Tom Hanks’s new WWII epic, ‘Greyhound’, to Premier on Apple TV+ in July

SONY Pictures
SONY Pictures

Tom Hanks’s new war movie, ‘Greyhound,’ is to premiere on Apple TV+ on the 10th July 2020 as part of the media giant’s efforts to enhance its streaming service.

Apple is making every effort to acquire both old and new content for distribution on its streaming service.

Bloomberg News has reported that Apple has purchased several earlier films and series and is in talks with Hollywood studios to license further content. Still, at this time, there is no confirmation on what that may contain.

Tom Hanks’s new movie is looking epic. SONY Pictures
Tom Hanks’s new movie is looking epic. SONY Pictures

‘Greyhound,’ originally formed part of the Sony Pictures calendar, was due for release in cinemas in time for Father’s Day on the 19th June.

With the coronavirus lockdown still in force in many places, this could no longer happen. According to the insider magazine Deadline, it will flight on Apple TV+ in a deal reputed to be around $70 million.

‘Greyhound’ is set during World War II, and though not a true story, it is based on the book The Good Shepherd, written by C.S. Forester. Forester is known for his meticulous research, and the book, released in 1957, has long been lauded for its accuracy in portraying the Battle for the Atlantic during WWII.

The action takes place during winter in 1942, which was the height of the Battle for the Atlantic.

The story revolves around a newly promoted U.S. Navy Commander named George Krause, a profoundly religious man, who captains a destroyer named USS Greyhound.

In the book, the lead destroyer is called the USS Keeling but has the nickname Greyhound.

Krause not only commands his own vessel but is also in charge of the protection of the convoy that he is leading. This is the first time that he has had command.

SONY Pictures
SONY Pictures

To help with the protection duties, he has one more destroyer, a Polish vessel ‘Victor,’ and two corvettes, one Canadian, the HCMS Dodge, and the other British, the HMS James.

The book tells the story of the 37 merchant ships that made up the convoy, which is sailing through the area known as the Atlantic Gap. This area is too far from land for aircraft to patrol and provide air cover, but it was a favored hunting ground for the wolf packs of U-Boats.

The story covers five days and nights as Captain Krause, works tirelessly to direct the protection of the convoy with his meager fighting force.

U.S. Navy destroyer USS Kidd
U.S. Navy destroyer USS Kidd

The U-Boats attack relentlessly, and the protection vessels constantly circle to fend off the U-Boats’ attack.

The convoys that for the basis for this story were a vital part of keeping Great Britain alive during the dark days of World War II. These convoys of merchant ships provided a constant flow of materials and other supplies vital for Britain’s war effort.

The convoys most often originated from American ports and carried everything from food to oil, munitions, and vehicles.

The Allies’ primary strategy was to put the merchant ships into convoys that would be provided with protection against the marauding wolf packs. This method saved thousands of tons of shipping but was a logistical nightmare for the warships giving protection.

Trying to keep approximately 40 merchant ships of different sizes and capabilities together through the Atlantic was hugely problematic, and stragglers were left vulnerable to attack by the Germans.

This war was fought mainly with depth charges and torpedoes. There is one actual incident that is mentioned in the book, and the trailer hints it is included in the film.

This was the clash between the American destroyer, USS Borie, and the German U-Boat U-405. The two clashed on the 1st November 1943 when the Borie was trying to ram the U-Boat.

At the time that the Borie closed on the submarine, a wave caused the bow of the Borie to crash on top of the submarine, which locked the two vessels together.

This meant that the sub was too close to allow the destroyer’s guns to be brought to bear. The crew then opened fire on the submarine with every hand-held weapon that they had.

The U-405 sank the same night, and the USS Borie had to be scuttled the following day as she had been severely damaged in the collision.

Mystery of LCT That Vanished 77 Years ago With 14 Crew on Board Solved

Anticipation is rife that this will be a fascinating movie as Tom Hanks has a reputation for making movies that are not only box office smash hits but also historically accurate.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE