Maker: RK – Rudolf Karneth
Base Material: Zinc
Product Description: This is a nice representative example of a zinc Kriegsmarine Minesweeper Badge by Rudolf Karneth. The gold wash on the wreath has evaporated with time, as is common with zinc badges; only traces of the wash remain. The water spout retains some of its original silver wash, with some wear to high points revealing the zinc base metal. The back of this Minesweeper Badge by Rudolf Karneth is textbook in all aspects, and retains about 20 percent of the original silver wash, with some of the typical finish bubbling commonly seen on zinc based badges. This is a very attractive example of a Minesweeper Badge by Rudolf Karneth.
Historical Description: The Minesweeper, Sub-Chaser and Escort Vessel War Badge (Kriegsabzeichen für Minensuch-, U-Boot-Jagd- und Sicherungsverbände) was instituted on August 31, 1941 by Kriegsmarine leader Grossadmiral Erich Raeder. The purpose of this award was to recognize the achievement and experience of the sailors on the German Navy’s minesweeper vessels. In this unnerving duty, sailors faced exposure to the elements as well as constant danger from mines, submarines, and airplanes. The Minesweeper Badge features a representation of an exploding sea mine, surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by the German national eagle and swastika emblem. It was designed by Otto Placzek and was made in tombak and zinc, with most later examples being the zinc type. The award could be ordered by leaders of minesweeper boats, patrol boats, and special units, and by superior Kriegsmarine commands. To qualify for this badge, a sailor had to make three operational sorties, be wounded on a sortie, show exemplary conduct over a six-mionth period, participate in an especially dangerous mission, serve on escort duty for 25 days or more, or be on a ship that was sunk by enemy action- the badge could be awarded posthumously.
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