A hoard of previously unseen "Nazi treasures" has raised new questions about the purpose of a German submarine sunk during World War Two that is featured in a Wirral display reopening next year.

The artefacts, including two Enigma code machines, are from the mysterious U-boat U534 - the last to leave Germany before its surrender in May 1945 - which has been on view at Woodside since 2008, in an exhibition that is currently closed for refurbishment.

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Left in storage and untouched for almost 80 years, the items (below) are set to go on public display at Western Approaches, a secret former underground WWII bunker based in Liverpool city centre, over the school holidays.

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Items that were salvaged from U-boat U534. Picture: Craig Manning

The objects - which will not have been seen by the public before - include everything from personal items like toothpaste, condoms, beer bottles and books read by the crew on board to secret Nazi war documents and an Enigma machine - encryption devices used by the Germans during the war to transmit coded messages.

Also on show will be games, guns, tropical uniforms, books on South America, torpedo timers and a range of other mysterious objects.

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Binoculars found on U534. Picture: Craig Manning

They were salvaged from rooms within the submarine that have been untouched since the end of the war and were revealed to the press during a tour of the U-Boat at Woodside on Thursday.

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Bottles of wine that were salvaged from U-boat U534. Picture: Craig Manning

The submarine was sunk by an RAF Liberator off the Danish Island of Anholt on May 5, 1945. When it was raised in 1993, thousands of artefacts were immediately conserved but have not been analysed until now.

Mysteries abound about the U-boat's purpose and why it was fleeing despite the strict orders of surrendering Nazi leaders.

Did it house Nazi gold or treasures?

Did it hold Germany's WWII nuclear secrets?

Or was it helping a leading Nazi to escape?

It is not known why U-534 did not surrender, as Kapitänleutnant Herbert Nollau took that secret to his grave when he committed suicide in 1968.

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A patch of the Nazi eagle, or Imperial Eagle, found on U-boat 534. Picture: Craig Manning

Now, Big Heritage historians are meticulously crawling through oceans of archival material and researching some of the lost items and the secrets the U-boat held.

Some of the artefacts will be displayed at Western Approaches over the school summer holidays, with a new resident exhibition set to open at Western Approaches in September.

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(Above, below) Views inside the U-Boat and one of its guns by Craig Manning

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Dean Paton, Tranmere-based founder and director of Big Heritage, Western Approach's parent organisation, told the Globe on Thursday: "The U-Boat Story's been at Woodside since 2008, but we took over Western Approaches in 2017; the Battle Of The Atlantic Command Centre, effectively.

"What we have on this side of the river is the Battle Of The Atlantic Story.

"We approached Merseytravel with this concept of bringing together an International Battle of the Atlantic centre, which they were keen to do.

"They know we've got a good track record for that kind of stuff."

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(Above) Cigarettes and (below) toothpaste found on U-Boat. Pic: Craig Manning

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On the new exhibits, Dean (pictured, below, with Enigma documention) added: "There's a lot of interesting stuff that's been discovered, or re-discovered. Some of it was found on U-534.

"If you think of the sub, it was a massive time capsule and time was of the essence when it was raised and things were taken off it then and there were a million and one little hi-di-holes, so there's new stuff coming off.

"But, also, when the Danish company raised it off the sea-bed they very quickly conserved documents, paperwork, objects blindly really, but hadn't done any work to understand what they may be.

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"There are reams and reams of what, we assumed, was blank paper. These were all stored and archived. As part of our project we have taken ownership of them and realised 'hang on, no-one's looked at these or understood what these are'.

"Some of the objects are really unusual and interesting and probably don't belong on a U-Boat.

"We've started to put the paper under UV light and realised that it's not blank, just very very faded.

"We're getting some really interesting and tantalising evidence that there was stuff going on here.

"Some of the bits and pieces have, kind of, been hidden in plain sight really, but we're hoping it's going to tell some new stories."

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Dean (pictured near the U-Boat on Thursday) added: "Until we put all the evidence together, it's circumstantial and bits and pieces, but there's unusual activity on some of the paperwork that's coming out.

"We've got some of the Enigma-coded messages. We've probably got the only copy in the world of an Enigma message that says 'Karl Dönitz is the new Fuhrer', effectively, after Hitler had gone.

"It's things like this, which people haven't seen before.

"We've managed to track down one of the pilots of the Liberator bomber who sunk it and who was insistent that they may have hit it, but they didn't sink and believes it was scuttled and the Germans may have scuttled it themselves.

"There's, obviously, a reason why they wanted to do that."

"On top of that, we've also been contacted by a kind of Nazi sub-hunting team, if you like, who suggested that there may have been enriched uranium on-board, and that may have been why it refused to surrender because it could have been taking that technology elsewhere.

"We know that the Americans actually took advantage of this and that there were two separate nuclear arms races going on.

"We know that this U-Boat had range to go to Argentina and South America, where we know a lot of senior Nazis absconded to, if you like or it could even have gone to Japan.

"It also had a lot of prototype weapons, the only ones of their kind.

"We think a lot more is going to come out from what we have discovered.

"We've scratched the surface and, already, there some new questions arising from it."

For more information, people can visit https://liverpoolwarmuseum.co.uk/secrets-of-the-last-uboat-u534/.