As we’ve now completed out season of summer shows successfully, life here at Epic is returning to its usual routine. As we’ve written much recently about our shows, we thought we’d switch our focus this week to some of our products. This week, we’re looking at our range of WW2 German U-Boat Badges.
During the Second World War, the German Kriegsmarine conducted the majority of its combat operations by U-Boat. As a result, the number of submarine flotillas rapidly grew, eventually numbering more than 30. Based all around the coast of German occupied Europe, each flotilla had its own distinctive insignia.
One of the most famous flotillas was the 9th U-boat flotilla based in Brest. Formed in October 1941, the unit comprised some 84 Type VII U-boats and was operational from 1942 to 1944. Its emblem was the so-called ‘Laughing Swordfish’, adopted by its commander Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, and the unit soon became renowned for its unique badge. Operating in the North Atlantic throughout some of the most intense months of the sea war, the flotilla eventually was disbanded after Operation Overlord when Allied forces began to push the German Army out of France.
Another famous flotilla was the 1st U-boat flotilla. Established on 27 September 1935, the unit was the first of its kind in the new Kriegsmarine. The flotilla was originally based in Kiel, however, after the fall of France it moved to Brest, giving it much easier access to the sea lanes of the Atlantic. At its height, the flotilla boasted 140 submarines and was one of the most powerful formations of the German Navy. However, with the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, the unit was dissolved and its boats were re-assigned to other flotillas.
Finally, one of the most distinctive badges is that of the 14th U-boat flotilla. Based in Narvik, it was the northernmost based unit in the Kriegsmarine’s submarine arm. Although it only existed from 15 December 1944 until the end of the war, its badge became well-known due to its unique design. It features a surfaced U-boat on a globe with the setting sun in the background, portraying the flotillas geographical location.
These are just a few of the range of U-boat badges we stock. In addition to these, we now have a selection of Kriegsmarine base worker badges which are hard to find.
Our excellent reproduction flotilla badges are all highly accurate replicas of the originals and come with horizontal pin backs for attachment to uniforms. You can view our full range on our website.