She is best known as the last U-Boat. U-534 was the last U-Boat to leave Germany before World War II ended, now at Birkenhead the boat symbolises Liverpool's links with the Battle of the Atlantic. The U-boat is one of only four German WWII submarines in preserved condition remaining in the world.
German submarine U-534 is a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Sailing towards Norway she was sunk by depth charges dropped by an RAF Liberator bomber on 5 May, 1945 in the Kattegat some 20 kilometers northeast of the Danish island of Anholt.
This boat was used mainly for training duties, and during her service she sank no other ships. U-534 was salvaged in 1993 and since February 2009 has been on display in Birkenhead, England as part of the U-boat Story.
The U-534 lay on the sea bed for nearly 41 years, until she was discovered in 1986 by a Danish wreck hunter, Aage Jensen. Shortly afterwards, the wreck hunters' group contacted Danish media millionaire Karsten Ree, who sponsored raising of the submarine,as rumours of Nazi gold caused intense media coverage. However, the ship turned out to contain nothing unusual.
For technical reasons and to facilitate economical transportation to its new site, the vessel was cut into five sections, two of which were subsequently re-joined. It is now displayed in sectioned form to allow visitors better visibility without entering the U-boat. Merseytravel said that preserving the hull intact would have created prohibitive transport costs. Engineers began a month-long operation to divide the U-534, using a diamond wire cutter, on 6 February 2008. On 10 March 2008, the sections, each weighing as much as 240 tonnes, were transported over several days by floating crane.
Mills Media was commissioned by Merseytravel to produce an in-depth documentary about U-534's epic journey - from its sinking in 1945 to its newly found status as the latest Mersey Ferries attraction. With record visitors in its opening months, the U-Boat Story at Woodside has truly captured the imagination of the public.
Unprecedented access allowed the Mills Media crew to capture the refurbishment, cutting, transport and delivery of U-534 over an eighteen month period. The programme also includes archive war images, salvage footage from the depths of the ocean and candid interviews with key players in the project's success.