The Olympic Rings - Crew 36
The Olympic rings emblem is probably the most unusual and surprising to find on a WWII U-boat. Yet there it was - but why?
1936 was the year of the Berlin Olympics, and naval officers who joined the Kriegsmarine that year chose the rings as their emblem.
Keywords: Olympic rings
The Snorting Bull - U-47
U-47 (Kptlt. Günther Prien): one of the most famous emblems of the war.
Oblt. Engelbert Endrass, the IWO, painted the emblem on the way back from Scapa Flow in October 1939. The image was based on one in a comic book the crew had on board.
The emblem was adopted by the 7th Flotilla in St. Nazaire and was used on many boats. It was sufficiently complex that a template was used to apply it to the other boats.
Keywords: snorting bull
The Laughing Sawfish - 9th Flotilla
One of the more famous emblems, this became the emblem of the 9th Flotilla in Brest, one the most active combat units of the war. It was seen on many boats, most notably U-96, and became famous in the movie Das Boot. Originally it was green, but somehow the Red version has become much more famous and many people have never seen the green version. Here on the left is your chance :)
Keywords: sawfish, laughing, swordfish, green, red
- We have no description for this emblem -
Keywords: shark, shield
The emblem of the 10th Flotilla, which operated long-range U-boats from Lorient, France, was made famous by boats such as U-160 (Kptlt. Georg Lassen), U-158 (Kptlt. Erwin Rostin) and U-172 (Kptlt. Carl Emmermann) during 1941-1943.
The Polar Bear - 11th Flotilla
This emblem was a fitting one for the 11th Flotilla located in Bergen, Norway. This flotilla fought in the Arctic Ocean, often against convoys to Russia.
Keywords: polar bear, u-boat
- We have no description for this emblem -
Keywords: anchor, oak leaf, knife, dagger
This emblem was the alternate emblem for the 24th Flotilla. It appeared on a few U-boats.
Keywords: V, vee
This Viking-themed emblem was used by the 13th Flotilla stationed at Trondheim, Norway (presumably the inspiration for the theme, with 1200 years of Viking history).
Keywords: viking ship, cross
Crew 37a (which, following normal practice, should have been IV/37, indicating an April intake) used this emblem.
Crew 37a started off with 417 candidates, of whom 115 became U-boat commanders.
Each batch of officer candidates was known as a "Crew". There was usually one Crew per year. The second Crew of 1937 was called Crew 37b (X/37).
Keywords: swords, ceremonial
The Running Devil - U-552
This emblem first appeared on U-57 under the command of Kptlt. Claus Korth. There were two variants: a devil with a torch, and a devil netting a small boat with Winston Churchill on board (designed by the WO Oblt. z. See von Hartmann). Erich Topp took over the red devil and made him famous, displaying him on U-57, U-552 and U-2513.
Topp wrote of: "The two dancing red devils carrying the torches of life and of destruction."
Kptlt. Werner Klug was an officer on U-552, and later used the red devils on U-794 and U-1406.
Keywords: running devil, red, torch
Cat times 3
This emblem seems to have originated on U-48 but was then used on many other boats as officers from her moved on.
Keywords: cat, black, three
The second Crew of 1937 was known as Crew 37b, although normal nomenclature would have been X/37, indicating commencement in October.
There were 436 officer candidates to start with.
Kptlt. Helmut-Walter Münster used this emblem inverted on U-3501 and U-3517.
Keywords: sword, leaf, knife
The Wild Onager - U-338
This emblem was inspired by U-338's launch, when it broke its moorings and sank a small tugboat.
It was adopted as the emblem of the 29th Flotilla at La Spezia in Italy.
Keywords: onager, donkey, horse
4 Aces - U-107
This lucky emblem was made famous by being put on the equally lucky U-107 by KrvKpt. Günther Hessler after he commissioned her, and it was thus displayed on the most successful U-boat patrol of the war.
Kptlt. Volker Simmermacher took a variant of this emblem to U-3013 when he left U-107. The same variant was also seen on U-3006, Oblt. Ludo Kregelin.
Oblt. Heinz Robbert, another officer from U-107, also chose this emblem when he took command of U-3040 in early 1945.
Keywords: aces, cards, diamonds, clubs, space, hearts