Original German WWII Kriegsmarine Metal U-Boat War Badge - U-Boot-Kriegsabzeichen

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Ever seen the film "Das Boot"? If so, you'll recognize this pin-backed badge. The U-boat War Badge (U-Boot-Kriegsabzeichen) was a German war badge that was awarded to U-boat crew members during World War I and World War II. 

The U-boat War Badge was originally instituted during the First World War on February 1, 1918. It was awarded to recognize U-boat crews who had completed three war patrols. The badge was worn on the lower left side of the uniform and was oval shaped resembling a wreath of laurel leaves. A submarine lay across the center and the German State Crown (Reichskrone) was inlaid at the top center of the wreath.

On October 13, 1939, the U-boat War Badge was reinstituted. It was very similar to the original badge with the exception of the imperial crown being replaced with a German Reichsadler (National Eagle) emblem, and a more modernized submarine now facing towards the left was used. The new version was first made of bronze metal, with later ones made of zinc with a "gold wash".

This fine example is the later zinc version with a gold wash. It is in very good condition, with the expected plating loss due to age and wear. There is still a good amount on the front, with some oxidation and patination, and the rear has lots of gold on the pin back attachment. This example is not maker marked that we can see, but that is not uncommon for later war badges.

A very nice example, the first original we have had. Ready to display!

More on the U-Boat War Badge

The award was bestowed in two classes:

U-Boat War Badge
There were several ways to be awarded this medal. The most common would be the completion of two or more war patrols. Although the completion of two war patrols might seem a lowly requirement, but a typical U-boat war cruise would often run into months at a time. Completing two war patrols could be equally dangerous as the U-boat has to endure constant attacks by Allied aircraft and warships. The other occasion when this badge was awarded was having been wounded during a patrol or killed in action.

U-boat War Badge with Diamonds
The U-boat War Badge with Diamonds was instituted by Großadmiral Karl Dönitz after he had received from Grand Admiral Erich Raeder a special solid gold version of the U-boat War Badge in which the wreath as well as the swas were inlaid with diamonds.

The badge was a special issue award given to U-boat commanders who had received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. This version was made of gold plate over silver. Manufactured by the firms Schwerin u. Sohn and Gebr. Godet & Co. It was the same as the basic pattern but with nine small diamonds inlaid in the swas. This award was more of a personal award by Dönitz. Approximately 30 were awarded, including the original one to Admiral Dönitz.

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