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.
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 )
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...).
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? 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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....
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 do***entary 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).
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.
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)