Birkenhead U Boat

barrypriddis
18th May 2006, 00:53
Saw what I assume is a WWII U Boat when passing through Birkenhead recently.

Anybody know more about this??

Bill Lambert
18th May 2006, 01:12
I don't know much about it except that it was raised from the bed of the North Sea off of Denmark. It was sunk by aircraft, I think, in or around May 1945. It was rumoured to have had Martin Boreman onboard with talk of nazi gold too. I hear from this sight, that the Museum there (Birkenhead) is closing down.

Santos
18th May 2006, 14:58
She is U534.

Full story about her and loads of great pictures at the site below :-

http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/u534.html

Chris.

fredkinghorn
18th May 2006, 17:03
Many years ago, the R.N. had a recruiting drive in the small town of Dalkeith in Midlothian. The had a "mock-up" of a submarine into which members of the public could enter. During the night, a fire started inside the submarine, and the crew from Dalkeith fire station, myself i/c attended. It was a small fire easily dealt with and was soon under control. Procedure was that a message had to be sent back to Control to advise of proceedings. " Small fire in submarine -High Street, Dalkeith, at work with hosereel." Silence from Control. " Repeat message" relayed Control. Message was repeated. " Repeat to Control please " Repeated with the addition-" Stop-returning to Station."
When we got back the 'phone was ringing "off the hook ". A Senior Officer was on the line--" Fred, what the **** are you playing at, ****ing submarine " I dutifully explained and he quietened down. I must be the only fireman that had a submarine on fire in the Main Street of a small town in the U.K. ( UNLESS YOU KNOW SOMETHING DIFFERENT )

fred

"prepare to slip "

barrypriddis
18th May 2006, 22:38
Chris
Thanks for all the information. Absolutely fascinating. The potential loss of the U Boat and Museum is awfull. Like all things in todays world, money and greed appear to be the final arbiter.

trawler_models
18th May 2006, 22:49
I visited the museum last July and had a tour inside the U-boat. Although all the woodwork inside had rotted away, it was still 'real' enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

The museum also had HMS Onyx, HMS Plymouth, HMS Bronnington and other craft, such as WWII landing craft, plus an inside display of artifacts, primarily from the U-boat.

The staff were knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and obviously cared about what they were doing.

It's disgusting that an informative and well run facility such as this is allowed to be swept aside in the name of regeneration (the area it's located in is to be redeveloped, ALA Londons Docklands style).

Just another nail in the coffin of our maritime heritage whilst the Government seems to find the funds for everything else they want to do (including illegal wars...).

Santos
19th May 2006, 20:02
Dave,

I couldnt agree more. Not only have you these ships taken away but also the Manxman is being refused grants and likely to be scrapped.

Britain being an island owes its lifeblood to its sailors and the ships they sailed on. Why oh why then do we not treasure their memories and have at least a few preserved merchant and naval ships around the country.

People argue, and I have had this thrown at me, you have the Victory, Warrior, Cutty Sark, the Royal Yacht, why do you want more.

I could quite rightly argue, we have scores of Museums around the country, probably at least one in every city, why should there be that many. I am told because everyone has a right to know and see what life used to be like.

OK I can accept that, but where is the difference between a museum and an old ship, which is a museum of life in itself.

Excuse me if I sound cynical, but Liverpool is going to be the City of Culture in 2008, one of the greatest maritime ports in the world and it hasnt got one substantial preserved cargo or passenger ship to show the world.

All the city fathers !!! are interested in are multi story flats, carparks, shopping centres and trams. but what are they going to show the visitors of their culture, nothing but pictures.

Its a laugh, City of Culture and they dont have any examples of where the cities' culture came from. It came from the ships and people from foreign lands that visited Liverpool , the ones that stayed and worked there and brought their culture which mixed into the one that exists today, and the ones that passed through but left their mark in history, thats where it came from.

You are quite right Dave, this Government, local government and so called Developers ( depict someone spitting ) dont give a dam about our past, our heritage, if there is no monetary profit then its no good to them.

History? heritage?,whats that ?.

Chris. (Cloud)

eldersuk
19th May 2006, 23:04
History? Heritage? Culture? Too many people in Liverpool think it all started with the Beatles. I am a scouser born and bred and the ignorance of some in this city amazes me. A city full of beautiful and impressive buildings, parks, museums, real culture under their noses and so many can't see it. Where do they think it all came from? 90% from shipping, that's where.

LEEJ
20th May 2006, 12:20
A couple of years ago I went into Liverpools' maritime museum and asked for a red ensign badge. The girl on the desk had no idea what the red ensign was! (Cloud)

norman.r
21st May 2006, 13:49
I strongly agree with the views expressed about the preservation of pieces of our heritage and deeply regret the way our past so quickly disappears.This present day and age everything is required to be self supporting with little financial help available from local and national government.
In contrast to this I came across a picture in the May edition of NUMAST Telegraph showing "Freedom of the Seas" arriving at Hamburg and in the forefront of the picture was "Cap San Diego" last in a series of six bulk cargo ships operated by Reederei Hamburg-Sud and preserved since 1986 as a testimony to seafaring.

MCM Matze
28th February 2008, 12:23
We Germans have quite a few museums too. In Peenemuende maritime museum a Tarantul-Corvette and a Juliett-Class sub are displayed. On Dänholm Island near Stralsund, which is the cradle of the German navy, the Navy Museum is displaying a Libelle-Class MTB and a Mi-14 helicoper. This museum will be closed in the next months due to money shortage by our land. In the port of Stralsund the original KMS Gorch Fock is berthed. Near Kiel we*ve the Naval Memorial Laboe which is excellent and U995 laying on the beach. In Wilhelmshaven you can visit John F. Adams-Class exFGS Mölders, minehunter exFGS Weilheim and sub exU9. In Bremerhaven is the nice shipping museum with SV Seute Deern and the oldtimer harbour together with XXI-Type sub exFGS Wilhelm Bauer. MV Cap San Diego and SV Rickmer Rickmers in Hamburg. SV Passat in Luebeck.
Only sad that most Germans aren*t interested in naval things or their own naval or maritime history at all. If you go by train from north to south you*ll be happy if the train passagers don*t give you their tickets because some of them confound you with the stewart controlling tickets.

MCM Matze
29th February 2008, 14:19
I didn*t say anything about my hometown ... Sassnitz. We*ve got a small harbour and fishery museum (with 26,5m-Steel fishing vessel Elbe) and we*ve got HMS Otus the Oberon-Class Sub.

ddraigmor
1st March 2008, 23:10
I believe that U-534 is to be cut up into sections and dis[layed at the ferry terminal on the Wirral side of the Mersey. The Nazi gold / Martin Bormann stories are a crock, by the way. U-534 was first attacked by a Liberator of Coastal Command which was shot down with loss of all of its crew. Then it was time for a second aircraft, G for George, to enter into the attack. The first attack was unsuccessful. The depth charges overshot U-534 but on the second attack, one of the depth charges landed on the deck of U-534, rolled off, exploding directly beneath her. That damage can still be seen.

All of the German crew escaped U-534, but three died from exposure in the water. They were then picked-up by lifeboats from a lightship approximately one mile away.

Apparently, the sections will show how she is inside. News in June 2007 report that the boat will be cut in 3 parts (in Sept) and then moved on the Mersey River and finally put on display there at Woodside. The boat has been bought by Merseytravel who plan to use it as a tourist attraction. Well done Merseytravel!

A great pity all the same Considering we fought the Kriegsmarine and they nearly briought us to our knees and considering that Liverpool was the comand centre for The Battle of The Atlantic, that she represents one of our greatest fears - they can't (they wont!) save her as a complete exhibit.

Maybe if we applied for a lottery fund saying we were going to garland her with flowers as a monument to man's inhumanity to his fellow man, staffed by tree hugging liberals with flowers in their hair and decorated with peace symbols we'd get it. But real history? Forget it.

A sad shame. I was fortunate to have a look around her and as has been said on here, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Jonty

trotterdotpom
2nd March 2008, 01:08
Jonty, you have edited out your mention of the "U Boat re-enactment" fantasies, complete with German uniforms, engendered by your visit to U-534. Your admiration of the Prince Harry "Nazi" look, is odd given your contempt for the Prince Charles look-alikes on supply boats. I hope you were planning on wearing the matlo's swallow-tail cap rather than an officer's steaming bonnet.

Apart from that I agree with the proper preservation of U-534.

John T.

ddraigmor
2nd March 2008, 02:36
Well, I s'pose I did - but then, as there is a German on the thread, I didn't want any misunderstanding. So perhaps I did it intentionally......yet a re-enactment group (for all the right reasons and nothing to do with National Front heavies etc) run properly would have been a bonus, surely? An intact and re-furbished U boat manned by the same sort of people they have in many 'Traditional Centres' and 'Living History' groups is not a bad idea, is it?

When did I admire Price Harry John? I haven't commented on him or what he did so how do you tie that in - or is that your own slant on things? Serious historiocal re-enactment is far different to dressing up for a fancy dress party.

I mean, while we're airing the past (sic) what would you say if I told you I did about two years in a Roman re-enactment group, including two TV appearances and lots of summer shows fighting equally 'odd' Celtic re-enactment groups, haviung drill and battle commands in Latin? In full armour? Why did I do it? Because I love that period and also wrote two lengthy articles on both invasions of Anglesey for a military history site plus a short series of three for the BBC. No harm in getting some experience behind you to make a piece more 'authentic'. That's my view.

I mean, as an Anglesey born lad site of two serious attempts by the Romans (under Suetonius Paulinus and later Agricola) on 'ethnic cleanising', where does that leave me?

It is what you make of it John - and additional reminders add a far more attractive pull to something like that than simply having a dead ship operated by guides.....Maybe you don't have that re-enactment culture in Australia but then, your history is not that colourful or diverse is it....

Jonty

sparkie2182
2nd March 2008, 02:53
middlesboroughs history is pretty colourful and diverse though, jonty.

:)

trotterdotpom
2nd March 2008, 09:13
I can't speak for MCM Matze, but he seems to be a pretty switched on young man, I'm sure he wouldn't be offended by the thought of a "re-enactment" on the old U Boat. He may think it odd though, I doubt that they have people dressed up as John Mills on HMS Otus at Sassnitz.

I didn't say you had an admiration for Prince Harry, rather the "look", referring as you say, to his silly dress-up act. The whole uniform thing seemed to go against your previous input on uniforms and the "class struggle" in the offshore industry, that is what I was referring to.

As for historical re-enactments, they don't do much for me, but whatever floats your supply boat....

I also don't go much on the recent trend to have dramatised documentary TV programs depicting historical events. Their bad scripts and equally bad acting do nothing for me. I prefer the old dry as sticks experts standing in front of maps and waving artifacts about, but that's just me.

There does seem to be something of a re-enactment culture Downunder - there is a chapter of the "Sealed Knot" here and not five leagues from where I bide there is a jousting competition each year. To me it seems a bit silly under the azure skies and amongst the lacy gum trees. The kangaroos, chewing the grass and watching impassively seem to agree with me.

Auf Wiedersehen, Digger.

John T. (Harrowing of the North, 11th Century - Survivor).

ddraigmor
2nd March 2008, 10:24
Well, I can't argue with most of that!

It depends on the group doing the re-enactment. I agree with you about the jousting - but some of them do that extremely well and the Sealed Knot is not out of place where I live and does spur an interest in history for many. In Australia dn the US however, jousting is a touristy thing......so a sense of place would be OK rather than a need to provide thrills for the gongoozlers!

Dramatised TV also gives a sense of purpose but you are right - some of the ones I have seen have been particularly badly done......

Maybe I shold point out that working aboard a ship and having people in uniform was anaethma to me - especially when they did nothing much more than pose whilst on watch rather than lend a hand where they were paid to!

I get your points about uniforms. However, that was back then when I worked in the industry. Out of it, I see things differently - but my experience of those days was the way I put it down. As for class struggle as you rather blithley put it, again that was how it seemed to me - especially when compared to other vessels I had been on where such a distinction was not in place. We each have our views and I guess it depends on the how we came into the game that colours that view.

Last year I was at a 'Warbirds' Day - aircraft - at a small airfield not far from here. Two re-enactment groups - one British and one German - were fighting it out with a repluica Tger tank supportuing the German Infantry and two Shermans supported the UK lot. Overhead were a couple of Spitfires, a P-51D Mustang and two ME-109's. A Lancaster later made an appearance as did a Dakota. That was good. Co-ordinated very well and with a good commentary, lots of explosions and the chatter of both rifle, cannon and MG fire backing it up. It showed the aircraft in a facsimilie of their role, complete with diving whines, roaring Packards and Rolls Royce Merlins - and made me get some idea of what it must have been like for the infantryman.

So, well done and with a purpose - great. If making the U boat more 'realistic' by adding some 'living colour' to it, even better.

Horses - as they say here - for courses!

Sparkie - eh? I missed that one!

Jonty

MCM Matze
2nd March 2008, 14:21
As the German I say that either I*m offended or so interested. In my opinion of historic military re-enactments it*s more important who is involved and what is shown. Wouldn*t like to see Neo-Nazis playing Waffen-SS. In Stralsund is every year an event called Wallenstein Days. It*s a big fairy but it shows also personnel acting as Swedish, German protestantic or catholic soldiers of the 30 Years War. Or the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. It*s shown almost every year. Maybe it*s one of the ways for interesting the youth which is mostly interested in ringtones and PC games as books are "uncool".

Off course, a flight day with 200 B-17 or Lancasters over Dresden or Hamburg wouldn*t be so popular, too. (Jester)

Coastie
2nd March 2008, 19:22
[QUOTE=MCM Matze;193940.........................Off course, a flight day with 200 B-17 or Lancasters over Dresden or Hamburg wouldn*t be so popular, too. (Jester)[/QUOTE]

(Jester) (Jester) No, I bet it wouldn't!!! (Jester)

ddraigmor
2nd March 2008, 21:20
MCM Matze,

Nope - but I have seen a couple of ME 109's and a (replica) Focke Wulf 190 tearing up an English airfield and I thought it was fantastic!

If U-534 was in Germany, do you think she would be as popular as the boat near Moltentort? I have been there and am always humbled by the German Navy Memorial which is a testament to what the U boat stood for.

Jonty

nhp651
3rd March 2008, 08:43
(A) Lancasters and B-17's over Dresden?
Matze, you are a rare bread indeed .
A german with a sense of humour??!!(Jester) (nothing nasty or derogatory intended), but nice to hear your comments.
The thought of that would be like 100 sadams coming to one of the queens garden parties.
(Hippy) I'm sure jonty would be there though?:sweat:

MCM Matze
3rd March 2008, 20:45
... just going to rise my old GDR-Flag on top of HMS Otus ... :-)

No, I don*t think Germany needs another submarine memorial. As for Möltenort, that*s a memorial for the lost submariners as men not as part of weapons. In my eyes a selfless but also pointless sacrifice of them.

Ever visited the German naval memorial in Laboe near Kiel? When in the lower hall (hall of silence) below the place of Laboe tower everyone is quiet and feeling very small.

ddraigmor
3rd March 2008, 21:05
Matze,

Yes, I was fortunate to go there. There is a serenity about the lower hall that is tinged with a sadness and yet also a sense of loss - as you say, a selfless but also pointless sacrifice.

I takle back what I say on re-enactment with 'our' U-boat. After what you reminded me of when I visited Laboe, I recalled the feeling.

Jonty

Dickyboy
29th June 2009, 21:00
She is U534.

Full story about her and loads of great pictures at the site below :-

http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/u534.html

Chris.
As a matter of intrest, what I assume was one of U 534s Sister ships, the U532 was the only submarine to surrender to the Liverpool Authorities at the end of WW2 (Google 'U532' for info) U 532 sunk the Tugali, a 2000 ton Australian cargo ship.
Perhaps the U 534 was preserved on the Mersey because she was the sister of 532? (Thumb)

Thats another Story
29th June 2009, 23:32
No Money In Liverpool 2500 000 For Rusty Art On Crosby Beach The Only Thing Thier Good For Is Dogs Pissing On Them When The Tides Out?

Cutsplice
29th June 2009, 23:51
John I could not agree more, these rusty men are deemed to be art, sadly art is deemed to be more important than preserving artifacts of history/heritage.

Bernard McIver
29th June 2009, 23:55
Hello Dickyboy,

You are correct in assuming that U534 was a sister ship of U532, they were Type IXC/40. I would be surprised if U532 was the only surrendered Uboat taken to Liverpool, but if you know this to be a fact I would appreciate your confirmation as the "Tulagi" and U532 are the subject of my Family History project. My thoughts are that the connection between both Uboats and Liverpool is coincidental.

Purely of personal interest, another sister ship of U532, U533, was sunk in the Gulf of Oman on 16th October 1943 just a few days before the ship I was on passed through on the way to the Persian Gulf. Surprising how these things come together after all these years.

Regards,
Bernard

elinge
30th June 2009, 00:01
Please, look at this pictures and storyes about the U-534. One of the webpages is in spanish, but I think the photos speaks by itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unterseeboot_534

http://wappy.ws/submarino-u534-un-fantasma-dormido.html

Dickyboy
1st July 2009, 09:52
Hello Dickyboy,

You are correct in assuming that U534 was a sister ship of U532, they were Type IXC/40. I would be surprised if U532 was the only surrendered Uboat taken to Liverpool, but if you know this to be a fact I would appreciate your confirmation as the "Tulagi" and U532 are the subject of my Family History project. My thoughts are that the connection between both Uboats and Liverpool is coincidental.

Purely of personal interest, another sister ship of U532, U533, was sunk in the Gulf of Oman on 16th October 1943 just a few days before the ship I was on passed through on the way to the Persian Gulf. Surprising how these things come together after all these years.

Regards,
Bernard
Hi Bernard
For the life of me I can't find the reference about the surrender of U 532 in Liverpool. I'm sure I read it somewhere though. What I was saying was that the U 532 was the only sub to surrender to military personnel based in Liverpool, so I assume the only one that Liverpool got the credit for, as it were. No doubt other Subs that surrendered elsewhere were taken to Liverpool.
She actually surrendered off the West coast of Ireland and was escorted into Liverpool. Five RN Ratings and 1 officer were aboard. The German Skipper wanted to submerge because of bad weather, and was refused the request and one German Seaman was lost overboard. Bit of a bummer for him, to die a few hours after surrender.
As for the Tulgali, there is plenty of info about her on this and an Oz site.
If you can go to my very early posts there are some links there. Or Burns Co shipping threads should should be able to give you more info. You're probably been down that route anyway.
It's a very interesting area of the war, The Oz, PNG region, and little is known about it, by me at least, up this end.

Cooky Boy
1st July 2009, 10:59
There is a small entry on u-boat.net confirming her surrender at Liverpool 10th May 1945.
http://uboat.net/boats/u532.htm
Not much but some more at
http://fortships.tripod.com/u532.htm
http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?14234

Dickyboy
1st July 2009, 16:20
Thanks for those links Cooky Boy, I had seen the first two before.
I did read somewhere that she surrendered to the RN off the West Coast of Ireland. The report I read never mentioned the Isle of Man.

Prudence
7th September 2009, 09:31
The U-532 along with many other submarines was sunk in OPERATION DEAD LIGHT. She was sunk by HMS TANTIVITY. Divers have been down into these waters and film has been taken. Plots of the locations can be viewed on the net. The Commander Otto Heimlich Junker who received the highest order of the Iron Cross just after sinking the
M.V.Tulagi, actually surrendered at sea, when Admiral Doneitz then the Acting Head of the German State broadcast that all were to surrender. The U-532 had a valuable cargo and some submarines which sailed into Liverpool were carrying uranium amongst other interesting war time cargoes. Prudence

kevin morgan
7th September 2009, 10:11
Those bloody woolybacks will nick and flog anything!

C Brown
3rd May 2012, 15:23
U532 sank my grandfather's ship in March 1945. She was the Baron Jedburgh. Two boats were launched, one picked up by a Union Castle ship, the other, with my grandfather, Capt EA Brown, in charge, took two weeks to navigate from mid Atlantic to Brazil. I had understood that U532 had ended up in Barrow-in-Furness, although different accounts appear in different places on the web.

LaurieClark
24th November 2012, 01:11
U532 sank my grandfather's ship in March 1945. She was the Baron Jedburgh. Two boats were launched, one picked up by a Union Castle ship, the other, with my grandfather, Capt EA Brown, in charge, took two weeks to navigate from mid Atlantic to Brazil. I had understood that U532 had ended up in Barrow-in-Furness, although different accounts appear in different places on the web.

I have just seen your post, and another asking for any information about your grandfather.

My wife's father was a 16 year old on the Baron Jedburgh when it was sunk. He is still very much alive and has very clear and detailed memories of the events before and after the sinking. He was in the lifeboat with your grandfather. If you send me an email privately I will be happy to tell you more, and perhaps put you in touch with my father in law.

I would be interested to hear whether you know if there are any other survivors still living.