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U-505

The German submarine U-505 (click image at right for larger view) was captured by the U.S. Navy off West Africa in 1944. It was a Type IXC boat. The knowledge gleaned from the sub's capture helped the Allies develop strategies to overcome the dangerous U-boat threat of World War II. After the war, the U-505 languished for some time in the Portsmouth Navy Yard, then was acquired by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. In 1954, the vessel was towed to Chicago and became a permanent exhibit at the museum. Since that time, millions of  people have toured the sub and re-lived a small part of the Battle of the Atlantic. Today the U-505 is the only German U-boat exhibit in North America and is a memorial to all those who served, suffered or died in World War II.

After spending some 50 years as an outdoor exhibit at the museum, in 2005 the sub became the centerpiece of an all-new indoor exhibit. This spectacular exhibit provides an opportunity for visitors to explore the exterior and interior of the sub and see hundreds of related artifacts. The U-505 is just one of many excellent exhibits at the museum, so on your next trip to Chicago, be sure to check it out. For more information on the Museum of Science and Industry and the U-505, visit the museum's website at  http://www.msichicago.org/exhibit/U505/index.html . The site includes a virtual tour of the sub and other cool stuff.

Below is a gallery of U-505 photos. Most were taken by our author Dave Clancy, others are from his personal collection and from the Museum's collection. Click on the thumbnails to see larger views. Enjoy!

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The Museum of Science
and Industry is on the
Chicago lakefront
It offers a variety of
permanent and
temporary exhibits
This is the entrance to
the U-505 exhibit
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World War II began in Europe and soon involved the
United States and Canada
American and Allied
merchant ships became prime
targets of  German U-boats
Allied shipping losses
were heavy in the early
days of the war
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Slowly at first, America
began to respond to
the U-boat threat
A convoy system was
established to transport 
war supplies to Europe
Merchant ship convoys
provided some protection
against enemy attacks
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Meanwhile, the German
U-boat service became a
feared fighting machine
Subs, sophisticated for the
era, were produced in
large numbers
They spread out along
the Atlantic coasts of
Europe and North America
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In 1944, the U.S. Navy
captured the U-505
off the coast of Africa
This Navy photo shows the
captured sub flying
an American flag
In 1954, the U-505 became
a permanent outdoor exhibit
at the museum
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Now, some 50 years later,
it is the centerpiece of an
all-new U-505 exhibit
Here's the sub after placement
in it's new "pen"
The sub exhibit has
the feeling of a secret
military operation
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Its new home is a large bunker-like structure You can wander around at
your leisure and check out
the sub and other displays
The lighting effects are
neat and somewhat eerie
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This is the stern with
its rudders, props
and dive plane
Here's our author
Dave Clancy exploring
the exhibit
A visitor inspects
an engine piston
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The anti-aircraft gun was brought down to ground
level for close examination
Here are two Enigma cipher machines. They were used
for encrypted messages.
And here's a
disassembled code rotor
for an Enigma machine
u505-doublehull.jpg (16476 bytes) U-505 cut-away illustration u505-controlroon.jpg (72983 bytes)
On entering the sub
you'll see the double-hull
construction
 A cut-away view
of the U-505
Tours of the sub include
the control room
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Here's the galley Here's one of the
engine telegraphs
And here's the
forward torpedo room
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Periscope Image U-Boat Graphic
(N. J. Courier-Post)
U-Boat Service Medal

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Copyright 2006 by Dave Clancy
All Rights Reserved