hell below (series 1)

Hell below charts the stealth game of subsea warfare, tracking the dramatic narrative from contact to attack of the greatest submarine patrols of WWII and the Cold War.

programme information


6 x 60'

Production Company

Parallax Film Productions





Episode Information

Hell Below is an event-based series charting the stealth game of subsea warfare, tracking the dramatic narrative from contact to attack of the greatest submarine patrols of World War II. From the rise of the Wolfpack to the drive for victory in the Pacific, we profile the strategic masterminds and the rapid evolution of technology and tactics, as the threat of undersea warfare brings every sailor’s worst nightmare to life. Submarines demand a special breed of warrior always volunteers and never conscripts, self-sufficient enough to operate far forward of logistical support and any chance of rescue. Tenacious and aggressive, submariners often fight alone. Expert analysis and stock footage are woven with narrative driven re-enactments placing the characters at the heart of the action. Filmed aboard Second World War era submarines, we witness the legendary stealth, as submarines penetrate enemy defenses to collect intelligence or launch an attack at a time and place of their choosing. Beyond sinking military targets, submarine attacks also create chaos and unnerve their adversaries, as they face an unpredictable and even sometimes, invisible enemy. Both the Axis and Allies employ unrestricted submarine warfare to bring their enemies to their knees throughout the Second World War. With a keen understanding of geography and trade, they target commercial shipping routes, trade centers and choke points to starve their enemies of the resources required to conduct war. Orientation and battle maps make every objective clear. Undersea warfare drains great value from the enemy’s war effort with only limited risk. Submarines and submariners have an impact far out of proportion to their size and number, but also suffer the highest mortality rate of any branch of service in the world’s navies, as their enemies respond to the growing threat. While the world’s oceans provide concealment and protection, the environment proves unforgiving. Their survival depends on the perfect operation of the same submarine that delivers them into harm’s way. We capture the ongoing challenges facing submarine skippers as they push the limits of their submarines in pursuit--or in escape.

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