Destroyer War Badge

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Destroyer War Badge
1957 version (swastika removed)
Awarded by Nazi Germany
Type Badge
Eligibility Military personnel
Awarded for service in Kriegsmarine destroyers
Campaign World War II
Status Obsolete
Established 4 June, 1940
Total awarded Approximately 6,000

The Destroyer War Badge (German: Zerstörerkriegsabzeichen) as a World War II German military decoration awarded to and awarded to officers and crew for service on Kriegsmarine destroyers. It was also awarded to the crews of Kriegsmarine torpedo boats and fast attack craft until the institution of the Fast Attack Craft War Badge.

It was instituted on 4 June, 1940 by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder following the battle of Narvik. In all, about six thousand Destroyer War Badges were awarded during the war. A handful of Destroyer War Badges with diamonds were also manufactured but there were no bestowals of the diamond upgrade to any Kriegsmarine member. Records indicate that the Destroyer War Badge with diamonds was to be a highly selective award and presented to only the most successful destroyer captains at the conclusion of World War II.[1]


The medal, designed by Paul Carsberg of Berlin, consists of an outer laurel wreath of oak leaves with the national emblem of eagle clutching a swastika (both golden coloured) at its apex. The central area features a side-view of a destroyer cutting through a wave (both a grey colour).

It was worn on the lower part of the left breast pocket of the naval service tunic, underneath the 1st class Iron Cross if awarded, or equivalent grade award. Additionally, an embroided version was produced.

Criteria for award

Required qualifications prior to October 10, 1940 included participation in the battles of Narvik. After this date:

  • Wounded in action
  • Participation in three enemy engagements or at least in 12 non-enemy sorties
  • Enemy ship sunk in action
  • Outstanding performance or other heroic deeds