WITNESS THE BATTLE BENEATH THE WAVES IN HELL BELOW. SEASON TWO PREMIERES SUNDAY, JULY 1 AT 9 PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™
WITNESS THE BATTLE BENEATH THE WAVES IN
SEASON TWO PREMIERES SUNDAY, JULY 1 AT 9 PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™
Submarine attacks are among the most feared forms of maritime warfare. During World War II, these underwater campaigns had no borders – spanning from the frigid waters of the North Atlantic to the crystalline expanse of the South Pacific. The U.S. Navy and the other Allied powers faced off against German U-boats and Japanese forces set on unrestricted submarine warfare. HELL BELOW details both the successes and tragedies of these underwater conflicts in World War II and during the Cold War with all new episodes beginning Sunday, July 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
HELL BELOW profiles the strategic and military masterminds behind these submarine campaigns as well as the rapidly evolving technology used in stalking and battle. Each hour-long episode features expert analysis and stock footage along with dramatic re-enactments filmed aboard authentic World War II era submarines, placing viewers in the heart of battle.
The season premiere, IN ENEMY WATERS, tells the story of the USS Silversides during World War II. Under the command of charismatic Lt. Cdr. Creed Burlingame, the USS Silversides sets course for Guadalcanal as part of the campaign to liberate this key island in the Pacific. While the crew must prevent Japanese supplies and reinforcements from reaching Guadalcanal at all costs, it faces unexpected challenges, including a desperately ill crewmember needing emergency surgery as the sub enters a battle zone close to the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul.
In the series finale, World War II gives way to the Cold War and the stealth strategy of global superpowers. HELL BELOW joins the Soviet submarine B-59 en route to Cuba, carrying a nuclear-tipped torpedo that brings the world closer to nuclear war than anyone ever imagined.
Subsequent episodes of HELL BELOW are:
Premieres Sunday, July 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
USS Barb’s Commander, Eugene Fluckey, receives orders to launch a harassment campaign to create a diversion for an American submarine wolfpack, Hydeman’s Hellcats, which is heading for the Sea of Japan. Commander Fluckey plans an audacious guerilla raid and lands a team of saboteurs to bomb a train on a coastal rail line on the Japanese island of Karafuto.
Premieres Sunday, July 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
U-515, led by German U-boat ace Werner Henke, is on route to the African Gold Coast when he meets one of the new Hunter Killer Groups led by Captain Daniel Gallery of the U.S. Navy. The encounter puts Henke and his crew to the ultimate test as Gallery launches aircraft at night from his escort carrier and orders the use of “The Hedgehog” – a new forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon that wreaks havoc on the U-boat.
Premieres Sunday, July 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
The North African war rages under the direction of German General Erwin Rommel. The Allies’ only hope to hold North Africa depends on forces on Malta – a tiny island between Italy and North Africa that falls directly on the shipping routes. In an attempt to sink enemy supplies along this route, Lt. Commander Malcolm Wanklyn of HMS Upholder and Lt. Edward Woodward of HMS Unbeaten launch an operation to hit the Axis forces hard.
SUB VS. SUB
Premieres Sunday, July 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
To stave off defeat, Axis powers commence Operation Caesar – a covert submarine mission to deliver advanced jet and rocket technology, or “wonder weapons,” to Japan. HMS Venturer intercepts this secret mission when it comes across U-864 beneath icy Norwegian waters. The two submerged submarines battle blind, resulting in a rare World War II attack that changes submarine warfare forever.
Premieres Sunday, August 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Four Soviet submarines race toward Cuba on a mission to install a nuclear missile base after America’s failure to overthrow Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs. When the USSR’s B-59 is discovered near the Quarantine Line, the U.S. Navy drops “practice depth charges” to force it to surface, unaware of the nuclear torpedo on board.
HELL BELOW is a Pacific Fleet II production in association with Smithsonian Channel, Blue Ant Television Limited and National Geographic Channel International. Ian Herring is the executive producer. Maija Leivo is series producer. Tim Evans and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.