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Coat of Arms and Insignia of S-Boats and S-Flotiilas

In the early days of the Kriegsmarine the markings of the boats already used in the Reichsmarine by showing angles or diagonal crosses in the masts were carried on. After the outbreak of World War 2 the masts of the boats were taken off and therefore the different flotillas chose other means to distinguish between their boats. 

The S-boats of the Kriegsmarine were only partly furnished with coat of arms. Many boats were showing the initials or names of the commanding officers on the bridge-superstructure partly in addition to the coat of arms of the flotilla.

The boats of 4., 5., 6., 8. und 9. SFltl were furnished with common coat of arms.

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In the 1. SFltl the boats did not carry the coat of arms of the flotilla, however, it was displayed by Tender "Tsingtau" on the forward side of the bridge. Some of the boats carried coat of arms. Reported are the "Panther" as the coat of arms of "S 28", the "Weasel on Torpedo" of boat "S 102", the "Tiger" on  "S 119", -"S 24" and "S 52", the "Squirrel" on "S 27", "S 51" and "S 47" as well as the "Jaguar" as coat of arms-animal on "S 26".

 

Coat of Arms of the 1. SFltl  - Picture: R. Beh

 

"S 19" at Cherbourg Oct. 1940 with the Tiger "S 28" in the Black Sea 1943 with the  Panther
"S 24" at Stavanger Nov. 1940 with the Tiger "S 26" in the  Northsea 1940 with the Jaguar
"S 52" 1941 at Rotterdamwith the Tiger "S 102" in the Black Sea 1943 with the Weasel on Torpedo

 

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In the 2. SFllt there existed a common flotilla-coat of arms, the boats, however, carried only single playing card symbols on the bridge. 

Coat ot Arms of 2. SFltl

 

Bridge of "S 105" of 2. SFltl with Ace of Hearts - Picture: Archives Förderverein

"S 105" with Heart-Ace and "S 80" with Ace of Diamonds of 2. SFltl - Picture: Archives Michael Foedrowitz

"S 46" of 2. SFltl with Acorn - Picture: Archives Michael Foedrowitz

"S 67" of 2. SFltl - Picture: Archives H. Frank

"S 211" of 2. SFltl *) with Ace of Crosses and Bar - Picture: BfZ

*) According to the KTBs aof 2. SFltl and F.d.S. did "S 211" not belong to the 2. but to the 6. SFltl, according to IWM belonged "S 211" on the day of the capitulation to 2. SFltl

"S 190" of 2 . SFltl at Travemünde with Ace of Diamonds with Bar - Picture: Archives H. Kloetzke

"S 210" of 2. SFltl with Ace of Spades and Bar - Picture: Archives H. Kloetzke

 

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The boats of the 3. SFltl displayed at the hull under the bridge pictures of different inhabitants of the sea. A common flotilla-coat of arms was not displayed on the boats.

Coat of Arms of the 3. SFltl  - Picture: K.H. Jacob

 

 

"S 30" of 3. SFltl at Pola (Firella) June 1944 - Picture: Archives Oblt.z.S. a.D. Backhaus

Mermaid

S 30 of 3. SFltl Swordfish S 31 of 3. SFltl Flying Fish 1)
S 33 of 3. SFltl See Snake S 34 of 3. SFltl Deap-Sea Fish
S 35 of 3. SFltl Sea Horse 3) S 35 of 3. SFltl Lobster 3)
S 36 of 3. SFltl Sea Star   S 54 of 3. SFltl Crocodile 2)
  S 54 of 3. SFltl Crocodile 2) S 55 of 3. SFltl Penguin
S 56 of 3. SFltl Shark  S 57 of 3. SFltl Dolphin
S 58 of 3. SFltl Saw Fish) S 59 of 3. SFltl Sea Lion
S 60 of 3. SFltl Flying Fish 1) S 61 of 3. SFltl Mermaid

1) The coat of arms was taken to "S 60" by the CO, Oblt.z.S. Haag, after loss of "S 31" the layout was  changed a bit. 

2) The Crocodile was used in two different forms. Perhaps the "Otter" is a older form of Crocodile.

3) The Lobster was only coat of arms during operation Barbarossa.

The coat of arms of the 3. SFltl were related to the boats on basis of a memory-plag of Oblt.z.S. Weber, the notes of Oblt.z.S. Backhaus and Oblt.z.S. Haag as well as by the comparison of the camouflage-colours of the boats by Ola Erlandsson. 

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From the early days of the 4. SFltl we know only of the Sun which was painted onto hull under the bridge of "S 25" under command of Oblt.z.S. Günther.

"S 25" under Oblt.z.S. Max Günther - Picture: Archives O. Erlandsson

From 1941 onwards the boats of the 4. SFltl had the first letter of the commanding officer's name painted onto the bridgehouse, the flotilla-coat of arms - the Panther - was painted on the hull under the bridge. Originally single letters were used, later boats carried a combination of letters. On the sterns of some boats comets with numbers or signs were carried. "S 109" had a "Fox on Torpedo", similar to the "Weasel on Torpedo" of "S 102", as coat of arms before she got the Panther.

Coat of Arms of 4. SFltl on both Sides under the Bridge

Oblt.z.S./Kptlt Hans-Jürgen Seeger, "S 205" 4. SFltl Lt.z.S./Kptlt Karl-Eberhard Karcher, "S 188" 4. SFltl
Oblt.z.S. Klaus Hinrichs *), "S 204" 4. SFltl

"S 204" (right) and "S 205" (left) on 13.05.1945

"S 63" of 4. SFltl with "H" on the Bridge - Picture: Archives PT Boats, Inc.

"S 48" of 4. SFltl with  Letter "G" on the Bridge - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold

*) "Lang" probably is a nickname

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The boats of the 5. SFltl carried as  a common flotilla-coat of arms an eagle on a torpedo on both sides of the hull under the bridge. Other insignia of the boats are not known besides of the fox on torpedo of "S 65" under command of Oblt.z.S. Rehwald in September 1942. 

Coat of Arms of 5. SFltl omn both Sides under the Bridge

"S 65" with the Fox on Torpedo - Picture: Archives Förderverein

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The boats of 6. SFltl displayed a common Flotilla-Coat of Arms on the bow, the sword with the Baltic cross. Other insignia for the boats are not known, only that of "S 76". 

 

Coat of Arms of  6. SFltl on both Sides of the Bow

"Iron Fist" on the Bridge of "S 76" (6. SFltl) - Picture: Archives Freundeskreis Schnellboote und Korvetten

Three boats of 6. SFltl at Gosport May 1945 - Picture: Archives Freundeskreis Schnellboote und Korvetten

"S 212" SFltl with Letter "S"in the Channel - Picture: Archives Förderverein

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In the 7. SFltl the initial of the first name of the commanding officer was painted on the hull under the bridge. A flotilla-coat of arms has not become known. Before the letters were introduced to all boats, some of them had their individual coat of arms, e.g. "S 158" was carrying a crossbow on the side under the bridge.

"S 158" of 7. SFltl with Crossbow as Insignia - Picture: Archives Kloetzke

 

"S 154" of 7. SFltl with Letter "G"  on the Hull - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson

 

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In the 8. SFltl the flotilla-coat of arms - the jumping reindeer in a circle - was painted on the hull under the bridge. The first letter of the first name of the commanding officer was painted on the side of bridge. At the stern the initials of the commanding officer were painted. 

Coat of arms of the 8. SFltl on both sides under the bridge, the jumping reindeer was a reminder of the deployment in Northern Norway

 

Oblt.z.S. Walter Knapp, "S 198" 8. SFltl
Oblt.z.S. Walter Knapp, "S 198" 8. SFltl
Oblt.z.S. Hans-Joachim (Achim) Quistorp, "S 93" 8. S-Fltl
Oblt.z.S. Hans-Joachim (Achim) Quistorp, "S 93" 8. S-Fltl

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In the 9. SFltl the boats carried a common flotilla-coat of arms on both sides of the hull under the bridge and a coat of arms-animal on the bridge resp. skull-bridge.

Coat of arms of the 9. SFltl on both sides under the bridge

Reconstructed Markings of "S 130" (Oblt.z.S. Rabe) - Picture: Förderverein

 

 "S 150" of 9. SFltl with bent down forecastle, coat of arms "Bear on Ball" on the bridge – Picture: Archives R. Mundt

Wreck of "S 144" of the 9. SFltl salvaged by USN with flotilla coat of arms – Picture: US National Archives, College Park, Maryland, USA

 

Animal S 147 - Monkey Animal of S 150/S 175 - Bear
Animal S 146/S 206 - Owl Animal S 144/S 167/S 207 - Bat
Animal S 168 - Shark Animal of S 130 - Raven
Animal S 145/S 207 - Sea Lion Animal S 128/S 167/S 214 - Scorpio

 

The coat of arms of the boats of the 9. SFltl were assembled in accordance with the smoker's table of  Oblt.z.s. Rabe ("S 130").

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As only boat of the 10. SFltl "S 305" (Oblt.z.S. Gunnar Kelm) according to statement of its last commanding officer was marked with a capital "G" as insignia. As far as he knows the other boats of the flotilla had neither coat of arms nor other markings.

Last Muster in the Gelting Bight, on the upper right Hand Side Boat "S 305" with the "G" - Picture: Archives Gunnar Kelm

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Nothing is known about coat of arms for the 11., 21., 22., and the 24. SFltl.

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The boats of the Fast Submarine-Chaser-Group, stationed at Bergen, displayed the stylized head of a panther with crossed swords as coat of arms on both sides of the hulll under the bridge.

"S 16" beached on Malø - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold

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In the Schnellboot-School-Flotillas it was usual to mark the boats with serial letters or numbers.

 

Boats of a School-Flotilla at Swinemünde - Picture: Archives Förderverein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schoolboats alongside "Hermann von Wissmann" - Picture: Archives 7. S-Geschwader

When the boats of 1. S-Boat-School-Flotilla were sent to operate in Norway they got tactical signs under the bridges similar to the mastmarkings of the first S-boats. 

The avaraged "S 90" on Hånesholmen - Picture: Archives Johan Aakre

 

Unknown Boat with Marking "X" - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson

The boats of the 2. S-Schoolflottilla got the coat of arms of the city Stettin under the bridge and the initials of the Commanding Officers on the side of the scullbridge.

"S 117" (Oblt.z.S. Victor Howaldt) with lettercode "VH" on the scullbridge - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson

S 117" (Oblt.z.S. Victor Howaldt) mit Kennzeichen "VH" on the mirror - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson

 

Unknown Boat of 2. S-Schoolflottilla in Action - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsosson

Unknown Boat of 2. S-Schoolflottilla escorting MS "Goya" 1945 - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson

"S 135" (Oblt.z.S. Hans-Jürgen Schwepke) with the Initials "HS" on the Kalotte - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson

 

Coat of Arms of the City Stettin

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The tenders "Tsingtau" and "Tanga" had also coat of arms, which were attached to the frontsides of their bridges. In case of "Tsingtau" it was the coat of arms of the flotilla. Nothing is known about coat of arms of the other tenders.

 

Coat of Arms of Tender "Tsingtau" - Picture: R. Beh Coat of Arms of Tender "Tanga" - Picture: K. Scheuch