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Thread: Kriegsmarine U-534, Birkenhead

  1. #31
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    As I said, you're both welcome. I hope he likes them!


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  2. #32
    jimmy jimmy's Avatar
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    Default Kriegsmarine U-Boats

    Chippie I found this site, it may be of some interest to your friend Frank
    and to some others on this forum. www.uboat.net

  3. #33
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chippie View Post
    Thanks Snappel, just read your report, very good. Sometimes it,s just as well we read about the other side,s stories, could make us feel human .

    Thank you again for your permission, Frank will be pleased.
    I hate to put a damper on all this...oh these poor German sailors. My uncle, a Liverpool merchant sailor, was killed in WW2 after being torpedoed in mid Atlanic by a U-Boat. The 15 year old cabin boy, from Liverpool, took to one of the 4 lifeboats launched and died of exposure.

    I can honestly say I hold no affection towards German U-Boat crews. None at all.

    This U-Boat shot down a British Liberator plane killing the crew? All it had to do was raise a white flag and attacks would have stopped. But, no they took to the gun. They had already been ordered to surrender by their own command and never - probably the reason the Cptn commited suicide as he knew he would have been hung. No time for them at all - scum!!!
    Last edited by Waterways; 09-29-2007 at 10:52 PM.
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  4. #34
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    That's such a narrow minded viewpoint.

    The U-boat crews were doing their job, just as our seamen were doing theirs. Both sides committed terrible acts. Your uncle may have died of exposure, but enough U-boats were savagely sunk even when they were crippled and incapable of retaliating. Those men suffered a death just as unpleasant.

    The only damper you've applied is on yourself...
    Last edited by Kev; 09-30-2007 at 08:49 PM.

  5. #35
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    Hey waterways, the war is finished. We are a part Teutonic race, we have a German queen on the throne. I have relatives left in a French grave and three in a watery grave somewhere only they know. And the war ended over 60 years ago. You don,t have to forget but you can forgive. I don,t knoe how many of my family killed enemy husbands and sons, but all that was history. I ,m just thankful my pos came back and I didn,t have to go through it.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappel View Post
    That's such a narrow minded viewpoint.

    The U-boat crews were doing their job, just as our seamen were doing theirs. Both sides committed terrible acts. Your uncle may have died of exposure, but enough U-boats were savagely sunk even when they were crippled and incapable of retaliating. Those men suffered a death just as unpleasant.

    The only damper you've applied is on yourself...
    The prime point is. We were right and they were wrong.

    "Savagely sunk"? If one came to the surface and was sinking they may have been ignored as other U-Boats were on the prowl and ships would not stop to assist for fear of torpedoes. Allied merchant ships were ordered not to stop when in convoy and many knowingly went right over British sailors in the water from a sinking further up the convoy. The last thing they wanted to do was risk their own lives for a U_Boat crew. Also the U-Boat crews did the odd acts like feining surrender and then open up. So, their intentions were not believed too often. They wee crewed by brainwashed kids were were in the Hitler youth, so were unpredictable.

    BTW, the uncle never died of exposure, the cabin boy did. Another uncle was torpedoed twice - but was never sunk,. The torpedoes never went off. He was in the engine room and one came crashing in near him. Lucky man.

    Before you start thinking that Germans in WW2 were fair and upright, look at what they did to the Russian civilians when they marched in, village after village - and they were NOT SS men either. Another uncle was one of the first to liberate Bergan-Belsen death camp. Have an evening by the fire listening to these men.

    No time for them as a whole, and especially the crew of THAT U-Boat.

    The modern German is a different animal though. I have worked there a number of times.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by chippie View Post
    Hey waterways, the war is finished.
    It is this poor German military men view I can't stand. Paint them as they were. Supporting an evil regime.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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  8. #38
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    We,ve been supporting an evil regime since we were called "Great Britain" marching into peaceful countries and killing the locals and calling their country ours. So don,t give me that Sh***

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chippie View Post
    We,ve been supporting an evil regime since we were called "Great Britain" marching into peaceful countries and killing the locals and calling their country ours. So don,t give me that Sh***
    We stopped that 150 years ago. By WW2 large sections of the empire was and was to be given independence.

    BTW, the British did not take territory for the sake of it. There
    was a policy against that most of the time. Ask Cecil Rhodes
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  10. #40
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    Hang on a minute, do you have Cecil,s mobile number?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chippie View Post
    Hang on a minute, do you have Cecil,s mobile number?
    Read Empire by Nial Ferguson.
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  12. #42
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    Waterways, you are one of a kind. Hey fellas don't let him wind you up, he is the worlds number one expert at it. Glad to see you back BTW.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    It is this poor German military men view I can't stand. Paint them as they were. Supporting an evil regime.
    Just last Saturday I took my boy to see the USS Red Oak Victory (in Richmond, California), one of the last "Victory" ships built. Although this particular "Victory ship" (7000 ton armed merchantman) served in the Pacific (and Vietnam) rather than the Battle of the Atlantic, nonetheless the very old WWII era Chief Engineer on board has been on the Murmansk run and seen U-Boat action personally.

    What he said did not surprise me in the least. There was a U-Boat commander who came alongside his unarmed merchantman and gave loudhailer instructions on which side to launch lifeboats so the ship could be sunk "safely". (Bear in mind he was a "Chief" and engine-room officers were the among most vulnerable). There were other U-boat Kapitans who would use machine guns to strafe mariners trying to abandon ship.

    People are a mixture of decent and indecent everywhere in my experience. But it's little surprise that Henry Kaiser (Californian industrialist) persuaded Roosevelt to give up on Liberty ships and instead build "fast" (15 knots steam turbine)armed merchantmen instead. See http://www.ssredoakvictory.com/

    Liverpool needs to preserve what artifacts are left of and not forget it's WWII era marine history and its strong American connection. More American militarymen have passed through Liverpool than any other place in the UK. At the same time Liverpool needs to ensure that all new developments are focussed around the particularly strong and ancient maritime heritage that is a benefit few cities have.

    It would not be inappropriate to review and renew "Freedom of the (City, Borough, Town)" awards made by Merseyside Cities and Towns to American organisations. I see, for example, Freedom of the Town of Wallasey was granted to All US Forces in 1944, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb..../Wallasey.html). Nothing to be lost and everything to be gained from reminding them that there is no expiration (sic) date to "Freedom". American (and all Allied) servicemen in uniform should still travel free on the ferries for example.

  14. #44
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. There were plenty of reports of Allied servicemen shooting POW's in cold blood, etc. It's easy to think we were the universal defenders of good, but that wasn't always the case. There were good natured people on both sides, but unfortunately for your average soldier of sailor, you couldn't be choosy over which orders you obeyed.

    As it happens I'm off to Germany for a week in December, so it'll be interesting to see what remnants of the wars I can find.

  15. #45
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappel View Post
    Yes, I agree. There were plenty of reports of Allied servicemen shooting POW's in cold blood, etc. It's easy to think we were the universal defenders of good, but that wasn't always the case. There were good natured people on both sides, but unfortunately for your average soldier of sailor, you couldn't be choosy over which orders you obeyed.

    As it happens I'm off to Germany for a week in December, so it'll be interesting to see what remnants of the wars I can find.
    One of my pet history subject is WW2. I know a hell of lot about it. I advise you to do some reading about it.

    My uncle was on the first wave on D-Day and fought the SS hand to hand in Normandy. It was TNP (Take No Prisoners). They just shot the Germans in the heat of battle, especially the SS. In Burma the Japanese had a no surrender policy - they never in The Philippines or Manchuria - and the British killed around 100,000 of them. In the Far East, most Japanese troops were taken out of action by the British and the Soviets, not the USA.

    The British never systematically went through villages killing the inhabitants as the Germans did. We never had death camps and made death a production line. We never never said we were the master race and attempted to make all other subservient to us. We never attempted genocide.

    I can't stand all this bleeding heart PR crap.
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    The British never systematically went through villages killing the inhabitants as the Germans did. We never had death camps and made death a production line. We never never said we were the master race and attempted to make all other subservient to us. We never attempted genocide.
    I hear you on that, but your average German submariner wasn't running the death camps. You're probably getting confused between the Kriegsmarine and the Nazi dictatorship. There were some interesting stories of insides of U-boats being tantamount to treason once they were at sea, as lots of the crews detested the Nazi movement.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappel View Post
    I hear you on that, but your average German submariner wasn't running the death camps.
    They all had the same mentality. Few never.

    You're probably getting confused between the Kriegsmarine and the Nazi dictatorship.
    The Kriegsmarine was a tool of the Nazi regime.

    There were some interesting stories of insides of U-boats being tantamount to treason once they were at sea, as lots of the crews detested the Nazi movement.
    Then why were they sinking Allied ships? If I hated a regime and was enlisted I would go to the most inert part of the military I could. U-Boat crews "volunteered". Many German sailors did not do too much during WW2, as their navy couldn't do that much at all. I would have wanted to be one of those men.
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    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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  18. #48
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    For someone who claims to be an amateur WW2 historian, you don't know much do you?

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappel View Post
    For someone who claims to be an amateur WW2 historian, you don't know much do you?
    Keep going and I'll educate you.
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    how it once was?


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    Ah, this was what I read...

    WATERLOO, Aug 26, 1993 - A former German officer of a sunken World War II U-Boat rumored to be loaded with gold, art treasures or even escaping Nazi officials says that his boat was on no other mission than to surrender when it was sunk in the last days of the war.

    "I don't think any U-boat would have taken a Nazi aboard at that time," says William Brinkmann, 82, who was first officer on board the U-534, which was raised from the bottom of the sea near Sweden by a Dutch salvage company this week. "The Nazis were never that popular among people in the navy."
    Brinkmann was born in Hesse, Germany but lived in Danzig Free State before the war, now the cityof Gdansk in Poland. "We were a free city for 200 years - we only became part of Germany in 1939 after Hitler had invaded us. We knew what was going on in Germany before the war because we got the papers from Berlin and Sweden." Speaking of life under the Nazis he said "We knew that there was something wrong, but it was a total dictatorship. You were a dead man if you said anything against them."
    http://www.geocities.com/lostnprofound/u534.htm

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    THE future of one of the last remaining German U-boats has been safeguarded on Merseyside after a new visitor attraction to house it was given the go-ahead. Read
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

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    Thanks Kev.

    Well, it's interesting to see that they've given a clear explanation for cutting it up. As I thought, moving it in one piece would cost an astronomical amount. Much as I'm going to hate to see it cut up, it's better than it being left to rot further, or worse, be scrapped. If there's a proper visitor centre, and it's looked after and marketed properly, then I think it'll be a worthwhile attraction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    THE future of one of the last remaining German U-boats has been safeguarded on Merseyside after a new visitor attraction to house it was given the go-ahead. Read
    Nice to know. Thanks, Kev!

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    that's a bit of good news.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    that's a bit of good news.
    Yes, I was interested to see in the same article that the new Pier Head building will be used partly for historic exhibits related to the ferries. Hopefully the builder's models that used to be in glass cases at Seacombe will be shown at Pier Head.

    I wonder how many builder's models of Cammell-Laird ships are collecting dust somewhere and need a decent home. Of course they went to the ship owners, so they were dispersed (which is probably a good thing).

    I don't suppose there was ever a model of the Wallasey Belle as it was not bought new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBlack View Post
    Yes, I was interested to see in the same article that the new Pier Head building will be used partly for historic exhibits related to the ferries. Hopefully the builder's models that used to be in glass cases at Seacombe will be shown at Pier Head.

    I wonder how many builder's models of Cammell-Laird ships are collecting dust somewhere and need a decent home. Of course they went to the ship owners, so they were dispersed (which is probably a good thing).

    I don't suppose there was ever a model of the Wallasey Belle as it was not bought new.
    A model of the CSS Alabama and her plans would be nice, although I think Lairds have a recent one somewhere. CSS Alabama was build at Lairds and is the most successful ship in world naval history in ships sunk - about 60 of them. It had a Liverpool crew with mainly Southern American Confederate officers, although some English, fought for America and not once dropped anchor in an American port. I believe Lairds archive is with Wirral Council now.
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    I work right by the u-boat. I kept thinking, I should take a photo while it's still there, but left it too late and now they're working on it.

    Am gonna miss walking past it every day once it's been moved. I noticed they've taken the guns off it. I wonder if there'll be much left there when I go back to work after xmas

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    Hope they do a good job on her, I,m in favour of keeping her but the plans could have been a bit more effective in keeping her a submarine instead of a cut up fish on a slab.

  29. #59
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    Does any old timers remember this little piece of Heyworth Street? On the left was the entrance of St Benedicts Church in Kepler Street. My gramps got married in there in 1924 I think it was.

    Photo curtesy of records office.
    Last edited by chippie; 03-03-2008 at 02:37 PM.

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    Submarine’s new lease of life

    Feb 5 2008 by Kevin Core, Liverpool Echo

    A “GIANT wire cheese cutter” sliced into a piece of Merseyside’s naval history today.

    Work began this morning dividing the German submarine U-534 into four sections.

    Tourist officials hope it will become a major attraction at Mersey Ferries’ Woodside terminal.

    Engineers were using a state-of-the-art diamond wire cutter to cut up the 240 ton U-boat.

    It was sunk en-route to Norway by depth charges dropped by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 547 Squadron.

    The operation is expected to take up to one month.

    Each section will make a day-long journey by floating crane from Mortar Mill Quay to Woodside.

    Cuttings were designed with such precision the sub could be reassembled in one piece.

    But visitors at the new attraction will be able to walk around the hull parts on raised platforms.

    The first section to be removed will be a 23-metre length of the bow.

    Work so far has concentrated on painting the exterior and removing rotten timbers and steelwork from the top deck.

    Due to open in summer, the exhibition area will include artefacts such as tools found on the sub and memorabilia portraying the history of undersea warfare.

    Fifteen thousand litres of diesel remained in the U-534’s storage tanks which had to be pumped out.

    Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel which owns and operates Mersey Ferries, said: “We’re now moving on to the next stage in what is an exciting project to boost tourism on Merseyside.

    “More people than ever will be able to view the sub in its new location with superb viewing areas so that everyone will be able to see what it is like inside.”

    Saved from the breaker

    A PROJECT to restore a 105-year-old coal-powered Merseyside tugboat which was saved from the scrapyard has been given a funding boost.

    The Daniel Adamson is being brought back to its former glory by a team of volunteers.

    Now the project has landed a £10,000 donation from the Merseyside Lightship Preservation Society (MLPS).

    The charity, originally formed to save the historic Mersey Bar lightship Planet, decided that their remaining funds should be spent on the tug after Planet was purchased privately.

    MLPS chairman Stan McNally said: “It was the natural choice, based on Merseyside with the best prospect of success.”

    Built in Birkenhead, the Daniel Adamson is the only surviving steam powered tug tender in the UK.

    History of a relic

    Launched in February 1942 U-534 was most probably a training boat in the Baltic

    She never saw active combat and was used for meteorological purposes

    In May 1944, U-534 was released for operational duty avoiding contact with the enemy to ensure regular weather reports

    On May 5, 1945 while in the Kattegat, north-west of Helsingor, it refused Admiral Dönitz’s order for all U-boats to surrender.

    Heading north towards Norway, with no flag of surrender, she was attacked by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 547 Squadron which dropped depth charges.

    U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink, 49 of 52 crew members survived.

    It was discovered in 1986 and was thought to be carrying Nazi gold. It was given to Merseyside by Karsten Rae.
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