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Kriegsmarine Obergefreiter Heinrich Graf - Minesuchboot 251

Heinrich joined the ranks of the Kriegsmarine and served aboard the Minesweeper 251. He was promoted to the rank of Obergefreiter and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for bravery and the Minesweeper War badge.

The Minesweeper War Badge / Minensucher-Kriegsabzeichen was established on August 31st, 1940 in recognition of responsible and successful performance of duty.

The sailor faced difficult and dangerous tasks such as mine seeking, chasing submarines, avoiding eneny bombers and constant exposure to bad weather conditions. This job is difficult and full of sacrifices, because an individual in most cases cannot prove himself in front of his comrades in direct combat against the enemy. Approx 4300 badges were awarded.

The decoration was granted to crews of a minesweper who met the following conditions:

- Acknowledgement,

- Good leadership,

- Without any jail sentence in the last 6 months,

- Participation in three combats,

- Special recognition in the area of operation or other outstanding individual acts,

- Participation on an outstanding action made by the fleet commander.

The Iron Cross 2nd Class / Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse was established on September 1st, 1939. It was awarded for an act of bravery against the enemy or for acts which are above the military obligations. Over 3 million Iron Cross 2nd Class medals were awarded.