U-2540 was an advanced submarine which entered service on 24th February 1945. Less than 3 months later, on 4th May, she was scuttled by her own crew.
In 1957, she was raised and returned to service on 1st September 1960 as the research submarine Wilhelm Bauer. She served in a civilian role under various research projects before decommissioning on 15th March 1982. On 24th April 1984, she was transferred to the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (German Maritime Museum) as the Technikmuseum Wilhelm Bauer.
In the spring of 1943, Germany was clearly losing the battle of the Atlantic. Improvements in Allied escort material and tactics, combined with cracking the German military code dramatically increased the U-Boats´ losses, rendering them near useless. The German high command saw its best reaction in the speedy development of improved submarines.