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U-571 (movie)

U-571 is a 2000 movie directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Bon Jovi, in which a German submarine is boarded in 1942 by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

It is entirely fictional. In fact, Enigma and the associated code books were first captured from U-110 by the British in May 1941, before the Americans had entered the war. The British also captured material from U-559 in 1942.

The Americans first captured German Naval Enigma material in 1944 when they captured U-505 (their first capture of an enemy vessel at sea in 129 years).

U-571 was not involved in anything like the events depicted in this movie.

Shortly after the release of this film, BBC radio interviewed a former British naval officer, who had actually been involved in the recovery of code books from a German submarine on the point of sinking: he commented that the film had nothing to do with any historical facts, but was quite entertaining.