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A Classification of Kriegsabzeichen für Minensuch based on obverse design

Article about: Adrian suggested that I post here the latest version of my classification system for Kriegsmarine Minesweeper Badges based upon obverse design characteristics. Since I specialize in the Mine

  1. #11
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    Default Type 3 zinc makers

    Next are the 2 badges of Type 3, 8-wave “RK-type”.

    Although the "AS in triangle" with the 2nd pattern eagle is almost certainly the same maker as the unmarked "AS in triangle" badges mentioned earlier, the 2nd pattern eagle occurs only in zinc and so is included here.

    The other badge in this category is in fact a fake that is based on the Gablonz design. Comparison shows it seems almost like a caricature of the "AS in triangle" design (both in its obverse and reverse). This one reproduction is included in the classification system as a warning for new collectors since it often comes up in discussion, and has it's own unique style rather than trying to duplicate a known badge and setup as most fakes do.
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  3. #12
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    Default Type 5 zinc makers

    And finally Type 5: 7 to 7.5-straight-waves, zinc.

    There are no Tombak makers of Type 5, a category characterized by the unusually flat, "non-wavy", wave pattern.

    The one "known" maker with their characteristic "7.5 wave" pattern, is "LM", a maker mark sometimes attributed to Lind & Meyrer of Idar-Oberstein but not yet confirmed.

    The other unknown zinc maker is clearly from a different obverse die type from LM but is included in the category again because of it's very flat 7-wave pattern which is stylistically evocative of, but not identical to LM. Although it's always unmarked and the maker is unknown, it's interesting to note that its hardware is very similar to that used by S.H.u.Co., another Idar-Oberstein maker, on the Destroyer badge and the IAB. This hardware is non-specific but the double Idar-Oberstein connection of the wave pattern and the hardware is worth noting, and it seems odd that the Destroyer badge is the only other Kriegsmarine badge so far known to be produced by S.H.u.Co. Moreover, the indistinct eagle design is aesthetically similar to S.H.u.Co.’s Destroyer with its fat rounded talons. More evidence is needed to explore this theory.
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  4. #13
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    Default Wrap-up!

    In summary:

    At least 21 known manufacturers of the wartime Minesweeper Badge (not including the “flatback” maker).

    14 of these 21 are Tombak makers (of which 5 are exclusively Tombak makers and 9 made zinc versions as well)
    7 of these 21 are zinc-only makers (if we attribute the “Juncker-like” zinc badge to Juncker and both the marked “AS in triangle” and the similar unmarked Tombak maker to Adolf Scholze, Gablonz)

    So that makes at least 30 badges of Tombak or zinc to collect. But then there are the hardware variants and maker-mark variants so the number burgeons from there! Currently, 86 such variations are included in the Classification Table and that excludes variations in finish, since that is a problematic area to sort out given the temptation by dealers and veterans alike to re-finish their worn and tired zincers. Like in most areas of collecting, you're never truly done.

    But in the end they can all be grouped into the 5 categories I have presented in this thread.
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    Last edited by Norm F; 02-20-2012 at 02:02 AM.
    Best regards,
    ---Norm

  5. #14
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    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    Norm,
    Many, many thanks for taking the time to post this superb reference for the Minesweeper badge and for sharing your hard work and knowledge here.
    As most know, I also collect these badges and have found the information contained above an invaluable source of reference and learning. I hope that it will benefit the members here and even for those who don't necessarily collect these badges I'm sure it will quite an eye opener and education.
    I sincerely appreciate your generosity in making your hard earnt knowledge available to the forum.
    It's also right that thanks be extended to Hubert for the work he put into his excellent and easy to understand classification table.
    Thank you again.

    I will add this one to the 'Useful Reference Links' thread pinned to the top of the page.

  6. #15

    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    Gents, very informative and well put together thread, outstanding research ! I only have the one minesweeper badge and that is a very early 57er, using wartime parts, hinge/pin, and possibly the centre...I shall get it out of my display case and compare the waves/explosion, with the above examples !
    Prost ! Steve.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  7. #16
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    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    Just to add a couple of examples and demonstrate the classification table 'in action', here are a couple of my badges.

    First up a Deumer badge. Made of tombak, marked L/11 with a round wire pin vertical set up this is variant 1.2.2 on the above table.
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  8. #17
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    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    One more, a Wilhelm Hobacher, unmarked in zinc, this is variant 2.11.2
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  9. #18
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    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    Here's a marked Wilhelm Hobacher (variation 2.11.1) to go with Adrian's.
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  10. #19
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    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    And a horizontal pin Deumer (variation 1.2.1) to go with Adrian's vertical pin variant.
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  11. #20
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    Default Re: A Classification of Minesweeper Badges based on obverse design

    Quote by oradour View Post
    Gents, very informative and well put together thread, outstanding research ! I only have the one minesweeper badge and that is a very early 57er, using wartime parts, hinge/pin, and possibly the centre...I shall get it out of my display case and compare the waves/explosion, with the above examples !
    Prost ! Steve.
    Hi Steve,

    Although they aren't a part of the wartime Classification Table, here are two '57 Minesweepers by S&L, a "very early" and an "early" showing the characteristic differences in setup between the two.

    Compared with the wartime S&L, aside from the absence of the national symbol, the obverse design is the same, and the same stamp was used for the internal cutouts to delineate the water column. As a result, the S&L '57 badges all have the same "bent leaf" flaw on the inner left wreath on the reverse that is found in their zinc wartime version.
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    Best regards,
    ---Norm

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