Condition: Very Good
Maker: Rudolf Souval
Base Metal: Zinc
Product Description: This S Boat Badge by Rudolf Souval is a nice representative example of a worn zinc award. The gold finish on the wreath has evaporated with time, as is common with zinc badges; only traces of the finish remain. The original gray color of the S boat and wave contrasts with the dull bare zinc of the wreath. The badge is clean, and nicely detailed, with some visible wear to the high points in the design. The reverse has the “angular” R.S. mark, indicating manufacture by Rudolf Souval, and believed by some collectors to be an earlier version of his mark. The hardware on this is intact, with no issues, and shows some wear, indicating this one was issued. There is some minor spotting around the hinge and catch, likely from the flux or solder used in manufacture. This S-Boat badge remains sound, uncleaned, and all-original.
Historical Description: The S-Boat Badge (Schnellbootkriegsabzeichen) was instituted on May 30, 1941, by Kriegsmarine leader Grossadmiral Erich Raeder. The purpose of this badge was to recognize the achievements and experience of the crews of the fast attack boats, who by that stage of the war had already sunk many British warships and merchant vessels. The design of the badge featured a German S-Boat in action, surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by a German national eagle and swastika emblem. To earn this badge, members of fast attack boat crews had to display exceptional leadership, participate in at least 12 combat missions, or participate in an exceptionally successful mission. The S-Boat Badge could also be awarded to sailors who had earned another decoration on a mission. It was also posthumously awarded to sailors killed in action. In 1943, a new type of this badge was introduced which featured a larger, newer model S-Boat and a larger German eagle.
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