U-boat War Badge

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U-Boat War Badge
U-boat War Badge from World War II
Awarded by German Empire and Nazi Germany
Type Badge
Eligibility Military personnel
Awarded for Completing two or more U-boat war patrols
Campaign(s) World War I
World War II
Established February 1, 1918 and October 13, 1939
Next (higher) U-boat Front Clasp
Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MS-0976-23, Ordensverleihung an U-Boot-Besatzung.jpg
U-boat War Badge seen on the tunic of a sailor being presented with the German Cross in gold.

The U-boat War Badge (German: U-Boot-Kriegsabzeichen) was a German war badge that was awarded to U-boat crew members during World War I and World War II.


The U-boat War Badge was originally instituted during the First World War on February 1, 1918. It was awarded to recognize U-boat crews who had completed three war patrols. The badge was worn on the lower left side of the uniform and was oval shaped resembling a wreath of laurel leaves. A submarine lay across the center and the German State Crown (Reichskrone) was inlaid at the top center of the wreath.[1][2]

On October 13, 1939, the U-boat War Badge was reinstituted.[3] It was very similar to the original badge with the exception of the imperial crown being replaced with a German Eagle above a swastika, and a more modernized submarine now facing towards the left was used.[1][2] The new version was first made of bronze metal, with later ones made of zinc with a "gold wash".[4]


The award was bestowed in two classes:

U-Boat War Badge[edit]

There were several ways to be awarded this medal. The most common would be the completion of two or more war patrols.[3] Although the completion of two war patrols might seem a lowly requirement, but a typical U-boat war cruise would often run into months at a time. Completing two war patrols could be equally dangerous as the U-boat has to endure constant attacks by Allied aircraft and warships. The other occasion when this badge was awarded was having been wounded during a patrol or killed in action.[5]

U-boat War Badge with Diamonds[edit]

The U-boat War Badge with Diamonds was instituted by Großadmiral Karl Dönitz after he had received from Grand Admiral Erich Raeder a special solid gold version of the U-boat War Badge in which the wreath as well as the swastika were inlaid with diamonds.[6][7]

The badge was a special issue award given to U-boat commanders who had received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.[6] This version was made of gold plate over silver. Manufactured by the firms Schwerin u. Sohn and Gebr. Godet & Co. It was the same as the basic pattern but with nine small diamonds inlaid in the swastika.[8] This award was more of a personal award by Dönitz.[9] Approximately 30 were awarded, including the original one to Admiral Dönitz.[9]

Recipients of the U-boat War badge with Diamonds[edit]


  1. ^ a b Angolia 1987, pp. 118, 119.
  2. ^ a b Ailsby 1987, p. 118.
  3. ^ a b Angolia 1987, p. 118.
  4. ^ Angolia 1987, p. 119.
  5. ^ Angolia 1987, pp. 119–121.
  6. ^ a b c Angolia 1987, pp. 119, 120.
  7. ^ Ailsby 1987, p. 121.
  8. ^ Angolia 1987, pp. 121, 122.
  9. ^ a b Angolia 1987, pp. 120, 121.
  10. ^ a b c Angolia 1987, p. 121.


  • Ailsby, Christopher (1987). Combat Medals of the Third Reich. Harpercollins. ISBN 978-0850598223. 
  • Angolia, John (1987). For Führer and Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149.