Iron Crosses

WWII Iron CrossesThe Iron Cross medal was perhaps one of the most historically noteworthy military awards in Nazi Germany. The Iron Cross already held a venerable place in German history that dated back to 1813 and the rule of King Friedrich Wilhelm III before Adolf Hitler added his own mark to it in 1939 by adding a prominent swastika to its center. There were 3 versions of the Iron Cross medal during the period of the Third Reich – the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the Iron Cross 1st Class, and the Knight’s Cross. The Iron Cross 1st Class and 2nd Class shared the same dimensions, measuring 44mm in width and height. The larger Knight’s Cross measured 48mm in width and height. All three versions of the Iron Cross were emblazoned with the date 1939 at the bottom. Of the three medals the Iron Cross 2nd Class was most common while the Iron Cross 1st Class was awarded much more sparingly. The Knight’s Cross was only awarded to the most exemplary soldiers and as such it is very rare to find one today. Unfortunately as one of the more desirable and coveted pieces of WWII memorabilia there are quite a few fakes or reproductions to be found today. If you would like help verifying the authenticity of your Iron Cross medal, submit hi-res digital photos of the front and back of the medal via our Free Appraisal form.

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