The times during World War II were dark and menacing. Hundreds of Nazi U-boats, swarmed over the American waters waiting to prey upon the American vessels that came by the area. Spotting a U-boat during such times wasn’t a thing to rejoice. A similar U-boat, albeit one-fifth of the original, moored over the waters of Burscough, Lancashire is hardly a threat to the residents or the onlookers.
This U-boat, named as U-8047 is nothing like the original Nazi submarines. It doesn’t fire torpedoes nor does it pose any threat to anyone. On the contrary the 45 feet long U-boat is a floating museum that helps you relive a bit of the World War II. Designed by Richard Williams and his wife Laurel, the insides of the boat look familiar to that of Das Boot, the epic war movie. The outside of the boat is a complete replica of the original Nazi submarines in its black color. And one of the ends of the boat houses the torpedoes. Interestingly these torpedoes are made of old drainage pipes and pedal bins.
There’s also a control cabin where visitors can experience a sea battle. Richard again makes use of a plastic sewage pipe for the periscope and a CCTV camera to recreate the sea war. From a CD comes the sound of sonar, ringing bells and bubbling water followed by a small jet of water from an electronic pump. And to add to the effect, the boat is also made to wobble although there’s no hi-fi mechanism to it. It’s just his wife Laurel who rocks the boat from above – an interesting touch to complete the whole sea war experience.
When you visit the cabin of the captain, you would find propaganda posters popular during the Nazi movement, old sea-charts and a disguised iPod that plays World War II recordings. You can also listen to the speeches given by historic figures such as Hitler and Churchill. A pungent smell of sweat and body, coming out from the air freshener completes the whole sea battle and the U-boat experience.