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U-boat Story

Current Service Information

Please note U-boat Story is closed until further notice, due to ongoing maintenance work. 

U-boat Story is one of only four U-boats left in the world. 

Through the exhibition's interactive and audio-visual exhibits you will gain a unique insight into life on board the submarine during wartime, and learn more about the history of U-534 through the well preserved artefacts, original film archive and interactive displays. You will also see a real German Enigma machine, look through a periscope and experience what it would be like to stand on the bridge of the historic vessel on the replica Conning Tower.

The U-boat is split into four sections with glass viewing partitions to allow you to see inside the Control Room, Engine Room, Electric Room, Crew Quarters and Forward Torpedo Room.

Delve deeper into the enduring legend of U-534, and see if you can solve the mystery of why U-534’s Captain refused to surrender on 5 May 1945? Was the U-boat on a secret mission, carrying Nazi Gold or had the Captain gone rogue?

U-534 was the last U-boat to leave Germany before World War II ended and was heading towards Norway when it was attacked by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 547 Squadron. U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink by the stern. Amazingly forty-nine of the fifty-two crew members survived, including five who escaped via a torpedo hatch. The stricken vessel then lay forgotten on the sea bed for over 40 years.

In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board. However, hopes were dashed when no treasure was found, so the mystery of why U-534 refused to surrender remains to this day.


Find out more about the history of U-534 and what life was like on board for the crew with our education pack.

U-boat Educational Resource (1.30MB)