Lt. Hirsch Quotes in U-571 (2000)
Lt. Hirsch Quotes:
Lt. Hirsch: Last night at 0300 hours a British destroyer reported depth charging and sinking a German U-boat. However, sometime thereafter, Allied direction finding station triangulated a coded enemy radio signal to this position here near the chop line.
[indicates position on map]
Lt. Hirsch: We believe the U-boat was disabled, not sunk, and is drifting eastward on a four-knot current. Now, French resistance reported a resupply submarine sailed from the Lorient U-boat pens yesterday afternoon with engine parts and mechanics. Now, we believe it's gonna rendezvous with the disabled U-boat. On board that U-boat is this.
[picture of typewriter Enigma]
Ens. Keith Larson, Chief Torpedoman: A typewriter?
Lt. Hirsch: An Enigma code machine. It allows the German navy to communicate with it's submarines in secret, and our inability to decipher their messages is costing us this war. Mr. Coonan?
Marine Maj. Coonan: All right. This is basically a Trojan Horse operation. The S-33 will rendezvous with the U-boat, posing as the German resupply sub. I will lead a boarding party dressed in Kriegsmarine uniforms to the enemy submarine. We will take it by force and secure the Enigma. Any German survivors will be transferred to the S-33 and the U-boat will be scuttled.
Lt. Hirsch: The German resupply submarine will arrive at the rendezvous and will assume that the U-boat succumbed to its wounds and sank. The Germans must never suspect we have the Enigma. That is vital.
Lt. Pete Emmett: So it's a race?
Lt. Hirsch: Yes, effectively.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Who's the boarding party?
Marine Maj. Coonan: Well, since you're the X.O., you sir. Mr. Emmett, Mr. Larson, Mr. Hirsch and nine of your ship's company. The captain, of course, will remain onboard the S-33.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Mr. Coonan, our boys are submarine sailors, not combat marines.
Marine Maj. Coonan: The boys onboard that U-boat are sailors too. Your men'll be ready, Lieutenant. I'll train them myself.
Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren: You've come to the right boat.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: [whispering] Tank, you alive back there?
Seaman Charles 'Tank' Clemens: Yes, sir.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Good. Port ahead two-thirds.
Seaman Charles 'Tank' Clemens: Port ahead two-thirds. Aye, sir.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: [pulls out paper] Tank... can you fix the stern tube?
Seaman Charles 'Tank' Clemens: I don't know, Mr. Tyler.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: I don't want an "I don't know." Can you fix the torpedo tube? Yes... or no?
Seaman Charles 'Tank' Clemens: Yes, sir. I think I can.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Thank you, Tank. Chief, make depth 1-6-0 meters.
Chief Klough: That's more than five hundred feet.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Take us down, Chief.
Chief Klough: Aye, sir. One-six-zero meters. Twenty degrees dive both planes.
Eddie, Seaman Ronald 'Rabbit' Parker, Torpedoman: Twenty degrees dive, aye, sir.
Eddie: Mr. Tyler, sir, uh, do you plan on going up against a destroyer with only one fish in the tube and busted motor?
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Yes, I am, Eddie.
Lt. Hirsch: How wise is that, Lieutenant?
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Not very. But have a look. Chief.
[while speaking, drawing and showing Chief and Hirsch plan on paper]
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: There is no way a two-knot submarine can get in firing position against a thirty-knot destroyer unless we go deep. At one hundred sixty meters, we can shoot out a bunch of junk from the forward tubes. It will resurface and create a debris field. Now the destroyer's going to go to the center of that debris field, shut off its engines to make it real nice and quiet and do an acoustic search to make sure we're dead. But we're not. See, we're here, on our way up to periscope depth. All right, principle of ascent velocity. We let our positive buoyancy pull us up and away from the destroyer. And when we surface we'll be showing it our ass at seven hundred yards. That is a pefect setup for a stern shot on a stationary target. Boom. It don't get much prettier than that.
Chief Klough: All right, Mr. Tyler. Passing 1-3-0 meters.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Very well. Rabbit, I need you to load Mazzola's body into tube three and put an escape jacket on him to make sure he floats.
Seaman Ronald 'Rabbit' Parker, Torpedoman: Wanna shoot him out like garbage?
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: [pause; slowly turns around] His body is gonna save our lives.
Seaman Ronald 'Rabbit' Parker, Torpedoman: I'll say a few words for him.
Lt. Hirsch: Mr. Tyler.
Lieutenant Andrew Tyler: Yeah.
Lt. Hirsch: If you can't take out that destroyer, the danger is not that some of us may die. It's that some of us may live. These men have seen and heard things that must not be revealed to the enemy - our secrets, such as our radar capabilities, and our understanding of German encryption. If we fall into German hands alive, we will be tortured without mercy. Either you succeed in sinking that ship, or you see to it that none of us survive to be captured.
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