The U-boat war badge was awarded starting from 13th October 1939, usually after two war patrols. Some successful commanders were awarded the badge after only one patrol, like Kptlt. Thomsen (U-1202).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 Reichs Eagle was inlaid at the top center of the wreath.
There were several ways to be awarded this medal. The most common would be the completion of two 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. As a contrast, the Infantry Assault Badge was awarded after three combat actions, which meant that they could be earned on three separate actions all under a week. Completing two war patrols was not only longer, but it was equally dangerous as the U-boat has to endure constant attacks by Allied aircraft and warships.
During the later part of the war, U-boat losses were so great that many crewmen never made it past the second war patrol. The other occasion when this badge was awarded was on completion of an especially successful first patrol or having been wounded or killed in action. In the event of death, the award was presented to the next of kin.
This example is made of late war zinc and nearly all the original gold finish has oxidized to a dull gray except for the steel pin. The unusual hinge may indicate that this is one of the wartime French made "Bacqueville". Unmarked. There is an ongoing discussion about this type of badge here.
We've posted some video below which may be of interest to collectors and historians.
Choose a currency below to display product prices in the selected currency.