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Just snagged this one from Detlev's last update. The sailor in question had the Minesweeper Badge and EK2.

What was particularly interesting was the "U" stamp on the inside cover.

This does not indicate and some people seem to think, that the sailor served on U-Boats. Rather, the books found with this U mark relate to units which were located at the big U-Boat bases, so for instance, a member of the marine artillery in a flak unit defending the U-Boat bunkers would have a "U" stamped inside the cover of his book.

Note indeed that on the bottom of the first page it is marked "Personalliste St. Nazaire Nr 12055", so the sailor operated from the naval base at St. Nazaire which was of course also a major U-Boat base.

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Awards page. Entries inside confirm his Feldpost Number as M51750. This is 6 Vorpostenflotille which was indeed located at St. Nazaire.

After the allied invasion of Normandy, the flotilla was no longer able to carry out its normal escort duties etc, and so most of the sailors were allocated to defending the port against allied ground troops.

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Particularly interesting and not mentioned in the sales listing, was this small paper tucked into the back of the Soldbuch. The owners release papers from French captivity in 1946. The Germans effectively "blockaded" themselves in St. Nazaire in the middle of August 1944, blowing bridges and mining roads on the approaches to the port. The port then held out against a combination of French and US Forces until the end of the war. The date of the award of this sailors EK2, after the port was blockaded suggests that it was almost certainly awarded for combat against enemy ground troops in the defence of the port, and not for naval actions.

Just proves that even a lowly Minesweeper Soldbuch can have a fascinating history.

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