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German Iron Cross

German Iron Cross

 

German Iron Cross

The German Iron Cross was awarded for valour
The German Iron Cross in its various grades was awarded to all ranks of the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe Waffen SS and Kriegsmarine to recognize officers and men for acts of bravery, heroism and leadership.

It was first introduced on March 10, 1813 by King Frederick William III of Prussia, who was then at war against the French under Napoleon. Since then it has gone through many evolutions and was reinstituted again by Adolf Hitler on 1st September 1939, in readiness for the Second World War.


The Knight’s Cross and the Iron Cross are very similar in appearance. The difference was easily identified by which part of the uniform it was worn. Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was considered the highest order of decoration awarded by the German armed forces.

Kreuz II Klasse) with “65

Decorations
The Various Medals
Germany gave many different types of awards to recognize acts of bravery, courage and valour.

The German Iron Cross

Among them are daggers, swords, war badges and even metal shields. These medals were not standard issue, instead different medals were used by the respective organizations of the Waffen SS , Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. They could be earned by various ways, from being involved in a successful mission, to having completed a certain number of mission, to acts of bravery, or to have been wounded or killed in action. In the event of death, the medal will be presented to the next of kin. A number of decorations were also designed to recognize service rather than valour.

The Iron Cross
The Iron Cross in its various classes was a standard medal awarded to all organizations of the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. Despite the prestige of this medal, it was very widely awarded having about 6 million recipients throughout wartime. The Iron Cross awarded during the second world war had 1939 imprinted in the center, which is the year of its reintroduction. The Iron Cross was awarded to recognize acts of bravery.

The Iron Cross comes in two grades, Second Class and First Class. The Iron Cross First Class could only be awarded to one who had previously receive the Iron Cross Second Class. Hence, the First Class was more restricted and more highly prized. Both the medals looked very similar and were worn on the same position on the lower left side of the uniform. When the Iron Cross First Class was awarded, the Iron Cross Second Class was signified with a small ribbon attached to a button.

To the right is Engelbert Endrass, skipper of U-46. On the lower left of his jacket is the war badge, with the Iron Cross First Class just above. The ribbon on the right side of his jacket signifies the Iron Cross Second Class. On his neck, he wears the Knight’s Cross. Engelbert Endrass
Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross
The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was a highly distinguished medal recognizing acts of valour within the German armed forces. Unlike the Iron Cross, it was worn on the neck with a striped black, white and red ribbon attached. First awarded on September 30th, 1939, approximately 7361 of these awards were presented during the war, of which 43 were awarded to foreigners. Knight’s Cross
Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves was introduced on June 3rd, 1940 to further recognize acts of courage. As with the preceding medals, the Oak Leaves could only be awarded to one who had earlier receive the Knight’s Cross. A fan of three silver oak leaves decorated the Knight’s Cross, just above the clip on the medallion. In all, 890 had been awarded during the second world war. Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves
Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
A highly prestigious medal, it was introduced on July 15, 1941 to further recognize Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves recipients for further acts of valour which was beyond the call of duty. A pair of swords crossed at 40 degrees was added below the oak leaves. Only 160 of these had been awarded, a further testament of the honor attached to this medal. Panzer ace Michael Wittman was awarded with this medal. Oak Leaves and Swords
Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
Introduced the same time with the Oak Leaves and Swords, many consider this to be the highest award that can be earned during the war. A set of diamonds inlaid on the Oak Leaves and Swords was added. Awarded only to the most highly decorated and heroic figures of the armed forces, only 27 servicemen had receive this award, one of which was General Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds
This medal was of the highest recognition, Hitler intended to limit this award to 12 of the most distinguished servicemen in the entire German armed forces after the war ended, assuming an axis victory. As the Third Reich collapsed, an exception was made and only one award was ever presented.

The only Golden Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds holder was Hans Ulrich Rudel of the Luftwaffe. A Stuka dive bomber pilot, Rudel destroyed 518 Russian tanks (that’s five Russian tank corps), 150 flak and artillery positions, 700 trucks, sunk the Russian battleship Marat, a Russian cruiser, a Russian Destroyer, 70 Russian landing craft, and hundreds of other targets (bridges, railways, bunkers). He also heavily damaged another Russian battleship, the October Revolution. Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions, of which 400 were in a Focke-Wulf 190, claimed 11 air victories and was shot down 32 times. Hans Ulrich Rudel

                                     Dagger Experts

At German Dagger Buyers.com

 We Are Engaged In The Acquisition Of  Museum Worthy Exhibits.

KRIM 1941-1942

KRIM 1941-1942

We Currently  Supply Museums , Academic Collectors , And Ethical Investment Groups.

By Dealing With Dedicated Professionals Your Items Are Destined To Form Part Of Balanced Educational Displays.

We Distance Ourselves Unreservedly From The Unregulated Online Trade

In Nazi Memorabilia.

By Dealing With German Dagger Buyers.com You Can Rest Assured That

Whilst Our Business Is Commercial 

Our Interest Is Solely In Preserving History.

 We Believe

That  People From All  Cultures,  Religions And Orientations Should Practise Tolerance Towards One Another . Humanity Must Learn To Coexist .

The Study Of History From All Periods Is Enhanced By The Existence Of Artifacts.

Genuine Third Reich Artifacts Are Evidence Of The Darkest of  Era’s, One Which Must Never Be Allowed To Return, Education Is ,We believe  Key To This Process.

The Responsible Collectors

Of The 21st Century Are Custodians Of Artifacts Which In Time Will Form Part Of  Public Museums Of The Future.

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Examples of Nazi memorabilia including Uniform Insignia ,

ss-trade-mark

Flags, Badges, items with Nazi emblems such as SS Daggers Nazi-era and other Nazi Medals

nazi-museum-militaria

Legal restrictions

The sale of memorabilia was prohibited in some countries in Europe In the year 2000.

Nazi Medals

In France the Internet portal site Yahoo! was sued by the Union of Jewish Students and the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism  for “justifying war crimes and crimes against humanity”

prohibited

by allowing such memorabilia to be sold via its auction pages.

Nazi memorabilia

Yahoo!’s response was to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia through its website.

Wheatcroft Collection

In 2003, a court in Paris cleared Yahoo!.

Yahoo!.

 Ebay has guidelines regarding Nazi memorabilia; certain items are allowed, certain items are restricted and certain items are prohibited. Ebay followed the policies of Yahoo fearing equal litigation and has since banned the Nazi swastika on anything sold on their auction website save for coins, stamps, or printed period literature such as magazines, books, or pamphlets.

Military valuations

The effects of such policies is for the greater good , however  artefacts from the period retain their fascination .

u-boat dagger

The market in what devotees describe as “Historic Artifacts  has not gone underground,

it has simply moved beyond the random gaze of internet searchers. For the Innocent vendor such as the  Widow or family of  or a serviceman who’s  husbands or father proudly returned from the front with a pocket full of German Badges the option of selling at the correct market value still exists.

With the opportunities provided by a google image search it is possible to identify what one has .  Having established the description of an item by comparing captioned pictures next comes estimating the price. This is easy, as a genuine museum buyer or Militaria dealer should always offer you 70% of the selling price .

The dealer selling price is likely to be calculated as the list price less 10% .

In Short if you see an item identical to that which you wish to sell listed at $2000 the dealer might settle for $1800 you therefore should settle for an offer of no less than $1200