Schickle Knight`s Cross and some questions

Hi Gents, the days passing by and a lot of things happen in the world of collecting. Surfing through 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.

Well that’s the way it is. Interesting thing for me as, somebody who is actually not that deep in the field of Knight`s Crosses involved, are the pictures the user Ludwig posted on WAF showing his outstanding Otto Schickle Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross in a really rare LDO case. I asked him to bring it on “Bacuffz.com” and he gave me a thumbs up.

Schickle in LDO Case by Ludwig Typ 1 no marker

Looking at this nice set you will see that there is no marker on the cross but you have the LDO sign on the case. Ludwig made clear that an LDO cased has to have a marked Knight`s Cross inside to follow the regulations. Whatever brought the set together is a secret of the veteran who had this cross during the time of the war.

Schickle in LDO Case by Ludwig 4

While researching a little bit I found the interesting story that Otto Schickle from Pforzheim in Germany has indeed manufactured Knight`s Crosses but only a short time from May 1940 until July 1941. The first 5 month they produced without L/15 marker, after that they put the marker on the loop. Something happened but nobody knows what it was, but Schickle lost his rights to produce Knight`s Crosses anymore. So that way there are only few Knight`s Crosses made by Schickle on the market.

After more and more hours on that topic I learned that there are two different Schickle Knight`s Crosses around the collector`s world.

Let´s call them Type 1 and Type 2 for better understanding.

First we have to get into the history of the Knight`s Cross before we get into details of Schickle Crosses….

Schickle Type 1 A.jpg

 

On March 10th, 1813, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary gallantry award for bestowal during times of war. Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Cross were reinstituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19TH 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5th, 1914, by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1st, 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First, Second and Grand Cross Classes and established the new Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Hitler reserved the right to personally authorize bestowal of the Knight’s Cross and all ranks were eligible for the award. Originally the criteria for bestowal of the Knight’s Cross was outstanding personal bravery or decisive leadership in combat but this was later expanded to include personnel who had continually demonstrated exceptional acts of courage or an extremely high success rate on the battlefield.

Schickle Cross with maker L 15 Ludwig Collection

The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was the most coveted award of the Third Reich period and those presented with it were elevated to the status of a national hero. In total it is estimated that roughly 7,360 Knight’s Crosses were awarded during WWII, a relatively small number when one considers the amount of troops fielded and the magnitude of the war. Due to the prestige of the award personnel who could afford it would opt to buy a jeweler’s copy for everyday wear with the actual award being put away for safe keeping. Of Note: The LDO, “Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller”, (Administration of German Medal Manufacturers), began regulating the manufacture of German awards in March 1941 as a quality control agent for awards that were intended for retail sale and manufacturers were to use an assigned LDO, „L“, code on their products destined for retail sales. Awards that were to be bestowed by the government were also issued an official numerical government contract code known as a, “Lieferantnummer”, (Contractors Number), that was issued by the “Präsidialkanzlei des Führers”, (Presidential Council of the Führers), for formally approved manufacturers. The manufacturing firms that were licensed by both the “Präsidialkanzlei des Führers” and the LDO and would have used the same dies to stamp both the official issue and retail sales types of awards making them virtually indistinguishable from one another except for the markings. Regulations of November 1st, 1941 prohibited further manufacturing of the Knight’s Cross for retail sale. Of Note: On June 3rd 1940 a higher echelon of the Knight’s Cross was established with the introduction of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves and on July 15th 1941 an additional two higher grades of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves were introduced with the establishment of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves and Swords and the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Finally, on December 29th, 1944 Hitler established the final grade of the Knight’s Cross with the Golden Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Also of Note: The Grand Cross of the Knight’s Cross was only awarded once to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and the Knight’s Cross with Golden Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was also only awarded once to Oberstleutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel.

 

Back to Otto Schickle from Pforzheim and what he manufactured that days. As a member of LDO (you have seen that above) his company got the LDO Number 15. So if you see something with L/15 it is made by Schickle and normally the value is higher than other badges without marker on the backside. But there are also Schickle made medals and badges out there without L/15 marker……

Let us jump in on the different types of Knight`s Crosses from Schickle and what the collector`s scene says about it.

I have to make clear that I put only opinions in this Schickle report without stepping on one side. Mostly information`s are from experts which are known as experts on the subject. You might know the name Daniel Grünbaum who is an expert on Otto Schickle badges and also very deep in Knight`s Crosses pre 1945 and post 1945. There are a lot of good information from him we have to think about or put a second thought on it….but finally you have to make up your mind for your final opinion. Also I learned a lot from Mr. Dietrich Maerz who wrote books about that topic which are one of the best on the market.

OK let`s put some facts together and see where the road will lead us to.

All the Schickle Crosses have the same loop on the Top of the frame, some with the marker L/15 and some without L/15. At the collectors market we have seen fake crosses with the marker L/15 on the loop or for example a Juncker Knights Cross with an L/15 marker on it to pimp it……well that did not work. So there might be somebody out there with the right stamping tool L/15 but with not enough knowledge to put that marker on the right cross. So that’s an easy one to spot.

Schickle Cross with maker L 15 Ludwig Collection II
Fake marker

 

Also all the Schickle crosses have a die struck mistake in the frame which can be found on every cross which is offered. In the 9 – 12 area of the front frame there you can find it.

 

Fail in Frame Typ 1

Now we move to type one and type two.

Look at the pictures from Ludwig`s grouping and on the very clear embossed numbers on the front and the back.  Also on that Cross you can see the angle of the number 3 upper part in 1939 which “hits the head of the 9” if you draw a line in that direction. Better explained with the following picture here.

hitting the 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line for a type 1 Schickle Knight`s cross:

Right size and shape of the loop

Die flaw in the frame 9-12 o`clock area

Clear embossed numbers front and back

Number 3 hits the number 9 (line check)

 

Let`s look at the Type 2 cross.

Here we see almost the same indications like on type 2. You have the same loop on the top of the frame. You have the die flaw on the 9-12 O´clock area on the front frame.

not hitting the 9 Typ 2

Now let`s check the numbers, not the same clear embossed numbers like type 1…….and if you do the line test from the number 3 to the number 9……it is a different angle.

 

That tells me as a none KC experts that we have two different cores in the same frames!

Looking back to the short amount of time Schickle produced their Knight Crosses. Why did they change the design of the core but not the frame? Even if the frame had a “problem” ….

If you look closely on the type 2 core you can see a similarity to the post war crosses made by Steinhauer und Lück. How can that be?

Postwar KC with core Schickle Typ 2

Thoughts (and only thoughts) bringing me to some “Maybe” points.

Maybe it is the truth that Schickle stopped producing type 1 Knight`s Crosses someday and started to produce type 2 until they have to stop it by “whatever” reason.

Maybe Schickle stopped the production of Knight´s Crosses 1941 and after the war all the “unused” frames were sold to anybody who put in a post war core and sold them after May 1945 to the veterans who lost their Crosses during the war.

Maybe Schickle sold their overproduced Schickle frames in 1941 to somebody who made actually Knight`s Crosses during World War 2. So type 2 is a Schickle Knights Cross but not produced by Schickle.

Maybe Schickle`s die tool for manufacturing the cores were getting bad and the numbers weren`t that clear anymore. So there is a possibility that they produced 500 cores with bad number design and put them aside for later. Somebody found them after the war together with other parts from different company’s and started building another version of Schickle crosses.

 

 

But the manufacturer list for Knights Crosses is short. There we have only these companies:

C.E.Juncker, Berlin
Steinhauer & Lück, Lüdenscheid,
Otto Schickle, Pforzheim,
C.F.Zimmermann, Pforzheim,
Gebrüder Godet, Berlin,
Klein & Quenzer, Idar-Oberstein,
Unbekannter Hersteller der frühen Form „Dreiviertel-Öse-Ritterkreuz“ (evtl. Deumer, Lüdenscheid)

As far as Daniel Grünbaum refers is Steinhauer und Lück the only company where you can find nearly identical cores in post war Crosses like type 2 Schickle cores……that’s also a fact to think about.

Theres  also a possibility that Sedlatzek, Schiffer or Souval bought all the rest of different manufacturers and started producing after May 1945.

 

A lot of questions and maybe a good start for more research on the topic.

 

I wonder about the price of Schickle Typ 1 Knight`s Crosses.  The price for a Schickle Cross is far higher than for other crosses. I can remember that a Schickle Type 1 was sold shortly for 10.500,-  Euro without any case, only the cross with ribbon. On the collector’s guild you will find a type 1 for 13925,- US Dollar and on Christian von Eickes Web shop a cross was sold for nearly 13.455,- Euro. Well that’s  a lot of money…….

Schickle Cross to identfy in wear (sadly cant remeber who posted it on WAF)

 

Hope some of the KC Collectors out there will come up with more information on the different types so we can clear out some “maybe`s”.

If you have any other facts and thoughts please let me know and I will be happy to put them down in this report.

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Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup

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

 

Fake Bag`s in the Collectors World Part I

Hi Gents,

First of all I have to excuse myself for taking so much time to write the next post. With my transfer to a new field of work in the German Navy, time is rare and the workload is heavy. I can`t tell you what I really do but so much to say. I work with and for the “Wolfpacks”…..

As a Medal and badges collector my focus is not really on cases and bags. If the medals come with it I leave them together, if the badges are cased, the will stay together. But I normally don’t hunt for a special case or a missing bag to get it complete…….well not quite right, I need a case for my second knight’s cross but that’s another story….;-)

Fake Show A

Funny thing is that you can buy a lot of lonely cases and bags on dealer’s websites or on EBay.

Why on dealer’s websites you ask, that is easy to explain. If you sell a high end badge in a high end and maybe rare case, you will get it sold quick for good money. But if the badge is not that nice or maybe made from zinc, it will get harder to sell it. So the trick is to separate them and sell the badge without the case or the case without the badge. Sometimes you get more money out of it, sometimes not. But collectors always need everything and the will buy it 😉

2 out of 3 Fake A

Let`s look on EBay, most of the cases and the bags are without swastikas and as you know, on EBay there is no chance to sell something with that “bad” sign on it. Collectors like me who are older remember the USA EBay time….the good old time……there you got it all on EBay USA. Uniforms, Badges, Daggers…….until EBay USA stopped it.

Anyway, EBay is also the best way to get a fake case or a fake bag for your collection. You have to be sure that the offered piece is from that time. Otherwise you burn your money.

Uboot Bag Copy L/12 A

From time to time bags pop up from a “hoard found”. They slept well protected in an old basement of a former medals sales store and now they flood the market. Never buy the story, trust your instinct or follow the experts on WAF, GCA or MFF.

Ground Assault Badge Copy A

So what did I do, I checked the areas of different platforms and pulled out the bad ones to show you what is really nothing for your collection.

 

I hope that the expert collectors who follow my blog will correct me if I am wrong (yes that could happen). If you have also fake bags in your database, feel free to send pictures to bacuffz.com and I will put them on display here.

UBoot Bag Copy A
Wounded Badge Silver Copy A
PAB Silver Copy A
LDO Bag Copy A

Here you have them all together with frontview and backside view

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

Cuff Title Marinehelfer Kriegsmarine

Hi Gents,

still quiet times for collectors due to the nice weather. But as a real collector you check your collection from time to time to see what you really have (sometimes it happened to me that I search for whatever and open a drawer in my home office…..between some paperwork, pictures and ribbons suddenly you see something and wow didn`t know that I HAVE SUCH THING ,-).

That way I checked my cuff title collection and saw my latest acquisition (almost forgotten). It was a cuff title of the Kriegsmarine. The name on it is “Marinehelfer” which means helper of the Germany navy.

Marinehelfer cuff title unworn

Here we have a picture so you can see what it is. A blue woven title with the name “Marinehelfer” on it.

Let’s see who had this one on his uniform and what was the task of the owner back in the days of War.

 

Historical background:

The HJ naval helper “ HJ-Marinehelfer” were underage auxiliaries of the German Navy, who were used during the Second World War in the active weapon service. The specific form of organization emerged from the previously established units of the “HJ-Luftwaffenhelfer”, so-called “Flakhelfern”.

Marinehelfer cuff title 1
Marinehelfer cuff title backside

These units were not subordinate to the Luftwaffe despite their common origin. This not only concerned the training and education times during the ordered compulsory service on the weapon, but also involved a wide range of tasks to combat sea targets. Naval aides were under the exclusive command of the navy. In contrast to the “Luftwaffenhelfern”, which were used according to the locations of their respective anti-aircraft batteries exclusively in the Reich territory, covered the operational area of ​​the naval aides almost the entire coastal region of the German Reich and the occupied areas with a total of almost 3000 kilometers in length. At the end of the war, naval aides were deployed in combat with Allied ground forces.

Marinehelfer Group Picture

The available information was taken from the leaflet, which was given to the helpers with their summoning order at the same time. It applies to both naval and air force helpers. The same applies to the also used internal document on the use of air force helper (file reference 11 b no. 1/43), since the instructions there were also applied to the naval aides.

Let’s have a look at the daily routine of a “Marinehelfer”

The day always started with the same ritual, the morning appeal, for the naval helper (and Air Force helper). They had to compete in uniform outside their accommodations and then marched closed in the group to the roll call. It was always a flag of the Hitler Youth to carry. During the march the usual battle songs were sung together with a marching band. With the song „Holy Fatherland“ the appeal was then opened. In the following reading by the site leader then the new order of the day was announced and ended with further songs.

School attendance
The “HJ-Marinehelfer” were not permanently deployed to their anti-aircraft positions, but, like their fellow HJ Air Force volunteers, had to attend school at least 18 hours a week, which was led by their old teachers, but only after a 4-week training session. The school took place in the immediate vicinity of the “Flakstellung”, mostly in makeshift barracks. In practice, however, the school operation was sometimes impossible, especially after flak missions at night, which could sometimes last into the morning. The hours after that, the naval aides first had to clean the anti-aircraft weapons and wait for the next mission.

Marinehelfer of the HJ

Also during the day, as the duration of the war worsened, there was an air-raid alarm and the few remaining time apart from the maintenance of the weapons, the naval helpers used to sleep and rest or even for combat exercises. The lessons were carried out until the adolescent had passed his matriculation examination, with simpler evaluation standards than with a regular school leaving certificate. Sixth grade students who had been drafted as flak helpers in March 1943 were dismissed from school with a diploma.

Indoor service and leisure activities
The internal service was rather barren for most “HJ-Marinehelfer”, although until 21.00 clock permission prevailed. In addition to the school, maneuvering exercises and the hours-long compulsory weapons cleaning, there were always numerous air raid alarms, so that the “HJ-Marinehelfer” had very little time to pursue any meaningful leisure activities. The aspirations of the Reich Youth Leadership, the rest of free time with sporting exercise, etc. filled, were nullified by the everyday service at the gun again. Thus, the Reich Youth Leadership provided at least for the supply of literature or provided, if not available, people’s receivers for radio broadcasts and music.

Marinehelfer on duty

Orders and decorations
The “HJ-Marinehelfer” and the “Flakhelfer” were honored with the following awards:
• Flak Badge (Luftwaffe)
• War Badge for the Naval Artillery (Kriegsmarine)
• War Merit Cross (1939) II. Class with swords
• Iron Cross 2nd Class
• Wound Badge (1939)
In addition, there were loud eyewitness reports and public commendations in front of the assembled team, so for example, a “HJ-Marinehelfer” firing at a fighter plane and it was shot down, he got a bar of chocolate. Occasionally, however, there were also certificates of recognition by the commanders.

 

Interesting to know is that there are also cuff titles “Marineoberhelfer” and “Marinehelferin”.

After 13 month of service as a “Marinehelfer” you could get a promotion to “Marineoberhelfer”. Just a recognition of service time but not a higher rank than the “Marinehelfer”.

Marinehelferin Kriegsmarine

A “Marineherlferin” was a female helper to the Kriegsmarine. They received various specialized training, as there were: air traffic, radio, telex and telephone service, the list probably does not even cover all training directions. So there was no active weapon duty. Actually sort of “NH des Heeres” in the Army or “Blitzmädel” of the Luftwaffe.

 

 

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

Unknown Tinnie „Zweimonatsplan“

Hi Gents,

well the summer is here and it is always a quiet time for collectors. You don’t spend hours in front of your computer searching for good deals or write emails to other collectors. Always better in your garden with a cold beer or a barbeque with friends.

Same with me, after 8 – 9 hours in my navy office I have to kick myself in the butt to get some writing done. But anyway, here I am and very happy that another collector friend provided me with an interesting topic…..ore tinnie.

To be honest, after I received Gary Munson`s Email it took me a while to understand that I have never seen this tinnie before. So I checked my books, IMM, database, the net and asked some other collectors……nothing.

Seems like Gary found something which was made for the “early” NSDAP party but it was never used due to the small power of the movement in the political field of Germany that time.

Here you see a picture of it.

Tinnie Stadion 20 Jun 1931

It says “Zweimonatsplan und dennoch” – which means: “two-month plan – and nevertheless”

There is the date 20th of June, 1931 and the NSDAP letters. Also you can see the “Feldherrnhalle” which is located in Munich (you have seen it on the blood order)

But let`s get to the beginning and what the history says about that particular day. The date on the pin says June 20th 1931. What was the Plan on that date?

Tinnie Stadion 20 Jun 1931 B

Here is all what Gary found out:

This tinnie was originally produced for a pre-election rally that was part of a 2-month plan designed to make huge increases in the Nazi party membership. The rally was to be held in the Berlin Stadium – a stadium that no longer exists; it was leveled to make room for the Berlin Olympic Stadium that housed the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics games. The Mayor of Berlin rejected Dr. Goebbel’s application for a rally, and the Party decided to cancel the event. Appropriately, it appears that all evidence of the planned rally was destroyed, except this pin.
Dimensions:

Paper Circle (diameter): 30 mm
Metal Circle (diameter): 21.45 mm

Here we have some very detailed information what happened between the different political leaders and the persons in charge.

I tried to translate it as it is, wording that time was different from now but I think you will get an idea about the problems of the young NSDAP and also the communist party. I hope you get a little inside view how it was that days:

 

Discussion on the lifting of the Spartakiad ban. June 29, 1931
R 43 I / 2675, p. 23-25

Present: Brüning, Wirth, Treviranus; Zweigert, Meissner; Protocol: MinDir. v. Hagenow.

Carl Severing

After the opening of the conference, the Reichsminister of the Interior presented the state of affairs. He stated that last Friday he had been surprised by the lifting of the ban and had immediately communicated to Minister Severing his objections to the lifting of the ban. At the meeting with Minister Severing, he pointed out the political consequences that the lifting of the ban must entail. Minister Severing had informed him that he had spoken with the representatives of the Communist Party about the nature of the event. He was told that the event will take place in quiet forms. Minister Wirth once again spoke with Minister Severing on the journey to Frankfurt, pointing out the position of the Reichspräsident and the seriousness of the situation.

Otto Meißner

Minister Severing had stated at the meeting that he was compelled to prepare a police shooting decree, and that he would have to prepare for the day when serious clashes could occur in Berlin. He thought that he should have allowed the Spartakiade to prevent sporting events from provoking bloody riots in Berlin. Moreover, Minister Severing has the impression that the Spartakiade is completely flattened. Of course, that would mean that if the Spartakiad were banned, the police action would break up as well. Minister Severing has the opinion that no workers‘ blood should flow during sporting events. It was for these reasons that Minister Severing came to his decision. As for the question of whether it is possible to wrestle further conditions from the Communists, he, Minister Wirth, must point out that the Communists have already made severe demands. He considered it possible, with Article 48 of the Reich Constitution, to ban the Spartakiade by a decree of the Reichspräsident. Minister Severing had stated in the meeting that if the lifting of the austerity measures were to succeed by an order of the Reichspräsident, he would no longer be able to render assistance to the Reich Government if it came into political difficulties for other reasons. So far, Minister Severing, he has always been ready to do his best to remedy the difficult situation in which the Reich Government is in power and to press it on its party.

Heinrich Brüning

At the end of his presentation, Minister Wirth suggested that the Chancellor should hold a meeting with both Prime Minister Braun and Prussian Minister of the Interior Severing. Moreover, he further argued that Article 48 of the Reich Constitution was applicable. The Reich Ministry of the Interior first examined the framework within which the regulation could be adopted. The Spartakiade begins on 3 July and lasts 8 days. As a result, an urgent decision is necessary.

Secretary of State Meissner emphasized that the Reich President was very displeased about the lifting of the Spartakiad’s ban and had sent him a very specific telegram. The President of the Reich had the impression that his decree of 28 March 1931 was abused. He, Secretary of State Meissner, did not even speak to the Reichspräsident by telephone, but only with his son, Lieutenant Colonel von Hindenburg. He replied that both the Reich Ministry of the Interior and the Foreign Office had opened negotiations on the matter. Moreover, it is primarily Prussia’s task to implement the order of March 28th. The Reich has a small influence here. The Reichspräsident regarded the handling of the decree as a provocation and found it particularly peculiar that the communist event was called the „Spartakiad“. In the opinion of the President, the National Socialist event should have been permitted if one tolerated the Communist event. He shared this view, Secretary of State Meissner. He also had the impression that the decree of the Reichpräsident was applied too strongly to the right and that no parity was guaranteed. Minister Wirth once again referred to the attitude of the Prussian Minister Severing and emphasized that this attitude could not be easily avoided, since Minister Severing was a man of honor.

Old Berlin Stadion

Minister Reviranus stated that the people of the East did not understand the way in which the presidential decree of March 28th was applied. In this area, one has the impression that the decree of the Reichspräsident is handled only against the “right” (NSDAP), while the left-wing circles are spared to a large extent. He could not understand the attitude of the Prussian government in this regard and considered the ban on National Socialist events to be a great stupidity.

Secretary of State Meissner also added that the Reich President was awaiting the presentation of a decree, which would abolish the ban, this evening. He therefore asked the Reich Ministry of the Interior to send him an appropriate draft without delay.

Chancellor Brüning remarked that he was truly saddened that at a moment when highly political decisions were to be made in Germany, the Reich Government was also to be faced with this difficulty.

Reichsminister Treviranus asked whether in the present strong workload of the Reich Chancellor it was not possible for Reich Minister of the Interior to discuss things with Prime Minister Braun. In his conversation, Minister Wirth had to explain to the Prussian Prime Minister that the ban on the National Socialist event had been a great mistake.

The Chancellor remarked that he would speak to the Prussian Minister of the Interior of Severing tomorrow, and asked Minister Wirth to inform Minister Severing immediately.

In the course of the meeting, it was found that the following conditions had been set for the event by Minister Severing:

1. speech forbidden by foreigners,
2. prohibition of removals,
3. Submission of the speeches to be given to the Chief of Police for the purpose of review,
4. no uniform rally, but only individual events,
5. No use of the stadium.
The further debate revealed that the following new editions are still expected to be made:

1. prohibition of provocative inscriptions,
2. banning political speeches,
3. Note that the event will be canceled or prevented by police force if the conditions are violated. Moreover, negotiations are to be reached with Prussia
a) ensuring equal treatment to the right and left in order to achieve justice on all sides,
b) possible agreement with the Reich Government on fundamental decisions.
The opportunity of negotiations with Prussia should be used to subsequently raise ideas about the unjustified operation of the regulation.

….

Finally you can see that both parties, left wing (communist) and right wing (nsdap), had the plan to do something big to get a better standing in the mind of the German people. So both events were canceled due to the decisions of the gentleman in charge.

Bottom line is that the discovery of this tinnie is very special. Really rare but with a believable story behind it.

If there are more pins or if there is more paperwork about the “Zweimonatsplan” out there just let me know and I will add this information here.

Thanks to Gary Munson for providing me with pictures and information`s.

Best
Sascha

Wounded Badge Case first pattern GOLD

Hi Gents,

Took me long this time to write another post but I was handicapped and couldn`t use my right hand.

What happened…. something bit me in my hand, some sort of Insect but we did not find out what ist was. Happened on a Monday morning, on Tuesday morning I was in the hospital with a hand like “HellBoy” and, as the doctors told me “close to Heavens door”. Anyway, they cut down my wedding ring and put me 3 days on hard medication to survive the blood poisoning…..Took me another week to use my hand again and now I can write slowly.

I Hope the responsible „whatever“ died after it bit me…..

Back to our hobby !

I scanned the net and checked different platforms for news on medals and badges. Found several interesting post on GCA, WAF and MFF. One posting let me think…..and finally I found out that I had never thought about it. It was all about cased wounded badges of World War II.

collection Jelle (7)

Easy area you think, you have already a black one, a silver and gold wounded badge and maybe this beautiful version…..uhhhh Legion Condor wounded badge…….but let`s start in the beginning. We have to get the terminology right. A lot of you talk about the legion condor wounded badge and the wounded badge of World War II. That is not the right way to put it down. We have to say it that way: Wounded Badge 1. pattern and the Wounded Badge 2. pattern.

Collection Heinrich (4)

The wound badge was originally established on March 3rd, 1918 by King Wilhelm II to recognize the sacrifice of those wounded during World War I. The badge was instituted in three classes with the class bestowed reflecting the number or severity of the wounds received. On May 22nd, 1939 Hitler re-instituted award of the black and silver WWI pattern wound badges, with the addition of the swastika, for bestowal to German volunteers, (Legion Condor), who had participated in the Spanish Civil war from 1936 – 1939. Of Note: Only one hundred eighty-two black and one silver badge were awarded to Condor Legion veterans.

Collection Heinrich (1)

With the outbreak of WWII, on September 1st, 1939, Hitler once again re-instituted another slightly modified version of the wound badge by altering the World War I pattern helmet on the badge to the newly designed M35 style helmet. The badge was awarded to both military and uniformed non-military personnel and later, (March 1943), to civilian personnel who received wounds as a result of enemy actions. The black wound badge was the lowest of the three classes and was awarded for one or two wounds.

Collection Heinrich (3)

The silver wound badge was awarded for three or four wounds, or if the wound was very severe, ie: loss of limb, blindness, etc..

The gold wound badge was the highest of the three classes and was awarded for five or more wounds, or if the individual was totally disabled. It was also awarded posthumously if the individual was killed in battle.

Interesting fact is hat the wounded badge 1st pattern was given out until 1940 because there were not enough second pattern finally made by the companies to give them to all soldiers who earned the badge.

Collection Heinrich (8)

So now let`s go back to the cased badges. If you examine a wounded badge 2nd pattern in gold it normally will come in a black case with white inlet.

If you were lucky enough to get a golden wounded badge 1. pattern which is also “hohl verbödet” (which means a hollow badge where the maker put a piece of metal on the back side to let it look like a flat back badge)and it is cased, this little friend will come in a black case with white inlet…..but be careful……it is like in your bedroom….the size matters.

Pictures collection Jelle

The cases for 1. pattern and 2. pattern are not the same size and I will show that with a few pictures from my collector Friend Heinrich.

As you can see the 1st pattern case is smaller, has an imprint on the top of the case and is higher than the standard black WB case. Everything is only in millimeter size but you can see it.

Pictures collection Heinrich

Shortly after start searching about WB cases  I found an interesting post in the WAF where some other collectors posted their cases of.

Pictures collection Gary

Here was a statement that the wounded badges 1st pattern gold case was also used for the Wounded Badge July 20, 1944. The same maker and the same size was the information. I hope we can proof that one day or some of the collector`s who owns one will provide me with pictures and sizes.

Thanks to Henrich, Gary, Jelle and Hans for helping me out with basic information and good pictures!

 

That’s it so far, hope you will get back after all the DSGVO (EU General Data Protection Regulation) storm in the internet.

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

Pilot Badge of the Luftwaffe made by OM

Hi Gents,

today we look at a Pilot Badge of the Luftwaffe. That’s not the first one I have in my blog. Sebastien Talbot did an article about the Imme Pilot badge on the February 2nd 2018.Estate of Beier

This time we focus on the pilot badge from a good collector friend who is also known expert on Luftwaffe Badges in the collector community.

Interesting fact is that after all the years of collecting and studying badges of the Luftwaffe we have no idea who really made this badge. There are lots of theory`s but no hard evidence to underline the makers company.

Pilot Badge OM Beier

You might have seen it; we talk about the marker OM. In this case the badge I like to introduce to you is from the estate of Oberleutnant Wilhelm Beier.

Wilhelm Beier was a Knights Cross holder who fought at the Night fighter front over England during World War II.

Beiers OM pilot Badge Backside

He achieved a total of 38 “night” victories and served with 3./NJG 2, 7./NJG 2, 9./NJG 2, 10./NJG 1 and 3./NJG. The tail of his Junker Ju 88 C-6 features 37 “Abschussbalken” which is a really high number. At the end of the War Beier retrained on the Me262.

 

Back to the Pilots Badge, here some historic information:

The pilot’s qualification badge was originally introduced on January 19th, 1935 for award to personnel of the DLV, “Deutscher Luftsportsverband Fliegerschaft”, (German Air Sports Association, Pilot Base), the secret forerunner of the Luftwaffe, who achieved their pilot’s license. The badge was officially adopted by the Luftwaffe on March 26th, 1936, by order of Hermann Göring. The pilot’s badge was awarded on an individual basis to personnel who had successfully completed the appropriate theory and flight training and had achieved their military pilot’s license. As with other flyer’s specialty badges a cloth version of the pilot’s badge was authorized for wear on the flight blouse with a machine embroidered pattern for EM/NCO’s and a hand embroidered pattern for Officers.

Oberleutnant Beier got his Pilot Badge in 1940 (you can see the date on the document) and as far as we know he has worn it until the end of the war. That’s the reason why it is in a “been there” condition. For him it was like a Talisman, that way he always came back from his front duty.

Strüning and Beier

Medals and Awards of Wilhelm Beier

Pilot Badge (OM)

Clasp for Fighter in Silver

Iron Cross 2nd Class 1939

Iron Cross 1st Class 1939

Ehrenpokal of the Luftwaffe

Knights Cross of the Iron Cross 1939

He received his Knights Cross after 14 Kills with his Ju 88 C-6 October 10th 1941. More about his combat plane will follow:

 

The Ju 88C was originally intended as a fighter-bomber and heavy fighter by adding fixed, forward-firing guns to the nose while retaining some bomb carrying ability of the A-series bomber. The C-series had a solid metal nose, typically housing one 20 mm MG FF cannon and three 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns. The aircraft retained the ventral Bola gondola under the crew compartment though individual units sometimes removed this to reduce weight and drag to enhance performance. The Ju-88C was later used as a night fighter, and this became its main role.

Tail Ju 88 Beier

The first version of the Ju 88C was the C-1 with 20 aircraft converted from A-1 airframes. Some of them entered service in the Zerstörerstaffel of KG 30 which became part of II./NJG 1 in July 1940. The C-1 was followed by the C-2 of which 20 aircraft were converted from A-5 airframes with enlarged wingspan. The C-4 became the first production version with 60 produced and 60 converted from A-5 airframes. The C-6, of which 900 aircraft were produced, was based on the A-4 airframe with more powerful engines and stronger defensive armament (single- or dual-mount belt-fed 7.92 mm MG 81 or 13 mm MG 131 instead of drum-fed MG 15 machine guns).

The C-6 as night fighter was typically equipped with FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC low-UHF band airborne intercept radar, using the complex 32-dipole Matratze antennas. The first four C-6 night fighters were tested in early 1942 by NJG 2. The trials were successful and the aircraft was ordered into production. In October 1943, many C-6s were upgraded with new radar systems. The first new radar equipment was the FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1. After the UHF-band Lichtenstein radars had been compromised to the Allies in the late spring of 1943, the next development in German AI radar was the VHF-band FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2, discarding the 32-dipole Matratze antennae for the much larger eight-dipole Hirschgeweih (stag’s antlers) aerials, required for the longer wavelength SN-2 system.

Newspaper KC Beier

Many Ju-88C’s had their Bola gondolas modified to hold up to two forward firing 20 mm cannon. Several C-6 night fighters were equipped with two „Schräge-Musik“ upward-firing 20mm cannon in trial fittings, and from mid 1943 onward, there was an official field modification kit available for this arrangement.

A small number of the C-series day fighters had their new solid-metal noses specially painted to resemble the bomber A-series‘ „beetle’s eye“ faceted clear view nose glazing, in an attempt to deceive Allied pilots into thinking the fighters were actually bombers; the unusual „camouflage“ attempt did result initially in a number of Allied aerial losses.

The Ju 88 is not a plane with lots of space for the crew, so we think that he one day in the plane hooked behind something and the catch broke of. They fixed it “in the field”. Not so nice like an expert would do it but it was good enough.

Beier in his Ju 88

The badge has the marker OM on the backside. Some collectors doubt the fact that these badges are original but in fact the picture from Beier with all his Medals made one thing clear. The Badge on his Flight Blouse is the OM Pilot Badge.

Some collectors think that the OM Marker stands Otto Meybauer who was the Brother of Paul Meybauer. Paul Meybauer badges are know and accepted in the collector community. But there is no hard evidence that Otto Meybauer made the OM Badges.

Maybe somebody will soon find out what the mystery behind that was.

Pilot Badge OM on Beiers Uniform

Sadly there is no chance to ask one of THE night fighter experts Tim Calvert, he passed away short time ago. So may he Rest in Peace, we will not forget him.

If you have additional information on OM Badges or pictures, Paperwork or anything related to that, please feel free to contact me and I will bring it on.

 

 

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

Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge made by Schwerin Berlin

Hi Collector friends,

my latest addition to my own little collection is a near mint auxiliary cruiser war badge made by Schwerin Berlin. So some of you are not so much into Kriegsmarine awards what I can understand. Famous are the known U-boat Aces and their badges, followed by the big Battleships and the High Sea Fleet badge and that’s about it.

Auxiliary War Cruiser Badge – my own collection

But a really interesting field is the story about all the auxiliary cruisers which raided the oceans worldwide during the second world war.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I think it was about 25 years ago, I was as a young collector with no money and sure without a big knowledge. Back that days it worked without the Internet to get your hands on medals and badges from World War 2. So what did we do?

We ran around every flea marked we had the chance to go to, we asked almost everybody we know about war badges in their family or if the old grandfather was as a soldier in World War 2.

Auxiliary War Cruiser Badge – my own collection backside

Sometimes you were lucky enough to get an Iron Cross or a Mother Cross from a friend`s house or even from your own relatives.

Funny thing was that almost everybody knew a Veteran living close by or next door.

That opened doors for good story’s and sometime for nice estates.

In that case my father told me about Mr. Körner. He was the local shoemaker and a retired civil worker of the German Bundeswehr. I found out, that he was a crew member of the Gorch Fock, the German Navy School Ship for Officers and before that, he was in the Kriegsmarine.

So I went to his house, rang the bell and as he opened the door I told him who I was and that I like to hear something about his Kriegsmarine time.

Took me three times at his door to make him understand who I was and what my intension were. Finally, he let me in and we had a little talk about his time on the Gorch Fock.

Interesting cruises and good time was what he told me. After 20 Minutes I asked about his time in the Kriegsmarine. Suddenly he was quiet and looked me deep in my eyes……. Then he told me to get up and we went in his little office in the back of his house.

Mr. Körners wall with HSK Atlantis and Aux. War Cruiser Badge

There were some pictures on the wall with ship crossing the ocean. One was the “Schulschiff Deutschland” of the German Navy and another one was “HSK Atlantis” ………

So I found a crew member of Bernhard Rogges Auxiliary cruiser who made the 622-day trip around the world.

He told me about his time on the Ship “Albert Leo Schlageter” and then his first day on board of Atlantis. All what happened there until he ended up explaining his transport back in an Italian submarine after they were sunk……..

 

Back in Germany he served on a Minesweeper and finally he evacuated lots of civilians from Kurland Kessel until the end of the war.

 

The best and also the last wartime Story was the cruise back home. His Minesweeper boat were somewhere in a Harbor (think it was Travemünde) far away from Kiel.  It was the 8th of May 1945 and the war was over. Most of his comrades and the officers left the minesweeper and headed home for their families.

He stayed on the boat and tried to figure out what to do. So he and some other navy soldiers (what was left of the Crew) took the boat all the way back to Kiel Harbor, stopped there and left the boat.

It was a 50 km march home to his wife and his daughter. He got close to his hometown (about 5 km left to go) as suddenly British troops stopped him.

They asked him who he was and where he wanted to go (he was still in Kriegsmarine Uniform). He told them all they wanted to know…. finally, they send him home with the promise to stay in his town for the next weeks until they come back.

So he did and weeks later he got his paperwork that he was official a non-war criminal no prisoner of war. He was a free man and lucky to survive the war.

Never heard that before, it is something different reading a book about Ship 16 (HSK 2) or talk to a man who experienced it all during that time.

 

After the war he worked as a civilian shoemaker on the German “Schulschiff Deutschland” and then on the “Gorch Fock” until he retired.

I went back three times for more information’s about his time on board. He showed me pictures and paperwork from his time and on the last day he presented his Auxiliary badge made by Schwerin Berlin. Back that days I did not know it better, but my friend Martin W. explained that the whole Atlantis Crew got their Badges together in Berlin and…..they all got Juncker Badges. So I never asked Mr. Körner but it seemed like he bought another one for his uniform and that piece survived the war.

 

I did not ask for it but he put it all on the table together with his Iron Cross 1st class and Iron Cross 2nd class, his minesweeper badge and his 1957 clasp. There I saw that he also got the Navy Front Clasp and the Kurland cuff title. He told me that if I want the badges I can have them………..

Mr. Körners medals and badges , pictures taken 20 years ago

What an honor that he wanted to give them to me. I told him that they will get a good place in my collection. While we were talking his wife came in, looked at us and asked what we are doing with the old Nazi badges. So he told her that he wanted to give me the badges for my collection.

You can imagine what happened next. She said the son in law was also a soldier on actice duty (not like me in the navy but in the army) and he asked for the badges years ago. So if somebody will get them, it will not be me.

I did not say anything and waited for the reaction of Mr. Körner. As you all know the real boss in your house is the “CIC Home fleet”, your wife…..and when she decides then she decides.

 

With little tears in my eyes I left Mr. Körner and headed home. Over the years I stopped by to see how he is and we talked about the old navy and the new navy.

In 2009 he had his 70 years wedding anniversary and shortly after that he died and I didn´t had the chance to participate at his funeral because I was far away from home with my ship.

 

All the years I tried to get an auxiliary cruiser badge made from Tombak by Schwerin Berlin with the marker on it……that was not easy.

High End Schwerin Berlin Tombak cased – picture from Militaria Scholz

If there was one, I did not have the money to buy it or the badge was in such a bad condition…. Sometimes you have to wait and wait and wait. I got some nice Juncker Auxiliary Badges for my collection and also Schwerin Berlin made badges, but always without marker on the backside.

Finally, with the help of Christian K. I got mine and the Schwerin Collection is now complete!

Here is some background on Auxiliary Cruisers and the Atlantis for you:

At the outbreak of war, the Kriegsmarine requisitioned a number of fast merchantmen and immediately sent them into naval shipyards to be converted into offensive auxiliary cruisers. These ships had at the time of building been fitted with extra strong decks specifically to facilitate the installation of military equipment when required, but this was the only difference between them and other merchantmen of the period. No precise plans had been drawn up for the conversion of these ships into warships, and consequently the conversion process was painfully long. Compared to the diversity of British auxiliary cruisers, the Hilfskreuzer were standardized insofar as possible. The ships themselves averaged approximately 7,000 long tons (7,100 t). Armament usually consisted of six 6 in guns, two to six torpedo tubes, and an assortment of 40 mm (1.57 in), 37 mm, and 20 mm (0.79 in) automatic weapons. Most of these merchant raiders carried an Arado Ar 196 floatplane for reconnaissance. Kormoran, Komet, and Michel were also equipped with small motor torpedo boats. In addition to armament, increased fuel, water, and coal storage had to be provided for as well. Furthermore, the raiders could not abandon the crews of their captures, so space had to be provided for prisoners. The first Hilfskreuzer got under way in March 1940, shortly before the Norwegian campaign. The Auxiliary Cruisers were credited with sinking roughly 800,000 tons of Allied shipping during the war. Of the eleven main Auxiliary Cruisers, six were sunk by enemy action, one burnt in Yokohama harbor, one was scuttled after battle damage, one was decommissioned and the remaining two were captured by the Allies at the end of the war.

Hilfskreuzer Atlantis – Auxiliary Cruiser Atlantis
  • Orion (HSK-1)
  • Atlantis (HSK-2)
  • Widder (HSK-3)
  • Thor (HSK-4)
  • Pinguin (HSK-5)
  • Stier (HSK-6)
  • Komet (HSK-7)
  • Kormoran (HSK-8)
  • Michel (HSK-9)
  • Coronel (HSK-10)
  • Hansa (HSK-11)

The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (HSK 2), known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 16 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-C, was a converted German Hilfskreuzer (auxiliary cruiser), or merchant or commerce raider of the Kriegsmarine, which, in World War II, travelled more than 161,000 km (100,000 mi) in 602 days, and sank or captured 22 ships totaling 144,384 t (142,104 long tons). Atlantis was commanded by Kapitän zur See Bernhard Rogge, who received the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. She was sunk on 22 November 1941 by the British cruiser HMS Devonshire.

 

The Auxiliary Cruiser Badge or the Hilfskreuzer Badge is one of the nicest Kriegsmarine badges I know. Always a looker on not very often to find.

The Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge was instituted on April 24th 1941, by “Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral”, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Erich Raeder, for award to armed Merchant Marine personnel, to recognize their contribution in harassing and sinking Allied merchant ships… Of Note: Generally, the early production Auxiliary Cruiser War Badges had the separate likeness of the globe attached by a single rivet, while later war production versions were manufactured as a single piece.

Auxiliary Cruiser War Badges Tombak Schwerin – Martin W. Collection

The Badge normally is a two piece, die struck, tombak construction badge with fire gilt and nickel/silver plated finishes. The badge is in the form a gilt washed, vertically oval, embossed, oak-leaf wreath with a national eagle with big out-stretched wings, clutching a canted, swastika in its talons, superimposed to the top center, encompassing a cut-out, „Viking“ style, long boat with full sail, cruising on a separate likeness of a nickel/silver plated, northern portion of the globe. The detailing includes the dragon figurehead and oval shields on the ship, longitude and latitude lines and the embossed outline of Great Britain, Western Europe and North Africa on the globe. The separate globe is attached to the badge by a single, small, dome headed, rivet which is visible on the reverse. The reverse has a soldered, solid, block type hinge, a broad, tapering, vertical pin and a heavy, soldered, retaining catch all intact.

There 6 different versions from that Schwerin Badge. We are only looking at Tombak made Badges with Schwerin Berlin marked on the backside. Martin W. was so kind to help me out with backside pictures. Here you see the difference between 3 badges.

Different set up – List of Norm F.

 

But that’s not all, Norm F. made list of all known versions and here is the list.

1 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with dome-head hinge pin on left

2 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with dome-head hinge pin on right

3 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with dome-head hinge pin on right, hand-filed internal margins (without use of standardized trimming tool)

4 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with flat/waffle-head hinge pin on left

5 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with flat/waffle-head hinge pin on right

6 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with headless hinge pin on left

If you have more questions about Auxiliary War Badges feel free to contact me. I gone try to answer the question or I will transport the question to my Kriegsmarine Collector Friends and Specialist for that kind of awards Martin, Norm and Hubert.

 

Thank you 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

Kassel Spring Show Report 2018

Hi Gents,

this year was my first time on the spring Kassel show 12.04. – 14.04.2018.

The way in !

Like the last year my part or my work at the show was behind the sales counter of the company Trave-Militaria from Lübeck. My main Job is still lieutenant commander in the German Navy, but for Trave-Militaria I work as a consulter and during the big shows I take care of the international collectors.

This time we started of very early and arrived in Kassel on Tuesday 10th of April at about 14:00 o`clock. There were lot of activity in the big building number 1. For the smaller April fair only one hall was open for the dealers.

Wednesday on Fair

Everybody was working on their sales both, bringing lots of military item in and try to put their nicest stuff in a good position.

We put our sales area together and also had some time to look around. We met Mr. Helmut Weitze from Weitze Militaria and his crew and lots of old collector friends.

Wednesday II on Fair

We catched the hottest news and lots of rumors about the big things going on like the estates of “Schulz” and “Bäke”. Everybody knew something and information’s (good and bad) circled the dealer corners. During that talking we checked the medals and badges of the other dealers and bought some little pieces.

At the end of Tuesday, we went back to the hotel for a shower and some dinner, one or two beer made the evening even better.

Nice Medal Bar 1

On Wednesday morning more and more dealers came to building one and started their set up. Also some collectors with dealer cards stopped by for a chat and started to hunt the fair for the best deals. I met Mr. Christian von Eicke from Militaria Berlin and Skip also. We had some good talks during lunch time and always some jokes to tell and….funny time !

My workspace at Trave Militaria

Also Mr. Frank Scholz from Militaria Scholz was there and we talked about high end Luftwaffen badges and the ongoing up and down of the prices (what a mystery).

For my one of the highlights was the first personal meeting with Mr. Philippe de Bock, owner of the German Combat Awards Forum and Book Author of the Panzer Assault Book…and I mean THE PAB Book. We had good conversation’s as suddenly Mr. Giel Van Wassenhove from Giels Militaria showed up and it was also a pleasure to meet him in Person. That’s always the best part on military shows, meet the guys live and not via Whats App or Email.

All were hunting for high end stuff and some guys were lucky…..I heard from a buy of three Iron Crosse 2n class 1939 marked 21……extremely hard to get. Also a nice Legion Condor Tank grouping was sold and a few very nice Luftwaffe estates.

Somebody told me about a SS Generals Tunic which was sold from somebody to somebody but I did not get further information’s nor did I see it. Bad luck!

Thursday III on fair

The Wednesday ended with some long drinks at the hotel bar and as always with lots of collector story’s and fairy tales about high end military which were found somewhere…..

On Thursday again the day started early and we arrived at the show about 08:30. Enough time to go around and check the late dealers which came in the morning to build up the sales booth.

Hermann Historica Bäke Grouping
Bought on the show by Trave Militaria
Bought on the show by Trave Militaria

At 10:00 the gates opened and a flood of collectors came in. Hunting for iron crosses WW 1 and WW 2 marker marked, lot of tank estate collectors asked for paperwork and U-boat estate collectors for rare documents. Combat Badges where in the focus as always, but here also it had to be a rare maker or mint condition. The European collectors bought lot of small things for a resell in their country. Time passes by and I met a lot of collectors from all over the world, that was really fun and always good to get an inside view how a collector brain works 😉

At about 15:00 my shift was over and I had to get back home. We were released by Peggy and Christian and from that time on their job was to help the boss.

Took me about 6 hours to get home and see my family again.

Bottom line for me, this fair was smaller than the Autumn Show from last year and less collectors and dealers were there. But the networking was great and as always I learned a lot.

I am looking forward to the next Kassel Show in November 2018 and I hope to see you guys there.

All the best

Sascha