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U-boot Kriegsabzeichen, L/56

Article about: Picked this up from Lakeside Trader. Marked L/56. Can't wait til it arrives.

  1. #1
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    Default U-boot Kriegsabzeichen, L/56

    Picked this up from Lakeside Trader. Marked L/56. Note the odd variation with the cut-out swastika.


    Can't wait til it arrives.
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    Last edited by rbminis; 05-17-2015 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Edited title to use the correct German terminology.

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  3. #2
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    Hi grimes,

    Like you said it's an odd variation. I've seen one other example like this one, and both of them make me uneasy to be honest. Let me preface this by saying I cannot say for sure it's post-war, only that it has some atypical features.

    Here's the other example. Like you noted, the cutout swastika is the obvious feature that distinguishes it from the usual L/56. But the eagle's head has a slightly flattened top compared with classic examples and there's also a uneven slightly "cupped" texture to the reverse that you often see on cast products. The hardware is certainly wartime-compatible but the catch plate and catch are slightly different from the that seen on classic examples of the L/56.

    Likewise, your example from Lakeside Trader has a different catch with more rounded edges than usual (see the final comparison).

    I'd feel better if I saw a badge that matched known originals exactly with only the hand-cut swastika as a distinguishing factor, but instead we see a constellation of subtle atypical features as described, all of which make me pause.

    We already know that Lüdenscheid was a hotbed of post-war activity for the souvenir market, usually associated with S&L products, but who knows what went on with other Lüdenscheid firms or 3rd party entrepreneurs. Questions remain.

    Best regards,
    ---Norm
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  4. #3
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    One last comparison showing the two "typical" examples on top and the two "classic" examples below.
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  5. #4
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    That bit of info is a bit worrying to hear, as I have seen other atypical ones like mine, so it isn't an isolated incident. Plus mine has the "blob" flaw consistent with L/56 badges.

    I hope I didn't just buy a post-war copy at the price of an original, as the only reason I paid a bit more was because Lakeside Trader has such a high reputation for not selling fakes/post-war stuff.

  6. #5

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    Paul, like any other decent dealer, can make mistakes too...but the difference with him, is that he is always excellent about making it right when alerted on it.
    William

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

  7. #6
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    Yeah, everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

    So what's the verdict on this badge I bought? We know of others that have the atypical features, so it's not a one-off specimen.

    And even with the atypical features. Everything else is correct, and it has the L/56 "blob" flaw, consistent with others.

  8. #7

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    Hi, all I can add is that the pin appears to be slightly wider on the "atypical" award compared to that of the "classic" design. Whether or not these "atypical" awards were period or post war produced, I cannot help with as I cannot spot one in any of the period photographs I have to hand. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  9. #8

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    If Norm is uncomfortable about it, that would be enough to worry me...
    William

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

  10. #9
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    Yeah, I hear what you're saying Wagriff. I'll post it over on the wehrmacht awards forum once my account is authorized to see what they say.

    Honestly though, Norm said it is an odd variation, but he can't say for sure if it is post-war/fake. We have seen this with many other original items that they are an odd variation, but still original none the less.

    So unless it can be definitively proven as a post-war or fake, I'm going to trust Paul at Lakeside that it is an original, though odd variation example that we have seen others like.

  11. #10
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    Quote by grimes View Post
    Yeah, I hear what you're saying Wagriff. I'll post it over on the wehrmacht awards forum once my account is authorized to see what they say.

    Honestly though, Norm said it is an odd variation, but he can't say for sure if it is post-war/fake. We have seen this with many other original items that they are an odd variation, but still original none the less.

    So unless it can be definitively proven as a post-war or fake, I'm going to trust Paul at Lakeside that it is an original, though odd variation example that we have seen others like.
    Hi grimes,

    Here's the previous thread on WAF on these badges:
    opinion on a U-Boat War Badge 1939 Type B gilded; cut-out swastika, Marked L/56 - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums

    Quite right, it's just my feeling and not a definitive statement on originality, and it's perfectly okay to give a badge the benefit of the doubt (but recognizing it may affect re-sale value). Paul is certainly a reputable dealer.

    But I disagree that in general we see "many other original items that are an odd variation", at least when it comes to Kriegsmarine badges. Yes there are often many variations within one maker's output, but usually there are observable patterns in materials and construction and the observed variations occur within those patterns. For example, a rare variant of Juncker reverse setup will be found on other Juncker awards which then validates the item. If we saw other Funcke & Brueninghaus awards that showed variability in hand-cutting of swastikas and used this same catch with smaller base plate then that would help corroborate these badges.

    We have seen odd variations in the so-called "unmarked F&BL" zincers but not so much in the marked version. Here's an atypical example of the unmarked version, previously on Weitze, which has a replaced hinge and pin, a cutout swastika and an odd "4" mark stamped into it. It's certainly old and has "wartime-compatible" hardware, but it doesn't conform with usual examples and overall appears to be a post-war altered piece. This is just to illustrate that these Lüdenscheid-produced zincers are a minefield due to the large number of leftover parts and ongoing market demand.

    Best regards,
    ---Norm
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