U-boat Front Clasp

U-Boots - Frontspange

U-boat Front Clasp

The U-boat front clasp (or combat clasp, as it is better known) was established by the Kriegsmarine on 15 May 1944, in bronze.  This was done to equate with the means of recognition already enacted by the other services. This award recognized close combat and acknowledged courageous service.

The award was recommended by the U-boat commander based on one of three criteria:  the number of sorties against the enemy, or the risk factor relative to the sortie number, or personal bravery.  The award was made after approval by Grand Admiral Dönitz.

On 24 November 1944, a silver grade was introduced to recognize further valor. The exact criteria for this grade of the award is uncertain.  The award document had a facsimile of the badge at the top with the commander's signature and stamp at the bottom.  Christopher Ailsby reports that some gold versions were produced, but none awarded.

Decorations ordered by date

See this list sorted by last name

Commander and rankAgeCrewDate  U-boat Command(s) held *
1.KrvKpt. Pauckstadt, Hans3426   U-18, U-12, U-30, U-34
2.Oblt. Manke, Rolf +2635   
3.Lehmann, Hans2738   
4.Oblt. Petersen, Kurt2636   
5.Oblt. Mohs, Hans-Dieter2437b   U-5, U-60, U-956
6.Ltn. Schauroth, Carl2240   
7.Ltn. Baumgärtel, Friedrich20405 Oct 1943  
8.Ltn. Bensel, Rolf Rüdiger20401944  
9.Oblt. Bornkessel, Dieter23XII/391944  
10.Oblt. Davidson, Heinz von2537a1944  U-281
11.Oblt. Dietrich, Willi +341944  U-286
12.Mannesmann, Gert +3333   U-545
13.Ltn. Niemeyer, Heinrich33X/39   
14.Kptlt. Struckmeier, Rolf27351944  U-608
15.Oblt. Zorn, Rudolf +2637b1944  U-29, U-416, U-382
16.Oblt. Dobinsky, Hans-Jürgen21XII/391944  
17.Kptlt. Franze, Joachim2637a   U-278
18.Oblt. Mangold, Ernst26XII/39Jun 1944  U-739
19.Oblt. Bitter, Georg von +23X/3916 Sep 1944  U-750
20.Kptlt. Möhlmann, Helmut313316 Sep 1944  U-143, U-52, U-571
21.KrvKpt. Kentrat, Eitel-Friedrich382820 Sep 1944  U-8, U-74, U-196
22.KrvKpt. Cremer, Peter-Erich333227 Sep 1944  U-152, U-333
23.Kptlt. Lüdden, Siegfried +283627 Sep 1944  U-188
24.KrvKpt. Timm, Heinrich343229 Sep 1944  U-251, U-862
25.Kptlt. Bosüner, Harald301 Oct 1944  U-1223
26.Kptlt. Emmermann, Carl29341 Oct 1944  U-172
27.Kptlt. Gelhaus, Harald29351 Oct 1944  U-143, U-107
28.KrvKpt. Gysae, Robert33311 Oct 1944  U-98, U-177
29.Oblt. (R) Bartke, Erwin +35404 Oct 1944  U-488, U-1106
30.Oblt. (R) Bork, Helmut34394 Oct 1944  U-275
31.Oblt. (R) Hensellek, Ortwin33394 Oct 1944  U-298
32.Kptlt. Herbschleb, Karl-Heinz33344 Oct 1944  U-21, U-354
33.Kptlt. Schroeteler, Heinrich-Andreas28367 Oct 1944  U-667
34.KrvKpt. Witt, Hans-Ludwig34297 Oct 1944  U-161, U-129
35.Oblt. Ahlefeld, Hunold von214010 Oct 1944  U-150
36.Oblt. Wex, Hans-Dieter24XII/3910 Oct 1944  
37.Kpt. Lüth, Wolfgang +313312 Oct 1944  U-13, U-9, U-138, U-43, U-181
38.Kptlt. Brüller, Ernst-Ulrich273617 Oct 1944  U-7, U-23, U-407
39.Kptlt. Becker, Richard333418 Oct 1944  U-218
40.Kptlt. Engel, Herbert323918 Oct 1944  U-666, U-228
41.Oblt. Becker, Klaus24X/3919 Oct 1944  U-367, U-260
42.Oblt. Ballert, Rene24XII/3922 Oct 1944  U-1196
43.Oblt. Bergemann, Wilhelm24X/3922 Oct 1944  U-152
44.Oblt. Boldt, Walter22XII/3922 Oct 1944  U-720
45.Kptlt. Brasack, Paul2837a28 Oct 1944  U-737
46.Ltn. Zapf, Werner +291 Nov 1944  
47.Kptlt. Reche, Reinhart28342 Nov 1944  U-255
48.Oblt. Boddenberg, Karl309 Nov 1944  U-963
49.Oblt. Benthin, Karl-Dietrich234014 Nov 1944  U-2335
50.Kptlt. Eickstedt, Wolfgang von283517 Nov 1944  U-668
51.Oblt. Pulst, Günther2637b19 Nov 1944  U-978
52.Kptlt. Marbach, Karl-Heinz2737a26 Nov 1944  U-101, U-29, U-28, U-953
53.Oblt. Drescher, Günther25381944  
54.Oblt. (R) Cranz, Wilhelm +29X/3915 Dec 1944  U-398
55.Oblt. Rasch, Karl-Heinz +303829 Dec 1944  U-296
56.Oblt. Dunkelberg, Hans2637b1945  U-716
57.Ltn. Kaeding, Walter299 Jan 1945  U-56
58.Oblt. Schüler, Wolf-Harald23X/3912 Jan 1945  U-720, U-2325
59.Kptlt. Franke, Rudolf Heinz293624 Jan 1945  U-148, U-262
60.Kpt. Dobratz, Kurt402215 Feb 1945  U-1232
61.KrvKpt. Hechler, Ernst372927 Feb 1945  U-870
62.FrgKpt. Dommes, Wilhelm37315 Mar 1945  U-431, U-178
63.KrvKpt. Mehl, Waldemar303310 Mar 1945  U-62, U-72, U-371
64.Kptlt. Schroeter, Horst von2537b15 Mar 1945  U-123, U-2506
65.Kptlt. Poel, Gustav273627 Apr 1945  U-413

65 U-boat Commanders decorated with U-boat Front Clasp (U-Boots - Frontspange) located.

+ Indicates the Officer died in the war.
* Commands held indicates the U-boat commands held by this officer before award date. In some cases the officer had not taken command his first boat yet or was not even in the U-boat force yet.

Note: This listing is still being compiled and some recipients might be missing.

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