Original German WWII Kriegsmarine Minesweeper War Badge - Unmarked

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the German WWII Kriegsmarine Minesweeper War Badge, which looks to be made from cast zinc alloy. The badge is in very good condition, with a functioning pin back. The silvering on the central "splash" portion of the design is still well retained, and unlike most we see, the gold wash on the oak leaf wreath is also present, though it is a bit oxidized and faded. We usually see these later war zinc types nearly devoid of the finish, so this is a real treat!

The front design consists of an oval oak leaf wreath, topped by a Wehrmacht eagle clutching a mobile swas (hook cross), with a central depiction of an exploding mine on top of detailed waves. The reverse is solid, with a standard pinback attachment.

A very nice example of a hard to find award!

The Minesweeper War Badge or Minesweepers, Sub-Chasers and Escort-Vessel War Badge (Kriegsabzeichen für Minensuch-, U-Boot-Jagd- und Sicherungsverbände) was instituted on August 31, 1941 by Kriegsmarine leader Grossadmiral Erich Raeder. The purpose of this award was to recognize the achievement and experience of the sailors on the German Navy’s minesweeper vessels. In this unnerving duty, sailors faced exposure to the elements as well as constant danger from mines, submarines, and airplanes.

The Minesweeper Badge features a representation of an exploding sea mine, surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by the German national eagle and swas emblem. It was designed by Otto Placzek and was made in tombak and zinc, with most later examples being the zinc type. The award could be ordered by leaders of minesweeper boats, patrol boats, and special units, and by superior Kriegsmarine commands. To qualify for this badge, a sailor had to make three operational sorties, be wounded on a sortie, show exemplary conduct over a six-month period, participate in an especially dangerous mission, serve on escort duty for 25 days or more, or be on a ship that was sunk by enemy action- the badge could be awarded posthumously.

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