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Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

Article about: My apologies for the clumsy title, but I had read about German soldiers removing the paint on their Schwarzes Verwunderte Abzeichen to make the swastikas stand out more, so I wondered if was

  1. #1
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    Default Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    My apologies for the clumsy title, but I had read about German soldiers removing the paint on their Schwarzes Verwunderte Abzeichen to make the swastikas stand out more, so I wondered if was this done sometimes by holders of the Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse on their Kreuze? I found this example online that I think is just stunning looking, but I wonder if this was done by the soldier himself? This Kreuz is described as "Non magnetic/brass core, unmarked, flat, catch broken off otherwise very fine." Also, is it ever possible to have a clasp on a Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse replaced? Or is it usually cost-prohibitive?
    Thank you,
    Eddie

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    Not only did some of them occasionally do this to the brass swaz's, but they would also sometimes bend the arms gently abit to "vault them" to make them lay better on their uniforms. As for the catch, you can, of course, have it replaced, but keep in mind, it will always be a repaired badge and will affect the price quite significantly. There really is no way to "restore" such a thing with a repair. Collectors are extremely finicky about such things.
    Last edited by Wagriff; 07-16-2012 at 09:59 AM.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    Hi William!
    Thanks for the response, I have to say, I'm quite smitten with this one. I'd only really want one of these, and it's for a uniform display, so the catch is less of an issue to me. Does it look ok? I think it's really great how image conscious these German soldiers were, I like to imagine this guy taking off some paint while sitting in his bunk, haha. It's really quite a striking look though.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    Looks fine to me! I remember the old rumor they used to tell, that the brass core non-magnetics were specially for U-boat men.(they wouldn't rust from the sea salt and they wouldn't magnetize and affect their sensitive instruments, they said) I think alot of people still believe that today! As far as this one goes, if it's for a uniform display, it should still hang just fine. It's not like it's being worn around or anything! It's a cool looking badge!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    @ Wagriff: Now that you say so... I to saw on period pictures examples of crosses that are bent to lay better on their uniforms. Der Adolf is 1 example of that!
    But I've never saw these 'bent' examples being sold in the collectors world.
    What should be that reason...?

  7. #6

    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    You do come across them once in awhile. Sometimes dealers mention it if it is, sometimes they don't. They don't draw any significant difference in prices, though. Maybe some collectors prefer them Unbent? Personally, I think if the recipient vaulted it himself, that just adds to it's appeal, but that's just me, of course.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #7

    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    Vaulted examples are found quite often for sale, strange you haven't noticed.

    As to the thread topic piece, I really like the look of the exposed metal! Something a little different from the everyday EK.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    @ Glenn66: True. I would like to own one accually. It's a bit personallized in one way... matter of taste of the soldier himself...

    K.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    Soldiers often modified their awards be it an EK or a combat badge. There are even RKs with the paint removed from the swastika to highlight it.
    You will find many vaulted awards, sometimes done by the recipient and in the case of EKs, you could even purchase LDO awards which were vaulted from the factory.
    The pieces were vaulted mainly to give a better fit to the uniform, imagine being in the confines of a U-Boat or in a plane, it would make sense to get your EK fitting closer to your uniform to avoid getting snagged.

    The cross that opened the thread is a typical Wachtler & Lange with brass core, fairly common, most EK collectors seem to end up with one of these. The value should be reduced because of the broken catch but whether this bothers the collector is up to them entirely. The highlighted swastika is a nice touch!

  11. #10

    Default Re: Did soldiers modify their Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse's by themselves for aesthetic reasons?

    Thats a nice W&L Eddie What uniform is it going to adorn ?

    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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