H017087 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 re-instituted 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 re-instituted 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. As of March 1941 manufacture of the Iron Crosses, as with other German awards, was regulated by the LDO, Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller, (Administration of German Medal Manufacturers). The LDO acted as a quality control agent and in 1941 the LDO decreed that manufacture of the Iron Cross 1ST class be standardized with the only variation allowed being the type of attachment device on the reverse. The two acceptable attachment devices were either the standard hinge, pin and catch assembly or the screw-back version.

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 swastika and date are both in nice high relief. The Plain reverse has a central, raised, screw receiving post with internal screw threads and a raised pin to the center of the bottom arm to prevent the cross from rotating when worn. The cross comes complete with a alloy screw-back plate.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $399.00 (Or Best Offer)

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