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Iron Cross Information

Article about: Hey guys, I have been helped out so much on this forum by many members, so I would like to give back to members who are unfamiliar with this order. Keep in mind this is my first inforamtiona

  1. #1
    G43
    G43 is offline
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    Default Iron Cross Information

    Hey guys, I have been helped out so much on this forum by many members, so I would like to give back to members who are unfamiliar with this order. Keep in mind this is my first inforamtional thread so take it easy on me!

    The concept of the Iron Cross in general dates back to 1813 with the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II who founded the Iron Cross for the duration of the Liberation War against The French Emperor Napoleon. The award came in different grades being - Iron Cross Second Class, First class, the Grand Cross and the Iron Cross with Golden Rays. About 16,100 crosses were issued.


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    The next step towards the Knight's Cross came on July 19, 1870, the day France declared war on Prussia. King Wilhelm I reinstituted in Iron Cross, which then became an order instead of a decoration. King Wilhelm I for the first time allowed non Prussian soldiers of other German states to be awarded with the Iron Cross. Roughly 43,242 soldiers were awarded the Iron Cross second class for bravery. The non combatant version with a white ribbon with balck stripes (reverse of combat) was awarded approximately 4,000 times. The Iron Cross first class was awarded 1,319 times. The Grand Cross however, was only given to 9 people one being Emperor Wilhelm I.

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    Kaiser Wilhelm II renewed the order again on August 5, 1914. The grades were identical to that of the 1870 crosses. During the Great War the Iron Cross second class was awarded 5,196,000 times whereas the frist class was awarded 218,000. Only five people received the Grand Cross. On March 24, 1918 Generallfeldmarschall von Hindenburg received the Iron Cross 1914 with golden rays, known as the Blucherstern.

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    On September 1, 1939 Adolf Hitler renewed for the third and last time the order of the Iron Cross with the addition of the Knight's Cross with all of it's possible additions. The known makers for the Iron Cross Second class are:

    1 Deschler & Sohn, Munchen
    2 C.E. Juncker, Berlin L/12
    3 Wilhelm Deumer, Ludenscheid L/11
    4 Stienhauer & Luck, Ludenscheid L/16
    6 Fritz Zimmermann, Stuttgart
    7 Paul Meybauer, Berlin L/13
    Otto Schickle, Pforzheim L/15
    11 Grossmann & Co., Wien
    13 Gustav Brehmer, Marktneukirchen
    15 Friedrich Orth, Wien
    16 Alois Rettenmaier, Schwabisch Gmund
    19 E. Ferd. Wiedmann, Frankfurt
    21 Gebruder Godet, Berlin
    22 Boerger & Co., Berlin
    23 Arbeitsgemeinschaft Graveure, Berlin
    24 Arbeitsgemeinschaft Plakettenhersteller, Hanau
    25 Arbeitsgemeinschaft Goldschmiedeinnung, Hanau
    26 B.H. Mayer, Pforzheim L/18
    27 Anton Schenkl, Wien
    40 Berg & Nolte, Ludenscheid
    44 Jakob Bengel, Idar-Oberstein
    50 Karl Geschiermeister, Wien
    52 Gottlieb & Wagner, Idar-Oberstein
    55 J.E. Hammer & Sohne, Geringswald
    56Robert Hauschild, Pforzheim
    65 Klein & Quenzer, Idar-Oberstein
    66 Friedrich Keller, Oberstein
    75 Unknown
    76 Ernst L. Muller, Pforzheim
    93 Richard Simm & Sohne, Gablonz
    98 Rudolf Souval, Wein
    100 Rudolf Wachtler & Lange, Mittweida L/55
    106 Gebruder Schneider, Wein
    113 Hermann Aurich, Dresden
    120 Franz Petzl, Wein
    122 J.J. Stahl, Strassburg
    123 Beck, Hassinger & Co., Strassburg
    125 Eugen Gauss, Pforzheim
    126 Eduard Hann, Oberstein
    128 S. Jablonski GmbH. Posen
    132 Franz Reischauer, Idar-Oberstein
    137 J.H Werner, Berlin
    138 Julius Maurer, Oberstein
    140 Schauerte & Hohfeld, Ludenscheid L/54
    Funke & Brunninghaus, Ludenscheid L/56
    Several Unknown Makers

    The makers for the Iron Cross First Class are :

    1 Deschler & Sohn, Munchen
    2 C.E. Juncker, Berlin L/12
    3 Wilhelm Deumer, Ludenscheid L/11
    4 Stienhauer & Luck, Ludenscheid L/16
    6 Fritz Zimmermann, Stuttgart
    7 Paul Meybauer, Berlin L/13
    Otto Schickle, Pforzheim L/15
    8 Ferdinand Hoffstatter, Bonn L/13
    15 Friedrich Orth, Wien
    16 Alois Rettenmaier, Schwabisch Gmund
    19 E. Ferd. Wiedmann, Frankfurt
    20 C.F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim L/52
    21 Gebruder Godet, Berlin
    22 Boerger & Co., Berlin
    24 Arbeitsgemeinschaft Plakettenhersteller, Hanau
    26 B.H. Mayer, Pforzheim L/18
    65 Klein & Quenzer, Idar-Oberstein
    98 Rudolf Souval, Wein
    Hymmen & Co., Ludenscheid L/53
    140 Schauerte & Hohfeld, Ludenscheid L/54
    100 Rudolf Wachtler & Lange, Mittweida L/55
    107 Carl Wild, Hamburg
    Petz & Lorenz, Unterreichenbach
    Several Unknown

    The Knight's Cross is a neck worn order with a ribbon typically 72cm long and 45mm wide. The cross itself measures 48 mm x 48mm with some small variations and weighes from 26 to 34 grams with the suspension loop. The Ritterkreuz has a stamped frame made of silver. When the iron core was set into place the frame was silver soldered together and then the edges were smoothed and polished. The flat rim was then polished and laquered and the beaded edge chemically frosted to prevent tarnishing. The swastika was manufactured to be at an even heigth with the beading of the frame. Many collectors consider low flat swastikas to be only on post war peices. The core should be magnetic although that is not always the case. 9 times out of 10 it shouyld be magnetic because after October of 1941 the Prasidialkanzlei forbode the private manufacture of the Knight's cross. In my opinion C.E. Junckers made Knight's Crosses are the safest bet because the factory was bombed in December of 1944 destroying the original RK dies. The makers of the RK are :

    2 C.E. Juncker, Berlin L/12
    Otto Schickle, Pforzheim L/15
    4 Steinhauer & Luck
    Gebruder Godet, Berlin
    20 C.F. Zimmermann L/52
    65 Klein & Quenzer, Idar-Oberstein
    3/4 Ring, Unknown

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    A Junckers made RK with a nickle-silver frame and a non-magnetic core.

    The problem with Steinhauer & Luck and Klein & Quenzer RK's is that the dies for both companies are known to have reproduced the 1939 RK after the war. S & L used their dies to make 1957 replacement RKs which during that time the dies aquired a flaw which can be seen at the top of the frame along the beading. This leads many collectors to believe that the only safe S & L RKs are the large and small 800 marked frames.

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    A 3/4 loop variation made by an unknown maker. This one belonged to Werner Molders which in this picture is on display for his 1941 funeral.




    I hope this helped! If I have made any mistakes please message me so I can Ammend the post!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Iron Cross Information

    I'm no expert on this subject but I found the thread interesting..nice to see some facts..Thanks for posting.. Cheers Terry.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Iron Cross Information

    I can't comment on mistakes because i don't know a lot on the subject, but thank you very much for the effort you have made!..
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #4
    G43
    G43 is offline
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    Default Re: Iron Cross Information

    Thank you both, although it took a while it was fun! I hope someone will learn something from this.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Iron Cross Information

    I think you covered the ground pretty well.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Iron Cross Information

    It definitely taught me something, thanks.

    Tom

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