View of the war from Germany: 20 German war films

World War II was the bloodiest war in human history. Large-scale battles, colossal destruction, countless victims. Many people know the piercing Soviet films and spectacular American blockbusters about those times. German films about the war are not so popular, but no less interesting, because their creators, through dramatic collisions, try to understand how the Nazis came to power and the world slaughter that followed.

Defector (2020)

The novelty of the movie tells how a young Wehrmacht soldier returns to the eastern front after a vacation. For many, the defeat of the Third Reich is obvious, but the young man is devoted to Nazi ideals. Senseless orders from the command, falling in love with a Polish girl, the onslaught and persuasion of a comrade who intends to surrender to the Red Army lead the hero to a rethinking of life values.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:  
Der Überläufer

Genre:
Drama, military, history

Actors:  
Yannis Nivener, Malgorzata Mikolajczak, Sebastian Urtsedowski …

Country:  
Germany

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:  
16+


Submarine (TV series 2018)

The German war series, like the famous highly rated film of the same name, is based on the novel by Lothar-Günther Buchhain. After unraveling the code of the Enigma cipher machine, the Allied troops stepped up. The faithful crew of the submarine, led by a new captain, will have to go into the thick of things, test the limits of their capabilities and face the bitter truth of a senseless war.

Original title:  
Das Boot

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:  
Tom Vlachiha, Thierry Fremont, Leonard Scheicher …

Country:  
Germany, Czech Republic

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
18+


Captain (2017)

In the last days of the war, a 19-year-old Nazi army corporal deserts. The traitor is pursued by field gendarmes. A desperate fugitive stumbles upon an abandoned car, where he finds a suitcase full of things. The frozen guy puts on the uniform of a Luftwaffe captain. Posing as an officer, the deserter makes his way deeper and deeper into the rear, gradually creating his military unit from the stragglers and committing brutal war crimes.

Original title:  
Der Hauptmann

Genre:
Thriller, drama, history

Actors:  
Max Hubacher, Alexander Fehling, Sebastian Rudolf …

Country:  
Germany, France, Poland, China, Portugal

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
16+


The Invisibles (TV series 2016)

The military series produced in Germany again touches on the terrible theme of the Holocaust. The flames of World War II are gradually engulfing Europe. Four Jews are trying to survive under the most anti-Semitic and misanthropic regime in history. To hide from the ubiquitous Nazis, the heroes decide to hide in full view of the enemy – in the very heart of Berlin.

Original title:
Die Unsichtbaren

Genre:
Drama, military, biography

Actors:
Max Mauff, Alice Dwyer, Ruby O. Fi…

Country:
Germany

Rating:
IMDb – 7.2


August Mist (2016)

As the planet is torn apart by worldwide conflict, a gypsy boy ends up in a hospital in southern Germany. In a sinister institution , doctors do not treat anyone, but experiment on children of “lower” races. Even in such a terrible place, the outgoing kid manages to make friends. Now the boy with a strong character and faith in the best faces a difficult task: not only to survive himself, but also to save his friends.

Original title:  
Nebel im August

Genre:  
Drama, military

Actors:  
Ivo Pitzker, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Schubert …

Country:  
Germany

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:  
16+


Blow Up Hitler (2015)

The list of the best feature films about the Second World War, shown from the perspective of the Germans, continues with a historical drama based on real events. Poland has already fallen, and Nazism is preparing to continue its triumphal march across Europe. On the anniversary of the Beer Putsch, Hitler is due to address his party comrades in Munich. A simple German worker decides to put an end to the bloody dictator and prepares an assassination attempt alone.

Original title:
Elser

Genre:
Drama, history, military

Actors:
Christian Friedel, Katarina Schüttler, Burghart Klaussner …

Country:
Germany, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Rommel (2012)

One of the best commanders of the Third Reich, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, was sent to strengthen the western borders, where the Allied troops were going to land. The Field Marshal General comes up with a way to turn the Atlantic Wall into an insurmountable obstacle. The top leadership does not support the ideas of the commander, which leads to uncoordinated actions during the landing of the enemy. When, after being wounded, Rommel, who has acquaintances among the participants in the July 20 conspiracy, ends up in the hospital, he is faced with a fatal choice.

Original title:
Rommel

Genre:
Action, drama, military

Actors:
Ulrich Tukur, Tim Bergmann, Johannes Silberschneider …

Country:
Germany, France, Austria

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Prodigy (2011)

The German film about the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 offers a look at the terrible events of those years through the eyes of children. Two child prodigies live in Ukraine – talented children -musicians from a Jewish family. The outbreak of hostilities threatens with imminent death for both parents and gifted offspring. The family of a German brewer is trying to save them from death in the dungeons of the SS.

Original title:
Wunderkinder

Genre:
Drama, military, music

Actors:
Gedeon Burkhard, Natalia Avelon, Catherine Flemming…

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.8


Max Schmeling: Fighter of the Reich (2010)

Biographical drama about the life of the famous boxer . An outstanding athlete wins the championship title when the Nazis come to power, and becomes one of the symbols of the regime. Married to a Jewish woman, the champion tries to use his privileged position to save his loved ones from the atrocities of a ruthless dictatorship. The growing tension in the country constantly puts the hero before a difficult moral choice.

Original title:  
Max Schmeling

Genre:
Drama, military, biography

Actors:  
Henry Maske, Heino Ferch, Vladimir Weigl …

Country:  
Germany, Croatia

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 4.6

Age restrictions:  
16+


Bridge (2008)

Dramatic war film about young German soldiers. The Third Reich is living its last weeks, but still resists the onslaught of the allies, which are rapidly advancing from the east and west. In a small town, six teenagers from the Hitler Youth are ordered to hold a strategically important bridge at all costs. The guys are selflessly devoted to the oath and are ready to fight the advancing American troops to the last drop of blood.

Original title:
Die Brücke

Genre:
Military, drama, history

Actors:
Francois Gesk, Frank Potente, Lars Steinhöfel …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 4.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Last Hand Movement (2006)

In the midst of the war hard times, the Nazi administration decided to completely clear Berlin of Jews. Tens of thousands of prisoners were sent on trains to concentration camps for certain death. A real hell due to hunger, crowding, heat and thirst begins already on the way. The people traveling in one of the trains are plotting an escape, but the fateful destination called Auschwitz is getting closer and closer.

Original title:
Der letzte Zug

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Gedeon Burkhard, Lale Yavas, Lena Beyerling …

Country:
Germany, Czech Republic

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.6


Ghetto (2005)

During the Great Patriotic War, a group of Jewish actors, artists and musicians created a theater in Nazi-occupied Vilnius . Selfless artists are constantly threatened with death, but the creative elite does not lose their presence of mind and continues to do what they love with full dedication. Against the backdrop of creative accomplishments and growing anxiety for the future, a relationship is established between a theater actress and a German officer.

Original title:
Vilniaus getas

Genre:
Military, history

Actors:
Heino Ferch, Sebastian Hülk, Erika Marozhan…

Country:
Germany, Lithuania

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.8


Death Academy (2004)

A popular German film about the pupils of Napola, where Nazi leaders for Germany were trained during World War II. A talented young man from a poor family who excelled in boxing receives an invitation to study at an elite school. Against the will of his father, the guy goes to an educational institution. Here, teenagers are engaged in physical training, study National Socialism and even hunt Russian prisoners. After the suicide of a nonconformist friend, a diligent student changes his outlook on life.

Original title:  
Napola – Elite für den Führer

Genre:
Drama, military, sports

Actors:  
Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Jonas Jagermayr …

Country:  
Germany

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
16+


Bunker (2004)

Soviet troops storm Berlin. The Nazi elite, led by Hitler, took refuge in a bunker . The atmosphere is permeated with anxiety and doom. The Fuhrer rejects the offer of escape and demands that in the name of the coming victory, no reckoning should be made with the victims. However, imminent defeat is becoming increasingly clear even to Hitler’s loyal supporters. The script of one of the most rated films about the Second World War is based on the book of the German historian Joachim Fest.

Original title:  
Der Untergang

Genre:  
Drama, military, biography, history

Actors:  
Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfuch …

Country:  
Germany, Austria, Italy

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:  
16+


Edelweiss Pirates (2004)

Based on a true story, the war film tells the story of a group of young men from Cologne who take the risk of opposing the fascist regime. Young informals despise Nazi ideology, are fond of jazz, and get into brawls with boys from the Hitler Youth. A criminal entangled in the ranks of the movement suggests moving on to more radical actions, which attracts the attention of the Gestapo.

Original title:
Edelweisspiraten

Genre:
Drama, military, history

Actors:
Ivan Stebunov, Bela B. Felsenheimer, Jochen Nickel…

Country:
Germany, Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.1


Hunting for hares (1994)

Several hundred Russian prisoners of war awaiting execution in the death camp decided on a daring escape. Someone was shot by guards, someone died of frostbite on the very first night, but dozens of fugitives managed to hide in the vicinity. The army, police and volunteers from among the locals are on their feet to find and destroy everyone. While some, with weapons in their hands, catch the fugitives, others, despite all the dangers, are ready to hide the exhausted people.

Original title:
Hasenjagd

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Elfriede Irrall, Rainer Egger, Oliver Broumis…

Country:
Austria, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1


The Last Submarine (1993)

The bloodiest military conflict in human history is coming to an end. A German submarine is supposed to deliver secret instructions for making nuclear weapons to Japan. On the way, the submariners are overtaken by the news of the surrender of Germany. The opinions of the crew members differ radically. Some believe that it is necessary to surface and surrender to the allies, while others insist on continuing the mission.

Original title:
Das letzte U-Boot

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Ulrich Mue, Ulrich Tukur, Kaoru Kobayashi …

Country:
Germany, USA, Japan, Austria

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.0


Stalingrad (1992)

A look at the most grandiose battle of the Great Patriotic War from the other side of the front. An elite unit of the Wehrmacht is fighting against the Soviet troops in the ruined city. Cold, lack of provisions, constant shelling undermine faith in ideals and readiness to carry out the absurd orders of the command. The constant stay on the verge between life and death brings the characters of the film to madness.

Original title:
Stalingrad

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Dominik Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Jochen Nickel …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Europe, Europe (1990)

A war film about how a Jewish family, fleeing from the Nazis, flees from Germany to Poland. But in 1939, the Nazis come there too. The parents manage to smuggle their son to the USSR, where the child ends up in an orphanage . When the Great Patriotic War begins, a smart boy, in order to avoid execution, pretends to be a German. A well-spoken child becomes the son of a regiment in one of the units of the Wehrmacht.

Original title:
Europa Europa

Genre:
Drama, military, history

Actors:
Solomon Perel, Marco Hofschneider, Rene Hofschneider …

Country:
Germany, France, Poland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Submarine (1981)

A large-scale confrontation between the naval forces of Germany and Great Britain is unfolding in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A German submarine is heading into this dangerous theater of operations. Submariners live according to a strict schedule, and in their free time they fight lice and try to distract themselves from hostilities: they come up with jokes, indulge in memories of the old days and beloved girls. Arriving at the destination will turn the life of the crew into a living hell.

Original title:
Das Boot

Genre:
Thriller, drama, military

Actors:
Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeier, Klaus Wennemann …

Country:
Germany (FRG)

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions :
16+


Rating
( No ratings yet )
Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

Leave a Reply

My Release Date - schedule of all popular series
Support Ukraine