L003280 MINIATURE SPANISH CROSS IN BRONZE WITH SWORDS LAPEL PIN. (Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern im Bronze, Aufschlagnadel)

BACKGROUND: As with most military and civilian awards of the Third Reich period miniature version lapel pins were permitted for wear on civilian clothing. Most commonly these miniatures were privately purchased items and could only be purchased by individuals with the proper ownership documentation, although some miniatures were bestowed with the full sized award. The miniatures were exact replicas of their full sized counterparts and were produced in two official sizes of nine and sixteen millimeters, (3/8" and 5/8" respectively). General regulations, with a few minor exceptions, permitted wear of three miniature awards at one time but prohibited the mixing of military and civilian awards on one lapel pin. Curiously regulations prohibited wear of the miniature awards on the civilian overcoat, (greatcoat). Regulations of July 5TH 1943 discontinued the manufacture of the larger, (16mm), military badges and further regulations of April 1944 dictated that the Steinhauer & Lück firm of Lüdenscheid was to be the sole manufacturer of the miniature dies with other manufacturing firms authorized to produce the awards utilizing Steinhauer & Lück’s dies after official governmental acceptance. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 the Germans supported the Nationalist Falangist Generalissimo Francisco Franco against the communist allied Republican Loyalist party. The German support consisted of assorted field equipment and weapons, the Imker-Gruppe, (Beekeeper Group), of ground personnel which included the Drohne-Gruppe, (Drone Group), of Panzer, (Armored), units and a group of Luftwaffe volunteers designated as the Condor Legion. The participation in this conflict enabled the Germans to test their fledgling armed forces and by rotating personnel gave them a core of troops with actual combat experience. With the successful conclusion of the Spanish Civil War at the end of March 1939 the German contingent returned home, (May 1939), to be heralded as heroes and on April 14TH 1939 Hitler instituted the Spanish Cross series of awards to recognize the service of the German volunteers in Spain. The award was introduced in three classes of, bronze, silver and gold, and a special class of gold with swords and diamonds. The bronze and silver crosses were awarded with swords for combatants and without swords for non-combatants, while the gold cross was only awarded with the swords. Criteria for award of a combatants Spanish Cross included voluntary service in the Condor Legion, participation in specific Naval actions, and/or outstanding bravery or merit in combat. The non-combatants crosses were awarded for three months service in a supporting role. Of Note: In an expression of appreciation of the Germans assistance Generalissimo Franco permitted four Spanish awards to be bestowed on German volunteers. The awards consisted of the Spanish Military Medal, the War Cross, the Red Military Service Cross and the Campaign Medal. The first three awards were bestowed on select German volunteers while the Campaign Medal was bestowed on all the Germans who participated in the conflict. German nationals that were eligible for Foreign awards were required to obtain the express approval of Adolf Hitler through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the only exception being that Foreign War decorations, including the four Spanish Civil War awards, did not require Hitler’s approval. Also Of Note: An additional criteria for bestowal of a Spanish Cross was that the recipient had already been awarded one of the four Spanish awards with a corresponding sequence depending on the class of the award bestowed.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 10mm square, die struck, alloy construction award in the form of a Maltese styled cross with circular centerpiece featuring an embossed, canted, swastika. The circular centerpiece has two, fine, raised, smooth, circular border lines, encompassing the swastika and arms of the cross also feature a fine, raised, smooth, outer edge. The base field of the centerpiece and arms of the cross feature a finely textured background. The award also has small, Luftwaffe eagles, mounted on broad swords positioned, between each of the cross’s arms. The smooth reverse has a soldered, vertical, rifled pin intact.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $139.00

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