Submarine War Badge, by Unknown Maker: Steinhauer & Lück attributed
Estimated market value:
The Submarine War Badge was originally instituted in January of 1918 and it was later revived by Adolf Hitler on October 13th, 1939. The Badge was conferred upon U-Boat crews who were exceptional at locating and destroying enemy vessels.
To receive the badge, an individual had to participate in at least two operational missions or had to participate in at least one successful sortie against the enemy. In addition, if an individual was wounded during a mission, they were also eligible to receive the badge. If a sailor was killed in the line of duty, his badge would be sent to his next-of-kin. The award could be conferred upon officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men, as long as they fulfilled one of the criteria listed above. The awards were issued at the discretion of the U-boat's captain.
The first badges were manufactured by Schwerin & Sohn (Berlin) and were composed of tombac. The finishes vary and include real gold and artificial gold washes. Cloth badges were produced but rarely worn.
Circumstantial evidence points towards Steinhauer & Lück being the most likely maker of badges by this Unknown Maker. However, some of these badges have been found with hardware marked by the companies of Wächtler & Lange and Klein & Quenzer. Badges by this maker are made of zinc.
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