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View Full Version : U-534 - Still one piece (last ever photos?)



VikingGrandad
02-14-2008, 06:47 PM
A few of days ago, I decided to take advantage of the unusually fair weather we're having in the UK, and drove over to Liverpool to take some photos of U-534.

The engineers have already started work on cutting the wreck into four sections, so I was pleased to find her still in one piece (strictly speaking, the bow section has already been cut through, but they've kept it in place for the time being).

The wreck is located in an area of fenced-off dockland near a road, so my choice of shots was very limited. Also, I picked the worst time of day to arrive, as the sun was very bright and directly behind the boat.

I didn't have a wide-angle lens to get the whole boat into one shot, so I've put together a series of shots into a panorama:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/d21c7e68.jpg

If you're interested, a larger version is here (http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/?action=view&current=aafa7d7e.jpg) (click the 'full size' button to enlarge)


Luckily, I got permission from the guy on the security gate to enter the workers' car park, around 30 metres from away from the starboard side of the stern. From here I was able to take some better shots, with the sun more obscured behind the boat. This panorama is made from 5 close-up shots taken from more or less the same position, hence the distorted perspective:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/abfeef1e.jpg

Larger version is here (http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/?action=view&current=d69e2d76.jpg)

I think the scaffolding around the conning tower is where the second cut is being made.


In this shot, you can see where they plan to make the third cut, close to the location of the boat's fatal depth charge damage:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/9172cc59.jpg


I'm guessing these are compressed air tanks that have been removed from the deck:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/12d6ea74.jpg

(Oops! Looks like I accidentally focussed on the barbed wire!)


The rear section of the wintergarten has been removed (in one piece), presumably to reduce the weight of the middle-aft section when it's all transported to the new museum.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/b697d491.jpg


There's no sign of the AA guns. I expect they've been taken off-site, for safe-keeping.

Once I'd photographed all I could from the starboard side, I drove around to the other side of the dock. I found I could walk around the back of a derelict warehouse to take some shots of U-534's port side, across the water:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/459595e0.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/5ac3714e.jpg


It won't be long now before the wreck is permanently split up, so I'm glad I managed to get some photos of her still in one piece http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

VikingGrandad
02-14-2008, 06:47 PM
A few of days ago, I decided to take advantage of the unusually fair weather we're having in the UK, and drove over to Liverpool to take some photos of U-534.

The engineers have already started work on cutting the wreck into four sections, so I was pleased to find her still in one piece (strictly speaking, the bow section has already been cut through, but they've kept it in place for the time being).

The wreck is located in an area of fenced-off dockland near a road, so my choice of shots was very limited. Also, I picked the worst time of day to arrive, as the sun was very bright and directly behind the boat.

I didn't have a wide-angle lens to get the whole boat into one shot, so I've put together a series of shots into a panorama:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/d21c7e68.jpg

If you're interested, a larger version is here (http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/?action=view&current=aafa7d7e.jpg) (click the 'full size' button to enlarge)


Luckily, I got permission from the guy on the security gate to enter the workers' car park, around 30 metres from away from the starboard side of the stern. From here I was able to take some better shots, with the sun more obscured behind the boat. This panorama is made from 5 close-up shots taken from more or less the same position, hence the distorted perspective:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/abfeef1e.jpg

Larger version is here (http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/?action=view&current=d69e2d76.jpg)

I think the scaffolding around the conning tower is where the second cut is being made.


In this shot, you can see where they plan to make the third cut, close to the location of the boat's fatal depth charge damage:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/9172cc59.jpg


I'm guessing these are compressed air tanks that have been removed from the deck:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/12d6ea74.jpg

(Oops! Looks like I accidentally focussed on the barbed wire!)


The rear section of the wintergarten has been removed (in one piece), presumably to reduce the weight of the middle-aft section when it's all transported to the new museum.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/b697d491.jpg


There's no sign of the AA guns. I expect they've been taken off-site, for safe-keeping.

Once I'd photographed all I could from the starboard side, I drove around to the other side of the dock. I found I could walk around the back of a derelict warehouse to take some shots of U-534's port side, across the water:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/459595e0.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/5ac3714e.jpg


It won't be long now before the wreck is permanently split up, so I'm glad I managed to get some photos of her still in one piece http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Kaleun1961
02-14-2008, 07:05 PM
Fantastic! Although it is a shame she's being cut up into pieces, at least she's not going to the melting pot. I'm very grateful you shared these pics. When I look at the ding in that sub, I think of the men who were inside her.

sevenem
02-14-2008, 09:35 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Excellent photos! Thank you for sharing.

Goose_Green
02-14-2008, 11:11 PM
Excellent pictures VG http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Realjambo
02-15-2008, 12:21 AM
Superb photo's VG! You know, these could become legendary - as the last ever pictures of her as a complete boat. Thanks for going! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Celeon999
02-15-2008, 01:00 AM
Very good photos VG , thanks for going there and taking them for us. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Messervy
02-15-2008, 02:24 AM
Very nice work. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

tuddley3
02-15-2008, 03:38 AM
Nice work VG, thanks http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Goose_Green
02-15-2008, 05:51 AM
Just been having another good look at your superb pictures VG, and you were blessed with some lovely weather, which makes a change I must say!

The size of the beast is really astounding when you can see the size of the buildings nearby. It really is a shame they are cuttting it up as it really gives you a great sense of how big the Type IX boats were. I would love to have seen the type XB supply boats or the U Cruisers as they were even bigger!

Many thanks for taking the time in going and capturing some of the last shots of her being "whole" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

VikingGrandad
02-15-2008, 11:01 AM
Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you all like the photos http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


@ Goose, yes she's a hell of a size - nearly 90 metres long! These Type IXD2 boats were the biggest of the Type IX class. The Milk Cows would be a very impressive sight too - their draught was huge!

I'm so glad I went. I promised myself I'd go last year, when I first heard the boat was going to be cut up - but I never got around to it due to work commitments, etc.

With the recent press reports talking about the process of cutting up the wreck, I thought I'd missed my chance to see her in one piece again.

On Tuesday, I had booked the day off work (to do freelance work), and (rather oddly) something I'd won on eBay turned up in the post that same morning: a very old book about the Blitz in Liverpool! The weather was so exceptionally good that day, I felt that something was willing me to drive over to Liverpool to take some U-boat photos!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Realjambo
02-15-2008, 04:40 PM
VG - Were you able to get any idea of a time-scale from what you saw as to the 'butchering'? The yellow marker line towards the stern looks ominous indeed.

I guess the chap who you spoke to was fairly indifferent to the job he was on - did he have an opinion?

VF-17_BOOM
02-15-2008, 05:07 PM
Thanks very much for sharing these great pics!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

VikingGrandad
02-15-2008, 06:44 PM
I didn't get into a conversation with the guy in the security cabin. He seemed pretty busy and had kindly allowed me to get closer to the boat, so I thought it best to get in and out as quickly as possible.

It looked to me as if they were around half way through the cutting work: bow section is definitely done; mid section is underway or done (couldn't see because of the 'surgical screen' on the scaffold tower..); and the workers were starting to position supports under the aft section, to take its weight when the third and final cut is completed.

You've probably noticed that most of the outer hull has been blasted and painted grey, so I can't think what else they'd need to do on this site. The next step is probably to lift each section onto a special transport vessel, then unload each one onto the new site (approx. 1 mile around the waterfront).

VikingGrandad
02-16-2008, 04:42 PM
Just thought some of you might like to see this....

I've been reading that 1940s book about the Liverpool Blitz I mentioned earlier. I have a similar book about the Manchester blitz too. It's strange but fascinating to see photographs of so many familiar buildings and streets heavily damaged by bombs and fire.

Getting back to the point... Because these books were published during the war, for security reasons, they have no maps or aerial photos to show where the full extent of the damage the Luftwaffe achieved. So I did some searching on the web, and found this:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/28ed3198.jpg

It's a 1940 Luftwaffe intelligence photo of the Liverpool docks (east side of the river) and Birkenhead docks (west), presumably for a bombing raid. The target areas and known flak batteries are marked in red. But... how strange is this? See the large outlined area 'A', which appears to be the main objective? That's the exact location of U-534 today! Also, the lower of the points indicated as 'D' is the area where U-534 will be moved to this later year (Woodside Ferry Terminal).

Here's the same area in Google Earth:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/9a5b292b.jpg

And here's that Luftwaffe map placed in Google Earth:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/6ad8ccdd.jpg

Goose_Green
02-16-2008, 04:49 PM
That is a very ironic turn of events http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Amazing post VG http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

How do you get the WWII map overlay?

Subject_rod
02-16-2008, 05:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VikingGrandad:
...close to the location of the boat's fatal depth charge damage:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/9172cc59.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>First thought at first look: "Uurrgh!"

Thanks for sharing. Great shots! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Hate the politic, but damn! - they made some nice boats! - last two shots! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

VikingGrandad
02-16-2008, 05:07 PM
Goose, do you mean how did I place the photo in Google Earth? Adding one is easy... Just go to 'Add' &gt; 'Photo Overlay' then choose the image on your PC.

The tricky bit is rotating, resizing and stretching it in tiny increments to get the streets and buildings, etc to line up! One thing that isn't obvious is that you can only edit the size and position when you've got its properties window open. Right click on the item in the 'My Places' list on the left, and choose 'Properties'). Bright green 'handles' should then appear on the photo. The handles on the edge stretch the photo, the cross in the middle moves it around, and the diamond-shaped symbol rotates it.

See the above example in Google Earth:

Download the bookmark for GE (http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=EarthHistory&Number=1114880&fpart=&PHPSESSID=)

- Click 'View in Google Earth'

- After it's loaded in GE, the item you need to right-click on (so you can see/ play with the editing handles) will appear in the 'My Places' panel &gt; 'Temporary Places' &gt; 'Targets for Luftwaffe Pilots, Liverpool Docks, November 1940'

Goose_Green
02-16-2008, 05:14 PM
Cheers VG http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Is the Luftwaffe PR picture yours?

VikingGrandad
02-16-2008, 05:22 PM
No - I found it on a website about the history of Liverpool. Best way to find images like that is to search in Google Images.

VikingGrandad
02-16-2008, 05:25 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif Just found this painting of an Atlantic convoy coming down the River Mersey:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/d0ead72f.jpg

Again, it's in same area as the Luftwaffe PR photo.

Goose_Green
02-16-2008, 05:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VikingGrandad:
No - I found it on a website about the history of Liverpool. Best way to find images like that is to search in Google Images. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I will have a look now, I really like those type of pictures, I have a few of Lorient during an actual bombing roaid as you can see the bombs being dropped! I also have some BDA pictures of Lorient too. I guess it's the history involved with those pictures and usually the bravery of pilots who did the whole PR work.

Apparently I read somewhere that a certain PRU pilot of the RAF somehow discovered that his Spitfire had some unnecessary weight which was situated behind the pilots seat - this was instantly discarded and the aircraft re-balanced (something to do with centre of gravity), plus some extra weight loss enabled the Spitfire to fly much faster - obviously needed for those low level passes!

I will have to find this detail so I can confirm this and hopefully expand on it, I'm going on memory, I will have to find it...

VikingGrandad
02-17-2008, 08:41 AM
I'd be interested to see any WW2 air recon info/images you have Goose! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Those unarmed PRU Spits in dark sky blue have a really nice 'sporty' look to them: http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/d4dc356a.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/dca86324.jpg

Goose_Green
02-17-2008, 08:51 AM
Yes those PRU Spitfires do look very sporty - guess they had to behttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Those Lorient pics are from an old thread that was on here I think, I have just saved them thats all.

VikingGrandad
02-18-2008, 06:52 PM
Another U-534 update...

Euro-cash for Wirral U-Boat project (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/02/18/euro-cash-for-wirral-u-boat-project-64375-20488016/)

So now the EU are contributing money! Shame they didn't chip in earlier, before the decision was made to cut up the wreck to keep the transportation costs within budget. I bet that 550,000 would have covered those costs.

There's a video here:

U-boat plan for Wirral (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/videos-pictures/videos/videos-news/2008/02/18/u-boat-plan-for-wirral-64375-20491493/)


A couple of important mistakes in the video:

- U-534 was not the last U-boat to be sunk in the war. There were around 5-6 sunk after U-534 (excluding Operation Deadlight)

- The wreck is being cut into FOUR sections, not FIVE! All other reports says four and the 3D visual of the new museum shows four... I find it rather worrying that the 'project manager' thinks it's five!

The guy also says that visitors will be able to see inside the U-boat through glass panels at the end of each section. That's what earlier reports said, but a recent article gave me some hope by saying that visitors would be able to walk through the sections. I hope he's wrong about the glass panels, but he does mention disabled access regulations (yet such rules didn't seem to be a problem when I visited the boat's former museum, just 2 years ago?!).