We Dive at Dawn
is a 1943 war film directed by Anthony Asquith, starring John Mills and Eric Portman as Royal Navy submariners in the Second World War. It was written by Val Valentine and J. B. Williams with uncredited assistance from Frank Launder. It was produced by Edward Black (producer). The film's sets were designed by Walter Murton.
Lieutenant Taylor (John Mills) and the rest of the crew of the submarine Sea Tiger
are given a week's leave after an unsuccessful patrol. Hobson (Eric Portman) goes home to save his marriage, while a reluctant Corrigan (Niall MacGinnis) heads off to his wedding. Then the crew are called back to duty, much to Corrigan's relief, though he later has second thoughts. Sea Tiger
is assigned the top secret mission of sinking Nazi Germany's new battleship, the Brandenburg
, before she enters the Kiel Canal to begin sea trials in the Baltic Sea.
On their way, the submarine picks up three shot-down Luftwaffe pilots from a Rescue buoy#World War II rescue buoy. When the submarine enters a naval mine, an airman panics and reveals that the Brandenburg
is further ahead than believed. Taylor decides to take a desperate gamble and enter the German-controlled Baltic in pursuit.
When the Brandenburg
is spotted, Sea Tiger
fires all its torpedoes, then dives to evade German destroyers dropping depth charges. By expelling oil and other debris, Taylor fools the Germans into believing that the submarine has sunk. They leave, but Sea Tiger
no longer has enough fuel to return to England.
Taylor decides to have his crew "abandon ship" near a Denmark island. Hobson, a former merchant seaman who speaks German and knows the port on the island, persuades Taylor to let him go ashore in one of the airmen's uniforms to find oil. He succeeds. Sea Tiger
uels while Hobson and other crewmen hold off the German garrison.
When they return to base, the crew hear they sank the Brandenburg
. Waiting for them are Corrigan's fiancée and Hobson's wife and son.
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- John Mills as Lieutenant Taylor, Captain
- Louis Bradfield as Lieutenant Brace, First Officer
- Ronald Millar as Lieutenant Johnson, Third Officer
- Jack Watling as Lieutenant Gordon, Navigating Officer
- Reginald Purdell as C/P.O. (Chief Petty Officer) Dabbs, Coxswain
- Caven Watson as C/P.O. Duncan, Chief Engine Room Artificer
- Niall MacGinnis as C/P.O. Mike Corrigan, Torpedo Gunner's Mate
- Eric Portman as L/S (Leading Seaman) Hobson, on hydrophones
- Leslie Weston as L/S Tug Wilson, Leading Torpedo Operator
- Norman Williams as "Canada", Periscope Operator
- Lionel Grose as "Spud", Torpedo Operator
- David Peel (actor) as "Oxford", Helmsman
- Philip Godfrey as "Flunkey", Steward
- Robb Wilton as "Pincher", Cook
- Walter Gotell as the ardent Nazi pilot, uncredited
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We Dive at Dawn
was filmed at Gaumont-British Studios in London,</blockquote>
Exterior shots used the subs P614 and P615 (with the final number painted over to make P61). These two vessels were Oruç Reis class submarine that had been part of a consignment ordered by the Turkish Navy from the British company Vickers in 1939. But with the outbreak of World War II, the four boats were requisitioned by the Royal Navy and designated the P611
class in the British Fleet. They were similar in design but slightly smaller than the British S class submarine (1931).
The film has been issued on VHS by Madacy Records and Timeless Multimedia among others, and on DVD by ITV DVD and Carlton.
Category:1940s war films
Category:British war films
Category:World War II submarine films
Category:World War II films made in wartime
Category:Films directed by Anthony Asquith