Original German post WW2 1957 pattern Submarine War Badge (U-boat War Badge), IN VERY NICE CONDITION - GENUINE STEINHAUER UND LUECK (ST&L) MADE EXAMPLE, HARD TO FIND - REALLY GOOD AND RARE LATER PIECE WITH NICE FINISH & OPEN HINGE BLOCK
FEW FACTS ABOUT 1957 PATTERN AWARDS:
In 1957 the West German government authorised replacement Iron Crosses with an Oak Leaf Cluster in place of the swastika, similar to the Iron Crosses of 1813, 1870, and 1914, which could be worn by World War II Iron Cross recipients. The 1957 law also authorised de-Nazified versions of most other World War II–era decorations (except those specifically associated with Nazi Party organizations, such as SS Long Service medals, or with the expansion of the German Reich, such as the medals for the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and the Memel region). The main government contract to manufacture and supply these new de-nazified WW2 1957 official decorations went to the world famous German firm Steinhauer & Lueck, Luedenscheid Germany. Knights Crosses, Iron Crosses , Wound Badges, Tank Assault Badges etc were re-designed by Steinhauer & Lück - often with the oak-leaf spray replacing the swastika, with S&L having the sole patent rights to all WW2 1957 German decorations. S&L did not have the whole monopoly on medal making, other famous firms such as Deschler & Sohn, BH Maher and Juncker also manufactured these new German decorations. Lüdenscheid is situated between the cities Dortmund and Bonn. It was here that one of the youngest medal firms was founded in 1889 by August Steinhauer and Gustav Adolf Lück. The first production began in a cellar, the customer base continued to increase. A property was bought at 51 Hochstrasse which is still home for this famous company today. During WW2 Steinhauer & Lück produced medals and badges, like the famous Knights Cross and many other types of medals and badges. In 1957 this company was awarded the contract to produce all the newly re-designed legal WW2 1957 de-nazified decorations, plus the contract to manufacture all of Germany's official decorations including Germany's highest order the Bundesverdienstkreuz. Only a very limited number of original WW2 1957 medals are still produced, mainly Iron Crosses, German Cross Gold & Silver & Wound Badges and are considered 100% genuine by the German Government.
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
Wehrmacht Submarine War Badge (U-boat War Badge) - With the outbreak of the Second World War and the rapid fall of Belgium, Holland and France, in 1940. Great Britain had to stand alone against the new modern German Army (Heer), Air force (Luftwaffe) and Navy (Kriegsmarine) . Standing alone and in need of large amounts of food stuffs, war materials etc., the only available option was the shipment of goods by sea. This engagement between our countries gave birth to two words linked whenever the Second World War was mentioned, the "Convoy" and the "Wolf pack". The "U" boat badge was instituted by the Commander in Chief of the Navy, Grand Admiral Raeder on 13th October 1939. The design of this badge follows an earlier award badge adopted at the end of the First World War. These awards all follow the same basic design of a wreath of gilded oak leaves encompassing a submarine. The First World War types have the boats bow on the right side and the flag to the stern on the left. The Second World War types have their bow facing left, with a deck gun and a flag to the back of the conning tower. Above the imperial type is the crown, whereas above the Third Reich type is the national emblem of the eagle and swastika. These badges were originally made of gilded brass or heavy tombak etc., but as the war dragged on later awards were made of fine zinc with a gilt wash that usually fades leaving the badge a gray color. At this point it is worth noting that on some badges the swastika was cut out. This was done on both early and late made badges. The badge was attached to the tunic by means of a pin, hinge and hook which was either soldered or cast into the badge when it was constructed, either horizontally or vertically and the pin could either be a round needle pin or a broad bladed pin. It was to be worn on the left breast of all service and dress jackets, jumpers and shirts. Embroidered versions also exist in golden yellow cotton/bullion thread on a blue woolen base cloth. The award can be encountered in a number of packets and boxes, the commonest are a paper packet of either blue or buff brown, with the award logo to the front and the makers name to the back. Other awards can be found in card or occasionally a case of high quality hinged simulated leather with a silk top lid, a flocked base and with a cut out to take the pin. All badges were issued with a citation, which incidentally are quite hard to find. Most have the "U" boat badge design to the top. The badge was earned by a minimum of two engagements or sorties against the enemy, waved if wounded at the discretion of the boat commander, and as such was and still is a highly regarded and sought after award.