Original German WWII War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords and Named Award Document

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind. This is a very nice original German WWII War Merit Cross 2nd Class (KvK II) with swords, complete with its original named Besittzzeugnis "possession/award" certificate. The document measures approximately 8" x 5.5", (20cm x 14cm), and is printed on mid-weight paper with black print and typed in particulars. 

It indicates that Uffz. (Unteroffizier or Corporal) Friedrich Burkhardt of 15./Gren.Rgt.937 (15th Company Grenadier Regiment 937) was awarded the KRIEGSVERDIENSTKREUZ 2. KLASSE MIT SCHWERTEN on 30. Januar 1944. The document has the proper stamps and for issue, and has the signature of Generalleutnant Erwin Sander, who had been awarded the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz) on Sept. 3 1942. He was the commander of the 245th Infantry Division, a unit formed during September 1943 in Rouen, France. It fought continuously on the Western Front until capitulation. Records indicate that when this award was issued they were located in Dieppe.

The document is in very good condition, with just some curl to it, probably from being stored in a tube for a long period. The medal itself is also in very good shape, with minimal oxidation on the cross, and a good condition rayon ribbon.

A really nice named German WWII Medal, complete with a named award document. Ready to display!

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.

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