German High End Late 1950s Replica WWII Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves & Swords with Ribbon - Stamped 800 on Clasp

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. After the end of WWII, USGI's brought home a multitude of German WWII items, including all types of medals, awards, and other memorabilia. By the late 1940s, there was a booming collector's market for these items, and many dealers were making trips to Germany to bring back masses of militaria for the market.

As prices rose and supplies fell, it was somewhat inevitable that replicas would be made, as many were able to locate original dies for casting, and the local areas were happy for the business. One such company was Steinhauer & Lück of Lüdenscheid, Germany, who had produced many awards during the War. The city was not a major military target, as their main industry was clothing accessories, and being in Western Germany, they did not suffer from the destruction wrought by the Red Army. As such, the company still had many original WWII production components, including those for the highly sought after "Knights Cross of the Iron Cross", as well as the less sought after Iron Cross.

It wasn't until 1947 that the production of items with NSDAP insignia was banned, so for a few years in the late 1940s, there was a relatively large industry making replica examples for servicemen to collect and take home. Even after the ban, additional examples continued to be produced in the early 1950s.

Here is one such example, a high end replica of one of the most desirable of all German WWII Awards, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, usually just called the Knight's cross. It is in the "3rd grade", which has the additional Oak Leave and Swords on the hanger clasp, instead of just a ring. This example is in very good shape, and comes complete with the correct tri-color rayon ribbon. It is stamped with silver content marking 800 on the back of the oak leaves ring, an attempt to make it look more authentic. It measures 2 1/8"H x 1 15/16"W, not counting the hanger clasp, with a Black, White, and Red ribbon measuring 15" going through the clasp. This shows only light wear, an does not have any additional ties or attachment hardware installed.

To the untrained eye, the Knights Cross looks genuine. Indeed, it is the same multi-piece construction as the originals, with magnetic painted cores, and minor details, such as the lack of markings, or the type of finish, is what gives it away. It is very possible that the parts used to make it were originally produced during WWII, but there is no way to be sure.

If you were looking to fill out your German WWII medal collection, and wanted a great looking Knight's Cross replica and Iron Cross 1str class, these are it! Ready to display!

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), or simply the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz), and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of NSDAP Germany during World War II.

The Knight's Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of military valor. Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht: the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe (air force), as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD—Reich Labor Service) and the Volkssturm (German national militia), along with personnel from other Axis powers.

The award was instituted on 1 September 1939, at the onset of the German invasion of Poland. A higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross, was instituted in 1940. In 1941, two higher grades of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves were instituted: the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. At the end of 1944 the final grade, the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, was created. Over 7,000 awards were made during the course of the war.

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