Authentic German Third Reich

Military Relics

From the private collection of Jeff Jones  

The Iron Cross 2nd Class  (Eisernes Kreuz, Zweiter Klasse, abbreviated EK-2) Was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III, in March 1813 as a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia. The German Empire adopted the Iron Cross award in 1871 , and latter re-adopted it in 1914. Adolf Hitler re-introduced the Iron Cross in 1939 adding the swastika to the center of the cross. The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for acting out military functions. The Iron Cross is an honor award, and was generally awarded to military combatants who fought heroically.

EK-1 spange in it's original presentation case.

WW I veterans that were awarded the 1914 Iron Cross were permitted to wear the award on their Third Reich uniform. If awarded the 1939 EK-1, a clasp was given inplace of another Iron Cross. It depicted a national eagle clutching an oak leaf wreath surrounding a swastika above a trapezoid, bearing the year 1939. The 1939 EK-1 Clasp was worn directly above the 1914 EK-1 on the left breast pocket, and was always displayed above all other awards.

 Clasp to the Iron Cross 2nd Class
(Spange zum Eisernen Kreuz zweiter Klasse)

Close up views of the EK-2 Spange. This specimen is struck in Tombak and silvered. The ribbon depicts the National colors of Imperial Germany.

The Iron Cross 1st class is constructed from three separate pieces. (1) The front frame, (2) the back plate, which includes the hinge, catch and pin assembly, (3) the core. The core is usually constructed from a magnetic metal, giving meaning to the term "Iron Cross", but specimens with a black painted brass core do exist, such as the one pictured above. The reverse shows a block hinge, soldered flat to the surface of the back plate instead of upwright, so that the award would fit tightly against the uniform. A maker mark "15", (Otto Schickle) is stamped in the center of a flat pin. The "C" catch is made of brass. The obverse shows a raised swastika and the re-instituted date of 1939.  

  The Iron Cross 2nd Class is constructed from three pieces. The obverse and reverse frames, and the Iron Cross. The Iron Cross was placed between the two frames. Then the edges of the frame were soldered together. The Obverse Cross shows the swastika in the center, and the re-institution date of 1939 below. The reverse of the Cross shows the first official institution date of 1813.

Obverse and reverse views showing the EK-2 Spange fixed to the 1914 EK-2 ribbon. This specimen is tunic removed. The ribbon retains the folds from being stitched to the uniform.

Case for EK-1 Spange.

This illustration shows the 1939 EK-1 Clasp properly positioned above the 1914 EK-1 as they should be worn on a uniform.

Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class

(Spange zum Eisernen Kreuz Erste Klasse)

  The Iron Cross 1st class (abbreviated EK-1) was originally established by King Friedrich Wilhelm the III, in March 1813 as a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia. The  German Empire adopted the Iron Cross award in 1871, and later re-adopted it in 1914. Adolph Hitler re-introduced the Iron Cross in 1939, adding the swastika to the center of the Cross. The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for acting out military functions. The Iron Cross is an honor award, and was generally awarded to military combatants who fought heroically. 

This image of the EK-2 shows the medal with the original ribbon depicting the national colors of the Third Reich. The ribbon was typically worn without the Cross in one of the button holes on the uniform.   

Iron Cross , Second Class

 (Eisernes Kreuz, zweiter Klasse)

The obverse of this EK-1 clasp displays stunning detail. The reverse shows a block hinge, flat pin and "C" catch. Although unmarked, this badge shows characteristics known to the maker "Otto Schickle.

WW I veterans that were awarded the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class were permitted to wear the award on their Third Reich uniform. If awarded the 1939 EK-2, a clasp was given inplace of another Iron Cross. It depicted a national eagle clutching an oak leaf wreath surrounding a swastika above a trapezoid, bearing the year 1939. The EK-2 Spange was fixed to the 1914 EK-2 ribbon, and worn on the uniform secured through one of the button holes.

The first frame shows the block hinge soldered flat. A view of the "C" catch is shown in the second frame. Note the black patination on the reverse below the pin.

Iron Cross, First Class

 (Eisernes Kreuz, Erste Klasse)