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A+E Networks UK is proud to partner with ZDF Studios on a docu-drama about the women who helped win the battle of The Atlantic

U-boat War Gamers - A+E Networks EMEA

New Sky HISTORY series follows the story of the WRENS


A+E Networks® UK has partnered with ZDF Studios on U-Boat War Gamers (w/t), to premiere in the UK on Sky HISTORY in February 2023, and on The HISTORY Channel in Eastern Europe, Poland, Nordics, Middle East, South Africa, Italy and Germany next year.

Produced by World Media Rights, U-Boat War Gamers (w/t) tells the story of Gilbert Roberts, Jean Laidlaw and the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS) – aka the ‘Wrens’ – as they use revolutionary war gaming tactics to defeat Admiral Karl Dönitz and his Wolf Pack fleets of U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

January 1943: Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of the Nazis’ U-boat fleet, has brought Britain to the brink of starvation by ruthlessly destroying close to a thousand of their merchant ships. If the transatlantic shipping route is cut off, the Allies will lose their last foothold in Western Europe.

The Royal Navy turns to retired war gamer Gilbert Roberts. Roberts is to use war gaming to try to decipher and combat Dönitz’s tactics. To do this, he needs a team, but the Navy can’t spare any men. Instead, he risks the ridicule of high command by turning to the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS) to war game the U-boats’ tactics. In partnership with Jean Laidlaw, one of Britain’s first female chartered accountants, and a small team of resourceful female mathematicians, Roberts acts out naval battles and games the U-boats’ moves on a linoleum floor, using chalk and wooden model ships.

Laidlaw and the Wrens decipher Dönitz’s tactics and develop a method by which the Navy’s destroyers can infiltrate the Wolf Packs and pick off the U-boats one by one. Their ingenuity will ensure the Allies prevail in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The Wrens were some of the greatest war gamers of their generation, but their legacy has largely been ignored. Now the story of these forgotten war gamers can be told, in a UK premiere series narrated by Emmy and Bafta-winning actor Sir Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius, Hamlet, Gladiator).

Dan Korn, VP Programming at A+E Networks UK said: “We’re delighted to partner with ZDF Studios and World Media Right to secure this highly sought-after and accomplished series which embodies our mission at Sky HISTORY to share stories that matter. It tells a truly fascinating story about an unheralded group of female servicewomen in World War II, without whom the Allies could never have won the Battle of the Atlantic”.

U-Boat War Gamers (w/t) was produced by UK indie World Media Rights for ZDF in Germany and Curiosity Stream in the USA. Alan Griffiths is series executive producer for World Media Rights.

Alan Griffiths added: “We have long wanted to tell this story of the women war gamers of the Royal Navy. Using World Media Rights’ proprietary software, we now have the CGI techniques which allow us to recreate the battles between the U-boats and the Royal Navy’s destroyers in the North Atlantic. So U-Boat War Gamers is both realistic and cinematic. This software won us the Broadcast Best Tech innovation last year.”

U-Boat War Gamers (w/t) will be distributed by ZDF Studios of Germany.

SKY HISTORY is available on Sky 123, Virgin 270, Talk Talk 327 and NOW. For more go to or visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.



For more information please contact

David Clifton at A+E Networks® UK on / 07715 799 967
William Taylor at tpf on / 07539 080 231Romin Mukadam at tpf on / 07828 309 007

Editor’s Notes

  • SKY HISTORY is available on Sky 123, Virgin 270, Talk Talk 327 and NOW.
  • Clips, viewing materials and images to be provided on request when available.
  • Interview access available depending on availability.



Sky HISTORY is the flagship brand of the A+E Networks® UK portfolio which is made up of true crime channel Crime + Investigation®; Sky HISTORY2® and free to air channel BLAZE®. Sky HISTORY is available in the UK on Sky, Virgin, Talk Talk and on streaming service NOW.

About A+E Networks EMEA

At A+E Networks EMEA, we share stories that matter everywhere, anywhere. A leader in factual entertainment, our compelling, award-winning content connects with millions across the UK, Nordics, Benelux, Germany, Italy, Spain, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Our portfolio of premium brands – The HISTORY® Channel, Crime + Investigation®, HISTORY2®, BLAZE®, and COSMO TV® - inspire and excite viewers with hit franchises (Forged in Fire), must-see dramas (Vikings) and original commissions (The Hunt for Baltic Gold and Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter). Our stories are global and local, linear and digital, and always compelling. With offices in London, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Munich, and Johannesburg, we are a truly international company that celebrates difference and diversity.

About World Media Rights

Founded by Alan Griffiths in May 2007, World Media Rights has been at the forefront of making box set television series for fifteen years. It’s been a successful model – our series now show on cable TV in the USA and the UK, and globally on Netflix and Curiosity Stream. Our latest Netflix Original is The Road to Victory (launched on 22nd December 2021). WMR has built a formidable team who have no equal in the quality of drama reconstruction they produce. We have our own proprietary CGI techniques which allow us to create a cinema look within a factual budget. Our The Lost Pirate Kingdom (which launched on Netflix on 15th March 2021) won the Broadcast Award for best visual effects in November 2021. With over 400 hours of programming and 38 series under our belt, we have a strong track record of producing television series to budget and on time. We are specialists in international co-production, bolting together deals with as many as five financial partners. Our BAFTA-nominated series World War Two in HD Colour and Hitler’s Circle of Evil are also currently available on Netflix. Other productions include Royals: Keeping the Crown (for Curiosity Stream), The Mafia’s Greatest Hits, Black Ops, Myth Hunters and The Real Story of… made for US channels like Discovery and Reelz Networks