08 March 2009


From the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News:
A HISTORIC German U-boat which was cut into sections by a Widnes-based contractor and transported to its new home in Merseyside is now a key exhibit in a maritime museum.
The U-534 is the centrepiece of a major exhibition centre being constructed by Appleton-based Whitfield and Brown at the Woodside Ferry Terminal.
The U-boat was sunk in a Norwegian fjord by the crew of the “G” For George, a Liberator bomber of the RAF’s 547 Squadron.
The vessel is believed to be the last U-boat to make an attempt to escape the Allies at the end of the war.
Legend has it that the vessel contained a valuable cargo of contraband gold bullion, or possibly even a sacred relic known as the Spear of Destiny – said to be the spear that pierced Christ’s side.
The sub was found to be carrying an enigma cypher machine.
The Liberator dropped 10 depth charges on the sub during two attacks and one charge is said to have stuck to the upper part of its hull before exploding.
The U-534 sank stern first and 49 of its crew survived.
The Widnes contractor excavated a 60x20m “reception dock” into which the four sections of the historic vessel were placed. The Mersey Mammoth floating crane was used to transport the sub to its new home.
A project spokesman said: “The sub U-534 was formerly the centrepiece of Wirral’s Historic Warships Museum until it closed two years ago.
“It was bought for a nominal sum by Merseytravel after there were fears it could be sold for scrap.
“Because of space limitations and operational difficulties in moving the sub, it was cut into four sections and floated to its new home.”
By Adrian Short
Original article here

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