The U534 U-Boat Story
We recently received this lovely letter from Suzanne, a guest with us and we thought it would be nice to share it with you.
I have arrived home safely, with both of your gorgeous pint glasses in one piece. The afternoon today was sunny, I took time out on my balcony and drank a toast to Shrewsbury Lodge with a pint of local ale out of the Worthingtons jar. Never shall I forget the warmheartedness I have experienced from you and your family.
Attached are some photos I took in and around the U-Boat Museum, and your lovely house. Feel free to use any of them in your website. Hopefully, they express the joy and fascination I felt and still feel.
Here is my suggestion for an introductory text about the U-Boat Museum:
"Built by the Deutsche Werft in Hamburg, this long-range u-boat was commissioned on 23rd December 1942. Her first year in the service of the German navy - the Kriegsmarine - she spent in the Baltic, first in traning, then in active service. Men from the Imperial Japanese Navy were trained on her, and the torpedo weapons establishment used her for extensive trials on the newly developed acoustic homing torpedos.
Her first patrol started on 8th May 1944. U-534 was ordered to the North Atlantic as a weather boat. Ordered to remain undetected, she was to avoid any contact with enemy forces, let alone engage them. Reliable and detailed information on the weather was of strategic importance at the time and hard to come by.
Her second patrol started under dramatic circumstances on 23rd August 1944 when she was the last boat to leave the u-boat pens at the besieged Bordeaux base. After a gruelling three months at sea, she was to have a mere ten days rest. A hastily improvised Schnorchel device permitted her to run her diesels submerged and make her way back to Flensburg. For the desperately needed refit, she was sent to the Baltic again. When the Oderwerke shipyard at Stettin closed on 3rd of March 1945 the advancing Russian tanks were within hearing range.
Fitted with a new Schnorchel device plus the latest in radar, sonar, communications and weapons technology, U-534 was again the last boat out of the harbour. Preparations for her third patrol were finished at Kiel, where she started her final patrol on 2nd May 1945. Probably, U-534 was again the last boat out of the pens. She was ordered to the last operational u-boat bases of the German Reich in occupied Norway. En route, at Helsingoer, she was joined by three more u-boats also destined for Norway. At this point, the group was just north of the peace line negotiated within the partial surrender of the German Reich, which came into force at 8 am on 5th May 1945. Later that day, three Liberators attacked the boats. Whilst her three companions managed to dive, U-534 fought it out on the surface as she had done twice before. But this time, there was no escape ...
Her habit of getting away by the skin of her teeth, together with her technological upgrades and her dash for Norway in the last week of the war have given rise to much speculation. Treasure hunters raised her from the bottom of the Kattegat, expecting to find anything from gold to the holy lance. When it became obvious that they had been mistaken, they gave U-534 up for a nominal price. Now, she can be appreciated for what she has been since she was sunk: a unique time capsule. The museum at the Woodside Ferry Terminal has a wealth of personal belongings and technical equipment on display. The 252 ft of the hull have been cut into sections, allowing visitors to see inside the only surviving type IX-C u-boat in Europe."
With my best wishes,