Captain Oskar Schomburg was a Nazi Kriegsmarine officer and sailor. He commanded the Wurrfler, a U-boat, in 1936, when it was used to intercept the Bantu Wind after it left Egypt with the Ark of the Covenant.


Oskar Schomburg stayed aboard his submarine and was not involved in the apprehension of the Ark or Marion Ravenwood, leaving that task to Colonel Dietrich and Frenchman René Belloq. When the U-boat arrived at Geheimhaven, Schomburg stood in the vessel's conning tower as Belloq, Dietrich, Toht and the other Nazis disembarked, preparing to accompany the Ark for its opening ceremony at the Tabernacle.

Behind the scenesEdit

The uncredited role of the submarine captain, named in Lawrence Kasdan's script as "The Wurrfler Captain", was played by the late Michael Sheard, who had originally auditioned, unsuccessfully, for the role of Major Toht. Sheard later went on to portray Adolf Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Schomburg at the Wurrfler's conning tower.

The captain has additional scenes in the film's script but, according to Sheard, the scenes were never shot and his character only appears on-screen standing in the conning tower of the submarine.[1] This happened due a change in weather which resulted in the film's crew moving on to Tunisia while Sheard traveled to Scotland to fulfil a commitment that he had with another production.[2]

The Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook later identified the Wurrfler captain as Oskar Schomburg, though the historical Schomburg commanded U-26 in 1938 and 1939. U-26 was captained by Werner Hartmann in 1936.



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