U 534 had a range of over eleven hundred miles, so could have easily reached South America. Was she going to carry a leading Nazi to South America via Norway?
Or was she carrying treasure looted from the occupied countries to help those Nazi who had already escaped to South America by other routes? One of the crew that died shortly after the U534 sank was an Argentine wireless operator, which suggests that she was indeed en route to South America.
The only person who definitely knew was Captain Nollau and he never told, taking the secret to his grave.
At least the Props are Shiny
As the years rolled on, the rumours became more persistent and the accounts of the treasures supposed to be on board ever more extravagant.
More than forty years after she sank a Danish diver, called Age Jensen found U 534 and once again the rumours started to fly.
In 1992 a Danish publisher, Karsten Ree became interested in the submarine and decided to mount a salvage operation to find out once and for all what the Mystery of the U 534 was all about. The expensive lifting operation lasted over four weeks with the close co-operation of the Dutch Navy.
After five tons of explosives were removed the submarine was moved to Grenaa where she was loaded onto a huge barge and towed to Birkenhead. B esides the explosives there was about two tons of documents. No gold. No paintings and no jewels. Source: www.submerged.co.uk
One plausible explanation for U-534 ’ s refusal to surrender lies in the discovery of three experimental T11 torpedoes found in the aft section of the vessel.
Only 38 of this type were built, and they were unique in that they had acoustic homing systems which were developed as a countermeasure to the British Foxer decoy system.
The vessel’s commander, Kapitänleutnant Herbert Nollau, committed suicide in 1968.