Above Us the Waves (film)

Above Us The Waves (Film)

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Above Us the Waves (film)

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Above Us the Waves is a 1955 war film directed by Ralph Thomas. It tells the story of human torpedo and midget submarine attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz. It is based on true-life attacks on the Tirpitz, first using manned torpedoes (Chariots), and then the Royal Navy's midget X-Craft submarines in Operation Source. Some of the original equipment was used in the film.


The Royal Navy is concerned about constant attacks on convoys by German submarine and having to keep "half the fleet" watching for the German battleship Tirpitz. The Tirpitz is 60 km from the sea inside a Norwegian fjord and attempts by the Royal Air Force to sink her have failed. Commander Fraser (Mills) is determined to prove that an attack by human torpedoes is practical, despite skepticism from the higher echelons that such an operation would be feasible,.

Mills assembles and trains a force of officers and rating to use the MkI manned torpedoes (Chariots) at their Scottish base. After receiving a refusal to allow the operation to go ahead from an admiral, the team use dummy mines to attack the admiral's own ship using the "Chariots".

An attack is authorised on the Tirpitz with the initial operation using the "Chariots". The attack fails and the crew are forced to abandon ship and land in Norway. They walk to neutral Sweden from where they are returned to Scotland.

For the next operation the crews are trained to use three small X-Craft submarines: X1, X2...
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