Product Description: This Schwerin Auxiliary Cruiser Badge is an outstanding and extremely desirable piece. This maker is associated with top quality badges, and this one is no exception. It is made of Tombak, a heavy brass alloy. The condition is nearly perfect. The wreath, eagle and swastika and Fiking ship retain virtually all of the original bright golden finish, with full original luster tom the eye-catching, brightly polished highlights. The separately applied globe shows only very light fading to the original finish. The reverse of this Schwerin Auxiliary Cruiser Badge is textbook, with functional hardware and no repairs. It is neatly maker marked “Schwerin, Berlin.” The hinge and catch are held in place with the original solder, and the typical rivet holding the badge together has never been messed with. The “Coke bottle) shaped pin still retains most of the original black lacquer. This is a badge that was not worn much (if at all). It’s a pristine example of a rare badge, rating a strong near mint.
Historical Description: The WWII German naval campaign against Allied shipping was not waged only with naval vessels. Eleven merchant ships were also specially equipped by the German Navy with a variety of anti-ship weapons. These armed ships, disguised as peaceful merchant vessels, patrolled shipping lanes. To recognize the bravery of the crews of these vessels, the German Navy commander Grossadmiral Erich Raeder introduced a special award, “Kriegsabzeichen für Hilfskreuzer” (Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge), on April 24, 1941. The badge was designed by Ernst Peekhaus and featured a Viking ship sailing on a northern hemisphere, surrounded by a wreath, and surmounted by a German national eagle and swastika emblem. They were made in silver, Tombak, and zinc. The entire badge was gilt with the exception of the globe, which had a gray finish. The globe could be integral to the badge, or could be a separate piece, affixed with a single rivet. The badge was awarded to the crews of ships that completed successful long-range voyages. It could also be awarded for exceptional leadership on a voyage, and was automatically awarded to any sailors wounded in action on such a vessel. Because there were not many of these disguised merchant vessels, the Auxiliary Cruiser Badge was made in limited numbers.
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