Original German WWII Gold 1941 German Cross Award Metal Badge by C.F. Zimmerman

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the extremely rare German WWII German Cross (Deutsches Kreuz) in Gold award, issued as a highly decorative metal Badge. The badge is approximately 2 3/8 inches (60.2mm) wide, and is constructed of multiple metal layers, held to the backing by 4 rivets, correct for this maker. The "gaudiness" of the badge caused German Colonel Hans von Luck to label it "AH's fried egg".

This example is maker marked with Präsidialkanzlei des Führers Lieferant (Presidential Chancellery Supplier) number 20 on the underside of the rear attachment pin, indicating manufacture by C.F. Zimmerman of Pforzheim, outside of Stuttgart. The hinge is the correct barrel type, soldered into a recess at the top of the star. The metal versions of the cross are highly desirable, much more so than the embroidered versions.

The design of this decoration was executed by Professor R. Klein of Munich and the first examples were made by the DESCHLER firm of Munich. The first prototypes contained 10 rivets, with a system of attachment typical of the Iron Cross of 1914. To begin with, the DESCHLER firm used 6 rivets, then from about the middle of 1942 onward, only 4.

It is composed of 5 main pieces, which were assembled together in various ways, depending on the manufacturer. The base piece consists of a silver star with eight rays, upon which is fixed another star with eight rays, lighter and smaller, in a dark gray color. A silvered disk bordered with two red bands is placed above.

A swas in black enamel bordered silver is fixed on the disk by means of two or four prongs situated on the ends of the arms. Between the two red bands is found a gilt or silvered wreath. The year 1941 is embossed at the base of the wreath. The wreath is fixed with four rivets. In some cases the wreath rivets maintain the whole cross (Zimmermann), in other cases they just hold together the wreath , the circle and the black star. The entire badge is held on by a number of rivets (4, 5, 6 or 10) depending on the manufacturer.

The hinge itself may be a bent piece of metal soldered in a recess at the top of the star (types marked ‘’20’’, ‘’134’’, DESCHLER), or more simply, soldered directly onto the star (Juncker and Godet types). The pin is fixed to the hinge by a cross-pin. The construction of this decoration is the most complex of all the military decorations of the Third Reich.

The award was introduced on September 28th 1941, a few months after the start of operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The German forces were achieving significant progress on the Eastern front. The assault on Moscow (Operation Typhoon) started two days after the German Cross on Gold award was instituted. Plenty of soldiers would have the opportunity to prove themselves in the face of adverse conditions in years to come.

The award itself was given for bravery, much like the Iron cross, and the level of bravery and service would have to be above that required by the Iron Cross First Class but less than that required by the Knights Cross. The awards were issued in several versions, both all metal and part cloth, and all had a multi-layer construction. The embroidered badges were colored differently on the border for the Heer (Army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), and Kriegsmarine (Navy), so that the background would match their uniform.

Really a high quality and hard to find award, sure to appreciate in value for years to come.

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