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KM EKM from U boat section

Article about: For future reference, U-boat crew lists are, for the most part, available from several different sites, but this one here is about the best one, in my opinion. U-Boat Operations

  1. #1
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    Default KM EKM from U boat section

    This disc comes from an Obergefreiter on U boats. Can anyone please confirm the details on it?
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    Cheers,
    Al

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    Hi Al,

    Who says this man was a U-bootfahrer? The disc doesn't include any details that would prove it, save, perhaps, for his name if there were a way to check any existing list of crewmen. The disc isn't a formal Kriegsmarine type- it's obviously 'field' made; the 'O' means he was from the Ostsee division of the KM, 3063 was his serial number, and 40 the year he joined. The T stands for 'Technischen Dienst'- he was a technician of some kind so that alone could be seen as fitting with submarine service, however only technically- he could have repaired radios in a dockyard somewhere too.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  4. #3
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    I was sent a ton of copy pics with it, including these:
    He is named under enlisted men.
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    Cheers,
    Al

  5. #4
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    Well the man in the top two photos is definitely a U-bootfahrer and it'd be nice if you can specifically pick him out of any of the group photos. The crew list is the page out of a book- that's nice to have for sure.

    Now just checking I found that U-85 was sunk in 1942 with all hands off the coast of the North Carolina- where would an identity disc and photos have come from?
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  6. #5
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    They apparently came from the family of the sailor in Germany. Would he have had more than one dog tag made?
    Cheers,
    Al

  7. #6
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    I don't know of any proof of anything like that- it wasn't a decoration or something else a soldier would send home for safe-keeping or anything like that; it was a very important thing to keep with him. Now on the same site I found the sinking report, it mentioned that during the night action, the boat was sinking and a good portion of the crew had abandoned ship when the US destroyer that was attacking her dropped a further pattern of depth charges that killed all the men in the water- and that a number of bodies were recovered and buried in a cemetery on shore; there were names on the markers in the photo, so presumably some or all of them were identified. Perhaps he was one of those and the disc was sent home to his family after the war. The photos could have been left there before his last departure.

    The fact that it's a 'field-made' disc does beg the question did he never have a normal issue type or was this one a temporary one and he got a real one later or something? It's not impossible he did have another, although again it is a purely functional object so I doubt any soldier would have cared that his disc wasn't the usual type and want to switch.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  8. #7

    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    There was,as the list posted shows, indeed, an Ernst-Erwin Kückelhaus on the U-85 when it was sunk. His rank and rating , though, was Maschinenobergefreiter. ( Fireman 1st class) I don't know if this would classify him as a technician type. He was born in Bielstein Germany on November 17,1919 and died, of course, April 14,1942 when the U-85 was destroyed. So, there are a few things that don't quite add up with the story of this tag. One thing that I wonder about, is why a man born in the Baden area of Southern Germany would end up in the East Fleet. The U-85 was part of the 3rd Flotilla which operated out of La Rochelle,so that doesn't look too good,but certainly not impossible. As for the tag itself, as has been surmised, perhaps he had lost or damaged his issued tag and had to make his own on board until he could get back and have another one issued to replace it and left his home-made "spare" at home when he left in case he might need it again? Overall, I would probably give this odd tag a thumbs up, as it's just unusual enough to be believable. KM tags aren't especially valuable or avidly hunted, so it wouldn't make a lot of sense for someone to go to such an elaborate length to sell one. Was the lot very pricey, if I can ask?
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #8
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    Matt, thanks for going above and beyond on this one. The seller has a small pile of photo's, 2 sport badges and the tag, but I think $300 is a little high.
    Cheers,
    Al

  10. #9

    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    Actually, I would think that $300 for everything would be about right-especially as it does include a tag from a known U-boat man. But, that's just my opinion, for what it's worth...
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  11. #10
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    Default Re: KM EKM from U boat section

    You bet Al, although it wasn't an ornerous task or anything As for the cost, well a personal, identified lot is somewhat valuable- they're not just general photos or any old badge; but it still boils down to how in to the U-bootwaffe you are. Someone who is might consider $300 a steal, but personally I'm with you- the disc would be all that I'd have been interested in when I actively collected them, and the rest would be simple support for the identification- so not extremely valuable.

    Generally I would lean toward this being a real lot- I don't see anything 'fishy' about the disc itself- just because the guy was born in the Baden area doesn't mean he didn't move somewhere else when he finished school- or decided the elite U-bootwaffe was for him to travelled to a port city to enlist- and definitely if he was a Maschinenobergefreiter, that'd be a technician. Sure someone could have found the name in that book and made up a fake; since issue KM discs were mainly made with a pantograph at that early point, it could be tough to fake one so a 'field-made' disc would be natural- but then to make the disc not directly identifiable as from the U-boote, and to gather a real group of photos and a sports badge to support it... well that all sounds like a lot more than I'd expect a faker to go through for $300. Easier to make a few bad SS discs and do no extra work LOL
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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