Directed by Karl Ritter, Music by Herbert Windt. Starring Hannes Stelzer, Hubert Kiurina, Ernst v. Klipstein, Georg Thomalla, Carsta Löck, Susi Graf, Charlotte Daudert.
"Besatzung Dora", the action-packed 1943 war film about a Ju-88 recon bomber aircrew, held much promise as the anticipated sequel to the hit movie Stukas of three years earlier. Shot on location on the Russian and Mediterranean fronts from mid to late 1942 when Germany was still on the offensive, by the time the film was ready for theatrical release the war situation had deteriorated to the point where the storyline was no longer relevant. Although it met with the approval of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, "Besatzung Dora" was never seen by movie audiences except for a select group of Luftwaffe personnel in February 1945 just three months prior to Germany's defeat.
The plot involves the aircraft's four-man crew on their various missions as well as a weeklong furlough with their girlfriends in Berlin. By depicting life on the home front and on the frontline, its aim was to reinforce the bond between Germany's civilian population and its fighting men. Nor were the Reich's relations with its allies overlooked, with a sequence portraying the Ju-88's crash landing in North Africa and the crew's subsequent rescue by the Italian air force.
Superb aerial cinematography, attention to detail, and operational authenticity make "Besatzung Dora" a pleasure to watch from the standpoint of historians and hobbyists with regard to Luftwaffe aircraft, uniforms and tactics. The release of this virtually unknown film by International Historical Films marks its commercial debut and provides a new and fascinating perspective on the Third Reich's redoubtable aviators.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:Historical Background Slide Show: The Fate of Karl Ritter's "Besatzung Dora" (1942/43)
Original Promotional Materials with English Translations
Interactive Scene Selections
About the director:
Directed by Karl Ritter who's contemporary WWII propaganda feature filmmaking employed stunning actual battlefront footage and brought to Third Reich cinemas fast-paced, action-filled storylines championing ideological themes and military successes against all enemies of the Reich.