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German Submarines

Pictures of submarines of the German Kriegsmarine of 1935 to 1945 on display. U 505 is in Chicago, U 995 is located in Laboe near Kiel and U 2540 in Bremerhaven. More information about these and another boat in the article German Submarines.

2010 April 7 15 / 2014 March 11

Bremerhaven (161) Chicago (155) Germany (318) Illinois (155) Laboe (157) Museum of Science and Industry (155) Rabea (1) Type IX (155) Type VII (157) Type XXI (161) U 2540 (161) U 505 (155) U 995 (157)


Stern of U 2540 in Bremerhaven.
Technical Museum U-Boot "Wilhelm Bauer" e.V. (ex U 2540).
The sign another time in English.
Port side of the conning tower of U 2540.
Port side of U 2540.
Boats of the Type XXI originally had six bow torpedo tubes. As a museum, U 2540 has only four remaining.
Opened torpedo tubes and loaded torpedo.
Torpedo G7e

Length: 7.20 m
Diameter: 0.53 m
Weight: 1,700 kg
Explosive charge: 300 kg
Propulsion: Electric; lead battery 80 kW
Top speed: 50 km/h
Maximum range: 7 km

This torpedo is not being used by the Navy anymore. The wire-guided torpedo "Seal" was introduced as its successor.
Torpedo tubes on the port side.
Forward torpedo room

It originally contained 6 torpedo tubes, arranged into 3 pairs each upon another. The tubes are put through the forward closed end on 2/3 of their length and closed in front by muzzle doors. These doors were operated hydraulically or manually.

The torpedoes were ejected by air pressure without pistons.

Apart from 6 torpedoes inside the tubes there were 14 torpedoes in the room on 6 retaining devices, each appointed to one torpedo tube.
Between the torpedo tubes.
Technology Museum U-Boat WILHELM BAUER

The U-Boat WILHELM BAUER is a memorial of international rank in the history of technology.

As the last remaining example of the U-Boat type XXI, it represents the world's first true submarine vehicle.
All older U-Boats were dive boats, which were only fast enough on the surface to get close to enemy ships.
U-Boat WILHELM BAUER contains a bunch of technological innovations that originating in Germany, revolutionized submarine construction all over the world.

1906, U 1, the first submarine of the German Navy was put into service.
1945, almost 40 years later, submarine WILHELM BAUER was launched as U 2540. This type was the most dangerous submarine weapon of the Second World War, which was finished before it could go into service.

1982/84, so another 40 years later, advances in submarine technology made the U-Boat WILHELM BAUER in turn obsolete and ready for the museum. The active submarines of today in the West and in the East are even more dangerous weapons.

The U-Boat WILHELM BAUER is not a harmless memorial of technology history. It does not invite to nostalgic delight of yesterday's technology, but to sober reflection about our handling of the technology of today. It is not the concealment of history but the clear description of history from which we can learn.

Technological advances does not only have useful but also dangerous impacts:
- boosts the output of machines
- boosts the force of weapons
- is the engine of the economy
- contaminates the environment
- creates new jobs
- lays off employees
- extends life expectancy (e.g. through advances in medicine)
- endangers life (e.g. through higher accident risks)

From the history of technology we can learn,
- that our economy can not be competitive without technological advances and would collapse.
- that because of that we can not abandon technological advances.
- that we have to use technological advances for the humanisation of work and containment of environmental damage, work place hazards and accidental hazards. This does not regulate itself, but has to be politically wanted and steered.
- that the technological advance can not be reverted once reached. It is overtaken by more advance.
- that the constant boost to the strength of weapons can not be contained through technical means.
- that because of this, even below the nuclear threshold, every armed conflict will be more awful and cruel than the previous.
- that the prevention of wars and the protection of peace is the most important duty of politicians and the voters who elect them.

The museum cannot offer the patent remedy to peace, but it unequivocally clarfies that:

There is no alternative to securing peace.
The cabin of the Chief Engineer.
Cabin of the Chief Engineer.
Door to the bathroom.
Every niche is used.