German War Merit Crosses

War Merit Cross without Swords (2nd Class)

Kriegsverdienstkreuz ohne Schwerter (II Klasse)
Great condition. Complete with issue ribbon.
Condition: Excellent
Bought in Denmark, July 2011

War Merit Cross with Swords (2nd Class)
Kriegsverdienstkreuz mit Schwerter (II Klasse)
Complete with ribbon and original issue envelope.
Condition: Good
Bought in Denmark, July 2011

German Eastern Front Medal

The Eastern Winter 1941/1942 Campaign Medal of the German Wehrmacht.
Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/1942.
Condition: Excellent
Bought in Germany, 2011

About the Eastern Winter Campaign Medal
The medal was instituted in 1942 to reward those who had taken part in the first winter campaign in Russia between 15-11-1941 and 15-04-1942. This medal is designed by SS-Unterscharfführer Ernst Kraus and could be awarded to military personal as well as to civilians who were working for the Army, as long as they qualified for one the criteria. Because of this the Eastern Winter 1941/1942 Campaign Medal is one of the most awarded German awards. By the order of the OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) the awarding of this medal ceased on September 4, 1944.

The Eastern Winter 1941/1942 Campaign Medal is made from bunt metal or out of zinc. The medal has a round shape with a diameter of 36mm. The medal is suspended by a broad red ribbon, with in the centre a black stripe, which is flanked by two smaller white one’s. Its foundation decree stated that the red represented the bloodshed, the white stood for snow and the black for those who had fallen.

Criteria for receiving the award
That the recipient had been engaged in combat for at least 2 weeks.
That the recipient spent at least 60 days in the operation area.
That the recipient inflicted a wound during combat.
When the recipient suffered serious frostbite for which the Wounded Badge 1939 in Black (Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz) was awarded.
Because of this the Eastern Winter 1941/1942 Campaign Medal was also know as the “Frozen Meat Order.” (Gefreierfleischorden)
Luftwaffe personal should have flown at least 30 days above enemy territory.

German Iron Cross 2nd Class

A very nice example of The Iron Cross 2nd Class of the German Wehrmacht.
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse.
Medal with original ribbon in very good condition.
Bought in Germany, November 2011

General information about the The Iron Cross 2nd Class
The Iron Cross Second Class held a certain level of prestige in the waning days of 1939. However, as the conflict entered advanced years, and certainly as the German infrastructure crumbled in 1945, this grade was given out with liberalism and therefore its reputation eroded accordingly. In spite of this, the Iron Cross 2nd Class was a valued decoration and many recipients have proudly documented the deeds which earned them the right to wear it.

Official award criteria
The official criteria for the award was a single act of bravery in the face of the enemy, or actions that were clearly above and beyond the call of duty.
Heer and SS personnel would receive the Cross for a successful action in which the soldier distinguished himself.  For example, Platoon commander SS Obersturmfuhrer Eric Brorup of the 5th SS Panzer Division was decorated on December 1, 1942 for leading a reconnaissance forest raid in the Eastern front during which a fire fight ensued. His platoon inflicted enemy casualties and brought back six prisoners, two of them NCOs. It was not uncommon for an entire unit to receive the Iron Cross 2nd Class. The entire crew of U-29 was decorated on September 18th in recognition of their sinking of the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.

German Iron Cross 1st Class

A nice example of The Iron Cross 1st Class of the German Wehrmacht.
Eisernes Kreuz Erste Klasse.
Original medal in good condition. All of the original black paint remaining.
Bought in Germany, November 2011

General information about the The Iron Cross 1st Class
The Iron Cross 1st Class has the same dimensions and identical obverse features as the 2nd Class (44mm by 44mm). However, The Iron Cross 1st Class is a breast badge and therefore the reverse is a solid silvered metal plate with only the attachment mechanism present.

Originally The 1st Class of the Iron Cross was presented more scarcely, and logically held a correspondingly higher level of stature than the 2nd Class Cross. In order to receive the Iron Cross 1st Class Heer and Waffen SS men would have to perform three to four further acts of courage from the one that earned him the 2nd Class. The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine had the following criteria; the award was regularly awarded to U-boat Commanders upon sinking 50,000 tons and to Luftwaffe pilots when they achieved six or seven confirmed kills. Of course these were only guidelines, and a single act of great importance or a long steady career could earn the individual the Cross.