I've had a long interest in the U-boat war; the machines and the men and it was to my great surprise and joy to learn that close to Hamburg is the U995. By 1943, with huge losses suffered by the Kriegsmarine, Germany's submarines were considered obsolete. Nonetheless, production of the Type VIIC continued whilst new types were developed. U995 is actually a Type VIIC/41 which features a thicker pressure hull than the standard version of the Type VIIC.
At the end of the war on 8 May 1945 U995 was damaged near Trondheim, Norway and captured by the British. Considered to be too badly damaged to be towed to Britain, in October 1948 it was given to the Norwegians. In December 1952 U-995 became the Norwegian submarine Kaura. it was sold to Germany for a symbolic one Deutsche Mark, to became a museum ship at Laboe in October 1971.
Thousands of men endured fearsome hardship, fought and died in these cramped boats. Seeing and walking through the U995 gives an insight into what it would have been like to serve on board. You have to try and imagine what it would have been like squeezed in with 45 sweaty men, a full set of torpedoes (11 or 14 depending on variant), and with food and other provisions stuffed into every nook and cranny; a WW2 submarine was not built for comfort.
Of the 40,000 or so sailors who served, close to 30,000 never came back, forever entombed in their iron coffins.
After you've experienced my delights or horrors of Germany, see what the destinations below may have in store for you.