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BLOCKADE [Main]

  • Other title(s): Q-SHIPS (GB 1928 - re-edited version) [related]
  • Country: GB
  • Year: 1932
  • Runtime: 67 mins
  • Description:
    British feature film giving a fictionalised account of the German naval blockade of Britain in 1917, and how it was countered with the aid of the Q-ships.

    (Reel 1) Off the British coast, U-boat 32 attacks merchant ships. The German captain, Stackmeyer, is saluted by his Admiral, who warns that the blockade of Britain will be tightened; later, the U-boats declare war on Allied commercial ships.(Reel 2) American merchant ship harassed by U-boat - America gets involved in the war at sea.(Reel 3) Seamen's tavern - merchant crew and Royal Navy men drink on the eve of setting sail together. A plan has been evolved to conceal a large gun on board a merchant ship, lure a U-boat into surfacing, then attack it. At sea, the plan works, and the U-boat is badly damaged and forced to retreat.(Reel 4) The German Admiralty learns of this, and warns the U-boat crews. Engagement at sea - U-boat taken by surprise when depth charges are dropped upon it. The U-boat cuts off its engines and stays at the bottom.(Reel 5) Eventually it has to surface for air, and finds that it has escaped. Another U-boat, sent to attack the British Fleet at Scapa Flow, is tracked on Asdic and destroyed as it penetrates the British lines of defence.(Reel 6) Stackmeyer is placed in charge of the U-boat campaign. At sea, his U-boat attacks the British Q-ship with a torpedo - he watches as the members of the merchant crew enter the lifeboats and abandon ship.(Reel 7) The U-boat warily surfaces, thinking the ship is empty, only to discover that it is a trap - the Royal Navy gunners are still on board. The guns appear and the U-boat is sunk. (Many of the Q-ship's crew are awarded VCs - a list appears on screen). The German fleet surrenders, all the U-boats are captured. The film concludes with an epigraph: Thus wrote an English chronicler five hundred years ago - 'Keep then the Sea that is the wall of England: And then is England saved by God his hand'.

  • Keywords: EFG1914
    World War I
  • Provenance: Imperial War Museums
  • Provider: Imperial War Museums
  • Production company:New Era Productions
  • Director:Croise, Hugh
  • Colour: Black & White
  • Sound: Without sound