Die Männer der Emden

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Die Männer der Emden
Directed by Berengar Pfahl
Produced by Berengar Pfahl
Axel Ricke
Written by Berengar Pfahl
Axel Ricke
Starring Ken Duken
Felicitas Woll
Sebastian Blomberg
Music by Matthias Raue
Cinematography Erich Krenek
Edited by Annemarie Bremer
Release date
  • June 6, 2012 (2012-06-06) (Emden Film Festival)
  • January 31, 2013 (2013-01-31) (Germany)
Running time
144 minutes
Country Germany
Language German

Die Männer der Emden is a 2012 German film directed and co-written by Berengar Pfahl that is an account of members of the crew of SMS Emden making their way back to Germany after the Battle of Cocos. The film was shot in Greece, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Malta and Germany and appeared as both a miniseries and a feature film.


The film begins at the Imperial German naval station at the Kiautschou Bay concession in China. Two officers of SMS Emden have a romantic rivalry with Maria von Plettenberg, who lives with her father, mother and sister in Tsingtau.

When war is declared the Emden has a variety of successful naval engagements in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Soon after a raiding party is sent ashore to destroy a British wireless installation in the Cocos Islands, Emden engages HMAS Sydney but the vessel is sunk with many of the crew captured. Rather than surrender, the shore party seizes the schooner Ayesha and decides to sail back to the Kiautschou Bay concession to fight again.

When the crew arrives in the neutral Dutch East Indies they hear that the concession has been captured by the Japanese. With their fates unknown to each other, the men of Emden and the von Plettenberg family make their way back to Germany.


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