Watching X Company, I was remindedÂ of the Battle of the St. Lawrence, when German U-boats patrolled the Gulf and mouth of the river during the Second World War in search of Allied ships to sink. In Tuesday’s new episode of Hell Below, attacks are ordered along the east coast of the United States in an attempt to threaten the war effort.
In “Hitler’s Revenge,” airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel Canada,Â the German Commander of U-boats, Karl DÃ¶nitz, wanted to follow up the Japanese attack on Pearl Harborâ€”which caused the U.S. to enter the warâ€”with a full-scale assault along the eastern seaboard. With men like Kapitanleutnant Reinhard Hardegen at the helm ofÂ U-123,Â DÃ¶nitz hoped Hardegen and the captains of four more Type 9 submarines would get the job done via Operation Drumbeat. There’s a ton of interesting facts revealed in the episode, including background intoÂ Hardegen’s pre-submarine war career, the truly awful conditions inside the U-boats and the lengths crews would go to make 80-day missions aboard them somewhat livable.
There are plenty of action and tense moments. The plan to attack off the coast of New York City is so rushed no accurate maps of the water depth are available andÂ Hardegen has to resort to a city guide and map to figure out what The Big Apple looks like. As with past episodes of Hell Below, stunning recreations, CGI and real war footage bring these harrowing tales to life.
Is Hardegen’s mission a success?Â Tune in to find out.
Hell BelowÂ airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel Canada. You can watch past episodes viaÂ Smithsonian Channel Canada’s website.