Perhaps one of the rarest Kriegsmarine Cap Ribbons, this example to the 1 Schnellbootsflotille 1 is constructed with a golden wire in Gothic script on a silk or rayon Ribbon.
Overall condition is very good with the usual toning to the script. It remains full length, the ends cut to a swallow tail with light fraying at the ends from service use.
E-boats were administratively organised into flotillas, each originally comprising 8 boats, each boat with a compliment of 12 – 18 men. The first flotilla (1st Schnellbootshalbflotille) was formed in July 1932, but was reorganised as 1st Schnellbootsflotille on 12th June 1935.
Given that by 1940 Cap Ribbons ceased to carry ships or Flotille designations, this ribbon could only have been in use for 5 years by one of approximately 144 sailors making it an extremely rare piece.
Although this ribbon would not have seen service later in the war, the 1st Schnellbootsflotille has an interesting history.
To boost Axis naval strength in the Black Sea, the OKW ordered to the region the transfer of six E-boats of the 1st S-flotilla, the last to be released from action in the Baltic Sea before refit. The Romanian port of Constanța, in the Black Sea, was chosen as the S-flotilla's headquarters. Transporting the six boats overland from Germany to Romania was an impressive logistical feat. The superstructure and all weapons were removed, leaving only the hull. After a long road journey of 60 hours, the boats arrived at Ingolstadt, where they were transferred back to water and towed towards Linz. Upon reaching the Austrian city, the superstructure was rebuilt, then the journey continued down the Danube to Galați, where the main engines were installed. The E-boats then continued on their own power towards Constanța, where refitting was completed.
The last images shows boats of the 1st Schnellbootsflotille at Murwick around the time of the invasion of Poland
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