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17 Aug 2007 555 views
 
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photoblog image U 534

U 534

The last U-boat to be sunk in WW2 is in need of a new home. The Historic Warships Trust in Birkenhead docks went into administration last year and the ships have been looking for new homes. U534 is currently stranded on the dockside whist discussions are held about it's future. It can't stay where it is because the warehouse next door is being converted to luxury apartments and an historic U-boat does not fit in. It may possibly have been purchased by the Mersey Ferry company and be moved to the ferry terminal at Birkenhead Woodside.

U534 was the last U-boat to leave Germany at the end of the second world war and was sunk by Liberators of 86 Squadron in the Baltic.

On discovering the wreck over 40 years later, rumours began circulating that as U534 had been the last U-boat to leave Germany she possibly had Nazi leaders secretly hidden onboard. At very least the boat was surely loaded up with gold or other precious cargo. A wealthy Danish publisher, Karsten Ree, decided to get involved with U534 and he mounted a project to raise the U-boat from the ocean depths.

It was eventually raised in August 1993, no gold only the remains of stores and equipment. following a time spent in dry dock it was transferred to Birkenhead on the River Mersey close to the headquarters of the Western Approaches during WWII from where the Battle of the Atlantic was fought.

U 534

The last U-boat to be sunk in WW2 is in need of a new home. The Historic Warships Trust in Birkenhead docks went into administration last year and the ships have been looking for new homes. U534 is currently stranded on the dockside whist discussions are held about it's future. It can't stay where it is because the warehouse next door is being converted to luxury apartments and an historic U-boat does not fit in. It may possibly have been purchased by the Mersey Ferry company and be moved to the ferry terminal at Birkenhead Woodside.

U534 was the last U-boat to leave Germany at the end of the second world war and was sunk by Liberators of 86 Squadron in the Baltic.

On discovering the wreck over 40 years later, rumours began circulating that as U534 had been the last U-boat to leave Germany she possibly had Nazi leaders secretly hidden onboard. At very least the boat was surely loaded up with gold or other precious cargo. A wealthy Danish publisher, Karsten Ree, decided to get involved with U534 and he mounted a project to raise the U-boat from the ocean depths.

It was eventually raised in August 1993, no gold only the remains of stores and equipment. following a time spent in dry dock it was transferred to Birkenhead on the River Mersey close to the headquarters of the Western Approaches during WWII from where the Battle of the Atlantic was fought.

comments (7)

  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 17 Aug 2007, 03:05
You have done it proud, Les! It's a beaut!
Les Auld: Thanks Ginnie, it is an interesting subject.
  • Kay
  • 17 Aug 2007, 04:26
It is a great picture, Les. The boat should be restored, and turned into a museum of sorts. It's part of history. Well done.
Les Auld: Thanks Kay, I believe that is just what Mersey Ferries would like to do but restoration may be a step too far given it's current condition.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 17 Aug 2007, 09:21
Interesting part of history - also the history of the greed of man smile This boat is so special and provide such a landmark opportunity, you would think the apartment developers will include it in their plans - create a park or something around it.

I can see the mounting of the sub presented you with restrictions. Otherwise a great picture - even the clouds seem to be picking up rust from the sub.
Les Auld: Thanks Loius, it is quite difficult to get a good view withthe fence and the blocks underneath it and some drab buildings around it. I would agree that the developers could have turned it into something worthwhile but they thougth that it did not go with the image they had for the area, sad really.
Maybe they can convert it to another luxury apartment smile Whoever moves in would certainly live in a distinctive place.
Les Auld: True Martin, certainly a challenge for a new inhabitant.
He needs a repainting ! Well spotted !
Les Auld: A touch more than repainting, thanks Zeb.
Great shot and a nice piece of history. All the best, Dave.
Les Auld: Appreciate the comment dave, can't beat a good bit of history.
Well, I'd take it for the back garden Les, but we'd never get it through the garage!

Have you seen the submarine in the Parc de la Villette in Paris? It's quite a feature.
Les Auld: Know the problem, I haven't seen the sub you refer to, would like to see a picture of it. Regards.

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for this photo I'm in a positive comments icon ShMood©
camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/50s
aperture f/16.0
sensitivity ISO200
focal length 65.0mm
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