On May 5th, 1945 U-534 was underway in the Kattegat, north west of Helsingor, Denmark, and although Admiral Dönitz had ordered all his U-boats to surrender as from 08:00 May 5th, for some unknown reason U-534 refused to do so.
U-534 was heading north towards Norway, when it was attacked by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 547 Squadron which dropped depth charges. U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink by the stern. Amazingly forty-nine of the fifty-two crew members survived, including four who escaped via a torpedo hatch. The stricken vessel lay forgotten on the sea bed for over 40 years.
In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board. Nothing was found. However, the mystery of why U-534 refused to surrender remains to this day.