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Released in 2000, this WorldWarII movie VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory is about a submarine crew who board a disabled German sub to [[ReadingTheEnemysMail steal an Enigma Machine]], a secret German encryption device used to send coded messages. Caused a degree of controversy as the film places the [[AmericaSavesTheDay Americans in center role as the heroes...]] except that in real life, the mission was carried out by the [[BritsWithBattleships British.]]
!!This film provides examples of:
* AmericaWinsTheWar - Infamously so. In RealLife, the Enigma Machine ''was'' stolen from a German submarine... by the British.
** As can be expected, this did cause one hell of an uproar in the UK, to the point it was called "An Affront to British Sailors" during Prime Ministers Question Time upon release!
** Many have stated the film could have been better had it been about the historical capture of U-505 by American forces.
*** While it's so infamous for that, the film never really even *tries* to pretend it's accurate, and the afterword gave due credit to those that actually captured German U-Boats. [[HateDumb Most of the credit being to the British.]]
* BangingForHelp: A captured prisoner uses a wrench to knock out a message in [[EveryoneKnowsMorse Morse Code]] for other German ships to hear on Sonar: [[spoiler: I am U-571... destroy me!]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: Rather early in the film, [[YouAreInCommandNow Lieutenant Tyler]] gets this from [[OldSoldier Chief Gunner Klough]], for admitting to his crew that he didn't know what to do next, thus undermining his own crew's confidence in his leadership.
** Also, the beginning of the film: Tyler is itching for a command of his own, and knows that the only thing that could stop him from being promoted and getting it is if his current CO doesn't recommend him. When he is passed over he seeks his CO out and demands to know why.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: The reason Lt. Tyler doesn't get his first command is that his commander doesn't think he's ready for the burdens of that responsibility. Of course, Tyler [[YouAreInCommandNow ends up bearing that responsibility unexpectedly.]]
* CunningLinguist: Two of them in this film, including a professional linguist and a sailor who is half German.
* DarkSecret: Mild example. One of the American sailors doesn't want his crewmates to know he's half German.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: How the crew gets aboard the ''U-571''.
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: Justified. On a WWII warship, everyone did.
* HotSubOnSubAction: Of a preposterous nature. The German boat that sinks the American sub is stated as being a resupply boat. The Type XIV "Milchkuh" (or "milk cow") did not even have torpedo tubes.
** Which can also imply, conversely, that it wasn't a resupply boat to begin with, and was instead sent to ''destroy'' U-571 in the first place rather than help it. The crew could've just been ''told'' it was a resupply boat to prevent them from surrendering or defecting to the Allies.
* OldSoldier: Chief Gunner Klough, who served on submarines during WorldWarI.
* SinkTheLifeBoats: To prove how evil the German U-boat crew is. In reality, out of the tens of thousands of hours logged by the U-boat Force, there is only one recorded incident of a crew attacking survivors. It was much more common for German submariners to provide aide to the crews they sank.
* YouAreInCommandNow: Lieutenant Tyler, when his submarine is torpedoed and sunk, while he is leading a boarding party on the U-571.