Black Afrika Cuff Title

 

Hi Gents, the days passing by and a lot of things happened in the world of collecting. Surfing trough the different areas of WAF, GCA and MFF I found very interesting items. Some are so interesting, that I asked the collectors if I can use the material for the BLOG…..Sometimes I get an answer and sometimes not. As you might know I am a little bit into cuff titles. On the MFF submerged a picture with a soldier wearing a special version of the Afrika cuff title on his sleeve. That one was the missing link….. I have that Afrika cuff title version in one of my books (and in my collection). Till that day there was no picture of that special cuff title on a uniform available and so nobody was sure if it was for tank crews or not. I asked the owner of the picture, Max Miller, if I can use it in my blog and he gave me a thumbs up!!

But let`s step back to the standard Afrika version first:

The cuff title Afrika was awarded by the Wehrmacht in World War II. It was founded by Adolf Hitler on January 15th, 1943. The cuff title Afrika should not be confused with the sleeve stripe „Afrika Korps“, which was awarded as a sign to all members of the German Afrika Korps.

Afrika Cuff Title Collection Author

Creation date Army: January 15th, 1943

Creation date Navy: December 29th, 1942

Creation date Air Force: Jan. 28th, 1943

The cuff title Africa was awarded approximately 30,000 times. The awarding authority began from the battalion commander and the next higher ranking officer.

Afrika Cuff Title Standard Version Collection Author Backside

Closing date for the ceremony was  October 31st, 1944.

3.1 Background

 

In February 1941, the German Afrika Korps (DAK) was formed in Libya within  the “Operation Sunflower”. The DAK was created to stabilize the recent African campaign of the Italian troops and support them against the British army. From 1941, to October 1942, the DAK got hold of large parts of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. After that the DAK was stopped and driven back to El Alamein. In January 1943, the DAK had to clear Libya under the pressure from the Allies.The last German units in Africa capitulated May 13th, 1943.

Afrika Cuff Title Standard Version on Tank Tunic Collection Dirk Schneider

 

Basically the cuff title Africa could awarded to members of the armed forces, after the ceremony provisions of January 15th,  1943.  Soldiers who served  directly in the air, on land or at sea in Africa. Even members of the “Heeresgefolges” or in the immediate order of the army employed persons, also non-Wehrmacht soldiers who report to the Air Force or were active in their immediate contract, could be awarded.

 

 

Army

– Duty for six months on African soil

– Wounded in this operation

– Illness  which led to the loss of full or conditional ability to serve in the tropicsice.

Navy

The same rules are applied in the Navy as in the army. For the crews of ships:

At least six months of operations at sea from bases in Africa.

Air force

For the Air Force were the same rules as in the Navy applied.

1st change of the provisions ceremony (Army on May 20th, 1943/ Air Force  on  July 1st, 1943). Members of the Army Group Africa, who took part in the final battle on African soil, on May 6th, 1943 honorably, the cuff title Afrika could be awarded after four months of service in Africa.

 

2nd change of the award provisions (December 14th, 1943)

The cuff title Afrika could now be awarded regardless of the operating time, provided that the soldier himself earned a bravery award during the fighting in Africa such as the Iron Cross, German Cross in Gold, mention in the Honor Roll,…

The cuff title (approximately 450 mm by 36 mm) was made of camel hair fabric. The lettering Afrika was mounted in white rayon embroidery centered. It has been enclosed on the top and bottom of the sleeve a strip of white is also about 3 mm wide strand. The cuff title Afrika was worn on the left forearm above the cuff.

Here it comes !

Afrika Black Cuff Title on Luftwaffen Tunic Collection Max Miller

Finally we have the proff with the help of Max Miller that the black Afrika cuff title was a version used by the Luftwaffe and not by tank crews. An we have also proof that is a time period cuff title. Against the regulations but anyway used by some soldiers of the Luftwaffe.

Afrika Cuff Title Black Version Collection Author

 

Black Afrika Cuff Title Collection Author Close Up

Sometimes it takes a little bit time but if you stay on it, some mysterys will be solved

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Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup

 

 

 

The Mystery of CUPAL Badges

Hello Collector friends, it took me some time but after 3 weeks of holydays it is not easy to get into the old rhythm again. I spent some time out of Germany, went to the WACKEN Heavy Metal Festival and took some days off to work on our new project.

Another new project you ask…….yes ! I am not getting tired to move on and try things out.

The big plan is to build a new auction house here in Germany. Yes, to build one where you actually go inside, raise your number card and place your bid.…. Not only an online platform but there will be the internet option also.

Together with my friend Dennis who runs the company Trave Militaria, we searched for a nice location in the historical part of Lübeck in norther Germany.  Finally, he found a TOP place and asked me to be a part of it ….. and I jumped in as a partner.

The size is huge, about 300 square meters for all the nice stuff we will put in the auctions and a big room with enough space for about 100 visitors. If everything works out, we will open up about September 15th, 2018 and our first auction will be November 10th, 2018.

If you like to get more information you can go on the Facebook link and follow the buildup of our new project, there.

Auktionshaus HanseArt

The main website is still under construction but will be online soon. We don`t do only military, also antiques, paintings, watches and jewelry…..something for everybody.

I will keep you up with more information about it in the next weeks.

But back to the Blog and here something about badges.

This week I found an interesting Badge on the MFF, which is not very common and rare to find.

It is a Minesweeper Badge made by FLL (Friedrich Linden Lüdenscheid) and the material is CUPAL. It belongs to Dave Grohen`s collection and he was so kind to provide me with pictures, size and measurements. It is 54 mm in height, and 44 mm wide. The weight is 14 Gramm (so a lighweight). A tombak minesweeper can have about 24 Gramm……

Minesweeper Cupal Dave`s Collection (1)

 

For some of you Cupal is nothing new, but there are collectors out there who are not that familiar with the material. We go into that later.

First of all, something about the badge itself.

The Minesweeper’s war badge was instituted on August 31st, 1940 by the Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Erich Raeder for award to personnel serving on minesweepers, sub-chasers, and

Minesweeper Cupal Dave`s Collection (2)

escort vessels who met the prescribed requirements. The main prerequisite for bestowal of the award was participation in three operational sorties. Because the Kriegsmarine had so much little ships until the end of the war used for different duty`s there are a lot of minesweeper badges out there. Mostly zinc versions, some nice tombak badges and also woven examples. I heard about aluminum pieces but never saw one.

There is a saying that “minesweepers personal is close to the almighty god” and “where we have been the fleet will sail to”.  However, I can remember my eight years in the 5th Minesweeping Squadron of the German Navy as a very interesting time.

Minesweeper Cupal Dave`s Collection (3)

I learned that big ships like Cruisers or Destroyers won`t go anywhere if there is a mine warning. They call the little sweepers “to clear the road” before they move on.  Only after a “green light” from the sweepers and the data for a mine free channel, they move on……

 

This Cupal FLL Minesweeper was shown on the MFF by Dave who had it in his collection for some time. While researching on the topic I used the Book from Sascha Weber and Gerhard R. Skora about Kriegsmarine badges” Die Kriegsabzeichen der Kriegsmarine”. And like I wrote that in the blog postings before, that is THE Book you have to have if you collect serious in the field of Kriegsmarine awards. You must understand, I collect for 25 years now and still use the book to proof this or that or just to compare stuff. So from this place a thumbs up to Sascha and Gerhard for this great Book.

 

Her we have some more information on the cupal material.

CUPAL stand for COPPER PLATED ALUMINIUM
Cupal was invented as a cost saving material in the 1920’s. Either a single or double layer of copper was added to aluminum alloy base and initially saw use in such things as water pipes. It was a cost saving feature at the time- it provided for better corrosion resistance and was easier to work with when welding pieces together.

Example PKA Juncker cupal by Philippe de Bock (2)

The generic term for such a material is „Bimetal“ and these are used to combine the properties of the two components to achieve desired results. Most often the application for this is electrical as in a „Bimetallic strip“ used in heat sensitive switches or cut outs because the two metals have differing rates of expansion under heat and this causes the strip to bend thus either making or breaking a contact. Such a composition of copper and aluminum is used in washers on electrical terminals to prevent galvanic reactions between dissimilar metals under current.

Example PKA Juncker cupal by Philippe de Bock (1)

Cupal was used in badge production for mostly economic reasons (Germany had problems sourcing copper which was needed for applications more crucial to the war effort) but it did have some practical manufacturing benefits as well. Although they changed to simple zinc soon enough.

We often see cupal used on insignia for the same reason as well as the fact that it allowed for easier plating.
It continued to be used post war and it’s still being used today.

It’s a thick, like 2mm aluminum plate with a very thin, like 0,2mm copper plate pressed onto it. They are not welded or stuck together but pressed so hard that they are practically „welded“ together.

I got also two picture from Philippe de Bock out of his German Combat Awards Forum to show here the different layers of material on a badge.

 

Final you have to understand that the collectors market is sometimes a mystery. There are days were badges go for incredible amounts over the table and sometimes they are like glue and won`t go anyway.

But a lot of collectors look for cupal pieces and if a badge pop`s up it will be a fight to get it. So look always close what you get and never ever sell something you don`t know……

Thanks for reading, please help the blog to get more readers and more writers……Let the other collectors know what you can find here.

Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup