L010679 SPANISH CROSS IN BRONZE WITHOUT SWORDS. (Spanienkreuz mit ohne Schwerter in Bronze)

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, (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. This bronze example without swords was awarded for three months service in a supporting role and required bestowal of the Spanish Campaign Medal which was issued to all German participants. The Spanish Cross in Bronze without swords was bestowed roughly 7,870 times.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, two piece, die struck, bronze alloy construction award with a bronze wash. The nicely convexed, award is in the form of a Maltese styled cross with a brazed on, separate, circular, centrepiece 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 cross has an integral, Luftwaffe eagle clutching a canted, swastika in its talons, positioned between each arm. The award shows nice detailing including cut-outs to each of the four small swastikas. The smooth plain reverse has a solid, soldered hinge, a broad tapered vertical pin and a heavy soldered catch assembly all intact. The award has no visible manufacturer’s markings.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $865.00

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