Clasp to the Iron Cross

The Clasp to the Iron Cross (Spange zum Eisernen Kreuz) was a white metal medal clasp displayed on the uniforms of German Wehrmacht personnel who had been awarded the Iron Cross in World War I, and who again qualified for the decoration in World War II.[1]

Clasp to the Iron Cross
Spange zum Eisernen Kreuz
1939 Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class
Presented byNazi Germany
EligibilityMilitary personnel who had already received the Iron Cross (1914).
Campaign(s)World War II
Established1 September 1939

During the war, over 100,000 clasps were awarded.[2]

Description Edit

A holder of the 1914 Iron Cross could qualify for the same grade of the 1939 Iron Cross. To permit the two awards to be worn together, a "1939 Clasp" (Spange) was established to be worn with the original 1914 Iron Cross.[1] It depicted a national eagle clutching an oak leaf wreath surrounding a swastika above a trapezoid bearing the year 1939.[1]

For the Second Class, the clasp was attached to the ribbon of the 1914 Iron Cross, either on a ribbon bar, or when the ribbon was worn through a tunic button hole.[1] For the First Class, a larger differently proportioned clasp was pinned directly on the upper breast pocket above the Iron Cross 1st class (1914) of the wearer. This pin-back clasp was usually awarded in a presentation case.[3]

1939 Clasp to the Iron Cross 2nd Class mounted on the 1914 ribbon

While Nazi era awards were initially banned by the Federal Republic of Germany, in 1957 many World War II military decorations, including the Iron Cross, were re-authorised for wear by qualifying veterans.[4] With display of the swastika banned, the clasp to the Iron Cross was re-designed as a silver rectangular bar bearing the date '1939', with a miniature Iron Cross in the centre of the bar.[5][6]

Notes Edit

References Edit

  • Angolia, John (1987). For Führer and Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149.
  • Littlejohn, David; Dodkins, Colonel C. M. (1968). Orders, Decorations, Medals and Badges of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing, California. ISBN 978-0854200801.
  • Williamson, Gordon (1984). The Iron Cross: A History, 1813-1957. London: Blandford Press. ISBN 9780713714609.
  • German Federal law (1957). Bundesministerium der Justiz: Gesetz über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen, 26.7.1957. Bundesgesetzblatt Teil III, Gliederungsnummer 1132-1.