Original German WWII Kriegsmarine Navy Set of Two Metal Breast Eagles for Summer Weight Uniforms

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set of 2 Available. This is a lovely pair of German Kriegsmarine Navy metal uniform breast eagles, with large metal pins on the back. Both are the standard Wehrmachtadler (Armed Forces Eagle) design, with a right facing eagle with outspread wings perched on a wreathed swas (hook cross).

This style of eagle was used on the white "Summer Weight" uniforms used by the Kriegsmarine. Instead of using stitched on embroidered eagles, these uniforms used a metal eagle attached to thread loops on the uniform. Each has a large pin on the back for going through the upper loops, and there would be a third loop below for the hook on the back of the wreathed swas.

One of the eagles included in this set is a cast zinc example, with a brass pinback and attachment clip. As with many of the zinc examples, they would oxidize over time, causing all of the gold wash to flake away, so the eagle itself shows a dull zinc patina overall. The other eagle looks to be a made from injection molded Aluminum, which was then coated with a gold wash, which is very well retained. The attachment hardware looks to be aluminum and brass.

A very nice set, showing two very different types of summer weight uniform Kriegsmarine breast eagles. Ready to display!

The Kriegsmarine was the navy of NSDAP Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of the German Empire (1871–1918) and the inter-war Reichsmarine (1919–1935) of the Weimar Republic. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches, along with the Heer and the Luftwaffe, of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces from 1935 to 1945.

In violation of the Treaty of Versailles, the Kriegsmarine grew rapidly during German naval rearmament in the 1930s. The 1919 treaty had limited the size of the German navy and prohibited the building of submarines. Kriegsmarine ships were deployed to the waters around Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) under the guise of enforcing non-intervention, but in reality supported the Nationalists against the Spanish Republicans.

In January 1939, Plan Z, a massive shipbuilding program, was ordered, calling for surface naval parity with the British Royal Navy by 1944. When World War II broke out in September 1939, Plan Z was shelved in favor of a crash building program for submarines (U-boats) instead of capital surface warships, and land and air forces were given priority of strategic resources.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (as for all branches of armed forces during the period of absolute NSDAP power) was Adolf H, who exercised his authority through the Oberkommando der Marine ("High Command of the Navy").

The Kriegsmarine's most significant ships were the U-boats, most of which were constructed after Plan Z was abandoned at the beginning of World War II. Wolfpacks were rapidly assembled groups of submarines which attacked British convoys during the first half of the Battle of the Atlantic but this tactic was largely abandoned by May 1943 when U-boat losses mounted. Along with the U-boats, surface commerce raiders (including auxiliary cruisers) were used to disrupt Allied shipping in the early years of the war, the most famous of these being the heavy cruisers Admiral Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer and the battleship Bismarck. However, the adoption of convoy escorts, especially in the Atlantic, greatly reduced the effectiveness of surface commerce raiders against convoys.

Following the end of World War II in 1945, the Kriegsmarine's remaining ships were divided up among the Allied powers and were used for various purposes including minesweeping. Some were loaded with superfluous chemical weapons and scuttled.

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