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Thread: Kriegsmarine U-534, Birkenhead

  1. #61
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    Default U-534 Being Moved to New Woodside Exhibit

    From BBC News
    Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 09:38 GMT

    Engineers breaking-up WWII U-boat



    There are only four full-size WWII German U-Boats in existence

    Engineers have started a month-long operation to break up the only World War II German U-Boat in the UK to turn it into a new tourist attraction.
    U-534, which is being moved to Mersey Ferries' Woodside ferry terminal in Birkenhead, will be split into four pieces using a diamond wire cutter.

    The sections, each weighing up to 240 tonnes, will each take a day to move.

    Visitors will be able to walk through sections of the U-boat when the exhibition opens in July.

    The submarine currently stands at Mortar Mill Quay, near Birkenhead, where it formed part of the Historic Warships Museum, which closed last year.

    Merseytravel, which owns and operates Mersey Ferries, bought the vessel to turn into a tourist attraction at its terminal.

    The first of the four sections to be removed is a 23m (75.4 ft) length of the bow, which will be moved by floating crane across the water.

    Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, said: "There are only four U-Boats left. One here, two in Germany and a sister boat of the U-534 in Chicago.

    "It's a really important piece of history which we want to preserve.

    "It's the latest in a series of developments we are undertaking to ensure Mersey Ferries maintains and enhances its position as the most popular paid-for attraction in our region.

    "More people than ever before will be able to view the sub in its new location."

    RAF depth charge

    The Imperial War Museum confirmed there are only four full-size WWII German U-Boats in existence, and that U-534 is the only one in the UK.

    The submarine, launched on 23 September 1942, was used as a training vessel in the Baltic, according to the museum.

    U-534 was sunk on 5 May 1945, in the Kattegat, north-west of Helsingor, Denmark, by depth charges dropped by an RAF Liberator.

    The boat was salvaged in 1993 and brought to the UK in May 1996, before becoming a popular tourist attraction in Seacombe.

    The warships museum was closed down after nearby warehouses were redeveloped and the land was needed for parking space.

    The new exhibition at Woodside, which includes artefacts from the submarine and an enigma machine, is due to open in July.

    More photographs of U-534

  2. #62
    Senior Member shoney's Avatar
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    read this in the echo this morning, it was sunk 48 hours before the end of the war, considering where it was sunk, how on earth did it end up in liverpool ? i think letting people see it is better than letting it rust in some hidden yard or scrapping it

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    The story of U-534,

    U-534 web site

    shoney, scroll down and click on forums, it will give you more info.
    multi multa; nemo omnia novit

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    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    I live on the River Foyle and at the end of WWII the German fleet of submarines surrendered into Derry. The dozens of U Boats were then taken out and scuttled at the mouth of the lough.

    Derry City Council have started a process to refloat one of the subs which is in incredibly good condition to use as a tourist attraction.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    I live on the River Foyle and at the end of WWII the German fleet of submarines surrendered into Derry. The dozens of U Boats were then taken out and scuttled at the mouth of the lough.

    Derry City Council have started a process to refloat one of the subs which is in incredibly good condition to use as a tourist attraction.
    The surrender in Northern Ireland was to give Ulster a feeling of being 100% involved in WW2 - conscription was not enforced in N Ireland, if you didn't want to fight you never. The sinking of the U-Boats was demonstration to the world. In fact they should have been scrapped as metal was short after WW2. There was 115 of them - a lot of metal. A total of 154 U-Boats surrendered after WW2.

    U-Boats at Lisahally awaiting sinking:


    Most were scuttled way out into the Atlantic:
    Last edited by Waterways; 02-07-2008 at 06:36 PM.
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    Plans to renovate a former World War II German submarine and turn it into a tourist attraction have received a major cash boost.

    The U-534 submarine is to become the centrepiece of a new exhibition at the Woodside Ferry Terminal in Wirral which is due to open this summer.

    It has now attracted 550,000 of European Objective One funding.

    Neil Scales from Merseytravel who run the terminal said: "This is a great boost to an exciting project."

    The submarine will be split into sections which will allow visitors to see inside it from specially-built viewing platforms.

    The exhibition in the visitors centre will display some of the four-and-a-half tons of memorabilia that was found on U534.

    This includes an Enigma cipher machine, ammunition, uniforms, tools, charts and maps.

    The entire project is estimated to cost about 2.5m.

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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    Was In Birkenhead again today. The Uboats covered In gray material stuff, not cut Into 4 pieces yet.

    Strangely I thought It was the Liverpool side this was being moved to not reading the articles properly.

    I went through Woodside today wondering why some was fenced off.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Euro-cash for Wirral U-Boat project
    Feb 18 2008
    by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Daily Post

    A SCHEME to rejuvenate Woodside ferry terminal by siting a former German U-Boat there has received a cash boost from the EU.

    The plans by Merseytravel would aim to see the Wirral ferry terminal become a major tourist attraction in the 2.5m scheme.

    Now the plans have been boosted by a 550,000 grant, and it is expected the U-Boat will be opened to the public this summer.

    More...

  9. #69
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    Its good that the site generates such heated debate. Its because people STILL care and thats a good thing, so many years after the war. I can see where you are coming from,Waterways, My own Dad "went into the water" as those (true) men said, when he was still a very young man and his ship was hit. His health was destroyed and returned home to find his house in Sylvester Street, Vauxhall flattened and his wife and baby Daughter in an air raid shelter, covered in soot. However, Snappels report moved me and I know my Dad would have understood. He loved the series "Das Boot" about the German submarine and considered it the best TV he had ever seen about the war fought in the water. He said he thought it was a piece of history, r egardless of the fact that it was about germans. He understood it as he said it was about the war and what weeks and weeks in a "floating toilet" does to your head. Yes, I hate what the Germans did, particularly when I used to hear my poor Dad coughing his guts up 49 years after the war (a spell in a freezing sea will do that to your lungs) but you know what? He knew the score. He always said it was the working class of one Country fighting the working class of the other, with the "Higher ups" (his words) pulling the strings. Yes, the Germans behaved atrociously during the invasion of Poland but read Max Hasting Book about the liberation of Germany by the Russians. It makes for terrifying reading. Mass rapes, including women awaiting birth in maternity units, and merciless killing of civilians.. War does that to men but of course the Germans were morally wrong and I am glad people like my Dad and Waterways relatives stood on the line against them. Back to my point however. Its a piece of History, and it needs to be seen in the context of the times. After all, there are people at the sharp end of British and American guns at the moment, God help the decent people on BOTH sides
    Last edited by Partsky; 02-18-2008 at 11:27 PM.

  10. #70
    Senior Member marky's Avatar
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    I just missed the first section getting transported to Woodside this morning. I couldn't see too much from the Liverpool side as the weather wasn't too bright.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Final piece of U-boat jigsaw is put in place
    Mar 17 2008
    by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Echo

    THE final piece of what had become a very large jigsaw puzzle was put into place at Woodside ferry terminal at the weekend.

    The bow section of the U-534 submarine was transported from Birkenhead docks to sit alongside the four other sections for what will become an unusual tourist attraction.

    More...

  12. #72
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    When I first joined Harrison Line there was an engineer who 'worked by' when ships were in Liverpool, but who never went to sea anymore.
    Only remember his first name, Paddy, and he was quite a small man with thick glasses and hearing aids in both ears.
    He was deaf as a post and some of the junior engineers used to take the pish a bit, as he couldn't hear what they were saying. I saw him on many occasions before sailing but it was two or three years before I heard his story - from someone else, he never spoke about it.
    He was torpedoed twice during the war. The first time he wasn't in the engine room and managed to get in a boat, suffering badly from exposure before being rescued. The second time he was in the engine room with no hope of getting out. An escaping air bubble carried him up a ventilation shaft and spat him out into the sea; his eardrums were burst by the pressure and that was why he had the hearing aids. A nearby vessel picked him up immediately as it was the north Atlantic and survival time in the water was literally minutes.

    The same juniors who'd taken the pish treated him with respect once they'd heard the story and became very protective of him. This was the early 70's and the guy is probably long dead by now.

  13. #73
    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Wonderful information and reflections in this thread. Yes the submarine is a German war vessel, one of the fleet of U-Boats that caused terror on the Atlantic. However, as has been said, it is part of a vital time in world history and needs to be saved and studied for that reason. Great to know it will be preserved and open to the public in such a prime location. Good for Woodside, good for the Wirral, Liverpool, and Merseyside.

    Chris
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin View Post
    He was torpedoed twice during the war.
    I had an uncle who was torpedoed twice, but never sunk - lucky man. Another who was killed in a Belgian ship when sunk by a U-Boat. We only found out a few months ago his name was on the Merchant Navy memorial at Tower Bridge in London. He is here..John Morgan.



    He was deserter from the British Army - how a merchant seaman, a reserved occupation, was called up I don't know. He hated the army, deserted and fought the war the only way he knew, giving the ultimate sacrifice. His name is on the Cenotaph in Antwerp too. The army came for him during the war - he was already dead. Having his name on the Tower Hill Memorial near Tower Bridge, being recognised by his country, means so much to us.

    The name Richardson T, on the memorial was a 15 year old Liverpool cabin boy. He froze to death in a lifeboat. His mother lost two sons in the Merchant Navy and was desperately writing around to find news of one that was missing - poor dear. Here is a letter she wrote:

    --------------------
    From:
    Mrs. M. Richardson
    102 Boundary Street
    Liverpool 5

    February 21, 1943

    Dear Sir,

    Will you excuse me for taking the liberty of writing to you. I saw the Sunday Chronicle with your experience of 49 days in an open boat and I thought it might be the ship that my son was in, it was reported sunk the 6th of December, he was a trimmer and we got word that the ship was sunk with all hands will you be kind enough to let me know as I almost feel that he has been picked up and is prisoner.

    I lost a boy last February on a Belgian ship the SS Gandia he died of exposure after 14 days in a boat this son that is missing now was on SS Cermaic could you please let me know by return of post has I am most anxious

    I will close now wishing you Good Bye & God Bless

    From a Broken Hearted Mother

    Please Answer
    He was trimmer on the ship.
    ___________

    My little girl with WW2 Cruiser HMS Belfast behind:


    Babes great uncles' name is on the other side of the wall:


    Babe with Tower Bridge behind:


    24,000 with no grave but the sea:


    The Memorial:
    Last edited by Waterways; 03-18-2008 at 04:44 PM.
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    Hi Waterways

    Thanks for telling us the sad story of your relative lost at sea during the war. As you say, though a deserter from the British Army, he gave the ultimate sacrifice and is correctly honored for that. Very fine photographs as well, Waterways.

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Waterways

    Thanks for telling us the sad story of your relative lost at sea during the war. As you say, though a deserter from the British Army, he gave the ultimate sacrifice and is correctly honored for that. Very fine photographs as well, Waterways.

    Chris
    The desperate mother whose son was killed on the SS Cermaic. The two sons are on the Memorial at Tower Hill. The U-Boat that sunk her was later sunk by the Americans who took a lot of the crew prisoner. They suspected the U-Boat crew machine gunned the survivors (a lot women on board and some kids), although never proving it. The captain was in a prisoner of war camp in the USA and was shot dead climbing the outer fence.
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Thanks for that story and lovely photos Waterways.

    That sad tale is similar to my in-laws who lost 3 brothers -all aged early 20s at sea and they too are on a memorial at Tower Hill. Strangely enough their father was lost years before them at sea too.

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    A German submarine has gone on display on Merseyside as the centrepiece of a new exhibition.

    The U-534, one of only four remaining in the world, faced an uncertain future after the closure of the Historic Warships Museum in Birkenhead.

    It was bought by ferry operator Merseytravel for one Euro (?0.87) in 2007 and cut into four sections, before being taken to Woodside Ferry Terminal.

    Visitors can now see inside the vessel as part of the U-Boat Story exhibition.

    Each of the vessel's four sections has now been illuminated from the inside with glass panels over each end.

    One of the three T11 Zaukonig advanced homing torpedoes found on board is also on display.

    Artefacts from the U-534 can be seen in an adjoining exhibition centre, including an Enigma Coding Machine, interactive displays, filmed interviews with survivors, a pictorial history of life on board and personal effects of the crew such as clothing, cigars and playing cards.

    Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, said: "We designed an attraction which reinforces the Mersey Ferries links with the history of underwater warfare - and we have further plans to extend this theme.

    "The ferries themselves were awarded the prefix 'Royal' because of the role their predecessors' played in the raid on German U-Boat pens at Zeebrugge during the First World War."

    The exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday.

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    I went across to see it today. It's a bit disappointing not being able to go in/on the boat, but the sections are clearly lit with lots of information boards, and the exhibition centre with displays and things they found on board is fascinating.

    Some pictures:

    The hole-


    Interior-






    Torpedo-


    Lifeboat-


    Camera/films found on board-


    The Enigma Coding Machine



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    Brilliant photo's Anna. I don't have to brave the cold to go see it myself now

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    Great pic's Anna,
    I'll have to make a visit myself!

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    A few days ago:

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    I must admit I wasnt too happy to see U534 cut into sections - but having visited the visitor centre yesterday I came away quite impressed and would recommend a visit.

    I do, however, think the museum rather dominates the Woodside area and does not compliment the rather nice period terminal building.

    I have posted some more photos at

    http://www.irishseashipping.com/phot...534_140209.htm

    John

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    Well worth a look. Did go with some trepidation but proved to be worth a day out.

    As much a shame it was to see it cut into pieces, I feel it was probably the right thing to do, make it accessible, and much better than leaving it to sit and rust on what was basically a bit of fenced off wasteland.












    Enigma Machine



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    excellent
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    didn't know there was spam on german uboats ???
    Don't dream it ... be it !

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    Senior Member Malc-Downing's Avatar
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    I took these in april and totally forgot about them.

    it's worth the trip if your intrested in history.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't dream it ... be it !

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    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Cool Pics


    Kev...Spam above...Delete the blighter!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by corky100 View Post
    Well worth a look. Did go with some trepidation but proved to be worth a day out.

    As much a shame it was to see it cut into pieces, I feel it was probably the right thing to do, make it accessible, and much better than leaving it to sit and rust on what was basically a bit of fenced off wasteland.












    Enigma Machine


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    Mine's bigger than yours!

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