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New Project is ONLINE


Hello dear readers and collector friends,

this time it is nothing about research or new information about a badges or medals.

That post here today is only to show you, what we have done in the last month.

We took some money and rented a 300m2 big shop in the town Lübeck up in the norther part of Germany.

There we founded new auction house with a big hall for presence auctions. We hired some specialists for antiques and arts and put in our own knowledge for “high end” watches and expensive jewelry and also military items.

We started our new business on September 15, 2018 and now (after a lot of blood and sweat) we have our first auction going on.

Here you see pictures of some nice military Items we have in our first auction. All over we have about 500 items !!!!!

D-Day is the 24th of November 2018, but right know you can sneak in and check the highlights.

Here is the Link for the website:

And the special corner military:

I hope you like it and now you know why my “BLOG WORK” was not that good the last month.

If you have some questions about it, feel free to Email me or the website of HanseArt itself.

All the best






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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 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




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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 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




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Kriegsmarine Nachlass Zerstörer Z26

Hallo Sammlerfreunde,

ja der Sommer ist da und wie schon im BLOG Bereich erwähnt, nicht unbedingt die Zeit sich an den PC zu setzten und mit Recherchen die sonnigen Tage verbringen.

Ich selbst muss mich motivieren zu schreiben, weil man halt andere Dinge auf dem Zettel hat und die Zeit doch auch im Garten bei Gerstensaft und BBQ verbringen kann.

Trotzdem würde ich gerne ein Nachlass vorstellen und ein heikles Thema in der Sammlerwelt anschneiden.

Höchel Gruppe bei der Auktion (1)

Aber erstmal zu dem Nachlass. Mein Sammlerfreund Hardy konnte diese Nachlass eines Soldaten der Kriegsmarine für seine Sammlung sichern. Für mich  immer eine Augenweide solche Konvolute vorzustellen und etwas geschichtlichen Hintergrund zu liefern.

Allerdings muss ich dann doch den Finger in die Wunde legen und die ganze Geschichte erzählen. Als ich die E-Mail mit den Bildern des Nachlasses und den Trägernamen bekam, beginne ich natürlich erstmal mit OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) – soll heißen ich „google“ den Namen und schaue mal was das Netz so hergibt. Es dauerte nicht Lange und ich konnte den Namen und den kompletten Nachlass in einem Auktionshaus aufspüren. Zufrieden schaute ich mir dort alles an und war beeindruckt welchen Umfang das Konvolut hatte.

Höchel Gruppe bei der Auktion (5)

Parallel bekam ich auch die Bilder für den Blog…..

Hmmmm……das kann doch nicht alles gewesen sein. Dann wurde uns beiden schnell klar das der versteigerte Nachlass und der Nachlass von Hardy nicht mehr die gleichen Waren.

Es wäre zu verschmerzen gewesen, wenn die Abzeichen von Nachlass getrennt worden wären. Da machen wir und mal nichts vor, es wird gemacht und hat auch System. Der eine Sammler will eben nur Papier und die Hardware ist uninteressant, der andere Sammler sucht eben Einzelorden um seine Sammlung zu vervollständigen.

Höchel Gruppe bei der Auktion (2)

Somit trennen Sammler und auch Händler die Orden von den Papieren….der Name steht auf dem EK 1 oder Zerstörer Abzeichen ja (normalerweise) nicht drauf. Mittlerweile werden auch Orden von den Etuis getrennt (nicht immer, aber immer öfter): Es ist eben einfacher so den Weiterverkauf zu sichern.

Auszug Crewbuch

Somit muss jeder für sich selbst entscheiden wie er es handhabt oder wie er es macht. Schlimm wird es (und auch das habe ich schon gesehen) das in einem Nachlass vier Urkunden sind und alle werden EINZELN angeboten…..das finde ich dann schon echt blöd. Bevor ich mich nun da hinein steigere kommen wir zurück zu dem Höchel Nachlass. Nachdem wir den Verlust der Orden und Ehrenzeichen grade so verschmerzen konnten wurde auch hier schnell klar……es wurden Urkunden entnommen und auch Fotos aus dem Fotoalbum.

Crew Foto

OK, bei Fotoalben passiert es häufiger wenn dort ein Spitzenfoto drin ist das es verschwindet…..aber Urkunde aus einem Nachlass herausnehmen ???

Ich erinnere mich an einen Fall vor ca. 15 Jahren, eine Sammlerfreund, nein eher ein Sammler (weil Sammlerfreunde sind ehrlich) hatte die Möglichkeit einen Ritterkreuznachlass (also Papiere) zu kaufen. Er machte es natürlich und nach kurzer Zeit wurde die Gruppe einem Händler angeboten. Alles an Urkunden war Vorhanden, vom EK 2 über das EK 1 und die VB zum Ritterkreuz und weiter Urkunden zu Kampfauszeichnungen. Was machte der Sammler, er nahm die EK 1 Urkunde raus und legte die zur Seite.

Beförderung 3

Der Händler kaufte natürlich alles und wollte wissen wo die EK 1 Urkunde ist. Das war natürlich unbekannt und der Preis wurde gezahlt. Zwei Wochen später rief dann der Sammler den Händler an und meinte, die Urkunde wurde gefunden aber das wird teuer…….Was soll ich sagen, ich war etwas verwirrt als ich die Geschichte hörte.


Wie auch immer hoffe ich das wir durch diese Vorstellung des Nachlasses mit viel Glück die restlichen Urkunden des Kapitänleutnants Höchel finden können um möglicherweise den Nachlass wieder zu komplettieren.

Urkunde Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse

Zur Person:

Höchel trat als Freiwilliger in die Kriegsmarine ein und wurde Mitglied der Crew 33. Hier finden wir auch Persönlichkeiten wie Lüth, Henke, Hoffmann (Heiner) und Hardegen.

Am 01. Oktober 1936 wurde er zum Leutnant zur See, am 18. Mai 1938 zum Oberleutnant zur See und schließlich am 01. Januar 1941 zum Kapitänleutnant (ing) befördert.

Urkunde Zerstörerkriegsabzeichen

In dieser Zeit wurden ihm folgende Auszeichnungen verliehen:

Dienstauszeichnung IV Jahre am 01.04.1937

Spanienkreuz in Bronze ohne Schwerter am 06. Juni 1939

Sudetenlandmedaille am 16.12. 1939

Memelland Medaille (Urkunde fehlt) (Datum unbekannt)

Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse 1939 am 18. Dezember 1939

Zerstörer Kriegsabzeichen am 17. Januar 1941 auf Torpedoboot 10 (Urkunde fehlt)


Zerstörer Kriegsabzeichen am 15. Juli 1942 auf Z 26

Auf dem großen Foto des Konvolutes sind die Orden zu sehen. Hier auch nochmal zu erkennen das Höchel zwei Zerstörer Kriegsabzeichen Abzeichen und ein Flottenkriegsabzeichen sein Eigen nennen durfte. Da ich aus den Unterlagen keine Zeit auf einem „Dickschiff“ erkennen kann und keine Urkunde vorhanden ist, bleibt das ein Rätsel. Weiterhin hätte er als Torpedoboot Mann im Nachhinein (Stiftung 30. Mai 1941) das Schnellboot Kriegsabzeichen bekommen müssen / es anfordern können.

Urkunde Spanienkreuz

Hier etwas zu Geschichte der Boote und Schiffe auf denen Höchel gefahren ist.

Torpedoboot „T 10

Das Torpedoboot „T 10“ war ein Boot des Torpedoboots-Typs 35.

Indienststellung: 6. August 1940 / Besatzung: 119 Mann /Verdrängung: 1.082 t

Länge über alles: 87,1 m / Breite: 8,62 m / Tiefgang: 2,94 m

Höchstgeschwindigkeit: 34,5 kn


Seeziel-Artillerie: Ein 10,5-cm cm SK / Flak: 5 – 12 x 2-cm FlaMG

Torpedos: Sechs 53,3-cm Torpedorohre in Drillingsrohrsätzen


Das Torpedoboot „T 10“ wurde am 6. August 1940 in Elbing in Dienst gestellt. Am 6. und 7. November 1940 unternahmen die 1. und 2. Torpedoboots-Flottille einen Vorstoß gegen die schottische Ostküste. Dabei beteiligten sich die Boote „T 1“, „T 4“, „T 6“, „T 7“, „T 8“, „T 9“ und „T 10“. Dabei ging „T 6“ etwa 40 sm vor Kinnaird Head durch einen Minentreffer verloren, woraufhin die Unternehmung abgebrochen wurde. Am 24. September 1940 lief der schwere Kreuzer „Admiral Hipper“ aus Kiel aus, um zur Handelskriegsführung in den Atlantik durchzubrechen. Zur Sicherung durch das Nordmeer liefen „T 10“ und „T 12“ aus Kristiansand bzw. Stavanger aus. Am 27. September traten westlich von Stavanger schwere Maschinenschäden auf „Admiral Hipper“ auf, so dass der Kreuzer nach Kiel zurückkehren musste. Die Torpedoboote „T 10“ und „T 12“ liefen nach Kristiansand und Stavanger zurück. Am 28. / 29. Dezember 1940 sicherten die Torpedoboote „Falke“, „Greif“, „Seeadler“, „T 1“, „T 7“, „T 9“, „T 10“ und „T 12“ die Schlachtschiffe „Gneisenau“ und „Scharnhorst“ bei ihrem Versuch, in den Atlantik durchzubrechen. Wegen eines Schadens auf der „Gneisenau“ musste der Versuch jedoch abgebrochen werden. Am 6. Juli 1942 lief das Boot aus Swinemünde aus, um an den Flottenübungen vor Bornholm teilzunehmen. Beteiligt waren die leichten Kreuzer „Emden“, „Köln“ und „Leipzig“, der Zerstörer „Friedrich Eckoldt“ sowie die Torpedoboote „T 4“, „T 10“, „T 14“, „T 18“, „T 19“ und „T 22“. Abends lief das Boot wieder in Swinemünde ein. Am 16. Juli 1944 beschädigten die Torpedoboote „T 8“, „T 10“ und „T 30“ vor Narwa den sowjetischen U-Jäger „MO-121“. Am 20. und 21. August 1944 sicherten „T 1“, „T 4“, „T 8“, „T 8“ und „T 10“ den schweren Kreuzer „Prinz Eugen“ bei dessen Einsatz im Rigaer Meerbusen bei Tukkum. Am 18. Dezember 1944 ist das Boot im Schwimmdock in Gotenhafen nach einem Bombenangriff gesunken.

Übersendungsschreiben Zerstörerkriegsabzeichen


Dann auch noch Zerstörer Z 26 der auch gleichzeitig das letzte Kommando von Kapitänleutnant Höchel sein sollte.

Zerstörer Z 26 war 127 m lang, 12 m Breit und hatte einen Tiefgang von 4,43 Meter. Besatzung 332 Mann

Im November 1941 verlegte Z 26 nach Nordnorwegen. Am 16. Dezember 1941 stieß Z 26 als Flottillenboot der 8. Zerstörer Flottille mit Z 23, Z 24, Z 25 und Z 27 von Kirkenes aus gegen die Kola-Küste vor. Als Z 26 wegen eines Maschinenschadens ausfiel, wechselte der Flottillenchef auf Z 25 und Z 26 ging nach Kirkenes zurück, von wo der Zerstörer am 5. Januar 1942 zusammen mit Z 27 die Rückfahrt nach Deutschland zur Reparatur antrat. Am 10. Januar lief Z 26 in Kiel ein für die Werftarbeiten.

Am 19. März 1942 fuhr Z 26 im Verband mit den Zerstörern Theodor Riedel, Z 24, Z 30, drei Torpedobooten und dem Schweren Kreuzer Admiral Hipper von Brunsbüttel zum norwegischen Trondheim ab. Von Trondheim fuhr Z 26 mit Z 24 und Z 25 weiter nach Kirkenes von wo aus am 28. März 1942 die 8. Zerstörer Flottille mit Z 24, Z 25 und Z 26 gegen den Geleitzug PQ 13 eingesetzt wurde. PQ 13 war am 27. März von einer BV 138 der 2./K.Fl.Gr. 406 entdeckt worden, der in einem Sturm seinen Zusammenhalt verloren hatte. Gesichert wurde der Konvoi durch den Kreuzer Trinidad, die Zerstörer Eclipse, Fury, den Geleitzerstörer Lamerton sowie zwei U-Abwehr-Trawler und drei ehemals norwegische Walfangboote, von denen eines im vorherigen Sturm gesunken war. Von Murmansk aus stießen der britische Zerstörer Oribi und die sowjetischen Zerstörer Gremyashchi und Sokrushitelny zum sich wieder organisierenden Geleitzug.

Höchel Gruppe bei der Auktion (3)

Die deutschen Zerstörer waren auf ihrer Suche zuerst auf den versprengten Frachter Bateau (4687 BRT) getroffen, den Z 26 versenkte. Bei geringer Sicht und Schneetreiben stießen die deutschen Zerstörer dann auf den vor dem Geleitzug laufenden Kreuzer Trinidad und den Zerstörer Fury. Die Trinidad schoss Z 26 manövrierunfähig. Z 24 und Z 25 konnten 88 Mann von der sinkenden Z 26 retten. Das deutsche U-Boot U 378 konnte acht Überlebende von Z 26 aus einem Rettungsboot übernehmen. 240 Mann fanden auf Z 26 den Tod.  KptLt Höchel ist auf Z26 gefallen und hat sein Seemansgrab gefunden.

Ich bin sicher das irgendwo die fehlenden Urkunden schlummern und möglicherweise finden wir auf diesem Weg ja eine Möglichkeit den Nachlass zu komplettieren.


Ich würde mich freuen, wenn es klappt und hoffe das der Beitrag gut zu lesen war.




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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”.

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



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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



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03 Uboot Typ XXI U 3034

Here we can see in the photo a German submarine type XXI, one of the most modern submarines of its time.
Submarines of this type were manufactured from April 1944 to January 1945 at the shipyards of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, at the Deschimag AG Weser in Bremen and by the Schichau Works in Gdansk in a number of about 131 and also after the war by the British, French and Soviets continue to be used.

Uboat Typ XXI U 3034 1945

The boat shown here in the picture is supposed to be U 3034, which was layed on keel an built at the Deschimag AG Weser in Bremen on November 14th, 1944 and could not be put into service until March 31st , 1945 due to damage caused by an air raid. It served until May 05th, 1945, the day of his self-sinking as a training boat of the 4th U-Flotilla (training flotilla) and was therefore never in combat.


Commander of this boat were until the beginning of April 1945 First-Lieutenant Wilhelm Prehn and later First-Lieutenant Horst Willner, who sank the boat on the morning of May 5th, 1945 in the Geltinger Bay, so it could not fall into Allied hands.

A total of 47 submarines were sunk in the bay on the night of May 4th to May 5th due to the so-called „Regenbogen-Befehl“ (“Rainbow” Order). U 3034 was lifted in 1946 and scrapped.

In the photo, among other things, several officers, probably crew members of the boat, at the front of the command tower are recognizable.
Standing on the access bridge, a lieutenant-commander  is recognizable, who probably visits the boat and its crew.

He wears as decorations visible the ‘Minesweeper War Badge’ and the ‘Destroyer War Badge’.

The officer who welcomed the lieutenant-commander on board might be the commander, that is, Prehn or Willner.

First-Lieutenant Horst Willner later became known by the fact that under the command of U 3505 between 22.03.-26.03.1945 from Gotenhafen/Gdansk and Hela over 50 refugees (other sources also mention 110 civilians and as a period 28.03.-02.04.1945 ), including women, children and youth of the HJ (Hitler Youth) took on board to bring them to Lübeck Travemünde and thereby save from the advancing Soviets. Among the refugees were his wife and his newborn daughter.

After U 3505 had been sunk on April 3rd, 1945 by a heavy air attack in the port of Kiel, took over Willner and his crew substitute U 3034.

The boat had two Flak towers, each with 2x 2cm Flak C / 38, which were installed in the front and rear of the command tower and were able to swivel horizontally up to 240 ° and vertically up to + 45 ° / -5 °.

The boat is marked on the tower with large stripes, alongside and vertically, by means of yellow paint.

It has been preserved with ex U 2540 until today only a single submarine of this type and can be visited in Bremerhaven as a museum ship.

The location and the date on which the photo was taken, we are not yet known, so we would like more information would be very welcome.




Wir erkennen hier auf dem Foto ein deutsches U-Boot vom Typ XXI, einem der modernsten Unterseeboote der damaligen Zeit.

U-Boote dieses Typs wurden ab April 1944 bis Januar 1945 bei den Werften von Blohm & Voss in Hamburg,  bei der Deschimag AG Weser in Bremen und durch die Schichau-Werke in Danzig in einer Stückzahl von etwa 131 gefertigt und auch nach Kriegsende durch die Briten, Franzosen und Sowjets weiter verwendet.

Uboat Typ XXI U 3034 1945

Bei dem hier im Bild erkennbaren Boot soll es sich um U 3034 handeln, welches bei  der Deschimag AG Weser in Bremen am 14.11.1944 auf Kiel gelegt und aufgrund von Beschädigungen durch einen Luftangriff erst am 31.03.1945 in Dienst gestellt werden konnte. Es diente bis zum 05.05.1945, dem Tag seiner Selbstversenkung als Ausbildungsboot der 4. U-Flottille (Ausbildungsflottille) und war somit nie im Kampfeinsatz.

Kommandanten dieses Bootes waren bis Anfang April 1945 Oberleutnant Wilhelm Prehn und anschließend Oberleutnant Horst Willner, der das Boot am Morgen des 5.Mai 1945 in der Geltinger Bucht versenkte, um es nicht den Alliierten in die Hände fallen zu lassen. Es wurden in der Bucht insgesamt 47 U-Boote in der Nacht vom 4. zum 5. Mai aufgrund des sogenannten “Regenbogen-Befehl” selbst versenkt. U 3034 wurde 1946 gehoben und abgewrackt.

Auf dem Foto sind unter anderem mehrere Offiziere, vermutlich Besatzungsmitglieder des Bootes, am vorderen Bereich des Turmes erkennbar.

Auf der Zugangsbrücke stehend,  ist ein Kapitänleutnant erkennbar, der vermutlich das Boot und seine Besatzung besucht. Er trägt als Auszeichnungen das Kriegsabzeichen für Minensuch-, U-Boot-Jagd- und Sicherungsverbände und das Zerstörer-Kriegsabzeichen. Bei dem Offizier der den Kapitänleutnant an Bord begrüßt, könnte es sich um den Kommandanten, also um Prehn oder um Willner handeln.

Oberleutnant Horst Willner wurde später dadurch bekannt, dass er unter dem Kommando von U 3505 zwischen 22.03.-26.03.1945 von Gotenhafen/Danzig und von Hela über 50 Flüchtlinge (anders lautende Quellen nennen auch 110 Zivilisten und als Zeitraum 28.03.-02.04.1945), darunter Frauen, Kinder und Jugendliche der HJ an Bord nahm, um sie nach Lübeck-Travemünde zu bringen und dadurch vor den anrückenden Sowjets zu retten. Unter den Flüchtlingen befanden sich auch seine Frau und seine neugeborene Tochter. Nachdem U 3505 am 03.04.1945 durch einen schweren Luftangriff im Hafen von Kiel versenkt worden war, übernahm Willner und seine Besatzung  ersatzweise U 3034.

Das Boot verfügte über zwei Flaktürme mit jeweils 2x 2cm Flak C/38, die im vorderen und hinteren Bereich des Kommandoturmes verbaut  und horizontal bis zu 240° und vertikal bis zu +45°/-5° schwenkbar waren. Das  Boot ist am Turm  mit großen Streifen, längsseits und senkrecht, mittels gelber Farbe markiert.

Es hat sich mit ex U 2540 bis heute nur ein einziges U-Boot dieses Typs erhalten und kann in Bremerhaven als Museumsschiff besichtigt werden.


Der Aufnahmeort und das Datum an dem das Foto entstanden ist, sind uns bisher nicht bekannt, sodass uns weitere Informationen hierzu sehr willkommen wären.

Text made by R.A.

Copyright at


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Nachlass Ehrentafelspange der Kriegsmarine

Tag Sammlerfreunde,

manchmal tauchen Nachlässe aus der Kriegszeit auf die so besonders sind, dass man einfach etwas darüber berichten muss.

In diesem Fall wurden mir durch Herrn Kay Brüggemann der Firma Helmut Weitze Hamburg via Telefon mitgeteilt, dass dort grade ein Nachlass eines Marinesoldaten aufgekauft wurde. Im ersten Moment nichts besonderes (dachte ich mir), aber im Laufe des Telefongespräches wurde mir schnell bewusst was dort wirklich erstanden worden ist. Es handelte sich um einen Nachlass zur Ehrentafelspange der Kriegsmarine. Nicht nur das es wenige Verleihungen der Ehrentafelspange gab (29 Stück laut Literatur) sondern auch das hier eine der ganz wenigen relativ kompletten und geschlossenen Gruppen vorlag, die am Sammlermarkt kaum wenn nicht sogar überhaupt nicht zu finden sind.

Kurt Graf Nachlass

Nach der Übermittlung der Bilddaten und aller vorhandenen Informationen zu Kurt Graf (im Übrigen nicht sehr viel) habe ich versucht über diverse Kanäle an Informationen zu dem Beliehenen zu gelangen. Leider blieben alle versuche erfolglos und ich musste aus den vorhanden Informationen einen Kurzbericht fertigen.

Sollte einer der Leser doch wiedererwartend etwas mehr Informationen zu Kurt Graf haben, würde ich mich freuen wenn ich kontaktiert werden könnte um den Bericht zu erweitern.

Kurt Graf Ehrentafelspange (1)

Soweit ich es aus den vorhandenen Unterlagen nachvollziehen kann ist Graf schon von Anfang an bei den Schnellbooten / bei der Schnellbootwaffe gewesen. Die Verleihung zum Eisernen Kreuz 2. Klasse kam schon als Matrose 1940 durch Kapitän zur See Hans Bütow, Führer der Torpedoboote. Somit verdiente Graf sich diese Auszeichnung scheinbar im Unternehmen Weserübung / Norwegenfeldzug.

Das Schnellboots-Kriegsabzeichen bekam er als Matrosengefreiter vom Kommando der 1. Schnellbootsflottille ausgestellt am 16.12.1940.

Hier einige Fakten zu den damaligen Schnellbooten:

Das Schnellboot ist ein offensives Kampfmittel für den küstennahen Einsatz. Daten dieser Boote zu Verdeutlichung anhand von dem Boot S26 (u.a. Kdt Ritterkreuzträger Kurt Fimmen): 92,5 Tonnen schwer, 35 m lang und 5 m breit. Mit einer 6000 PS Maschine waren auf ruhiger See bis 39 Knoten möglich. Im 2. Weltkrieg hatten die deutschen Schnellboote mehr als 40 Kriegsschiffe versenkt und weitere 14 schwer beschädigt. Über 100 Handelsschiffe wurden versenkt – weitere 15 stark beschädigt.

Schnellbooot S28

Die zahlreichen nicht dokumentierten Beschädigungen an feindlichem Schiffsraum, die Bindung der feindlichen Abwehr, die Einsätze zur Unterstützung des Heeres sowie zuletzt die Rückführung deutscher Soldaten und Zivilisten in der Ostsee runden die erfolgreichen Einsätze der Flottillen ab.
S-Boote waren an allen Küsten Europas, in Nordafrika und im Schwarzen Meer im Einsatz.

Kurt Graf Urkunde Ehrentafelspange


Durch sicherlich weiterhin tapferes steuern eines Schnellbootes im Gefecht erlangte Graf schon 1941 das Eiserne Kreuz 1. Klasse.

Im Jahre 1943 wurde Graf zusammen mit dem Schnellboot S26 und dem Kommandanten Kurt Fimmen in Schwarze Meer verlegt. Hierzu wurden die Boote teilweise zerlegt und über Land zum Einsatzort transportiert. Eine unglaubliche Leistung die auch in diversen Büchern sehr gut beschrieben worden ist aber den Rahmen dieses Berichtes sprengen würde.

Bei dem Einsatz auf der Krim hat Graf den Krimschild mit Wirkung zum 01.03.1943 verliehen bekommen und sicherlich auch die Bedingungen zur Verleihung des Kuban Schildes dort erfüllt. Den Kuban Schild erhielt er mit Wirkung zum 08.12.1944. Alle Einsätze im Schwarzen Meer und herum um den Kuban Brückenkopf  sind abendfüllend und spannend zu lesen und eine empfehlenswerte Lektüre.

Kurt Graf Urkunde Schnellboots-Kriegsabzeichen

Am 25. Oktober 1944 wurde Kurt Graf mit der Ehrentafelspange der Kriegsmarine ausgezeichnet. Hierzu folgende Hintergrundinformation zur Ehrentafel:

Die Einführung der Ehrentafel der Deutschen Kriegsmarine wurde mit Erlass vom 23.2.43 durch den Oberbefehlshaber der Marine bestimmt. In der Ehrentafel wurden alle Ritterkreuzträger sowie die Träger des Deutschen Kreuzes in Gold genannt. Darüber hinaus konnten auch Männer erwähnt werden, die das Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse besaßen und deren Tat nicht ganz für das Ritterkreuz oder Deutsche Kreuz in Gold ausreichte. Für diesen Personenkreis bedeutete die Nennung in der Ehrentafel eine besondere Ehrung, die zunächst aber nicht sichtbar war. Aus diesem Grund wurde am 13.5.44 die Ehrentafelspange gestiftet. Die bisher Genannten ohne Ritterkreuz oder Deutsches Kreuz in Gold erhielten rückwirkend die Ehrentafelspange.

Kurt Graf Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (2)

Insgesamt erschienen 21 Ehrentafelbeilagen zum Marineverordnungsblatt, in denen 1.254 Soldaten genannt wurden. 149 davon wurden mit dem Ritterkreuz, 1.081 mit dem Deutschen Kreuz in Gold ausgezeichnet, so dass 24 Soldaten keine der beiden Auszeichnungen besaßen und daher mit der Ehrentafelspange dekoriert worden sind.

RK Träger Kurt Fimmen

Fünf weitere Namen waren für die Ehrentafel vorgesehen, die jedoch gegen Ende des Krieges nicht mehr veröffentlicht wurden. Insgesamt kommt man also auf 29 Namen:





Bitterer, Wilhelm (* 12.03.1911 in Wien)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am 09.12.44
als OLt. (W), Leiter eines Sprengkommandos, Sperrwaffeninspektion


Cordesmeier, Paul (* 23.11.1914 in Schöttmar/Lippe)
Nennung am 09.10.44 / Verleihung am 26.10.44
als OLt.(V) (KrO), Flottillenverwaltungsoffizier 7.Vorpostenflottille

Eggers, August (* 11.11.1909 in Friedrichstadt/Eider)
Nennung am 18.11.44 / Verleihung am?.?.44
als KLt., Kdt. K 4 (1.Sperrbrecherflottille)

Fischer, Klaus (* 28.06.1913 in Blumenthal/Weser)
Nennung am ?.?.45 / Verleihung am 13.02..45
als OLt.(MA) d.R., Führer eines Begleitkommandos 4./MAA 613

Graf, Kurt (* 13.12.1920 in Memel)
Nennung am 18.11.44 / Verleihung am 25.10.44
als MatrObergefr., Gefechtsrudergänger S 26 (1.Schnellbootsflottille)

Hetz, Karl (* 11.05.1910 in Hanau)
Nennung am ? / Verleihung am 01.02.45
als KKpt., Kdt. Z 34

Kayser, Günther (* 25.01.1897 in Krakow)
Nennung am 10.10.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als KLt.d.R., Kdt. M 1102 (11.Minensuchflottille)

Kirchhoff, Joost (* 02.03.1914 in Dyksterhusen)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am ?.?.45
als Lt.z.S. (KrO), Kdt. RA 3830 u. Gruppenfhr.i.d. 38.Minensuchflottille

Knauth, Karl-Heinz (* 11.01.1915 in Darmstadt)
Nennung am 08.11.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als OLt.z.S., WO Minenschiff Roland

Kronejung, Günter (* 12.06.1917 in Solingen)
Nennung am 17.12.44 / Verleihung am 11.11.44
als OLt.(MA) d.R., Batteriechef 3./20.Marinebordflakabt.

Kruse, Richard (* 27.08.1915 in Borstel/Schleswig-Holstein)
Nennung am 08.11.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als Bootsmannsmaat a.K., Kdt. eines Sonderfahrzeuges i.d. Schnellbootsschulflottille

Lerch, Kurt (* 20.10.1912 in Stralsund)
Nennung am 08.11.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als KLt. u. Sonderführer, Kdt. eines Minenschiffes

Müller, Heinz (* 29.01.1911 in Leer/Ostfriesland)
Nennung am ? / Verleihung am 10.01.45
als OLt.z.S.d.R., Kdt. Flj.23 (11.Vorpostenflottille)

Nordt, Otto (* 12.01.1902 in Dreschwitz/Rügen)
Nennung am 08.11.43 / Verleihung am ?.?.44
als KLt., Kdt. M 476 und Gruppenfhr. i.d. 26.Minensuchflottille
(später Ritterkreuzträger)

Offermann, Franz (* 21.10.1908 in Wesel/Rhein)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am 13.12.44
als KLt.(MA), Chef 2./MArtAbt.286

Pampuch, Alois (* 16.06.1920 in Wäldchen/Oppeln)
Nennung am 18.11.44 / Verleihung am 25.10.44
als Oberbootsmannsmaat, Seem.Nr.1 u.Flakführer UJ 2101 (21.U-Jagd-Fl.)

Paul, Karl (* 19.03.1908 in Kiel)
Nennung am ? / Verleihung am 01.02.45
als Kdt. Z 31

Paulshen, Ottokar (* 11.10.1915 in Charlottenburg/Berlin)
Nennung am 09.10.44 / Verleihung am 26.10.44
als KKpt., Kdt. U 557

Rademaker, Hans (* 23.03.1915 in Bonn)
Nennung am 31.12.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als OLt.(MA) d.R., Bttr.-Chef i.d. MArtAbt.242

Rössger, Ruprecht (* 30.08.1915 in Leipzig)
Nennung am 18.11.44 / Verleihung am ?.?.44
als KLt., Chef 21.Räumbootsflottille

Rübel, Gustav (* 29.06.1898 in Dortmund)
Nennung am 08.11.43 / Verleihung am ?.?.44
als KKpt.d.R., Kdt. Minenschiff Brandenburg

Schmalenbach, Paul (* 21.08.1909 in Schalksmühle/Altena)
Nennung am ? / Verleihung am 11.04.45
als KKpt., I.AO Prinz Eugen

Schütz, Ulrich (* 18.02.1915 in Lehe/Stade)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am 02.12.44
als OLt.z.S.d.R., Führer einer Marinefährprahm-Gruppe i.d. 15.Landungsflottille

Schwarz, Paul (* 04.12.1905 in Rädnitz/Oder)
Nennung am 28.06.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als OLt.(Ing.) (KrO), Lecksicherungsoffizier Gneisenau

Weilkes, Friedrich (* 06.12.1906 in Essen)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am 09.12.44
als Oberwaffenwart(Spr.), Sprengsonderkdo., Sperrwaffeninspektion

Weiss, Günther (* 03.10.1918 in Kiel)
Nennung am 08.11.43 / Verleihung am 06.09.44
als Bootsmannsmaat, Kdt. eines Sonderfahrzeuges i.d. 10.Landungsflottille

Wilhelm, Herbert (* 12.11.1916)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am 09.12.44
als Obermechanikermaat (Spr.), Sprengsonderkdo., Sperrwaffeninspektion

Wolf, Alfred (* 11.07.1903 in Berlin)
Nennung am 11.01.45 / Verleihung am 02.12.44
als Sonderführer (OStrm.), Kdt. Netzleger Rau 7

Wolf, Emil (* 12.12.1893 in Siegen)
Nennung am 06.09.44 / Verleihung am 21.09.44
als OLt.z.S.d.R., Kdt. UJ 2144 (21.U-Jagd-Flottille)


Gefechtsrudergänger Schnellboot


Weiterhin wurde Kurt Graf am 14. Mai 1945 (also nach Kriegsende) noch mit
dem Deutsche Kreuz in Gold ausgezeichnet und ist in der Ehrentafel der Kriegsmarine vom 18.11.1944 genannt. Das alles sicherlich auch für fortwährende Tapferkeit für 6 Jahre auf Schnellbooten der Kriegsmarine, 178 Feindfahrten und einer dokumentierten Verwundung.

Unterm Strich für mich als Marinesoldat ein Highlight im Bereich der Marinenachlässe und ich hoffe das es noch weitere Informationen zum Soldaten Kurt Graf geben wird.

Auf diesem Wege nochmals meinen Dank an die Firma Helmut Weitze in Hamburg und Herrn Kay Brüggemann für die Überlassung des Bildmaterials zur Ehrentafelspange.

„Subscribe“ / „abonniere“ den Blog und bekomme immer dann eine Nachricht, sobald ein neuer Beitrag erscheint….




Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup


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The Lorient Shield

Hi gents, almost time to go back to our mace of good or bad high end shields of World War II.

I did the Cholm shield part one and got a lot of feedback from collectors with thumbs up and more good information. What I liked the most was the question if I can do a part two with the cupal example and the zinc version….I will do that but it takes some time.

By the way I would like to know if there are hobby writers among you guys. I would love to make this blog bigger with more articles but my time is endless. So if you like to do something on a special badge of World War II or something similar…..just contact me and we work it out. If you are from Germany don’t be afraid, if you write in german I can translate it for you 😉

Original Lorient Shield Collection Patrick W (5)

However back to our riddle of rare shields. Today I like to bring you some information on the Lorient shield and what happened there.

And (I think you already knew it) I have been to Lorient in the early 90´s and was impressed about the big Bunker`s which were build there during the war. Huge monsters made from concrete and steel to protect the German submarine from air raids until 1945 on the Atlantic coast.  Lorient was the home base of the 10th. U-Flottilla (Unterseebootflottille). I was lucky to get a picture of the cap badge which Uboat crew member used to wear on their oversea cap (Schiffchen).

Here some background to the area of Lorient and historical facts:

Lorient, on the Bay of Biscay, had been an important French naval base until June 1940. With the capture of the base in the same month by German troops (see France campaign), the town in succession got more and more of strategic importance for the German Navy.

Cap Badge 10. U-Flottille Lorient

This concerned above all the submarine construction with its bunker buildings on the peninsula Kéroman.

U-Baot Bunker Kéroman III in Lorient

In August / September 1944, following the Allied invasion of Normandy, the port and town of Lorient were completely enclosed by US and British forces, with some 22,000 German soldiers. Adolf Hitler thereupon declared the city a fortress. During the eight-month siege, which ended with the surrender of the remaining German forces on May 10th, 1945, there were some fighting going on.

Attack direction Allied Forces 1944

Fortress Lorient was not Lorient only, but also Groix Island, Etel River, the coast between Lorient and Port Navalo, Quiberon peninsula, Belle-Ile island, and had connection with the Saint Nazaire pocket.

So finally a big area to defend with lots of artillery, bunkers and trenches around the main part of Lorient.
To get a better view on the fighting during that time, we jump in after the D-Day to August 9th ,1944. The 4th US Armored Division reached the large-scale German defense area around Lorient, which was surrounded as an important submarine base by a ring of anti-aircraft guns and artillery. In Saint-Gilles fierce fighting broke out around a bridge, which was one of the few accesses to Lorient.

Fortress Lorient 1 – 12 August 1944

A volunteer Belarussian cavalry brigade had been stationed by the Germans in defense of the American advance in this place. After a short battle, the streets were covered in blood in the rain of the wounded or dead horses and soldiers. Further towards the village core, Belorussians had positioned themselves on the houses and in turn began firing at the invading US tanks.

Fortress Lorient 01.12.1944

The tanks and other vehicles succeeded after some time the breakthrough to the bridge and its crossing. At nightfall, the Allies succeeded in positioning artillery at Caudan, about three kilometers north of Lorient. After brief bombardment of the opposing positions in Lorient, the Americans gave the Germans an ultimatum to the task, which was rejected. Since a further procedure would have been possible only with significantly increased artillery, the division leadership decided a partial retreat to the area of ​​Vannes, about 60 kilometers southeast of Lorient. Only a smaller siege group was left behind.

Fortress Lorient 01.02.1945

Task Force B of the 6th US Armored Division advanced 180 miles from Brest to Vannes on 14 August to replace the units of the 4th US Armored Division north and east of the city. On the way there they encountered no German resistance. Around noon, a reserve command advanced to Lorient to support the remaining group of the 4th US Armored Division. On August 15, the entire 6th US Armored Division arrived at Lorient. The front line enclosed the fortress Lorient and the Quiberon peninsula in the east as well as patrols from Redon in the east to the area to the Daoulas peninsula in the west.

France, Rommel and Fahrmbacher on the roof of an U-Boat Bunker

After Vannes was taken and the wider area was controlled by the French resistance, the 6th US Armored Division focused on the area around Lorient. The city itself was too heavily fortified to have a promising attack there. The German defenders, who are from parts of the XXV. Army Corps under the Commander-in-Chief for Brittany, General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher, as well as remnants of the 265th Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Hans Junck, who was in the fortress Saint-Nazaire, and Rear Admiral Otto Kähler, since February 1944 Commander of the Naval Defense of Brittany [NB Kähler, however, had become a prisoner of war on September 18, 1944 in Brest], passed, had in return no chance of counterattacking, and was also bound by Hitler’s order to keep the port cities to the last.

Knights Cross Document General Fahrmbacher

So both sides confined themselves to intensive patrols and artillery fire. The Americans had set up twelve observation posts around Lorient, from which reconnaissance units were sent to scout the German artillery positions. In addition, work began on mining the entire front line with booby traps. In some cases German patrols could be captured. But also Americans came during a small skirmish between reconnaissance patrols in German captivity.
The 6th US Armored Division was replaced on September 10 by the 94th US Infantry Division, which continued the siege, and moved east to the 3rd US Army. On 17 November, a brief ceasefire was agreed for the purpose of mutual exchange of prisoners. General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher capitulated on May 10, 1945,

Lorient Soldbuch with entry Lorient (2)

Both the Lorient and St.Nazaire pockets contained about 53000 German troops at the time of surrender. The Lorient pocket alone had over 25000 German troops.

These forces surrendered to the US 66th Infantry Division with a number of attached French units.

Lorient Shield Collection Pascal H. front view

During the siege of Lorient the idea to make a remberence shield was born by some of the officers. The artistic design of the shield goes back to the head of the shipbuilding workshops of the submarine base “Marine Baurat” K. Fehrenberg. They asked General Fahrmbacher (Wilhelm Fahrmbacher (19 September 1888 – 27 April 1970) was a General in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II who commanded several corps. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Upon Germany’s surrender in 1945, General Fahrmbacher was interned in France until 1950.

Original Lorient Shield 1 (1)

After his release he served as a military advisor in Egypt) and he approved the idea. With little corrections (a German eagle with a swastika on the soldiers shield) the shield was approved and the production began by using different materials due to the supply problems during the siege of Lorient.

The final shield itself shows in its upper end the year 1944 as well as on the lower side the lettering LORIENT. In the center, a naked Wehrmacht soldier was stylized with a steel helmet attached, holding a sword in his right hand and a shield (symbol of defense) in his left hand.

Original Lorient Shield 6

It is not exactly known if all Lorient shields have the Wehrmacht eagle on the soldiers shield, there are information about some shields with a Luftwaffen eagle on the soldiers shield (not proven until today). The unusual idea of ​​representing a naked soldier presumably goes back to the idea of ​​the creator, who wanted to use this symbolism to vividly portray „bare survival“. Also the evidence for this theory is missing.   Behind the symbol of the soldier were represented the rays of the rising sun, which are regarded as a symbol of hope.

Original Lorient Shield Collection LUC (1)

Finally, under the soldier a submarine is shown, which can be seen in front of a submarine bunker (on the Keroman Island) on waves in ride. Since it was not possible to supply the garrison on land, from the air or to water, it was decided to use the existing sheet metal stocks, u. a. from scrap, to resort. For the production one used copper, brass, aluminum and even steel. Higher officers received a chromed version of copper. Of course, the use of different metals also resulted in different colors. Through the use of several „punching presses“ and templates, the appearance of the sign differed significantly from machine to machine, so that there was no question of a uniform pattern embossing.
Accurate and reliable award numbers cannot be quantified. It is assumed that after all sheet metal stocks were used up in November 1944, about 10,000 – 12,000 shields were pressed. These were then issued at Christmas 1944 to deserving soldiers of the occupation. Thus, about every second garrison received the Lorient shield.


The Lorient shield is not a combat badge of the Wehrmacht like the Cholm shield, as neither its foundation nor the ceremony were officially. The shield was therefore regarded only as a „traditional badge“. With the entry in the “Soldbuch” also no claim to official acceptance of the shield by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Therefore, this shield has not been included in the Law on Titles, Orders and Decorations of 26 July 1957.

Original Lorient Shields

After all these good information’s from collector friends, books, archives and databases I come to the following conclusion about Lorient shields.

There are some originals out there, but they are very hard to find. If it is true and they made 12.000 of them, what happened to the soldiers of Lorient during the surrender. Most of their personal things were taken by the allied soldiers as a souvenir. Maybe a few got their badges home from their POW time. I you look on the originals, you see them made of different materials. Some shields with prongs, some shields with holes to sew it to the uniform and some shields without anything of that. Originals are not made with a lot of details and they are not solid. You can always see that they were “pressed” in a certain way. Some have a fabric backing, but in my opinion that was made so you cannot see the backside and buy it as an original shield from the time period. In this high price area you have to be sure that you buy an original. Better to spend more money on it and buy at a dealer with a “give back guarantee”. Even if you buy directly from the family, there is no proof that the vet didn`t buy it in the early 50`s or 60`s. To be really sure you should use one of the bigger forums like GCA or WAF with all the experts there. They will know it for sure.

Copys of Lorient Shields


Big “thank you” to all collectors who helped me bring this information to you. There are Pascal, Patrick, Luc, Christian, Uwe, Holger, Jens and some guys who like to stay in the shadow.


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Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup  / All rights with the author Sascha Ulderup


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German Cross in Gold and the „Dotted“ Story

Hi Guys,

A while ago I read an article about  German Crosses in Gold and their different makers. Interesting information about the Juncker, Godet, C.F. Zimmermann and so on.

German Cross in Gold Zimmermann light full view

Later that day I found a posting / a discussion in a Forum which German Cross in Gold is the best to collect or the best to put in your own collection.

Some collectors say that the rarest is the best German Cross in Gold to keep, other say that the condition is deciding for keeping or buying a cross.  Some refer to the story behind it (yes I know….never buy the story just the badge ;-)) but in this case the story behind it stands for the whole grouping or the estate.

I can remember a time where I bought a huge Uboat grouping form a family here in Germany. The Kriegsmarine Soldier was from 1939 until 1945 on Uboats as a mechanic and served the whole war on these steel tubes.

Zimmermann left /Juncker right – cased

Finally he was on a Monsun UBoat and went all the way to Japan. In 1945 he earned the German cross in Gold.

As the war ends he stayed in japan until 1947 and came back to Germany…..He went a long way on Uboats and as you all know, a lot of german Uboat men died during war time but he survived it. That’s the story behind my German Cross in Gold and I put the whole grouping in my collection. That Cross was made by Junker, it was cased and in good (but worn) condition

About two years later I put my hands on a German Cross in Gold made by Zimmermann (a light one) in the best condition I have ever seen. It came along with the case, also in very nice condition.

Zimmermann left /Juncker right – cased II

I went to the bank and opened my bank deposit, took my Juncker cross out and went home. I put the side by side and thought about them.

Should I keep the unworn minty Zimmermann or the worn Juncker……keep them both and sell some other stuff.…….

Finally I made my decision and I kept the Juncker. I had a name to it, I had a face to it and (yes I know….) I had the story to the cross.

Another thing which made my decision easy was the fact that you see ten Zimmermann a year and only one Juncker. So not always that hard to get a Zimmermann cross in a decent condition.

But let`s stay with the Zimmermann. As you all know there is the number “20” for the Zimmermann company on the needle (inside) of the cross. Easy to identify but there is a problem. Have you ever heard of the „dotted“ German Cross in Gold from Zimmermann?

It is not a secret but there might be somebody out there who didn`t know. So let bring some light in this dark area.

The “dotted” Zimmermann was a long time described and handled as a fake cross. It took a long time to proof that they are original „pre“ war time made.

But fact is, that you have three things to look for to identify these “dotted” crosses.

The first thing is the Number 20 ( Präsidialkanzleinumber “20”) on the inside of the crosses needle. If the 20 is in full shape and on a straight line, that is a normal Zimmermann. If the upper area of the number 2 is cut off and the whole number 20 is not in a horizontal line, you have the indication of a “dotted”. At least it looks like a false or incorrect marking.

The second thing is the number “1941” on the outer golden wreath. On a normal Zimmermann cross the number is on a normal metal underground. On a dotted German cross the date numerals are filled with little holes, which means that there are little dots inside the numbers.

Last thing is the production mistake on the 11 O´clock area of the wreath. The first „dotted“ which were examined didn`t have the „flaw“ but now some Crosses were found with the „Zimmermann Flaw“.  If you see that, the cross should be a good cross.

Mr. Dietrich März is on this subject and he searched for more evidence on the dotted mystery. I think if he finds out something new, we will know it soon.


Under the line it comes down to facts and evidence. If you have a normal Zimmermann or a „dotted“ one, don`t get nervous. Just read about the facts and keep the dotted in you collection.

Finally and as always, you have to know certain things in our hobby, so you don´t lose money or pay twice.