Original German Pre-WWII Bronze Grade Spanish Cross with Swords - Spanish Civil War Legion Condor
Original Item: Only One Available. The Spanish Cross (Spanien-Kreuz) was an award of NSDAP Germany awarded to German combatants fighting with Franco's Nationalist forces against the Republican Loyalists during the Spanish Civil war, just prior to the outbreak of WWII. Germany sent combat troops, mainly Luftwaffe and Tank personnel, to fight in this Spanish civil war, in a group known as the German Condor Legion. It was the testing ground for its new Blitzkrieg tactics to be used in WWII.
On 14 April 1939, Germany instituted the Spanish Cross as a decoration for the German airmen and soldiers who fought in the Condor Legion during the war. A number of German Navy ships served in Spanish waters, their crew also qualifying for the cross. The Spanish Cross filled the dual role of gallantry decoration and campaign medal. The Cross was awarded in Gold, Silver and Bronze classes to reflect the rank or merit of the recipient. The Silver and Bronze classes were awarded with and without swords, the Gold only with swords. For outstanding bravery in combat, the Gold class could be awarded with diamonds.
This is a very nice example of the Spanish Cross in Bronze Grade with Swords, one of 8,462 awarded by Germany. It is in very good condition, with a lovely patina on the brass, and no major damage. There is a bit of bending to the ends of the crosses, which was somewhat common given the brass material and "vaulted" design. This example is not maker marked, however the style is very similar to that of Wilhelm Deumer of Lüdenscheid, one of the known makers of the award.
The award attaches via a vertical pin on the back, much like a War Merit Cross or Iron Cross 2nd Class. The pin is in good shape, with a functioning hing and pin catch. These are always hard to find in this condition.
Ready to display!
The Condor Legion (German: Legion Condor) was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and from the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor Legion developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War shortly afterwards. The bombing of Guernica was the most infamous operation carried out by the Condor Legion. Hugo Sperrle commanded the unit's aircraft formations and Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma commanded the ground element.
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