WWII movie about blowing up a dam

This movie is in color and in American English. It is probably from around the mid 60’s, but that is a guess. It takes place during WWII.

The plot of this movie is that an elite group of allied soldiers–probably English and American, although one of the Americans speaks German fluently–are assembled to sneak into Nazi territory and blow up a dam. There are probably about half a dozen soldiers, who are probably all white, but one might be a black man. They are somewhat aided (when in Nazi territory) by a very tough, beautiful white woman with dark hair who carries a really long rifle.

The Nazis are building some powerful, secret weapon in a cave (or mine? someplace underground-ish) that has a lab with shiny equipment and scientists who are mostly begrudgingly cooperating with the Nazis. They are not all “loyal” Nazis, but the Nazis have taken their families to “keep them safe” so they feel compelled to help create the weapon. Some of the scientists might even be Jewish people who are being forced to cooperate as well.

The idea is that the allied soldiers will blow up a certain dam, which will cause the valley with the cavelab in it to flood, thus destroying the secret weapon and all the Nazis and scientists involved. The woman who is helping them wants to try to warn some of the scientists so they can try to get away before the valley floods. Technically the soldiers’ orders do not allow for such a warning, but some of them have moral qualms about the situation with the scientists who aren’t really Nazis, so there is strife within the group.

I don’t know how this movie ends, but my guess is the Nazis lose.

This movie was probably released in the theaters, but was shown on TV (in America) once or twice in the mid to late 70s. I don’t know who any of the actors are. All I can say is that the woman looks a bit like Sophia Loren, but is definitely not Sophia Loren.

Thank you for any help you can give. I welcome all suggestions.

42 thoughts on “WWII movie about blowing up a dam

      1. The movie I am looking for is not Force 10 from Navarone. Their goal is to destroy a bridge, not a secret weapons lab.

  1. Looking at the trailer they are really there to blow up a bridge. but they end up blowing up a dam to get the bridge. It seems to be pretty much there.

  2. Thanks for your suggestion, but I’m afraid this doesn’t look like the movie I’m searching for. There’s no mention of an underground lab, nor scientists who have been compelled to help Nazis, nor of any inter-group conflict on whether the scientists should be warned or not. It’s close, but the goal seems to be to destroy a bridge, not a laboratory via dam explosion. Please let me know if you think of anything else!

    1. Thank you for your suggestion, Sandnc. It took me a long time to find a copy of “Hornet’s Nest” so I could watch it. Alas, it is not the movie I’m looking for. I can see why you suggested it, though. Some elements are very similar.
      The movie I’m looking for has fully adult men as the soldiers looking to destroy the dam, and at least most of them survive most of the movie. To my knowledge, there are no older boys, teenagers or other young men acting with them. A significant part of the movie is about the inter-group conflict dealing with whether the scientists should be given a chance to try to save themselves, as this could potentially jeopardize the mission.
      I appreciate your suggestion. If you have any more, please share them.

    1. Thank you, RandomMan, for this suggestion. I was able to see most of this movie and it is NOT the one I am looking for. Some parts of it are quite close, but I suspect the movie I want is more of a “B” style movie than this one is.
      Thanks again for you suggestion. I hope to find a copy of your second suggestion soon. Maybe that is the movie I’m after!

    1. Thank you for the suggestion, Random Man. I finally saw “Heroes of Telemark” and that is not the movie. A big part of the movie I’m hoping to find is about whether the scientist are collaborators, and thereby deserving to die with the Nazis, or if they are hostages who are merely trying to survive a very bad situation, and should therefore be warned so they can try to escape. I didn’t see any of that in the Telemark movie. I did enjoy it, though, and would not have watched it if not for your suggestion. Thanks for that!

      1. I’m looking for the name of that movie too. Do you some explosive to blow up the dam inside the dam the dam doesn’t blow. The bomb goes off and weakens the dam. the static pressure of the water slowly cracks it and breaks it. I’ve been trying to remember that for a month now every day what’s wrong with me?

        1. I’m pretty sure that’s the first suggestion on this thread–Force 10 from Navarone. I watched it after it was kindly suggested, to see if it was the movie I’m after. Sadly, it wasn’t, but I think it’s the one you want.

        2. I remember a scene with an engineer (British?) with a pipe, sitting on a bluff that overlooks the dam. The explosives go off, but the dam remains apparently undamaged. When the man with NO pipe comments to the effect that it didn’t work, the pipe-smoking chap calmly replies with “give it time”..or something similar, such as “let nature takes its course”. Nags at me, to this day–I’ve seen it a few times during my lifetime, but cannot recall the movie’s title…

          1. The movie is literally Force 10 from Navarone. I downloaded it and watched it about a year ago. That is the movie.

          2. Excellent description of a scene that I’ve revisited hundreds of times in my life. I use that scene as an analogy all the time. Thanks for starting this discussion!

  3. Force ten from navarone don’t blow up a dam. They blow up big guns that block the passage way for the USA etc to get surround troops off a beach.
    I think I’m looking for the same movie. They put charges against the internals of a dam walll to fracture the wall. Then yep water pressure finds cracks and the dam falls down.

  4. I am looking for a similar movie, same time frame. In this movie the allied planes had to come low and at a certain angle to drop the bombs, to hit the dam at the precise point and blow it up. The destruction of the dam caused tremendous damage to German facilities downstream. i remember seeing it around 1964.

    1. That’s Dambusters, they skipped bombs on the lake to get them under enemy defenses and into the right place. Amazing feat of engineering, and Nova has an episode about recreating it.

    1. Thanks, Pierre, but I know this isn’t it because it was already suggested, and I watched it. The movie I’m looking for has more of a shiny 60s vibe, with stainless steel labs and shiny equipment.

    1. Thank you, Tamara, but that was the first movie suggested and I’ve already determined that is not the movie. It’s a popular guess, though!

      1. Also no it, but thank you.
        You can read some other comments to learn the differences between Force 10 and the movie I’m looking for, if you care to.

    1. Then, you’re probably looking for Force 10 from Navarone. Sadly, that’s not the movie I am looking for.

    1. I’m sorry, but while this movie has many similarities, it is not the ,ovie I’m looking for. I will look into the other Dirty Dozen movies, too.

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