In the 2018 'Das Boot' TV series, the crew of the U-Boat mutinies against their captain as they perceive him to be too cautious and unwilling to engage the enemy.

Is there any historical record of a mutiny on board a U-Boat during WW2?

  • 3
    While the original (1981) "Das Boot" was and is widely hailed as one of the most realistic depictions of war, the 2018 "Das Boot" should mostly be ignored as another example of a big name being commercially milked for all it's worth. It's entertainment, no more.
    – DevSolar
    Feb 12 '19 at 10:17
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    From the original (1981) book "Das Boot" I can't remember of anything even distantly related to mutiny happening. Parts of the crew disliked the First Officer for being a young Nazi prick, while the crew felt great respect for their captain, or Kaleun (a shortening of the german Kapitäns-Leutnant).
    – Dohn Joe
    Feb 12 '19 at 13:17
  • @DohnJoe: There's a scene of insubordination, when August Johann (the diesel operator) cracks under the stress, leaves his battle station, and attempts to get out of the (submerged...) boat. The commander leaves for his bunk, and by the time he returns (with a pistol in hand), other crewmen have ushered Johann back to his battle station. There's a second scene where Johann later apologizes for this, and asks if he'll be facing a court martial for this.
    – DevSolar
    Feb 14 '19 at 12:08

It appears there was something like a transient mutiny, or 'something' on U530

Investigators from the Argentine Navy came to the conclusion that there had been a mutiny on U 530, according to which Commander Wermuth did not command the boat continuously. Since the logbook or war diary was untraceable, the exact details of the voyage remained in the dark. Otto Wermuth was described as small and dark-haired. It was therefore suspected that the tall blonde Otto Wermuth, who had brought the boat to Mar del Plata harbour, had been a swindler who had boarded only shortly before, and had possibly only boarded shortly before on the Argentine coast. To support this view, it was argued that he had been very vague about the exact details of the voyage. In addition, Wermuth testified that the deck gun had been taken off the ship in Germany and left behind at the quay, while the crew unanimously stated that they had dismantled it and sunk it overboard into the Atlantic.
Src: German Wikipedia: U 530

Given the cloudy knowledge of that particular incident, there seem to be no historically approved mutinies of that kind depicted – on a u-boat.

But that doesn't mean there were no mutinies at all. There were 22000 death sentences during the war. It seems that the most famous mutiny was aboard a Minesweeper: M 612.

It looks like that is exactly that what was depicted in the series?

  • Do you have an English language source about the minesweeper mutiny?
    – nagamani
    Feb 11 '19 at 22:48
  • @nagamani On what level of credibility? On like, members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/maritime-2b.html ? More like statistics, more like… ? Feb 11 '19 at 22:55
  • Anything really, I'm not asking for primary sources but I would like to read a little mote than that one paragraph. Also I wasn't able to open that link directly but was able to archive it: archive.fo/89dZD
    – nagamani
    Feb 12 '19 at 5:55

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