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Turkish U-Boat Badge

Gordon Williamson

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Curious-- I wouldn't have thought Turkey was ALLOWED submarines by the post-WW1 peace treaties. Crews in fezzes were Germans during the war, so it can't have been a retroactive war badge. How many Ottoman passengers could have gone along for the rides?

Then as everybody re-armed in the '30s, who would Turkey have bought submarines from? Cut off as a neutral each side was waiting to see if it would go over to the other side in WW2, they still wouldn't have been able to buy any subs...

could this be a post-WW2 badge when first actually ever issued?

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Hi Rick,

Turkey's first submarines were two ancient Nordenfeldt vessels built in 1889 and which were refurbished for Turkey. They then purchased two Dutch built subs in 1928, and two Italian built vessels in 1931. Germany contributed a further two in the mid 1930s. Overall, thier sub "fleet" was pretty tiny, so these badges are rather rare.

The badge shown was issued to officers and came with a miniature for dress wear.

Junior ranks had a once piece version of similar design but with the sub contained entirely within the wreath, not overlapped at the sides, on a solid centre field and with the letters TC just below the Crescent moon. This version was dropped in 1935.

The modern design of this badge has a wider laurel wreath and is of much poorer quality.

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Did a bit more checking. The Dutch built vessels were the Birinc Inon? and the Ikinci Inon?. The Italian boats were the Dumlupinar and the Sakarya.

Saldiray, Yildiray and G?r were built in Germany.

No more were added until the late 1940s. They got 8 from the US and 3 from Britain in the 1950s.

More modern US types came in the 1970s and between the mid 1970s and mid 1980s six new German subs, three built in Germany and three in Turkey built under license.

Apparently the greatest number of subs serving in the Turkish Navy at any one time has been 10. So, Turkish sub badges from any period are relatively scarce.

Edited by Gordon Williamson
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