This war badge like many in the German Navy series is from its design self explanatory, as
the main centre piece of the badge is a capital war ship coming straight on at you.
This striking design was created by the well known artist Adolf Bock of Berlin and the
design was approved and adopted in 1941 by the then Grand Admiral Raeder, Commander in
Chief of the German Navy. Although the award was instituted in 1941, awards could be rendered
in retrospect of service from the beginning of World War II.
The main design as stated earlier, centres on a war ship breaking through the waves and heading
straight for you! The war ship is encompassed with an oval gilt wreath with the Navy spread
eagle to the top holding the swastika. So far only one type seen (french style) has had a top
hook and horizontal pin wih the rest being of the usual vertical hinge and hook configuration,
with for the most part being separately applied to the badge.
The award criteria was open to crew members of both battleships and cruisers who had served
aboard a ship for 12 weeks at sea. This period of sea service could be reduced if the recipient
was wounded in action, or their mission/exploits were an outstanding naval achievement for
which they may also have won a decoration such as the Iron cross 2nd class.
THREE GERMAN NAVAL OFFICER TALKING TO A ARMY OFFICER, NOTICE THE HIGH SEAS FLEET BADGE AND THE U BOAT BADGE BEING WORN BY THE CENTRAL NAVY OFFICER
To date we have seen the following makers marks to the badges with the best quality
awards being manufactured by the Firm of Schwerin Berlin.
LIST OF MAKERS
"Fec Adolf Bock" with below that "Ausf Schwerin Berlin" and these badges have a Broad Bladed pin
"R.S.& S"= Richard Simm & Sohne and these badges have a Needle Pin
"RS" = Rodolf Souvaland these badges have a Needle Pin
"Fo"= for Friedrich Orth and these badges have a Needle pin with both cast in hinge and hook and also separately applied hinge and hook
L/18 for B.H. Mayer Pforzheim
"L/21" for Foerster & Barth, Vienna
Unmarked but with a Horizontal pin believed made by Bacqueville Paris
Several unmarked types have also been observed.
Selection of badges
A PAIR OF HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BY THE MAKER SCHWERIN BERLIN, SHOWING THE FRONT
A PAIR OF HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BY SCHWERIN SHOWING THE BACKs AND EARLY AND LATE PIN FIXINGS
A 1ST PATTERN HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BY FO WITH THE SOLDERD ON HINGE AND HOOK
A 2nd PATTERN HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BY FO WITH THE CAST IN HINGE AND HOOK
A HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BELIEVED TO BE MADE BY BACQUEVILLE PARIS
TWO HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BY THE MAKER R.S.& S
TWO HIGH SEAS FLEET WAR BADGE BY R.S.& S SHOWING THE TWO TYPES OF PINS ON THE REVERSE
When the badge was awarded it was usually given out in a paper packet
with the full title to the lid, but occasionally it was given in a blue square box
with its 9mm miniature to the right.This type of case could also be bought through
private retail outlets.
EXAMPLE OF A CASED AWARD
The award was also accompanied by a citation with the ships name typed in.
Mostly these are printed documents but later this gave way to typed out documents.
The badge was worn on the left breast pocket below any military award and
decorations and to the right of any sports or wound badge if held.
Both the badges and the paper packets have been reproduced.
On the paper packets avoid any with just the logo RS&S in a box. On the badges,
there are several good quality reproductions on the market, The first one is that
of the firm of Schwerin. The main giveaway to these is the lack of "port holes" to
the main deck as most of these reproductions only have three with the two on the right
being missing in the casting. Of note is that original Schwerins also have a die weakness that make
them only appear to have 4 port holes instead of 5, on close examination ithe "5"
PORT HOLE CAN BE SEEN ON THE ORIGINALS AS SHOWN ON THE ORIGINAL BELOW
A CLOSE UP OF THE BRIDGE WINDOW
Notice the "5" Port hole is there all be it very weak
Now Shown below is a modified Reproduction
with four port holes
Others follow the French pattern(top hook and horizontal
pin with the strange pressed back but have a different hinge and even on some a German
Finally several copies with the makers logo of RS&S have been seen
(probably to go with the fake paper packets) and these can also be told apart
by the fact that they have used the same die that they cast the Schwerin copies
with and they also have the same flaw, the missing windows.
To view our Original German High Seas Fleet badge please use the link below
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