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eMedals-Germany. A U-Boat Grouping Soldbuch, Documents, and Photos to U-21

Item: G19795

Germany. A U-Boat Grouping Soldbuch, Documents, and Photos to U-21

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Germany. A U-Boat Grouping Soldbuch, Documents, and Photos to U-21

Kriegsmarine (Navy) U-Boat Soldbuch for Maschinenmaat (Machinist Mate) Herbert Schmidt, who was born on 16 February 1922 in Bremen. Schmidt’s parents, Hermann and Henriette Schmidt, resided in Bremen and are listed as his next of kin. This is a second-issue Soldbuch that was issued to Schmidt on 2 February 1945 by the Kommando 13. U-Flottille (Headquarters of the 13th U-Boat Flotilla). DuringSchmidt’s U-Boat service, he served on U-21, U-296, and U-363 and earned the following awards:

16 April 1944: U-Boots-Kriegsabzeichen und E.K. II (U-Boat Badge and Iron Cross 2nd Class)

23 November 1944: U-Bootsfrontspange (U-Boat Combat Clasp)

23 November 1944: Verwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz (Black Wound Badge)

3 January 1945: E.K. I (Iron Cross Ist Class)

Schmidt most likely earned the U-Boots-Kriegsabzeichen and E.K. II while serving on U-296 and the other awards while serving on U-363.

The Soldbuch is loaded with entries. Although it shows some water damage, all of the entries are legible. The inside cover has a large portrait photo of Schmidt (the staples have rusted away; however, the photo was also mounted using glue, therefore, it is still attached to the inside cover). Although only U-363 is noted in the Soldbuch, the accompanying documents reveal that Schmidt also served on U-21 and U-296. The Soldbuch includes the following items:

1) Portrait photo of Maschinenmaat Herbert Schmidt wearing a blue Kriegsmarine jumper. Photo is marked with the photo studio name, E. Lagillier in Königsberg, Prussia, the base of the 8. U-Flottille (8th U-Boat Flotilla), which presumably was Schmidt’s initial training unit. The photo is dated 1939 and on the reverse, it has some personal information about Schmidt for colorizing the photo (eye color, hair color, and uniform color; he also wrote “ohne Hakenkreuz” (“without swastika”), which suggests that Schmidt used this photo to have colorized copies made after the war.

2) Humorous postcard that Schmidt sent to his parents on 7 August 1940 from Stralsund, the base of the 7. Schiffstammabteilung (7th Naval Basic Training Section). Schmidt had been recently transferred to this unit because he gives his parents his new address on the postcard.

3) Postcard-size photo of Schmidt and two comrades taken in Berlin in March 1941. The reverse is captioned: Berlin, March 1941, Richard Kugler, Hans Krege. The photo shows Schmidt and his comrades pictured before the Brandenburg Gate in the center of Berlin.

4) Kriegsurlaubsschein (Leave Certificate) giving Schmidt permission to take a weekend leave from 22 - 24 August, 1942 from Königsberg. The certificate was issued by the Kommando Feldpost Nr. M 08360. This Feldpost number was assigned to U-21, which was a training U-Boat. The certificate also has the Feldpost stamp of the 21. U-Flottille (21st U-Boat Flotilla) to which U-21 was assigned. The Kriegsurlaubsschein is signed twice by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Heinrich Döhler, who commanded U-21 and later commanded U-606 with which he made two patrols. This certificate reveals that Schmidtwas trained on U-21 during the summer of 1942.

5) Small photo showing four officers standing in front of the conning tower of U-296. The reverse has a Kriegsmarine stamp and the description “Indienststellung, 3.XI.43” (“Commissioned, 3 November 1943”). Another stamp on the reverse states that this photo was given to crew members [of U-296] as a memento, that it was not to be given to another person and that publishing it was forbidden. One of the officers pictured is doubtlessly the captain of U-296, Oberleutnant Karl-Heinz Rasch.

6) Calling Card of Maschinenmaat Herbert Schmidt having the Feldpost Nr. M 53423 (Field Mail Number M 53423). This Feldpost Number was assigned to U-296.

7) Small Urlaubskarte (Leave Ticket) also having the Feldpost Nr. M 53423 for U-296. These tickets were given to sailors granted leave during the day or night when their U-Boat was in port. Schmidt wrote a woman’s address on this card. She was from Kiel and may have been a girl he met when U-296 was in port in Kiel.

8) Small photo showing three sailors taken at sea. Schmidt appears at the far right in the photo. The reverse of the photo is captioned. One line reads “schwarzer Walfisch” (“black whale”). This photo may have been taken on U-296 or possibly U-363.

9) Fantastic large portrait photo of Schmidt wearing his blue Kriegsmarine jacket with his arm in a sling. Schmidt is wearing his U-Boat Operational Clasp, U-Boat Badge, DRL Sport’s Badge, and Black Wound Badge. Reverse of the photo is captioned: In remembrance of my first wound, Trondheim, November 1944. To my dear parents and sister, Herbert Schmidt.” 1

10) Small photo of a U-Boat going out to sea. The photo is not captioned, but this U-Boat is perhaps U-21, U-296, or U-363.

11) Cloth Version of the U-Boots-Kriegsabzeichen.

12) Kriegsmarine Breast Eagle for Enlisted Personnel.

13) Kriegsmarine Torpedo Mechanic Specialty Patch.

14) Temporary Registration Card. This British-issued card was issued to Schmidt after U-363 surrendered in Narvik, Norway, on 9 May 1945. Basic information regarding Schmidt is listed on the card, including his name, branch of service, home address, marital status, age, and civilian occupation (Schmidt was a Schlosser, that is, he was a metal worker).

15) Prisoners of War Cash and Valuables Receipt. This British-issued receipt shows that Schmidt was in possession of 1300 Norwegian Kronen (later 1031 Kronen). This receipt was issued to Schmidt on 26 June 1945. The receipt has Schmidt’s signature and a British officer’s signature.

16) Photo of a U-Boat cut from a newspaper. This may well be one of the U-Boats that Schmidt served on.

17) Postcard of a ship. Nothing is written on the reverse. This may have been a ship on which Schmidt received some training.

18) Anmeldebescheinigung (Registration Certificate) issued in Bremen on 15 September 1959 by the City- and Police Office in Bremen. This document shows that Schmidt was still a Wehrpflichtiger (a person subject to the draft) when he was thirty-seven years old!

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