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The Devil's General

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The Devil's General
Des Teufels General
Movie Poster
Country GER.jpg West Germany
Directed by Helmut Käutner
Release Date February 23, 1955
Language German
Studio Real-Film GmbH
Distributor Europa-Filmverleih AG
Main Cast
Character Actor
Harry Harras Curd Jürgens
Dorothea "Diddo" Geiss Marianne Koch
Schmidt-Lausitz Viktor de Kowa
Karl Oderbruch Karl John
Waltraut Mohrungen Eva-Ingeborg Scholz
Leutnant Hartmann Harry Meyen
Hauptmann Pfundtmayer Beppo Brem
Lyra Schöppke Ingrid van Bergen
SS-Scharführer Wolfgang Neuss

The Devil's General is a 1955 German movie based on Carl Zuckmayer's drama of the same name with Curd Jürgens in the leading role. Marianne Koch, Viktor de Kowa, and Karl John are cast in leading roles. The film was directed by Helmut Käutner in 1954 and produced by Walter Koppel and Real-Film GmbH. Germany, 1941: General Harras holds an important position in the development of the Luftwaffe but has little to do with the Nazis. As more and more of his squadron's bombers fail due to sabotage, the SS put him under pressure. To find the fault, Harras gets behind the controls himself.

The movie was based on Carl Zuckmayer's drama of the same name, which he wrote in exile in the USA between 1943 and 1945. The character of Harras is based on the aviator and Luftwaffe general Ernst Udet, who officially had a fatal accident in 1941 while testing a new aircraft, but actually shot himself. Udet flew together with Hermann Göring in Manfred von Richthofen's flying squadron during the First World War. He was friends with Zuckmayer.

The following weapons were used in the film The Devil's General:


FN Model 1910

General der Luftwaffe (lieutenant general) Harry Harras (Curd Jürgens), SS-Gruppenführer (major general) Schmidt-Lausitz (Viktor de Kowa), and other German soldiers carry FN Model 1910 as their personal sidearms.

FN Model 1910 - .380 ACP
Harras: "Raus!"
Schmidt-Lausitz: "Are you insane?"
Harras points his FN Model 1910 on Schmidt-Lausitz who reaches for his pistol.
A front view of Harras after Schmidt-Lausitz has left the room.
A blurry view of the left side.
Karl Oderbruch (Karl John) looks at the pistol lying on Harras' desk. Harras and Karl wear Geschwader Richthofen sleeve bands which were only allowed to be worn by former members of Jagdgeschwader Frhr. v. Richthofen Nr. 1 in the First World War, who were again members of Jagdgeschwader Richthofen in the "new" Luftwaffe.
Another view of the Model 1910.
Schmidt-Lausitz holds his FN pistol. Note his collar and shoulder insignias are from an SS-Brigadeführer (brigadier general), one rank below the SS-Gruppenführer as he is addressed in the film.
The pistol is fired by Schmidt-Lausitz.

SIG P210

What appears to be an anachronistic Swiss SIG P210 is used by SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain) Zernick (Joseph Offenbach).

SIG P210 - 9x19mm
Zernick (second from right) starts firing his pistol.
A view of the rear part, seen on the left in his hand.
He brandishes his pistol which offers a view of the left side. The thumb safety is visible above the trigger.


Karabiner 98k

Wehrmacht and SS soldiers are seen with Karabiner 98ks with hooded front sights and late-war barrel bands.

Karabiner 98 kurz with S84/98 bayonet - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A Wehrmacht sentry stands with his Karabiner.
A squad of SS soldiers under the command of an SS-Scharführer (staff sergeant) (Werner Schumacher) with their carbines.
An SS-Rottenführer (corporal) and SS-Sturmmann (acting corporal) on their way to occupy entrances at the airport.
The same SS soldiers unlock the safety of their Kar98ks...
...and open fire.
The hooded front sight and late-war barrel band are seen on the left.

Unknown Rifles

Three rifles are seen hanging on a wall in Harras' apartment.

The upper one appears to be a double barreled shotgun, the second a flintlock musket, and the one on the bottom a modern rifle.


Wurfgranate 15

Harras owns a Wurfgranate 15 from his service during the First World War as a fighter pilot.

Wurfgranate 15 mounted on to a Granatenwerfer 16
The Wurfgranate lies on the table's edge.
A better view of the grenade next to Leutnant Hartmann (Harry Meyen).
Zernick picked up the grenade and looks at Dorothea Geiss (Marianne Koch).

Junkers Ju 86 K-13

The "new boombers" in the movie are pre-war Junkers Ju 86 K-13 monoplane bombers. It was difficult for the filmmakers to find suitable old airplanes: The Messerschmitt Me 262 fighter aircraft from British war booty initially offered to Real-Film were not yet operational in 1941. However, Käutner justified his refusal differently: "Then the whole film would be called into question because then people would say: 'If these wonderful machines had been used in time, we would have had to win the war'."

Finally, with the help of the German legation in Stockholm, the Swedish Air Force managed to obtain three old Junkers Ju 86 bombers, built in 1936. These twin-engine aircraft were the K version with British Bristol Mercury gasoline radial engines. This version of the aircraft type, partly built by SAAB under license, was used by the Swedish Air Force. The Luftwaffe generally considered the type to be less suitable for combat missions and was therefore mainly used as a transport aircraft. The development of the type, which was judged to be a failure even during testing, was the responsibility of Ernst Udet, so the choice of aircraft can be regarded as extremely appropriate.


Junkers Ju 87

Two Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers are briefly seen at the airfield.


2 cm Flakvierling 38

A Flakvierling 38 is stationed on a tower at the airfield.

2 cm Flakvierling 38 - 20x138mm B
The FlaK is seen in the background behind Unteroffizier (sergeant) Otto Korrianke (Paul Westermeier) watches his General.
Another view of the Flakvierling.

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