U-boat ‘Wilhelm Bauer’ Type XXI Bremerhaven and U-boat Archive Museum Altenbruch, Germany


Posted: , Last update: September 27 2016, in Museums & Collections, U-boats. 2 comments

U-boat Archive Museum Altenbruch

In AltenBruch, there is a small privately owned U-boat Archive Museum with a uniform of Admiral Dönitz on display. Unfortunately, we came here to find the place closed, the owner of the museum was not at home. Next time we’ll make an appointment before heading here. Be advised.. The bakery on the corner of the town square has delicious fresh cakes daily. We highly recommend it!

U-boat ‘Wilhelm Bauer’ Type XXI, U-2540

In Bremerhaven we visited the U-boat Wilhelm Bauer (U-2540), Type XXI. This U-boat is much larger compared to type VIIC from Laboe and we recommend taking a look. It is said to be the last floating example of this type of submarine.

Construction of the U-boat began in October 1944. Launched at 13 January 1945 and was commissioned on 24 February 1945.  She was stationed for training with the 31st U-boat Flotilla. Send to the front thereafter but fuel shortages relocated the Submarine to Swinemünde before being scuttled on 4 may 1945, only 4 months after being launched.

After 12 years on the bottom of the sea the Type XXI U-boat was raised and overhauled. She was commissioned as a research boat in the Bundesmarine (the German Marine) until 1968. She got the Name “Wilhelm Bauer” during this re-launch. In 1970 she entered service again with a civilian crew for testing technical innovation for the U-boat 206 class. After a collision with a German destroyer she was taken out of commission in 1980 and leased from service in 1982.

U-2540 was sold to the museum were it is today. The museum restored the u-boat to its original WWII state and from 1984 on it is open for public.

U-Boat Wilhelm Bauer U-2540 type XXI at Bremerhaven

U-Boat Wilhelm Bauer (U-2540) type XXI in the museum harbour at Bremerhaven

The Wilhelm Bauer, a view of its side

The Wilhelm Bauer, a view of it’s side

A cross section of a 23 × 533 mm torpedo

A cross section of a 23 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo

Carbon dioxide CO2 filters of the brand Draeger

Carbon dioxide CO2 filters of the brand Dräger

The large engine room of the Wilhelm Bauer U-2540

The ‘large’ engine room of the Wilhelm Bauer (U-2540)

Maritime Museum

Besides the U-boat in the harbor there is a Maritime Museum nearby. It is forbidden to take pictures there and that was made quite clear to Pascal (pretending not to understand German did not work this time). But they have a small U-boat Type XXVII B “Seehund”, so here are the pictures made by Patrick 😉
A later model of this small U-boat, the S622 , is on display at Musée National de la Marine in Brest, France (outdoor site).

Mini U-boat Seehund Type XXVII B

Mini U-boat “Seehund” Type XXVII B

Mini U-boat Seehund Type XXVII B front

Mini U-boat “Seehund” Type XXVII B front

Sd.Kfz 7 predecessor

Surprise! The predecessor of the Sd.Kfz 7 (half-track) is also in the museum, used as a lifeguard vehicle before the war. Other then that, there isn’t much WWII related stuff in the museum.

A predescessor of the sd.kfz 7 half-track used by the German Beachpatrol

A predescessor of the sd.kfz 7 half-track used by the German Beachpatrol

View the complete gallery

Northern Germany





2 thoughts on “U-boat ‘Wilhelm Bauer’ Type XXI Bremerhaven and U-boat Archive Museum Altenbruch, Germany

  1. U-2540 War Flag has just come up for action at Ratisbons. Original Kriegsmarine war flag with commanders pennant of U-2540 which was commanded by Oberleutnant Rudolf Schultze. Schultze was one of four sons of Generaladmiral Otto Schultze (see lots at this auction). His brother, Herbert Schultze – was a famous and highly decorated (Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves) U-Boot commander.

    This flag was rescued by a crew member on the day U-2540 was sunk by Schultze. This crew member gave the flag to his ex commander after the war. The flag is still wrapped in the original packing paper. The sender and receiver is both Schultze. He must have forwarded it to his home address.

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