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U-571 - Wrong Rank
The character of Tyler (Matther McConnaughey) is given the rank of Lieutenant in the film, which is completely unrealistic/wrong. An Executive Officer would be a Commander. Further, towards the beginning of the film, Tyler is mad that he didn't get assigned his own boat. If he were a Lieutenant, this would require a leap of 2 ranks (skipping Lt. Commander and Commander).
My only explanation for this is that whoever was in charge of this information knew absolutely nothing about military ranks and used an Army/Marine Corps rank listing when picking out the ranks of the characters (where Lieutenant is just below Captain). However, in the Navy, a Captain is more the equivalent of an Army Colonel.
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Anonymous on 07-29-2001
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locotorp writes:
I really do not think this is a slip up. I have two reasons. 1. The captain of a USN vessel can be any rank and still called "captain". An ensign assigned to a tug is the captain of the tug and would be referred to as such. 2. What you say is true for submarines in the present day. The captain of a fast attack submarine usually holds the rank of commander(O-5) and sometimes it is a full bird captain (O-6). Of course the XO would be a lieutenant commander (O-4). On a missile submarine the captain is usually a captain(O-6). This however was not the case in WWII. If you go to the below link, it will show you the lost boats of WWII and you will find that most if not all (I did not go through each and every one) have a lieutenant commander for a CO and a lieutenant for an XO. I am sure the reason things changed was going from diesel to nuke boats. Who knows. SEKOD
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Gundulf writes:
No, this isn't a slipup. Presently, most commanding officers of U.S. Nuclear Submarines are commanders, executive officers are typically Lieutenant Commanders. In World War II, with much smaller crews, the typical Sub captain would be a Lieutenant Commander, his Executive Officer would typically be a Lieutenant.
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