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Spanish made EK II...........................

Article about: Gentlemen, for your delectation, or not ! The Spanish "Division Azul" (Blue Division) was made up of up to 45,000 volunteers, through rotation at one time.....even after it was wit

  1. #1

    Default Spanish made EK II...........................

    Gentlemen, for your delectation, or not !
    The Spanish "Division Azul" (Blue Division) was made up of up to 45,000 volunteers, through rotation at one time.....even after it was withdrawn from Russia in October 1943 by order of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, many, up to 3000 men stayed on, serving in the German Army, Waffen SS and LW.....Then to be known collectivlly as the "Legion Azul", over 300 of these men were captured at wars end and spent years in Russian POW camps, eventually returning to Spain in 1954.......There are throughout Spain, Veterans societies for the men of the Blue Division, one of the largest being in Barcalona. The swastika unlike in Germany is not a banned symbol, and therefore the Franco Government sanctioned the production of replacement awards, this production started almost immediatly the Division was withdrawn in the 1940's continuing on until around the 1980's....Iron Cross both EKI and II, War Merits Cross, Ost Medal, Blue Division medal and IAB being most commonly produced alongside the Spanish medals for the Russian campaign.........during WW2 Spanish volunteers were awarded the following awards.....
    3 Knight Crosses (Oak Leaves).
    3 German Crosses in Gold.
    138 Iron Crosses First Class.
    2,359 Iron Crosses Second Class.
    2,216 War Merit Crosses with Swords.
    I have been unable to find the figures for the Ost medal and German Blue division medals but they must run in the tens of thousands !
    The Spanish produced awards/medals are not copies, they are replacements (like the 1957 range of German awards) ......they are pretty poor in both design and production...horrible some would say, but still part of the timeline of such awards...here is one such Spanish made EK II, produced around the 1970' or 80's, new old stock as some would say, in its plastic presentation box, with typical "Spanish" mounting system, I show together with a replacement "ESPANA" arm badge note the back ground colour of the shield, modern Spanish Army green. I sourced these items in Spain/Malaga on a recent holiday...........
    Prost ! Steve.
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    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

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  3. #2
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    No matter the quality still a very interesting EK IMO. And as you say, perfectly valid.

    I find these especially interesting, as I found after studying the Division Azul, that they were revered Brothers in arms and able fighters.

    The soldiers certainly earned their crosses.

    I was surprised (no offence) that soldiers from a warm climate were able to abide in the hars temperatures on the Eastern Front.

    Thanks for posting.

  4. #3

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    Quote by Scout View Post
    I was surprised (no offence) that soldiers from a warm climate were able to abide in the hars temperatures on the Eastern Front. Thanks for posting.
    Yes indeed ! I visit Malaga often in the wintertime when temperatures are often like a summers day here in the U.K, in the high 60's, low 70's and most Spaniards are wearing coats/jackets shouting "FRIO, FRIO !" (COLD,COLD !).
    Gents if you think my cross is bad, have a look at these, from the late 1940's/50's...and yes they are legit ! an EK II and KvK II.
    Prost ! Steve.
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    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  5. #4

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    Thanks for posting these Spanish versions along with the veteran photos...Very educational and much appreciated...
    cheers, Glenn

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    Thanks for this post Steve!

    I have been keeping my eye out for one of these crosses, I would love one in my collection

    Just missed out onj one on E Stand a year ago

    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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    Interesting Steve. I had no idea these were made for the veterans after the war had ended and certainly not into the eighties. Thank you for posting these pieces.

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    Do you think this could be a Spanish made EK1?

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

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    Very interesting info but why these awards are so poorly made? I do not belive the anwer is that it was just the cheapest way. Most fakes have much better quality. If I was a vet, no way I used such a poorly made award.

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    I bet there are fakes of these awards around now...and much easier too make too i'd wager...quality obviously being of little importance.

  11. #10

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    Quote by Woolgar View Post
    Do you think this could be a Spanish made EK1? Nick
    Nick...I believe the front detail or lack of it ! is to my mind Spanish....the rear fastener system reminds of German Imperial EK's...perhaps copied, poorly by the Spanish......Frundsberg, I think you have to understand the Spanish and there ways to understand why these EK's were just not tolerated but indeed bought and worn with much pride....the Spanish have a certain pride in what is "made in Spain" especially in the Franco years, as little foreign material filtered through to the masses, everything was made under licence by the Spanish, from cars, guns, to EK's ! the same can not be said today as they enjoy materialistic wealth from all over the world, just as we do...but during Franco's reign it was almost closed to foreign investment. These awards are just how the Spanish interpreted them...... this explanation is no way detrimental to the Spanish people who I am rather fond of....but hey "manana" !
    As to fakes......well nothing is sacred, but they, like the 57er's are all authorised, I suppose the rule of the thumb, if it is made in Spain, original, China/Canada, fake...again just like the 57er's.
    Prost ! Steve.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

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