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SHARKHUNTERS International
Northern Patrol 2012
Thursday 30 August
        

Today we tour the only Type XXI U-Boat left in the world.  The Type XXI was the world's first true submarine and even though they were forced to operate near the surface much of the time to run their diesels with the snorkel, they had a higher top speed underwater than they did surfaced.  After the war, the victorious Allies raced to scoop up as much German advanced technology and the Type XXI was a great prize.  Using the technology from the Type XXI, the French built the DAPHNE Class; the Soviets built the WHISKEY Class - the US Navy and the Royal Navy also used the Type XXI as a model for their post-war submarines.  U-2540 is waiting for us - we drive to Bremerhafen.

This will be a quick overview without too much narrative just to give you a brief look at this submarine that was so advanced for its time.

 
     
 

The batteries have all been removed, there is no fuel and no armament on board, so U-2540 sits very high in the water.  The light grey would be above the water while the darker grey would be running under the water when the boat was at surface trim.

The clean, smooth lines of this submarine clearly shows why she was copied by other navies.

Okay, let's go on board this beautiful boat.

     
 

The officers actually had cabins.............

 

.....and a wardroom

         
   
         
   
The Skipper's quarters   Diving planesmen stations    
         
   
Navigator area   Pretty fancy galley   Can this be our cook?
         
   
        I like this crew already
   
   

U-Boat veteran ERWIN BURDT (1328-1989) was quick to note that these are not the nine-cylinder inline MAN diesels that were normally used.  This boat was retrofitted for use in the new Bundsmarine in the 1950's and was highly modified including these new engines.

   
         
   
         
   
         
 

As we end our tour of U-2540, the only Type XXI boat left in the world, COOPER bids a Sharkhunters farewell to 'the crew'.  Actually they were two Russian students visiting Germany during their college break and were here visiting this boat at the same time we were.

 

We saw other museum ships as we walked to the very nice restaurant for our lunch.

 
Lightship ELBE 3   U-2540 seen over the bows of ELBE 3
     
 

This boat above has a special significance for our Sharkhunters 'PATROLS'.  She was built in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1906 and hauled freight for many decades.  She is now a museum ship and floating restaurant.  When we 'met' this ship in 1988 (First Sharkhunters European 'PATROL') she was in Hamburg and our Sharkhunters group of 40 went aboard for a lunch of Lobskaus, the traditional German U-Boot meal.  It was here that we met OTTO KRETSCHMER (122-1985), and PETER HANSEN (251-1987) also joined us for lunch way back 24 years ago.

Time flies.............when is the last Sharkhunters 'PATROL' you enjoyed?  Don't keep putting it off - time flies!

 

We enjoyed lunch together in an excellent restaurant on the waterfront.  It was a quiet lunch as it would be our last lunch together on this 'PATROL' as this is our last day.  We had our 'Farewell Dinner' in the evening near our hotel and the 2012 Sharkhunters 'Northern Germany Patrol' ended.  Were YOU with us?  If not, save your vacation days for 2013 and join us.  Remember - the clock is ticking.

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