K006886 U-BOAT COMBAT CLASP IN SILVER. (U-Boots-Frontspange, Silber)

BACKGROUND: The U-Boat War Badge was instituted by Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Erich Raeder on October 13TH 1939 for award to all ranks of U-Boat personnel who had served on at least two sorties against the enemy or were wounded in action. As a result of the high risk and casualties experienced by U-Boat crew personnel later in the war, Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Karl Dönitz introduced the U-Boat Combat Clasp on May 15TH 1944 for award to U-Boat personnel in appreciation of the risks they faced. The criteria for award of the U-Boat Combat Clasp varied and was based on the recommendation of the U-Boat commander. Recommendation for award of the U-Boat Combat Clasp was forwarded to the OKM, Oberkommando der Marine, (High Command of the Navy), and had to be personally approved by Dönitz before bestowal. Originally the U-Boat Combat Clasp was only awarded in a bronze version until regulations of November 24TH 1944 introduced a silver version. The clasp was to be worn on the upper left breast of most uniforms. The clasp was designed by the renown artist W.E. Peekhaus of Berlin and was only manufactured in a zinc alloy by the Schwerin & Sohn firm of Berlin. The claps came in two subtle variants with the first version having a recess to the reverse while the later versions did not.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die cast, zinc alloy construction, later version clasp with a silver washed finish is in the form of central, horizontally oval, embossed, laurel leaf wreath, with a stylized national eagle with unique, downward curving, wings, clutching a canted swastika in it’s talons superimposed to the top center and embossed crossed swords superimposed to the bottom center, encompassing a cut-out, profile view of a submarine. The clasp has three, overlapping, parallel, rows of embossed oak-leaves extending horizontally outward from either side of the central wreath. The clasp is nicely detailed and features cut-out detailing to the submarines conning tower, flag, and the forward deck gun. The clasp retains about 85% of its original, age and usage dulled, silver wash with small spots of wear to the base alloy and numerous small lifting bubbles. The solid reverse of the clasp has a small, integral cast hinge and a broad, tapering, fluted, horizontal pin intact. The reverse of the clasp is well marked with the embossed designer’s name, "Entwurf Peekhaus" and the manufacturer’s name and location, "Ausf. Schwerin Berlin 68". Scarce late war badge.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $1,815.00

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