MovieChat Forums > Run Silent Run Deep (1958) Discussion > Good cast, good director, bad story

Good cast, good director, bad story


**SPOILERS**


I just couldn't believe that a sub captain would avoid a juicy convoy to go after a particular destroyer. All in all, a very "Hollywood" submarine movie.




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I guess you didn't catch the opening of it. It explains why the "juicy convoy" wasn't on his mind. It's also adapted from a book, and in the book, Richardson gets obsessed with the destroyer.

You're not getting old, the music just sucks.

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I understand he was after the destroyer that sunk his previous sub. But I found the whole thing contrived.

What would hurt the enemy more, sinking tankers and other high-value targets, or sinking a destroyer?

Certainly obsession is a tried and true theme, nothing wrong with that. But I found it contrived and unrealistic the way it was portrayed in this movie.

Just my $0.02



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If it makes any difference the book is really good, and different from the film.

Cheers

Dave

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The destroyer was what was protecting the convoy. It makes perfect sense.

Imo this is a great and highly underrated war film.

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I think I disagree it makes perfect sense, after reading this wonderful book:

http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Coffins-Personal-Account-Battles/dp/0306811 60X

Sub skippers did their best to avoid the escorts, and sink the ships in the convoy.



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It must really suck for you to be stuck on Earth with us illogical humans. You can't wait to get back to Vulcan, can you?

Ignorance is the foundation of atheism, and freethinking the cure of it. -- Anthony Collins

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Sub skippers did their best to avoid the escorts, and sink the ships in the convoy.


You ever hear the phrase, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"?
Or perhaps, "He knows just enough to be dangerous"?

In this case... rather than extensive study and/or personal experience... you've read one book... absorbed what it was discussing, then completely misapplied the lesson where it does not fit to bolster your erroneous argument.

In this case you are trying to apply an overall strategy to a specific and unique situation.

Yes... in general Sub skippers went after the merchants and avoided the escorts. That is a good general rule to follow. But here is what you failed to grasp. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS. Every situation is different and the tactics used will change with the given situation.

Japan during WW2 made the opposite the rule. Japanese Sub's were used as an offensive weapon to go after American Naval warships and were not used to interdict US supply lines and merchants.

German Wolfpacks often used the first attacks to peel back the escorts and then had free reign over attacking the merchants. Soviet tactic for anon-nuclear WW3 was to use subs to go after the convoy escorts, then use bomber missile raids against the now defenseless merchants with no SAM missile defense.

Now let's look at this case on specific.
If he was just attacking some random Jap convoy... yes the proper thing was to avoid the escorts and go after the merchants. But this was no ordinary escort of some Jap convoy. This particular escort had some trick, or some highly skilled CO... that had sunk several previous American subs. The CO of the sub had decided he had a way of defeating this particular escort. Yes... he was motivated by revenge. But sound strategy also mean that getting rid of that particular escort made going after the rest of the convoy and other convoys as well for that area... would be far safer for future submarine patrols.
Despite his motivation for revenge... going after that particular ships was a noteworthy military goal. Which is why even after relieving the CO of command... the XO continued to carry out the CO's plan.


I joined the Navy to see the world, only to discover the world is 2/3 water!

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There's a lot of Moby-Dick in this movie--an aging captain disobeying his orders in order to exact revenge on the foe that dismasted him during his previous voyage.



"I'm not the king. There's only one King." -- Elvis

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Spacer,

Great observation of elements similar to Moby Dick, except of course im MB the ship was lost and almost all the crew as well.

But yes, the search for the prey above all else with the aging captain involved. I would merely caution that here the captain has plausible reasons for his pursuit, and not merely revenge. Bungo Pete was a nemesis of all US sub crews in the area, and was doing a great job protecting the strategic area. Ahab had no equivalent motivation.

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You're correct. U.S. submarines would try to sink merchant ships, not destroyers. But sometimes destroyers would try to save merchants by intercepting torpedoes as a last desperate action. In fact, the real Akikazi was sunk with the loss of all hands after intercepting a U.S. torpedo, as you can read near the bottom of this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_destroyer_Akikaze

It is better to be kind than to be clever or good looking. -- Derek

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I think it a good idea to revisit my May 27, 2014 post regarding the connection of this film to Moby Dick, having re-read MD in the interim.

While I think it quite accurate to distinguish Cmdr. Richardson from Ahab, in the sense that sinking the Akikaze would be of benefit to the general war effort of the US subs, it would be a mistake to characterize Ahab's motives as entirely, well, crazy. His encounter with Moby Dick before the story's beginning, losing one of his legs, and much else of material investment in his ship, not to mention lives of the crew that were lost, gave him a motive of personal revenge. Revenge may not be the prettiest of motives, depending, but it is not categorically irrational.

And Moby Dick also was sinking other whalers, and was a menace to the industry of which Ahab was something of a leader, and not just as a captain, but also as an investor.

Now the extent to which Ahab carried his endeavor is where the irrational came in. Richardson took chances and did seem to deviate from orders at times. But the whole point of the story was that he was not irrational at any point in doing what he did.

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I would also like to point out that this scenario does not have a lack of precedent. Submarine Captain Samuel Dealey was awarded his MOH for deliberately sinking 5 destroyers, specifically targeting them, during a war patrol.

"You feel the way the boat moves? The sunlight on your skin? That’s real. Life is wonderful."

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I would also like to point out that this scenario does not have a lack of precedent. Submarine Captain Samuel Dealey was awarded his MOH for deliberately sinking 5 destroyers, specifically targeting them, during a war patrol.


He certainly "Hit 'em Harder".



Welcome back.
LTNS on IMSb.

The comparison however to Dealy to CDR Richardson does not bear up though.

Richardson's specifically targeting a Destroyer was an obsession.
Dealy's specifically targeting of Destroyers was sinply that they happened to BE the target of his torpedoes, not that they happened to get in the way of them. But Dealy was not obsessed with attacking destroyers to the exclusion of Merchants.

The entire deal about US Subs targeted Merchants, Not Warships... is a part of the Submarine war DOCTRINE.

I know you are aware of this, My explanation is for more of the Civilian Armchairs that are around...

But many tend to think that because of this, that US Subs were under orders to attack Merchants and not warships. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Doctrine is just that... Guidelines, suggestions. Not orders and regulations.
The guideline is just this... Merchants are easier targets and maneuvering warships, especially smaller faster destroyers are very difficult targets. Destroying war supplies on the Merchants will hasten the end of the war and is a better use of the subs warfighting ability. This does not mean that if the opportunity to sink a warship presents itself that it is not to be taken.

In Dealy's case, not only did the situation present itself, but was also (in the case of 2 of the 5 destroyers) necessary for the safety and protection of his own ship.

The Merchants over warships doctrine mainly is for the case of escorted convoys. destroying the escorted merchants rather than destroying the escorts leaving the merchants to sail on and deliver their war goods.


Welcome back to IMDb Michael.


EDIT:
In a larger war efforts sense... it is this failure to not grasp Doctrine as suggestions and guidelines rather than orders... that doomed the Japanese military more than anything else.

The Japanese were very rigid in their thinking and command structure. Doctrine to them was as Holy Writ. And was not to be deviated from in the slightest.

The US Understood Doctrine to be guidelines for the overall war effort but left specific tactics to the commanders in the field.

This caused the Japanese to be unable to adapt to changing battlefield conditions and unable to take advantage of situations of opportunity.
The Americans on the other hand, had no such trouble grasping the initiative and charging ahead, or to adapt to unfavorable circumstances and change his tactics for the better.






I joined the Navy to see the world, only to discover the world is 2/3 water!

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A much bigger reason was the US devoted most of its resources to fight the Nazis,which changed after V-E Day. Also, Japanese industry couldn't compete against the US war machine.

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There were several reasons. your second is a part of it. Your first... not so much.

There really was no major shift of resources from Europe to the Pacific theater. It was merely in the planning stages.

Germany did not fall til May of 1945, Japan was already mostly beaten by then with fighting closing in on the Japanese homeland. And a lot of what we had in Europe stayed in Europe as part of the Occupation forces. Just because Germany surrendered is no reason to let your guard down. We were only in the initial planning stages of seeing what can be shifted when we Dropped the A-Bombs just 3 months later.

So no... "the US devoted most of its resources to fight the Nazis,which changed after V-E Day." is NOT a bigger reason. No reason at all in fact.

The three biggest things (in no particular order) that affected the Strategic war against the Japanese was...

1) Japanese adherence to Doctrine as unchangeable orders
2) US Subs interdicting Japanese supply Lines
3) The US Industrial Machine

And of those three... that third one, the one you mentioned and got right... is the least of them. The Japanese industrial might was nearly as powerful as our own. the problem was that they were entirely reliant upon imported resources to which #2 put an end to. They had as powerful an industrial machine as our own, they just could not feed it with their own resources, which we choked off.


I joined the Navy to see the world, only to discover the world is 2/3 water!

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it is this failure to ... grasp Doctrine as suggestions and guidelines rather than orders... that doomed the Japanese military more than anything else.


I think the Japanese were not the only ones who took this rigid attitude toward Doctrine. Perhaps we Americans were rather unique in our "think for ourselves" approach at a time when the other guys let the Doctrine do their thinking for them.

It did give actual and potential adversaries fits. I remember once reading about a quotation from a Soviet training manual for their naval officers which went like this:

"A serious problem in trying to counter American naval doctrine is that Americans don't read their manuals and feel no obligation to follow their doctrine."

Talk about hitting the nail on the head.

***
It's easier to be an individual than a god.

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"A serious problem in trying to counter American naval doctrine is that Americans don't read their manuals and feel no obligation to follow their doctrine."

Exactly.

Reminds me of Bill Cosby's bit called "The Coin Toss".
https://youtu.be/9MGYoCNU5es


I joined the Navy to see the world, only to discover the world is 2/3 water!

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