely mentioned weapon of WWII, the German Surface Raider. They were ordinary merchant ships lined with amour plating and medium-sized navel guns. Unlike the famous U-boats which could hide beneath the sea, Surface Raiders relied on disguise to blend in with normal shipping traffic until they could find a lone ship they could surprise and sink.

This is the story of the hunt to find and destroy the best of them, the ship Atlantis. It is a story of bravery and ingenuity on both sides as the British Admiralty is caught up in a vast game of hide-n-seek with a clever adversary.

I choose to write this review largely because I have, over the years read a few rather poor opinions expressed about it. I can’t wait for it to reappear somewhere, someday. My only explanation as to why someone who is a fan of naval war films would not thoroughly enjoy this one is the fact that the last three times I saw it over fifteen years ago the reels of the movie were in the wrong order! (I swear). That dampens the suspense considerably and gives it a very muddled, confused look. But even mixed up it beats a lot of movies I’ve seen.

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