Original WWI WWII German Medal Bar - 5 Medals
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is fantastic a 100% genuine medal bar removed from the uniform of a fallen or captured German soldier during WWII and brought home by an American soldier as a war trophy. The German soldier served in World War One and was highly decorated then he served again in WW2. The set of 5 medals consists of the following:
- WWI Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse, or EKII)
- Bavarian Merenti Cross of Military Merit with Swords, 2nd Class, 1866.
- WWI Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (Hindenburg Cross) with Crossed Swords
- German WWII Faithful Service Decoration 2nd Class Cross for 25 Years of Service
- Hungarian WWI Pro Deo et Patria Military Medal 1914 1918 in Bronze
Iron Cross 2nd Class:
Emperor Wilhelm II reauthorized the Iron Cross on 5 August 1914, at the start of World War I. During these three periods, the Iron Cross was an award of the Kingdom of Prussia, although given Prussia's pre-eminent place in the German Empire formed in 1871 it tended to be treated as a generic German decoration. The 1813, 1870, and 1914 Iron Crosses had three grades.
The Iron Cross 1st Class and the Iron Cross 2nd Class were awarded without regard to rank. One had to possess the 2nd Class already in order to receive the 1st Class (though in some cases both could be awarded simultaneously). The egalitarian nature of this award contrasted with those of most other German states (and indeed of many other European monarchies), where military decorations were awarded based on the rank of the recipient. For example, Bavarian officers received various grades of that Kingdom's Military Merit Order (Militär-Verdienstorden), while enlisted men received various grades of the Military Merit Cross (Militär-Verdienstkreuz). Prussia did have other orders and medals which it awarded on the basis of rank, and even though the Iron Cross was intended to be awarded without regard to rank, officers and NCOs were more likely to receive it than junior enlisted soldiers.
Bavarian Merenti Cross of Military Merit with Swords, 2nd Class, 1866.
Order of Military Merit was instituted in 1866 in 5 Classes. In 1905 the Cross of Military Merit was revised initially to 2 Classes and in 1913 to 3 classes. Each class was awarded according to the rank of the recipient and could be issued with or without swords (for peace or war time period) and crown (for a 2nd award).
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 Nazi 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 Nazi Party organization.
Faithful Service Decoration Second Class Cross for 25 Years of Service - Fullsize frosted silver with a fire gilded laurel wreath and black enameled swastika on original ribbon.
Hungarian WWI Pro Deo et Patria Military Medal 1914 1918 in Bronze
Hungary (Austrohungarian Empire): Hungarian WW1 Commemorative Combatant's military medal "Pro Deo et Patria" (for God and Country). Award for the participation in the Great War. This is the rarest version of the combatants medal, marked "Bronze" on the rim. The medal was instituted in 1929.
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