H024080 CASED WAR MERIT CROSS 1ST CLASS, 1939 WITH SWORDS. (Kriegsverdienstkreuz I mit Schwertern und Etui)

BACKGROUND: The War Merit Cross was instituted by Adolf Hitler on October 18TH 1939, in two classes with both classes issued, with and without swords, for award to military personnel and civilians, including females and foreigners, for exemplary service and/or bravery in Germany’s war effort, in a non-combatant role. The addition of swords to the award signified bravery while awards without swords were bestowed for service. Of Note: The War Merit cross series of awards was expanded on August 19TH 1940, to include a Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross for award to personnel who had provided a substantial contribution to the war effort and the War Merit Medal for award to German nationals and foreign civilians who provided exceptional service to the war effort.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die struck, alloy construction bravery award with silver finish is in the form of a Maltese style cross with a circular centerpiece with an embossed, canted, swastika encircled by an oak-leave wreath to the obverse. The swords, indicating bravery, emanated upwards between the arms of the cross. The background field of the obverse centerpiece is smooth while the arms of the cross have a pebbled background field with raised, smooth, outer edges. The plain, reverse has a soldered, solid style hinge, a broad, tapered, vertical pin and a heavy soldered catch all intact. The reverse of the pin is well marked with the impressed manufacturer’s numerical code, "65", indicating manufacture by Klein & Quenzer Idar/Oberstein. The award comes housed in its original thick, pressed cardboard and wood construction case with a black, simulated grained leather covering. The top lid of the case has an impressed, silvered outline of the War Merit Cross with swords. The back hinge seam has let go, but other than that the case is excellent. Nice set.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $295.00 (Or Best Offer)

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