08/15 (film series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
German Poster
Directed byPaul May
Produced byIlse Kubaschewski
Written by
Based on08/15
by Hans Hellmut Kirst
Music byRolf A. Wilhelm
CinematographyHeinz Hölscher
Edited by
Distributed byGloria Filmverleih AG
CountryWest Germany

08/15 is a 1954–55 West German film trilogy directed by Paul May and based on the novel 08/15 by Hans Hellmut Kirst who also served as the film's screenwriter (published in English as "The Revolt of Gunner Asch"). The term 08/15 (nill-eight/fifteen, German: Null-Acht/Fünfzehn) refers to the German Army's standard machine gun, the 08/15 (or MG 08 model 15), by far, the most common German machine gun deployed in World War I. It was manufactured in such large quantities that it became the German Army slang for anything that was standard issue.[1]

The film follows the story of Private Asch, a German soldier in World War II. The film title implies that Asch, and the soldiers under his command, were unostentatious (i.e. "run-of-the-mill") characters deployed on the Eastern Front.[1]


The last of the 08/15 film trilogy ends with Germany being occupied by American soldiers who are portrayed as bubble-gum chewing, slack-jawed, uncultured louts, inferior in every respect to the heroic German soldiers.[1] The only exception is the Jewish emigrant, now a US officer, who is shown as both intelligent and unscrupulous, the fact interpreted by Professor Omer Bartov as implying that the "real tragedy of World War II was that the Nazis did not get a chance to exterminate all Semites, who have now returned with Germany's defeat to once more exploit the German people".[1] "Although Asch is never identified with the Americans – indeed, in the final film of the trilogy, the Americans appear to be nearly as dangerous a foe as the SS."[2]




  1. ^ a b c d Bartov, Omer (2004). "Celluloid Soldiers: Cinematic Images of the Wehrmacht". In Ljubica & Mark Erickson. Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-84913-1.
  2. ^ Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering, page 26.


External links[edit]