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U-Boat Medals & Awards
In the German armed forces, decorations were awarded according to merits, without regard to the rank of the servicemen. Germany presented many awards to recognize officers and men for acts of courage, heroism, and valor. These awards could be earned in several ways, from having served on a number of missions, to being involved in a particularly successful mission, to acts of bravery and gallantry. Servicemen killed or wounded in the line of duty would also receive an award, which in the event of death, the medal would be presented to the next of kin. Some awards were also designed to recognize service, rather than valor.
In the U-boat force, the crew of a boat often associated closely with their captain. This was even more pronounced if the boat was particularly successful and the crew were very proud if their commander had been awarded a medal. If a message was received while still at sea that their captain was to be awarded a medal, the crew would often delay the news to him until they had a cake to present to him as well. As soon as the boat docked, Donitz would personally greet the returning crew and presented the medals to them.
The German Medals and Awards presented here are categorized into two sections; general decorations awarded to all organizations of the armed forces, and those that were specific to the U-boat arm.
General Military Decorations
Battle of The Atlantic
Medals & Awards
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