Lt. Werner is a fictional character from the film Das Boot, in which he was a journalist and war correspondent during the Second World War. In 1941, he joined the crew of U-96, initially excited but soon realizing the true horrors of submarine warfare.
In the Parodies
In the U-Boat Parodies, Werner made a few appearances in early videos, although he was never referred to by name and had only one actual speaking role. He was first introduced as a regular character in "Captain Willenbrock Tries to Improve the U-Boat Parodies", in which Werner was considered as a counterpart for Alfred Jodl when he showed a capability of objecting to the Captain's plans (having objected to his plan "to find someone to object to his plans").
However, he has since been given the job as Captain Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock's master of Antics, making him his "answer" to Hermann Fegelein. However, unlike Fegelein, Werner is relatively inexperienced, and is slowly learning how to commit antics. So far, he has successfully committed two antics. The first, which was suggested by Captain Willenbrock, involved taking pictures of the submarine, and sending them in a folder marked "very important news" to Adolf Hitler and possibly Joseph Stalin.
For his second antic, Willenbrock took advantage of Hitler's recent scheme to eliminate him and Stalin. Werner met up with Mikhail Tukhachevsky, and they collaborated in a strange antic which involved playing Justin Bieber throughout Hitler's bunker.
Werner recently got yet another opportunity to perform a series of antics against Hitler when he decided to build an underwater oil rig. Captain Willenbrock found out about this, and hired Werner to sabotage his operation. He started by placing Tabasco sauce in Hitler's ginger ale, and then proceeded to do various other antics before Captain Willenbrock flooded the oil rig.
Werner recently worked (unknowingly) with Tukhachevksy a second time when Heinrich Himmler decided to give him antic lessons. Werner managed to place a strange antic potion that deformed Hitler's face, while Tukhachevsky had the task of sabotaging the antidote.
Outside of his work in antics, Werner also worked as an assistant to Captain Willenbrock during the development of their amusement park NavyLand.
He was considered a significant figure in the Parody Universe by Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the Soviet Grand Master of Antics and People's Commissar for Antics, to the extent that he was invited to the antic conference hosted by Tukhachevsky on his personal Antic Jet. When Fegelein attacked in mid-flight, the window nearest to Werner on the observation deck was shattered and he was thrown out of the plane by the air pressure, alongside all the other dictators. However he seems innovative and pragmatic and so probably survived somehow. He also survived in the Benad361 parody Hitler Reminisces: Adventures on Skull Island. He was one of the notably Parody Universe individuals to accompany Hitler, Stalin and others on a holiday/adventure to Skull Island. He fled with the rest of the men when the Apatosaurus stampeded, and managed to survive the threats of either being attacked and eaten, or trampled.
Comparisons with Other Antic Masters
Similarities To the Other Antic Masters
- Fegelein, Merriman, Tukhachevsky, and Werner are all interested in committing antics.
- All four have primarily focused their antics on Hitler, and succeeded in making him angry.
Differences From the Other Antic Masters
- Fegelein regularly commits antics against his boss, Adolf Hitler, and occasionally other officers. Tukhachevsky has also committed an antic on Stalin, while Werner has yet to play an antic against Captain Willenbrock or any other characters from the U-Boat Parodies.
- Fegelein often acts more playful and and optimistic, while Tukhachevsky is colder and warlike. Werner is usually quiet and shy, possibly to keep others from knowing when he's planning an antic.
- Tukhachevsky and Fegelein both held a position of government, whilst Werner is arguably a civilian like Merriman.
- Werner was never charged with treason, let alone executed, making him (along with Merriman) one of the only two antic masters to have survived the events of his respective film (Fegelein and Tukhachevsky were both executed by firing squad in their respective films, and Khamis's appearances in the parodies use actual footage, rather than clips from a movie).
- Fegelein commits antics on a daily basis, while Werner pulls them much less frequently.
- Fegelein is a professional antic master with a long record of irritating Hitler, while Werner is something of a rookie with a lot of potential.
- Fegelein mainly creates his own antic equipment, while Werner tends to either consult antic dealers or utilize commonplace items, such as folders, cameras, and Tabasco sauce.
- Many of Fegelein's antics involve causing physical harm to Hitler, such as kicking him in the testicle or dropping a piano on his head, while Tukhachevksy's antics are based more around embarrassing Hitler, such as tricking him into reading pro-Soviet propaganda out-loud. Werner's antics seem to be based more on simply irritating Hitler, such as sending him a folder claiming it is important news only for it to be a photograph of a submarine or slipping tabasco sauce in his ginger ale.
- Fegelein and Mikhail Tukhachevsky were both real-life historical figures, while Werner was technically a fictional character in Das Boot (much like Felicity Merriman, who in turn is a character in the American Girl book series), although his experiences in the story were based on those of the book's author, who was a war correspondent and served aboard the real-life U-96.
- Fegelein, Tukhachevsky, and Merriman are known to be much more independent, while Werner often consults others, particularly Captain Willenbrock for ideas. He also frequently finds himself taking jobs requiring him to perform antics on someone (usually Hitler) in order to help someone achieve their goal.
- Werner's experiences in Das Boot were based on those of Lothar-Günther Buchheim, a war correspondent who served aboard the real-life U-96 during one of her patrols. Bucheim later wrote several autobiographical accounts of his experiences, and also used his knowledge to write Das Boot as a fictional but realistic account of submarine warfare. While the book itself didn't mention any name of the narrator, director of the film Wolfgang Petersen coined the narrator's name as Werner.
- It is then arguable that Lothar-Günther Buchheim himself is Lt. Werner in real-life.
- Herbert Grönemeyer, who played Werner, is also a singer; however none of his songs were used in Downfall parodies, unlike Justus von Dohnanyi (Burgdorf)'s "Alle Kinder Dieser Erde" and Christian Redl (Jodl)'s "Francois Villon".
- In fact, most of his songs were unsuitable to be used in a parody and some of them were recorded in English, eg. "Full Moon".