H051481 IRON CROSS 1ST CLASS, 1939. (Eisernes Kreuz I Klasse)

BACKGROUND: On March 10TH 1813, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary award for bestowal during times of war. Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Crosses were reinstituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19TH 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5TH 1914, by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1ST 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First and Second Classes and established the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The first class medal was for award to personnel who performed three to five acts of bravery in combat, and had already been awarded the Iron Cross 2ND class.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 1939 pattern, die struck, three piece, iron and nickel/silver plated alloy construction Pattée style cross with a single piece iron core and a two piece alloy frame. The obverse of the award features an embossed, central, canted, swastika with the re-institution date, "1939", to the bottom arm. The plain reverse has a solid, soldered hinge, a broad, tapering vertical pin and original catch all intact. The pin is well marked with the stamped manufacturer’s numerical code, "65", indicating manufacture by Klein & Quenzer of Idar/Oberstein. One of the harder makers to find. Nice!

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $495.00

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