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The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross - German Military memorabilia

Updated on October 24, 2012

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

T he Iron Cross is perhaps the most widely recognized German Military decoration and is mistakenly considered by some to be symbolic of Nazi Germany when in reality it was not. The Iron Cross was a military decoration long before Hitler's Nazi Germany and was awarded for bravery during the Napoleonic Wars and also during World War One. It was the The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross an adaption of the original Iron Cross to which many people refer to when they mention the 'Iron Cross Medal.'

It was the placement of a swastika at the centre of the 1939 newly designed Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (an adaption of the original Iron Cross) which forever created the linkage to Hitler's Nazi Germany.

German Knights Iron Cross Medal Army Award Badge Order - A Stunning Reproduction

German Knights Iron Cross Medal Army Award Badge Order
German Knights Iron Cross Medal Army Award Badge Order

Product Features

German

Iron Cross

Medal

Knight

Award

 

W ar is horrific and this lens does not seek to glorify war. Death and destruction can never be desirable and yet War Films, Documentaries, books and memorabilia remain fascinating subjects. With so many images of War from News programs and fictional productions do young people understand the true nature of war and do we as a society have a responsibility to ensure that they are educated ?

Should Military History be a compulsory school subject

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Hindu Swastika
Hindu Swastika

Nazi Symbolism

H itler stole many ideas from History to give his regime identity and to encourage participation. The swastika originates from Neolithic India and is still recognised as religious sign.

The extended arm 'Heil Hitler' may or may not have its origins in Roman History. The Roman salute "Hail Caeser" may well have been the accepted method of acknowledgment of rank used by soldiers. In such a military dominated society this argument has merit, although there are no historic records to substantiate the argument.

Interestingly the Eagle an emblem having significant relevancy in Roman history was embraced and altered to promote the imagery of heroism and the invincibility of Nazi Germany. The German eagle existing long before the bastardisation by the Nazi party who displayed it sitting on top of a swastika within a wreath of oak leaves. They even dictated which way the eagles head must face insisting that the eagle was shown looking over its left shoulder (The Parteiadler) rather than its right shoulder when it represents Germany (The Reichsadler)

German Eagle Medals and memorabilia - Check which way the Eagle is facing

Eagle looking over its left shoulder represents Nazi Party (The Parteiadler)

Eagle looking over its right shoulder represents Germany (The Reichsadler)

The Nazis - A Warning from History (1998) - BBC / Warner 2 DVD set - 290 minute documentary

H ow could a political party as fundamentally evil and overtly racist as the Nazis come to power? This remains one of the most enigmatic questions of the last century.

Nazis: A Warning from History, The
Nazis: A Warning from History, The

Acclaimed historian Laurence Rees examines what led a cultured nation at the heart of Europe to commit the atrocities it did. In so doing, he exposes popular myths and encourages understanding of the real forces that led to one of the darkest chapters in modern history. Was it simply the hypnotic power of Hitler's rhetoric? Did the Gestapo really impose themselves by terror on an unwilling population? Through interviews with witnesses and perpetrators, along with archive film and records, this six-part series unveils a more chilling reality.

 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

S ince its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer's monumental study of Hitler's German Empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of this century's blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

I t would be difficult to overstate the importance of this book. It was the first comprehensive popular history of Nazi Germany to appear in English, and it is probably more responsible than any other single source for shaping the way that Americans think about Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust. More than that, this is an estimable work of history. Shirer has done an admirable job of combing through the mountains of primary source material that the Nazis left behind and assembling a coherent and comprehensible narrative from it.

 

The Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations

G eneral Field Marsall Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher, commander of the Prussian army distinguished himself numerous times during the Napoleonic Wars. His command at the Battle of Leipzig (October 1813), the largest land battle in Europe prior to World War 1 resulted in Napoleon being decisively beaten. His Prussian forces were also instrumental in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Blucher was awarded the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross which together with the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class was founded on the 10th March 1813. His award of The Grand Cross of the Iron Cross was later elevated to the Star of The Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

The year stamp 1813 together with the initials "FW" for Frederick William III the King of Prussia featured on all versions of the Iron Cross up until the Franco-Prussian War of 1870

Different Versions of the Iron Cross

Napoleonic Wars Versions

Iron Cross 2nd Class (1813)

Iron Cross 1st Class (1813)

Grand Cross to the Iron Cross (1813)

Star of the Grand Cross to the Iron Cross (1813)

Franco - Prussian War of 1870

Iron Cross 2nd Class (1870)

Iron Cross 1st Class (1870)

Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (1870)

World War 1

Iron Cross 2nd Class

Iron Cross 1st Class

The Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

The Star of The Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (WW1)

World War 2

Iron Cross 2nd Class

Iron Cross 1st Class

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds

The historic range and variations of the Iron Cross makes this particular item of military memorabilia very collectable

The Iron Cross: A History, 1813-1957

T his book, published in 1984, is one of the first to actually focus on a specific award. In this case it's the Iron Cross; a German award that is possibly the most recognizable medal in the world (along with the Purple Heart and, perhaps, the Medal of Honor).

The Iron Cross: A History, 1813-1957
The Iron Cross: A History, 1813-1957

G ordon Williamson has gone into great detail in researching the history and legacy of the Iron Cross. He relates well the history of the award, from it's inception in 1813, through 'the glory years' of 1914 and 1939. Included in the book are many pictures of awards and awardees along with information dealing with detecting fakes, and the traditons of the awarding of the Iron Cross.

Although the book is not large at 5.5" by 9" and 176 pages it includes many clear (b&w) pictures and a wealth of information that any militaria collector cannot do without.

Those who have any interest in militaria, German military history, medals and ribbons or uniforms will be happy to aquire this book and the information contained within.

Mr. Williamson, through the publication of this book, is recognized as one who has made the collecting of militaria in general, and Third Reich militaria in specific, a respectable, enjoyable and rewarding endeavor.

 

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    • ManipledMutineer profile image

      ManipledMutineer 4 years ago

      Very interesting!