K003990 S-BOAT WAR BADGE. (Schnellboot-Kriegsabzeichen)

BACKGROUND: Due to restrictions imposed on the German’s as a result of the Treaty of Versailles at the close of WWI, the German Navy was limited to a prescribed number of vessels and were not permitted to construct any further vessels with more then 10,000 tons displacement. The restrictions imposed by the Allies also included the surrender of all German submarines with no further submarines to be constructed. On evaluating the use of torpedoes during WWI the German Navy High Command came to the conclusion that a small, fast, surface vessel equipped with torpedoes would help balance out the deficiencies that the navy was forced to endure in comparison to other potentially enemy navies. This resulted in the construction of a variety of small, fast Schnellboot’s, (Patrol/Torpedo Boats), with torpedo capability. These Schnellboot’s were manufactured at both the Lürssen and Vegesack shipyards and ranged from 23 to 105 tons of displacement, well under the Treaties size/weight restrictions. By the end of the war the Germans had produced two hundred forty-nine S-Boats. On May 30TH 1941, Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Erich Raeder introduced the S-Boat War Badge for award to S-Boat personnel who met the required criteria. The main criteria for bestowal of the badge was a minimum of twelve sorties against the enemy. Prior to the introduction of the, S-Boat War Badge, S-Boat personnel were awarded the Destroyers War Badge if they fulfilled the required criteria. Of Note: A second pattern S-Boat War Badge, with minor variations, was introduced in January 1943. The introduction of the second pattern badge resulted in this first pattern badge only being in active circulation for nineteen months although personnel awarded the first pattern badge would have continued to wear it through-out the war. Also Of Note: In popular collector terminology these badges are most often referred to as the E-Boat Badge, utilizing the English WWII designation with the "E" indicating, "Enemy".

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, die struck alloy, partially scooped backed, first pattern S-boat badge with fire gilted, nickel/silver plated and burnished silver finishing. The badge is in the form of a vertically oval, oak-leaf wreath with a small national eagle with out-stretched wings superimposed to the top center, encompassing a short length, tall silhouette, S-boat, cutting through the waves. The badge is nicely detailed with the forward torpedo tube, pilots bridge and a flag all clearly visible. The boat and the waves both overlap the oak-leaf wreath. The reverse of the badge has a subtle recessed scoop to the reverse of the boat. The reverse has a soldered, solid hinge, a horizontal, broad tapering pin, a heavy soldered catch and a small vertical retaining hook all intact. The reverse is well marked with embossed manufacturers name and location, "Schwerin Berlin 68".

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $

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