L001984 SPANISH CROSS IN BRONZE WITH SWORDS. (Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern 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 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: Nicely detailed, convexed, multi-piece, die struck bronze construction award in the form of a Maltese style cross with circular center piece, with embossed canted swastika, encompassed by two circular embossed lines on a slightly rough textured background field. Cross arms also have a slightly rough textured background field with a narrow, smooth, raised outer border. Upward pointing, sword blades and hilts emanate between the crosses arms and have a Luftwaffe eagle clutching a swastika affixed to each. Swastika detailing includes cut-outs to three of the four arms. Sword blades have a central embossed rib and hilts have fine diagonal pebbled lines. Reverse with broad, tapering vertical pin, solid soldered hinge and heavy soldered catch assembly all intact. The reverse of the award is well marked with the stamped manufacturers LDO code within a rectangular border, "L/11", indicating manufacture by Wilhelm Deumer Lüdenscheid.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $1,200.00

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