Original German WWII Named Soldbuch with Medals and Award Documents Grouping - Capt. Ignaz Spring

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind set. This is a lovely set of a German WWII Soldbuch and Medals with award documents, originally owned by Ignaz Spring, who was born April 4th 1899 in Landsberg / Obb. The soldbuch is very well preserved, and contains all of his basic vital information, and has an issue date of 24. Okt. 1939..  It also indicates that he started his service during WWII at Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) rank, but was promoted on 1.8.40 to Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant) and again on 1.8.44 to Hauptmann (Captain).

The book also keeps track of his service, as well as the various units that he was posted to during the war. From what we can see, Spring was a member of various artillery units, including both anti-aircraft and coastal artillery. There's lots of information in the book, which will make this an excellent piece to translate and research. 

Also included are the following Medals, some of which include award documents:

- War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords and award document.
This award was presented 30. Jan. 1944 to then Oberleutnant Spring, and still retains the original red, white, and black ribbon. It is maker marked 16 on the hanger ring, for maker Alois Rettenmaier Schwäb.Gmünd.

- War Merit Cross 1st Class With Swords and award document.
This award was presented 30. Jan. 1945 to Hauptmann Spring, who had received his final promotion. It has lost most of the silver wash, and is maker marked on the back with 3 in a box, for Wilhelm Deumer, Lüdenscheid. It is the pin back version of the badge.

The War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz or KvK) was a decoration of NSDAP Germany during the Second World War, which could be awarded to military personnel and civilians alike. By the end of the war it was issued in four degrees, and had a related civil decoration. It was created by Adolf AH in October 1939 as a successor to the non-combatant Iron Cross which was used in earlier wars. The award was graded the same as the Iron Cross: War Merit Cross Second Class, War Merit Cross First Class, and Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross. The award had two variants: with swords (mit schwertern) given to soldiers for exceptional service "not in direct connection with combat", and without swords for meritorious service to civilians in "furtherance of the war effort". As with the Iron Cross, Recipients had to have the lower grade of the award before getting the next level.

The ribbon of the War Merit Cross was in red-white-black-white-red; that was, the red and black colors being reversed from the ribbon of the World War II version of the Iron Cross. The ribbon for the War Merit Medal was similar, but with a narrow red vertical red strip in the center of the black field. Soldiers who earned the War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords wore a small crossed-swords device on the ribbon. The War Merit Cross 1st Class was a pin-backed medal worn on the pocket of the tunic (like the Iron Cross 1st Class). The ribbon of the War Merit Cross 2nd Class could be worn like the ribbon of the Iron Cross 2nd Class (through the second buttonhole). Nonetheless combat soldiers tended to hold the War Merit Cross in low regard, referring to its wearers as being in 'Iron Cross Training'. The Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross was a neck decoration and worn the same way as the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross.

- Hindenburg Cross with Crossed Swords (for combat):
The Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (German: Das Ehrenkreuz des Weltkriegs 1914/1918), commonly, but incorrectly, known as the Hindenburg Cross was established by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, President of the German Republic, by an order dated 13 July 1934, to commemorate the distinguished deeds of the German people during the First World War. This was Germany's first official service medal for soldiers of Imperial Germany who had taken part in the war, and where they had since died it was also awarded to their surviving next-of-kin. Shortly after its issuance, the government of NSDAP Germany declared the award as the only official service decoration of the First World War and further forbid the continued wearing of German Free Corps awards on any military or paramilitary uniform of a state or NSDAP Party organization.

This example is marked on the back with G1, and includes the original ribbon, which is black, red, and white, in the following order: B W B R B W B.

More on the German Soldbuch:
The Soldbuch served the soldier as a personal identification document in wartime and as an authorization to receive pay from his own or outside pay-stations. In addition, it was identification for rail travel, detached service, leave, and for receiving mail. The Soldbuch was always carried by the soldier on his person in a tunic pocket. Leaving the book in one's baggage or in one's quarters was not permitted. The careful preservation of the book was in the best interest of the owner. The Soldbuch had to be kept in an orderly fashion. The owner must see to it, that all changes in pay due to transfer or promotion are immediately entered by his responsible duty station. The Soldbuch was an official document. Entries were only to be made by a Wehrmacht duty station. Making unauthorized changes is punishable as falsification of official documents. The loss of a Soldbuch was to be reported as soon the loss is discovered to the holders unit or duty station, and the issue of a new Soldbuch will be requested.

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