I was lucky enough to visit the Bavaria Film studio's in (strangely enough) Bavaria last week.
It was for a corporate work thing and it was all a big surprise as to where we were going.
So when we pulled up, I gibbered in excited reverence at what I was about to witness. Ok, so it was a short visit, and I was the only one of my work colleagues who had any real historical interest. But I love U Boats. A majestic piece of engineering, lived in for months at a time, by unshaven, pale and sweat stained submariners. The threat of death around every corner, and the knowledge that they were there to take down merchant shipping, merchant shipping that couldn't defend itself. The film Das Boot captures the psyche of the German submariner very well, the guilt, the fear, the claustrophobia, the honour and the dynamic of living underwater with a bunch of blokes you had to make do with, without fresh food, without even sunlight. Things we take for granted.
So what if there wasn't a real U Boat? I didn't care, I was on the set of Das Boot, a U Boat interior was lovingly put together using original materials from ships scrapyards. I got to clamber around it. Here is a picture of me releasing some pressure shit from some sort of valve to save my mates. I'm a fucking engineer. Yessss.... you may notice my curly locks are tied back, like some sort of faux new romantic Spandau Ballet inspired pirate from 1982.
If it was a real U-Boat, of course it would have smelt of wee, poo, diesel, B.O. And I couldn't possibly live on one, there are no chocolate croissants for breakfast, and I've have to share a bunk with a fat flatulent bloke from Liepzig called Heinrich. That wouldn't be good. Especially if he had crabs (watch the film) and needed a cuddle cos he misses his mum.