Original WWI WWII German Medal Bar - 6 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 6 medals consists of the following:
WWI Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse, or EKII)
WWI Baden Order of the Zahringen Lion
WWI Hamburg Hanseatic Cross
WWI Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (Hindenburg Cross) with Crossed Swords
WWII 18 Year Wehrmacht Heer (Army) Long Service Award
WW2 4th Class Wehrmacht Heer (Army) Long Service Award
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.
Imperial German WWI Baden Order of the Zahringen Lion
Instituted on 26 December 1812 by Karl, Grand Duke of Baden, in memory of the Dukes of Zahringen and was bestowed in recognition of exceptional merit. The version offered is the issue with Swords which was awarded only for military services. It is a fabulous award being enameled in several colors and finished in lustrous gold plate. It was awarded by the State of Baden during the First World War. These are exceptionally rare and only a few can be found as past sales on the internet for over $800 each.
Hamburg Hanseatic Cross
The Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz) was a decoration of the three Hanseatic city-states of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, who were members of the German Empire during World War I. Each republic established its own version of the cross, but the design and award criteria were similar for each.
The Hanseatic Cross was jointly instituted by agreement of the senates of the three cities, with each senate ratifying the award on different days. The Lübeck version was established first, on August 21, 1915. The Hamburg version followed on September 10 and the Bremen version on September 14. The cross was awarded for merit in war, and could be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel. When awarded for bravery or combat merit, it was the three cities' equivalent of the Prussian 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 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.
German WWII 18 Year Service Medal
This Long Service Medal was issued for completion of 18 of years of military service. Silvered iron (magnetic), with blue ribbon and small eagle device, in fine condition.
4th Class Wehrmacht Heer (Army) Long Service Award
4th Class Wehrmacht Heer (Army) Long Service Award in silvered metal (magnetic); on loop for suspension, and mounted parade-style to a metal backer; with its Hoheitszeichen attached to the obverse; measuring 30.09 mm in diameter; both awards show some wear to the finish from use, but are overall in better than very fine condition, with the ribbons being slightly loose on its mounting with light to moderate soiling due to wear, in overall fine condition.
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