GERMAN KRIEGSMARINE COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE FOR THE WW2 DESTROYER KARL GALSTER.
Z20 Karl Galster was one of six type 36 destroyers built for the Kriegsmarine(German Navy) in the late 1930s. Completed in early 1939, the ship spent most of her time training. At the beginning of World War 11 in September, she was initially deployed to lay minefields off the German coast, but was soon transferred to the Skaggerak where she inspected neutral shipping for contraband goods. In late 1939 and early 1940, Z20 Karl Galster helped to laid three offensive minefields off the English coast that claimed one British destroyer, a fishing trawler, and twenty merchant ships. After a refit that prevented her from participating in the German invasion of Norway in April, the ship was sent to Norway for escort duties. Later that year Z20 Karl Galster was transferred to France, where she made several attacks on British shipping.
The ship returned to Germany in early 1941 for a refit and was transferred to Norway in June as part of the preparations for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Z20 Karl Galster spent some time at the beginning of the campaign conducting anti-shipping patrols in Soviet waters but these were generally fruitless. She escorted a number of German convoys in the Arctic later in the year until engine problems sent her back to Germany for repairs. The ship returned to Norway in mid-1942, but was badly damaged when she ran aground in July and did not return until December. Z20 Karl Galster participated in the German attack (Operation Zitronella) on the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen, well north of the Arctic Circle, in September 1943. Plagued by engine problems, the ship was under repair from November to August 1944 and then spent the next six months on convoy escort duties in southern Norway when not laying minefields.
Around March 1945, Z20 Karl Galster was transferred to the Baltic Sea where she helped to escort convoys of refugee ships and also rescued evacuees herself in May, around the time that Germany surrendered. When the surviving German warships were divided between the Allies after the war, the ship was eventually allocated to the Soviet Union. Z20 Karl Galster was handed over in 1946 and renamed Prochnyy. The ship was converted into a training ship in 1950 and then became an accommodation ship in 1954. She was scrapped four years later.
This plaque was made after 1945 more than likely for crew members of the destroyer. It has been professionally made with a silhouette of the ship in Brass and a Brass plaque that reads Zerstorer "Karl Galster 1939-45.The plaque is made from solid wood with mounting points to the rear.
The plaque measures 485mm long x 125mm high.
Nice decorator item for the German Kriegsmarine collector.