The Albanian Navy began operating submarines in 1960. They originally obtained 4 WHISKEY class submarines from the Soviet Union. The operational status of most of their Navy iwas questionable for many years and the submarines are considered out of service. Submariners uniforms were reportedly unique. A patch showing the silhouette of a submarine (silver/white on a blue/black background) has been seen and reproduced. Conflicting reports indicate the real version (if there is a real version) has gold vice the silver embroidered thread that is most often seen.
Argentina has a long history of submarine service. They received their first submarine in 1931 and initially issued two badges in 1933. The officer's badge consisted of a submarine in gold with an enamel oval in the center of the submarine depicting the national colors. A chief petty officer (CPO) badge was a similar submarine in bronze with a center oval (non-enamel) depicting an anchor. Slight variations of the CPO badge have been noted. The officer's badge was modified in 1946 to show two arms holding a victory cap aloft in the center of the enamel oval. The CPO badge was changed in 1969 to silver with an enamel disc like the officer's badge; the badge was made available to all enlisted members. Miniature jewelry pieces have been noted (stick pins, etc.). A submarine support badge was created in 1993. This is a bronze badge with no center enamel disc. A gold on blue officer's cloth patch and silver on blue enlisted cloth patch are presently used on coveralls aboard ship. There is a new badge for long-serving CPO's. It is a smaller badge, rectangular and depicts the gold badge and shield on a dark blue background.
The Australian Navy began submarine operations in 1914. The submariners are believed to have used early British submarine insignia. In 1967, six Oberon class submarines were delivered from Great Britain. The submarine badge used by their Navy was first issued on 17 December 1966. It is similar to the Royal Navy badge (because the British copied the Australians), with twin bottlenose dolphins facing inward. An enamel crown and shield are centered on the badge. In addition to the full sized version, there are mess dress and semi-official miniature lapel pin versions. Cloth versions (yellow or gold metallic thread on a blue background) are also used.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire operated submarines from 1904 through 1938 when the German Nazi regime took over their Navy. Operating a submarine force of about 45 units in the Adriatic during World War I (with another 30 under construction), they wore an anchor shaped badge. Officer's badges were matte silver while enlisted badges were a white metal. Date of initial issue is unknown. When absorbed into Hitler's Wermacht, the submariners serving since the first war were allowed to wear their old badges and a reissue of the badges was conducted in 1938 from the original tools. Gold and bimetallic gold and silver versions have been seen. Many copies, restrikes and reissues have been made of this badge since the 1920's. There is also an Austro-Hungarian submarine veterans association badge.
From an AH collector site:
The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy (K.u.K. Kriegsmarine) adopted
a distinctive badge for wear by the crews (excluding officers) of their submarines in October 1910. (Verordnungsblatt No.48 dated 15th October 1910). The badge measured approx 56mm high x 36mm wide, was silver in color and consisted of the letters U and B either side of a fouled anchor.
The badge was awarded after having completed at least one voyage as a member of a submarines crew. No written or photographic evidence has been located to indicate that the badge was issued to Officers.
Photographs showing Officers wearing the U-boat qualification badge are post World War I, and indeed, most show former Austro-Hungarian Officers/sailors serving in the German Kriegsmarine during World War II.
The official issue badges were die struck and featured a full length, wide ‘Spange’ mount or clip. This type of mounting arrangement was common to most Austro-Hungarian period badges. The badge was made of brass and was silver in color.
One known maker of this badge is BSW (Bruder Schneider Wien). Jewellers made pieces were also available for private purchase. Note: The badge continued to be manufactured after 1918 and well into the 1950’s by the firm of Rothe of Vienna (other jewelry companies may also have manufactured the badge). These badges were produced to satisfy those veterans who required replacement pieces. The badges were generally manufactured with a needle pin and catch arrangement.
Here is one collectors large grouping and a paraphrasing of their notes:
#1 BSW Hallmark. Issued badges may have been collected up when the individual left the boat. All of these badges were supposedly destroyed after the war. May have only been issued to the enlisted after completion of Submarine school. Officers were allowed to purchase their own from a private manufacturer like BSW. Another reference to the badge referred to it being awarded to enlisted graduates of submarine school who graduated at the head of their class prior to the beginning of the war. This one was either an award or purchase.
#2 is a cast copy of #1.
#'s 3 & 4 look authentic but the BSW Hallmarks are the same but differ considerably from #1. These may have been veteran's pieces or jeweler made pieces.
#5 & 7 The collector was told were fakes because of the smell. The clip on #5 is on a museum copy being sold on the web so maybe it is one of them doctored. #7 has the same patina as #4.
#6 has a screw back and was believed it to be made in Poland or Czech Republic.
None of the pin backs are marked and probably reproductions because they were inexpensive.
#8 – 10 looked like novelty pieces. #11 received from a group in Salzburg Austria. #12 appears to be a period sweetheart pin with a five pointed starfish hallmark. #13 appears to be a period stick pin. #14 is a commemoration pin Welt Krieg 1914 -1916 Hochsee-Flotte. #15 cap badge. #16 stamped badge gold and silver color. #17 same as 16 but silver color back. #18 & 19 stamped, look to be made by the same maker. #20 is like #18 but aged. #21 beautifully finished but like current anodized finishes. #22 stamped like it is done in bright silver.
Flotten Verein (Navy League)
Brazil has operated submarines since well before the Second World War. Their present force consists of submarines acquired since 1953, including GUPPY, Oberon and Type 209 submarines. Their insignia is a gold submarine silhouette. Several unofficial miniature versions exist (mess dress sized and smaller). Variations showing different levels of detail have been noted. Thre are also cloth versions (an unofficial bullion version and an embroidered version(s) for coveralls). Divers badges also use the submarine silhouette.
The Bulgarian Navy first operated submarines during or after WWI. They continued to operate German submarines through WWII. They officialy reestablished the fleet in 1953 with 3 MALYUTKA (WHISKEY) Class submarines and operated a pair of ROMEOs through 2011. Their submarine badge was issued in 1983-1984 to commemorate the 30th. anniversary of their submarine program under communist rule. The badge is gold, shaped like a shield with a submarine profile in the center and a painted background. A red star is centered on the sub and a second red star is in the upper left. A second version was also used that was lower tech and less elaborate in 1987-1988. Sometimes it was referred to as a VIP pin, it is really a later Communist era pin. A post Communist era pin was also issued. A 20th anniversary and blue squadron badge also exist.
Communist Era Versions
20th Anniversary of the Submarine Squadron Commemorative
Bulgarian Submarine fleet awards - badges and signs booklet Author: Todor Petrov, Panayotov, Jechev Published : 2013
1983/4 Version But With New Hallmark (looks too new)
100th Anniversary Badge
Being sold on ebay for a ridiculous amount of money Nov. 2016
Cuba established a submarine service in 1973. There was a recent sighting (4/97) of a Cuban submarine pin at an official South African Naval function. The pin is similar to the Soviet pin for CO's, except the red star in the center was replaced by the Cuban national ensign. As information becomes available, I will update it here.
Estonia received two submarines from Britain in 1936. The Lembit was taken by the Soviet Union in WW-II and sank 21 vessels. It does not appear that a badge was issued.
The German Third Reich dedicated a new submarine badge in 1939. The submarine attack by Captain Gunther Prien and crew of the U47 on the battleship HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow gave Hitler's staff the incentive to issue a new badge with the Nazi swastika for those who had served on a war patrol. The early badges were made from brass or bronze with a gold plate, but over the course of the war the quality degraded, and on many badges the gold worn off. Sterling versions have been observed, never plated. Twenty-nine special gold plated (silver body) war badges for excellent U-Boot commanders were produced by Schwerin of Berlin with 9 small diamonds set into the swastika (another version also has a dozen diamonds along the wreath). In May of 1944, Germany introduced the U-boat clasp (Uboots Frontspange) to further commend U-boot personnel. It was made in bronze and a silver version was introduced in November 1944 for further valor (made by Schwerin). Many copies have been made; the originals are hallmarked with Schwerin Berlin on the back, but so are some copies. A gold version was collected soon after the war, possibly manufactured in preparation for issue. Seven awards for midget submarines (Kampfabzeichen der Kleinkampf-mittel) were introduced in November 1944. A bronze clasp showing a sawfish superimposed on a knotted rope was awarded for five actions. Silver color for seven missions, and gilt for ten missions. The lower four awards were cloth. Some of the WW-II German badges were made in France, and variations included the width of the breast of the eagle at the top of the badge, and the direction of the pin (vertical or horizontal). Many copies have modern push pins on the back. Miniature versions (stick pins and mess dress-sized) have been seen. Badges were also issued to superior shipyard workers.
U Boat crews sometimes adopted a symbol for their ship (sawfish, shark, shield, etc.) and often would paint that emblem on the conning tower or wear them on pins on their caps. Here is a sample of five of those (recent reproductions of the original badges).
Osprey Military Elite Series are a British series of books depicting uniforms throught the ages. Book 60 is their U-Boat Crews 1914-45 uniform book. They have a very nice page of cap badges and a table showing what submarines used them. I scanned the picture and list for reference use.
More Worldwide Submarine Insignia information:
Greece through xxx
ccc through vvv
bbb through nnn
mmm through zzz
This is the first section of submarine insignia information, starting alphabetically with Albania and going through Germany. I've borken down the lists to shorten the pages.