New Merseyside Attraction tells the story of a German U-Boat.
"U-boat Story" is a new £5m attraction telling the story of World War II German submarine U-534. Situated at the Woodside Ferry terminal in Birkenhead a cross-sectioned submarine is on display together with a dedicated exhibition with interpretation using hi tech hands on interactive technology and video displays.
U-534 was used for training and weather reporting during the war. She did not sink any other vessels, but On May 5th, 1945 U534 was underway in the Kattegat, north-west of Helsingor, Denmark.and although Admiral Donitz had ordered all his U-boats to surrender as from 08.00 May 5th, for some unknown reason U-534 refused to do so.
U534 was heading north towards Norway, when it was attacked by RAF aircraft.
U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink by the stern. Forty-nine of the fifty-two crew members survived including five who escaped via a torpedo hatch as she lay on the sea bed.
In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board. Nothing was found. However the mystery of why U-534 refused to surrender remains to this day.
At the exhibition, thanks to technology installed by Integrated Circles it is possible to hear interviews with the crew who served on U-534 and gain an insight what life would have been like on board, see her amazing recovery operation, or take on the challenges such as decoding an Enigma message, identifying ships and marine animals by listening to them or making our model submarine dive and surface smoothly.
Paul Nolan, Integrated Circles Project Manager said , this is a fascinating exhibition, having artifacts recovered from inside the vessel in such good condition, it really adds something to the technological interpretation, when operating a computer interactive of an enigma machine right beside a prime example of the real thing.