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U-boat Front Clasp
U-boat Front Clasp
Awarded by Nazi Germany
Type Badge
Eligibility Military personnel only
Awarded for Awarded to holders of the U-boat War Badge to recognize continued combat service and valor
Campaign World War II
Established May 15, 1944
Next (lower) U-boat War Badge

The U-boat Front Clasp (German language: U-Boot-Frontspange) or U-boat Combat Clasp, as it is better known, was a German badge that was awarded to holders of the U-boat War Badge to recognize continued combat service and valor during World War II.

History[edit | edit source]

The U-boat Front Clasp was instituted on May 15, 1944 to bring the U-boat force in line with other branches of the German armed forces, all of which had a similar medal to recognize valor. There were no specified merits for earning the award; decoration was based on the recommendations of the U-boat commander and subject to approval by Karl Dönitz. Awards were often due to the number of patrols completed or demonstrations of valor in combat.

The clasp was worn directly above the ribbon bar on the left breast.

Design[edit | edit source]

Wilhelm Ernst Peekhaus of Berlin submitted the design of the badge, which consisted of a central laurel wreath with a stylized submarine and wings of oak leaves. The wings on either side consisted of six staggered oak leaves (for a total of twelve). Two crossed swords decorated the bottom of the central wreath; the submarine in the middle mimicked the design of the U-Boat War Badge. The wreath on the original design from 1944 integrated an eagle holding a swastika. However soldiers in Germany may only wear the medal if it does not include National Socialist emblems - in keeping with the German Ordensgesetz. An alternative design with a complete laurel wreath (without eagle and swastika) with a centered submarine emblem exist for this purpose.

Classes[edit | edit source]

The award was bestowed in three classes. All classes of the badge were manufactured in zinc, then either bronzed, silvered or - hypothetically - gilded.

Bronze[edit | edit source]

The Bronze class was the lowest grade and awarded based on the number of war patrols, the degree of risks involved in the mission and for personal bravery.

Silver[edit | edit source]

On November 24, 1944, the Silver class was introduced to further recognize Bronze holders with continued merits and acts of valor.

Gold[edit | edit source]

There were some reports of a Gold class, though it is uncertain if it has ever been awarded.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Angolia, John R., For Führer and Fatherland, Military Awards of the Third Reich, R. James Bender, 1976.
  • Ailsby, Christopher, Combat Medals of the Third Reich, Patrick Stephens Limited, 1987.

External links[edit | edit source]

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