Documentary telling the true story of the sinking of the liner Laconia by a German U-boat in 1942 through the eyes of six survivors.
Six hundred miles from the coast of Africa, in September 1942, a German U-boat, U-156, sinks the British troopship Laconia which is en route from Cape Town to the United Kingdom.
When realising that there are POWs and civilians on board, and that they are facing certain death without rescue, U-boat Commander Werner Hartenstein makes a decision which goes against the orders of German high command. The U-boat surfaces and Hartenstein instructs his men to save as many of the shipwrecked survivors as they can. Hartenstein also attempts to dive with all the survivors on board and, though this puts the submarine into a crash dive, control is regained and it resurfaces. He also has a Red Cross flag displayed and a message sent to the Allies to organise a rescue of the survivors. The Italian prisoners are taken off U-156 by another U-boat.