L008479 CASED SPANISH CROSS IN SILVER WITH SWORDS. (Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern in Silber) 

BACKGROUND: 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 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, 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 combatant's Spanish Cross included voluntary service in the Condor Legion, participation in specific Naval actions, and/or outstanding bravery or merit in combat. The non-combatant's crosses were awarded for three months service in a support role. 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, die struck, multi-piece, nickel/silver plated, silver alloy construction award. The nicely convex award is in the form of a Maltese styled cross with a separate circular centerpiece featuring an embossed canted swastika. The circular centerpiece has two fine, raised, smooth, circular border lines encompassing the swastika and the arms of the cross also feature a raised, smooth, outer edge. The base field of the centerpiece and the arms of the cross feature a finely textured background field. The sword blades and hilts emanate upwardly between the cross's arms and have a separate Luftwaffe eagle clutching swastikas affixed to each. The swords indicate the recipient served in a combatant role. The smooth plain reverse has a solid soldered hinge, a broad tapered vertical pin and a heavy soldered catch assembly all intact. marked with the embossed manufacturer’s numerical code, "4", indicating manufacture by Steinhauer & Lück of Lüdenscheid. Comes complete with its original presentation case. 

GRADE ****                                                                               PRICE $3,069.00

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