H026780 WAR MERIT CROSS 2ND CLASS WITHOUT SWORDS. (Kriegsverdienstkreuz II ohne Schwerter)

BACKGROUND: The War Merit Cross was instituted 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. With the proper documentation, recipients of most Third Reich awards, including the War Merit Cross were permitted to privately purchase a jeweler’s copy of the award, at their own expense, if so desired. Of Note: The LDO, Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller, (Administration of German Medal Manufacturers), began regulating the manufacture of German awards in March 1941 as a quality control agent for awards that were intended for retail sale and manufacturers were to use an assigned LDO, "L", code on their products destined for retail sales. Awards that were to be bestowed by the government were also issued an official numerical government contract code known as a, Lieferantnummer, (Contractors Number), that was issued by the Präsidialkanzlei des Führers, (Presidential Council of the Führers), for formally approved manufacturers. The manufacturing firms that were licenced by both the Präsidialkanzlei des Führers and the LDO and would have used the same dies to stamp both the official issue and retail sales types of awards making them virtually indistinguishable from one another except for the markings.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die struck bronze alloy service award with a bronze wash is in the form of a Maltese style cross with a circular centerpiece with an embossed, canted, swastika encircled by a nicely detailed oak-leaf wreath to the obverse. The reverse centerpiece has the embossed date,"1939", which is also encompassed by a nicely detailed oak-leaf wreath. The background field of both the obverse and reverse centerpieces is smooth while the arms of the cross have a pebbled background field with raised, smooth, outer edges. The medal loop and ribbon suspension ring are both intact. The award comes complete with a piece of original ribbed rayon ribbon.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $25.00

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