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Can someone explain the 1939 Eisernes Kreuz Spange to me?

Article about: The more I ask about this particular item the more confusing it gets. How, when, and why was the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange for the 1914 Iron Cross (1st and 2nd) issued and worn? Since I am a p

  1. #1

    Default Can someone explain the 1939 Eisernes Kreuz Spange to me?

    The more I ask about this particular item the more confusing it gets.

    How, when, and why was the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange for the 1914 Iron Cross (1st and 2nd) issued and worn?

    Since I am a police collector and enthusiast I will use all police officer pictures.


    First is Police General Otto Winkelmann. He wears his Iron Cross 1st class from WW1. He also wears his Iron Cross 2nd class Ribbon on the ribbon bar. But nothing on the button holes, and no 1939 Sprange anywhere.


    Second is Police General Alfred Wunnenberg. He wears his Iron Cross 1st Class with the 1939 Sprange. He also wears the 1914 Ribbon on the buttonhole and it has the 1939 Sprange as well. He has the 1914 Iron Cross ribbon on the ribbon bar, but that has no 1939 Sprange.


    This is Police General Erik von Heimburg. He wears the 1939 Sprange on his 1914 Iron Cross 1st class. He wears the 1939 Sprange on the ribbon bar for the 1914 2nd class. But he does not wear the ribbon with or without 1939 Sprange on the button hole.

    So now that I have posted these three pictures. All of police generals. All wearing or not wearing the 1939 Sprange in different ways. All who won the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class in World War One. Here are my four questions:

    #1. When was the 1939 Sprange worn on the button hole ribbon for the Iron Cross 2nd Class 1914?

    #2 When was the 1939 Sprange worn with the Iron Cross 1st Class 1914?

    #3 When was the 1939 Sprange put on the ribbon bar for the Iron Cross 2nd Class 1914?

    #4 Are there orders or specifications for the wear of the 1939 Sprange?

    Thank you and I hope I didn't confuse anyone more than I am already confused!

    -Martin
    Last edited by Adrian; 08-09-2010 at 03:51 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange to me?

    I'll attempt to explain......
    Basically the 1939 Spanges were awarded in WW2 to anyone who held the EK2 or EK1 from WW1.
    For example, if a soldier had been awarded the EK2 from WW1, then entered service in WW2 and performed an act deemed worthy of the EK2 he was awarded the 1939 Spange to the EK2 instead of a 1939 EK2. The same basic award criteria applies to the EK1.
    The 1939 Spange to the 2nd class was worn on the WW1 EK2 ribbon from the buttonhole as your photo of Wunnenberg shows. It could also be worn on the ribbonbar as a miniature if the awardee prefered to do so.
    The 1939 Spange to the EK1 was a pinback device worn above the WW1 EK1 on the left breast.

    So, from the photos above Winkelmann doesn't wear either Spange, he may not have earnt either.
    Wunnenberg wears both Spanges showing he earnt both classes during his service in WW2, 2nd class on the ribbon from the buttonhole and the 1st class on the breast above his WW1 EK1.
    Von Heimburg again wears both classes, the 2nd class as a mini on the ribbonbar and the 1st class on the breast above his EK1 from WW1 - his choice.

    Hope this helps slightly......

  4. #3

    Default Re: Can someone explain the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange to me?

    interesting, but if a person won the EKII in WWI and then entered service in WWII and didnt earn an EK of any class, was he allowed to wear his imperial EKII or would it have been switched out for a 1939 EKII?

  5. #4

    Default Re: Can someone explain the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange to me?

    ObKrieger, from what I now understand, if the person entered WW2 and didn't do something worthy of the WW2 award, he could wear the WW1 medals without the sprange.

    Right Adrian?

  6. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Can someone explain the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange to me?

    Quote by martinsuper View Post
    ObKrieger, from what I now understand, if the person entered WW2 and didn't do something worthy of the WW2 award, he could wear the WW1 medals without the sprange.

    Right Adrian?
    Yes.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Can someone explain the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange to me?

    Adrian,

    As always thanks a lot. This particular award is very confusing and most people do not know how it works. The most common explanation I received was that it was simply a "decoration" to the WW1 medals, or a way to Nazi-fy the WW1 medals. But from pictures and examples I knew that could not be right.

    Thanks again!

    -Martin

  8. #7

    Default Re: Can someone explain the 1939 Iron Cross Sprange to me?

    Quote by martinsuper View Post
    ObKrieger, from what I now understand, if the person entered WW2 and didn't do something worthy of the WW2 award, he could wear the WW1 medals without the sprange.

    Right Adrian?
    But he couldnt wear it on his battle dress

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

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