Life Number One.
This U-Boat, a Type IXC/40 Submarine. was laid down at Hamburg on the 20th. of February 1942, commissioning on the following 23rd. of December.
Her Commanding Officer was Kapitanleutnant Herbert Nollau from her commissioning date until the 5th. of May 1945.
Although, in turn attached to the 4th, the 3rd, and the 33rd flotillas, U-534 did not enjoy a single success, which was indeed unusual in any U-Boat’s record.
On the 5th. of May 1945, this Submarine was sunk North West of Helsingor in the Kattegat by bombs dropped by a Liberator Bomber from the British Squadron 206, in the attack, three of the U-Boat’s crew were killed.
B-24 Maritime patrol bomber
Life Number Two.
This U-Boat now sank into soft mud on the sea floor of the Kattegat, where she lay for the next 48 years, apparently well preserved by the close embrace of the clinging mud, which actually retarded the onset of rust and corrosion.
U-534, was raised in the summer of 1993, by a Danish team led by Lars Sunn Pederson, it was believed that this boat carried a variety of treasures on board, but this did not prove to be the case, and it looked as if ship scrap yards would claim her, but she was fortunately reprieved.
Life Number Three.
U-534 was taken over by the Warship Preservation Trust, and in May 1996 was brought to England, and placed on display at The Nautilus Maritime Museum at Birkenhead, Wirral, across the Mersey River from the City of Liverpool.
It was symbolic that this area was chosen to house this ex WW2 German U-Boat, as it was from and to Liverpool, that many convoys were despatched or arrived during that titanic struggle, The Battle of the Atlantic.
All British Anti-Submarine Forces were controlled from the War Room of the Commander in Chief Western Approaches at Liverpool, deep below street level underneath Derby House.
U-534, built to help defeat Britain, is now on display in her old enemy’s Museum.
See more pictures of U-534 at uboat.net here and here.
U-534 towed into Liverpool on the 29th. of May, 1996.
In the background is the famous twin towered Liver Building. In 1940, when I was on board HMAS Australia, dry docked in Liverpool, on German radio, broadcast to Britain, Lord Haw Haw mentioned her,and promised that the Luftwaffe in that night's air raids would make the Liver Birds on top of the Liver Building, Fly!!