Das Boot: Lots and Lots of Lemons

I got through the first hour of Das Boot today–good, intense stuff; I just had to run off to a neighbor’s party for a bit. Anyway, I noticed that the officers seem to be chowing down on lemons whenever they’re dining. I assume this was to keep away the scurvy, but was there some other reason? A local pancake house near me that has German pancakes on the menu serves them with lemons. Is it a German thing?

:rolleyes: Dammit, I meant to start a whole new thread.
I swear I wasn’t drinkin’ nuthin’ but sodas at that party!! :confused:


Y’all been drinkin’ lemons.
All y’all been drinkin’ lemons.


I have no cite for this, but I believe lemons used to be regarded as a cure/preventative for motion sickness.

It used to be said of destroyers (at least those which had been deployed in the North Atlantic) that they would roll and pitch in drydock out of sheer habit; I rather imagine that it would be worse in a U-boat, seeing as it’s smaller and lighter.

The correct answer is “limes.” :wink:

But yeah, in the early 40s (yeah, the 1740s, but nobody knew why) the Germans had to depend on claims that citrus fruits prevented scurvy. As Albert Szent-Györgyi was active in the anti-Nazi resistance, his research into the subject was probably useless to them.

(slapping myself around for a joke so crappy it doesn’t exist)

Won’t you have some lemonade? It’s got some… lemonade in it. :wink:

I always thought limes were the prototypical scurvy remedy.

Oh, and how in god’s name could you get up and leave that movie in the middle? I’m afraid I’d remain seated and watch the movie until my house burned down around me if it every caught fire and I was watching ‘Das Boot’. That’s one heck of a movie.

Am I remembering incorrectly or does Das Boot have a scene where an officer is told over dinner that his lice have proceeded northwards to his eyebrows?

Yep it was “crabs”, and it happened to be the factitious Nazi from Mexico (Yes his family had a plantation in Mexico and he went back to Germany to help the war effort as a loyal German)

I love this movie and have seen every version they have released to DVD. I sat through the 5 hour version and it still works so well! You’d think it would have felt padded but the extra character bits really work to flesh out more of the crew.

Now my question is… before the fiasco in Gibraltar would Johann have been Courtmarshalled for his mental breakdown?

I always thought the Captains response to his question was a little more guarded and less positive than one would expect.

There’s a five-hour version? I saw the 3 hrs.+ version.

Great tension, and excellent photography of conflicts in a confined space. I wish I could have watched it all of a piece, but I get physically uncomfortable if I can’t take regular breaks.

I’m glad I finally watched it, though.

There’s really no way to know. The Captain was a man who kept things to himself (in the book, as I recall, he hardly spoke at all but to give commands), and because it was hardly practical to keep Johann “confined to quarters” everything would hinge on how he conducted himself from that point forward.


I see they are selling it as part of the great German War movie trifacta (With Der Untergang and Stalingrad)

Thanks for the info.

Just out of curiosity: Do you folks prefer to listen to the dubbed English, or hear it in German and read English subtitles?

I enjoyed the latter.

I’ve only seen it in German with English subtitles. When they made the night time run across Gibralter the Captain was standing in the conning tower. The subtitles said something like, “Oh Jesus!” but he was saying “Shitshitshitshitshitshit!” :slight_smile:

The English dubbing was uncannily good, and even a mediocre job is better than subtitles.

The book was better, though. As usual, a lot of good material had to be left out.

I had the opposite reaction. I love this movie and tried to watch it on Netflix streaming one day, which is dubbed. I found it unwatchable, and turned it off. It was really difficult to take the characters seriously with the peculiar British accents and lips that moved out of sync with the voice. Dubbing is the most distracting thing in the world for me. I’d rather watch subtitles for pretty much everything.