I have sought one of the plates honoring Otto Weddigen and the U-9’s intrepid crew for years. I never found one that met my stringent standards and was worthy to offer you. Finally, I discovered this fine plate, manufactured by the noteworthy manufacturer, Meissen. The U-9 was a small, prewar U-Boot that burned kerosene (!) as its power source. During September 1914, the tiny U-9, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen, made history in a single hour. She sank three British cruisers within sixty minutes! Kaiser Wilhelm II was so delighted, he awarded Weddigen the 1914 Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Class, and presented the Iron Cross 2nd Class to all the U-9’s other officers and crewmen. A month later, the U-9 sank yet another British cruiser, at which time Weddigen was invested with the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order and the Orden Pour le Mérite. Scarcely six months later, Weddigen and the U-29’s crew (his new assignment) were killed when a British battleship rammed them. Weddigen became a German national hero, since he was the first naval officer awarded the PLM. While later U-Boot commanders far exceeded Weddigen’s total amount of ships and tonnage sunk, no one was more famous or more revered by the German people. He was a superstar who, like Manfred von Richthofen, was asked for his autograph wherever he went.
The plate we are offering today measures 10″ in diameter. Depicted in blue on white, the U-9 sails across a rough ocean’s surface. One solitary man, clearly Weddigen, stands in the conning tower. The kriegsflagge streams out high atop the tower. Another U-Boot is steaming along in the background. The plate’s bottom reads “U9.” The plate’s exterior condition is absolutely stunning. Its reverse boasts Meissen’s emblematic crossed swords. Two small holes have been drilled in the plate’s ridge, which allows the placement of string or wire by which it can be hung on a wall. The choice remains open to the plate’s future owner. This is a fantastic tribute to Germany’s most famous WW I U-Boot commander.
These plates are very scarce today. I have never seen a better example.