This last weekend, I was fortunate to pay a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL. The museum is filled with impressive exhibits to be sure, but without a doubt, its most outstanding display is a previously top-secret, captured WW2 German U-Boat known as the U-505. If you’ve never seen this amazing submarine in person, let me tell you, it is a sight to behold!
If you’re unfamiliar with the story behind the U-505’s capture, according to Wikipedia…
“The U-505 is a German Type IXC U-boat built for service in the Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was captured on June 4, 1944 by the United States Navy Task Group 22.3 (TG 22.3). Her codebooks, Enigma machine and other secret materials found on board assisted Allied code-breaking operations.
All but one of the U-505’s crew members were rescued by the Navy task group. The submarine was towed to Bermuda in secret, and her crew interned at a US prisoner of war camp where they were denied access to International Red Cross visits. The Navy classified the capture as top-secret and prevented its discovery by the Germans.
In 1954, U-505 was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry. She is one of six U-boats that were captured by Allied forces during World War II, and one of four German World War II U-boats that survive as museum ships. She is the only Type IXC in existence.”
The last time I toured the U-505 was over 15 years ago. At that time, the submarine was being displayed OUTSIDE, subjected to the harsh Lake Michigan weather. But in 2005 it was repainted, lifted and moved around the museum before being lowered into its new indoor “submarine pen.” Now, the old “Wolf Pack” member is permanently protected from the elements and enjoying a resurgence of popularity among museum-goers. Of course, building such a beautiful recreation of a WW2 U-Boat submarine pen doesn’t come cheap, and the U-505’s extravagant new home cost the museum over $35 million dollars to build. Gott im Himmel!
If you don’t think you’ll be able to make your way to Chicago anytime soon, please enjoy the following “photo tour” of the U-505 display, courtesy of your friends at The Joe Report…
Bottom Line: The U-505 is a “must see” for military history and submarine buffs. We say… Don’t miss it! And if you’d like to learn more about the U-505, its combat history and eventual capture by the U.S. Navy, go HERE. If you’d like to view a time-lapse video of the sub’s amazing move from its outdoor “mooring” to its new indoor submarine pen, go HERE. Enjoy!