|S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine - Coat of Arms|
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
*) "Lang" probably is a nickname
The boats of the 5. SFltl did probably not carry a common flotilla-coat of arms. FRom this flotilla is only one coat of arms known i.e. the fox on torpedo of "S 65" under command of Oblt.z.S. Walter-Paul Sobottka in September 1942.
"S 65" with the Fox on Torpedo - Picture: Archives Förderverein
The boats of the 6. SFltl in the early years had a unique flotilla-coat-of-arms on either side of the hull under the bridge. It showed an eagle on a torpedo. Use of this coat-of-arms is verified until at least 1942.
Flotilla-Coat-of-Arms of the 6. SFltl on either side ofg the hull
Flotilla-Coat-of Arms onStb.-side of a boat of the 6. SFltl - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
"S 113" in the shoiipyard at Trontheim 1942 - Picture: Archives Förderverein
Later 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
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
The 8. SFltl had a unique 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 (north of the Polar circle)
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
Wreck of "S 144" of the 9. SFltl salvaged by USN with flotilla coat of arms – Picture: US National Archives, College Park, Maryland, USA
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").
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.
Muster in the Gelting Bight on 08.05.1945, on the upper Right Hand Side Boat "S 305" with the "G" - Picture: Archives Gunnar Kelm
About the 24. SFltl we received a pivture from the Archives 7. SGschw, which originates from Mr. H.J. Böhlke. It shows a boat of the flotilla at Grado in Fall 1944. The boat originally came from Jugoslawia and belongs to type "Orjen" (Lürssen-Construction type "S 2" with crack-rib). These were captured 1941 by the Italians and got the indicators "MS 41" - "MS 46" rsp. "MAS 511" and "MAS 542". The Kriegsmarine gave them the indicators "S 601" - "S 604" rsp. "S 511".
"S 626" of 24. SFltl with the Marking "Catch the Hat" Fall 1944 at Grado - Picture: Archives H.J. Böhlke
S 626" in Fall 1944 at Grado - Picture: From Storia Militare Briefing Nr. 18
"Catch the Hat"
Which other markings than "Catch the Hat" on "S 626" and the "Angel" on "S 511" were used in the flotilla is unknown.
"S 511" of 24. SFltl - Picture: From Storia Militare Briefing Nr. 18
Coat of Arms "S 511"
"S 629" (Lt.z.S. Müller, E.G.) of 24 SFltl - Picture: Fra Storia Militare Briefing Nr. 18
Nothing is known about coat of arms for the 11., 21., and 22. SFltl.
In the Fast Antisubmarine Warfare Group (Schnelle U-Jagd-Gruppe) stationed at Bergen, to which boats "S 14" through "S 16" belonged from spring 1941, the boats were marked with a coat-of-arms which was documented in a Photo but is not clearly identifyable
Boat of Schnelle U-Jagdgruppe 1940/1941 with coat-of-arms not identified - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
The Schnelle U-Jagd-Gruppe was disbanded in April 1941, boats "S 14", "S 15", and "S 16" were designated as pickets and were integrated into the 55. VFltl which belonged to the Coast Defence Unit Westcoast Norway (Küstenschutzverband [KSV] Norwegische Westküste) unde command of KKpt. Bartels. The KSV was stationed at Bergen and was expanded by boats "S 10" through "S 13", also designated as pickets, in March 1942. In the KSV the boats carried a stilized panther's head with two crossed swords on either side of the hull under the bridge.
Unknown Boat of the 55. VFltl - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
"S 11" on Patrol in Norway still with the coat-of-arms of the 6. SFltl - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
"S 13" on Patrol in Norway still with the coat-of-arms of the 6. SFltl - Picture: Archives Frands Frandsen
"S 14" in Norway - Picture: Archives Thaler
"S 15" in Norway - Picture: U. Screier (from Storia Militare Briefing Nr. 18)
"S 16" in Bergen Harbour - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
S 16" grounded on Maløya - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
"S 14" and "S 15" alongside "M 2" at Bergen - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
It seems that all boats in the 55. VFltl carried the coat-of-arms, since it also to be seen under the bridge of "M 2".
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
Begleitschiff "Adolf Lüderitz" and Boats of the 8. SFltl at Egersund 08.05.1945 - Picture: Feyling, Dalane Folke Museum
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
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.