Why was this sailor painting a Swastika on a US Destroyer?

Why was this sailor painting a Swastika on a US Destroyer? - Newspaper rock with ancient symbols and petroglyphs with white paint on shabby stone blue wall with uneven surface in national park

In the WWII movie Greyhound (2020), at about 25:00 we can see a sailor painting a Swastika symbol on the ship. This happens right after they have sunk a Nazi U-Boat.

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Why was this sailor painting a Swastika on the ship? Was it a count of U-Boat kills? Is it realistically depicted in the movie?


Best Answer

Those are victory or kill marks. It was very common for tanks, planes and ships to mark their kills on both the Allied and Axis sides during the war.

kill board on a naval vessel with various markings for military, supply and merchant ships

Image source

The "Rising Sun" flags indicate the sinking of a military naval combatant vessel, the red dot flags are supply ships, and the pennants indicate merchant vessels. The half flags indicate an assist - some other ship claimed the kill.

At some point since the War, it's become more common to use generic symbols rather than national flags, but the practice still continues.




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Images: Dziana Hasanbekava, David Peterson, Anastasia Shuraeva, ANTONI SHKRABA