Manufacturer: Wilhelm Hobarth
Product Description: This is a fantastic example of the Kriegsmarine Minesweeper Badge by Wilhelm Hobarth, with a great finish. The front of this badge retains great detail and has only minor patina and some oxidation to the finish. The water spout retains most of its original silvering, with some wear to high points revealing the base metal. Nearly all of the original darkening to the water surface is still present. The wreath shows some age toning to the gilt finish, as well as a few spots of what looks like verdigris. The back of this Minesweeper Badge by Wilhelm Hobarth is textbook in all aspects, and retains about 95 percent of the original silvering, with some typical bubbling. The broad, “coke bottle”-shaped pin is neatly hand stamped “WH” in an oval, for the firm of Wilhem Hobarth. The hinge, pin and catch are intact, functional, and show no signs of repair. The “WH” marked badges are among the harder Minesweeper types to find, and are desirable. This is a very attractive example of the scarce Minesweeper Badge by Wilhelm Hobarth.
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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