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The German Cross
German Cross
(German: Deutsches Kreuz) was instituted by Adolf Hitler on 28 September 1941. It was awarded in two divisions: gold for repeated acts of bravery or achievement in combat; and silver for distinguished non-combat war service. The German Cross
German Cross
in Gold ranked higher than the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
First Class but below the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, while the German Cross
German Cross
in Silver ranked higher than the War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross
First Class with Swords but below the Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross
with Swords.

Contents

1 Divisions 2 Appearance

2.1 1957 version

3 Recipients

3.1 Foreign recipients

4 Nicknames 5 References

Divisions[edit] The German Cross
German Cross
was issued in two divisions: gold and silver (the color of the laurel wreath around the swastika), the former being an award for repeated acts of bravery or repeated outstanding achievements in combat, the latter being for multiple distinguished services in war efforts and was considered a continuation of the War Merit Cross with swords. The German Cross
German Cross
was unique in that the gold and silver divisions were considered as separate awards but were not to be worn simultaneously. However, pictures of recipients wearing both grades exist (see Odilo Globocnik
Odilo Globocnik
and Dr. Paul Meixner). Article three of the law governing the German Cross
German Cross
states that a prerequisite for the presentation of the German Cross
German Cross
in Gold or Silver is the ownership of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
(1939) 1st Class or Clasp to the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
(1939) 1st Class, or the War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross
1st Class with Swords.[1] Appearance[edit] The order consists of a star badge, containing a swastika (in German, Hakenkreuz, "hooked cross", which gives the award its name, the "German cross"). It had a diameter of 6.5 cm and was worn on the right-hand side of the tunic. If a recipient had been awarded both the silver and gold divisions, the gold division should be worn only.

German Cross
German Cross
in Gold (cloth form)

Only the gold version of the award was officially available in cloth form, which was made for easier wear on the combat uniform; General Helmuth Weidling
Helmuth Weidling
wore this variety during his defense of Berlin in April–May 1945. Far more awards in gold (combat) were presented than in silver (support). Specimen copies of a special grade, the German Cross
German Cross
in Gold with Diamonds, was manufactured in 1942 but this grade was never instituted or bestowed. 1957 version[edit] In 1957 alternative de-nazified replacement versions of the German Cross were authorized for wear by the Federal Republic of Germany. This replaced the swastika with a representation of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
for the gold division, and the War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross
with Swords for the silver division. Wearing Nazi-era decorations was banned in Germany after the war, as was any display of the swastika. The 1957 replacement of the World War II
World War II
decorations consequently enabled recipients to wear the German Cross
German Cross
again but only in the new version of the insignia. Recipients[edit] Select recipients of both grades included:

SS- Gruppenführer
Gruppenführer
and Lieutenant General of the Police Odilo Globocnik GCiG 07.02.1945 & GCiS 20.01.1945, Major General Ernst Merk GCiG 11.02.1944 & GCiS 06.07.1942, SS- Standartenführer
Standartenführer
and Colonel of the Police Walther Rauff
Walther Rauff
GCiG 07.02.1945 & GCiS 20.05.1943, General Felix Schwalbe
Felix Schwalbe
GCiG 07.12.1944 & GCiS 30.10.1943, Lieutenant General Bodo Zimmermann
Bodo Zimmermann
GCiG 25.09.1944 & GCiS 15.02.1943. SS-Hauptsturmführer Alfred-Ingemar Berndt
Alfred-Ingemar Berndt
GCiG 17 July 1943 SS- Sturmbannführer
Sturmbannführer
Wilhelm Mohnke
Wilhelm Mohnke
GCiG 26 December 1941 SS- Obersturmbannführer
Obersturmbannführer
Fritz Knoechlein GCiG 15 Nov 1942 Generalleutnant Walter Krupinski
Walter Krupinski
GCiG 27 Aug 1942

Foreign recipients[edit] Select foreign recipients of the German Cross
German Cross
in Gold included:

Croatia

Lieutenant Cvitan Galić 1st Lieutenant Mato Dukovac

Estonia

Senior Lieutenant Hando Ruus 30.12.1944

Finland

General Erik Heinrichs
Erik Heinrichs
17.08.1943 Lieutenant General Jarl Lundqvist
Jarl Lundqvist
09.11.1943 Lieutenant General Karl Lennart Oesch
Karl Lennart Oesch
05.08.1944,

Italy

Vice Admiral Luigi Sansonetti
Luigi Sansonetti
18.01.1942 Marshal Ettore Bastico
Ettore Bastico
05.12.1942 Colonel General Rino Corso Fougier
Rino Corso Fougier
18.01.1943

Latvia

Untersturmführer Kārlis Mūsiņš Standartenführer
Standartenführer
Vilis Janums

Romania

General Gheorghe Avramescu
Gheorghe Avramescu
25.10.1942 Major General Leonard Mociulschi 25.10.1942 Major General Ermil Gheorghiu
Ermil Gheorghiu
11.02.1943 Captain Nicolae Dabija 10.02.1944

Spain

Major General Emilio Estéban Infantes y Martín 09.04.1943

Some 26 non-German volunteers of the Waffen-SS from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands and Norway received the German Cross
German Cross
in Gold. Nicknames[edit] Colonel Hans von Luck
Hans von Luck
called it "Hitler's fried egg", in response to its gaudiness. References[edit]

Citations

^ "Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I S. 593; 2 October 1941" (PDF). ALEX Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (in German). Reichsministerium des Inneren (Ministry of the Interior). Retrieved 19 August 2014. 

Bibliography

For Führer And Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich by LTC John R. Angolia. 1976 R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0-912138-14-9 "The German Cross
German Cross
in Gold and Silver" by Dietrich Maerz, B&D Publishing LLC, Richmond, MI, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9797969-2-0 "Panzer Commander" by Hans Von Luck, Praeger Publishers, New York, NY, 1989, ISBN 0-440-20802-5

List of military decorations of Nazi Germany

Decorations to all services

Clasp to the Iron Cross Eastern Front Medal German Cross German Occupation Medals Grand Cross of the Iron Cross Iron Cross Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross named reference in the Wehrmachtbericht Spanish Cross War Merit Cross War Merit Medal West Wall Medal Wound Badge

Heer / Waffen-SS

Anti-Partisan Guerrilla Warfare Badge Army Anti-Aircraft Badge Blue Division Medal (Germany) Close Combat Clasp General Assault Badge Honour Roll Clasp of the Army Infantry Assault Badge Panzer Badge Sniper's Badge Tank Destruction Badge Wehrmacht Long Service Award Wehrmacht mountain troops badge

Luftwaffe

Aircrew Badge Air Gunner Badge Anti-Aircraft Flak Battle Badge Aviator badge Balloon Observer's Badge Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe Flyer's Commemorative Badge Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe Glider Pilot Badge Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe Luftwaffe Honor plate Luftwaffe Panzer Battle Badge Observer Badge Parachutist Badge Pilot/Observer Badge Radio Operator Badge

Kriegsmarine

Auxiliary Cruiser Badge Blockade Runner Badge Destroyer War Badge Fast Attack Craft War Badge High Seas Fleet Badge Minesweeper War Badge Naval Artillery War Badge Naval Front Clasp U-boat Front Clasp U-boat War Badge

Campaign Shields

Cholm Shield Crimea Shield Demyansk Shield Kuban Shield Lappland Shield Narvik Shield

Portals Access related topics

Military of Germany portal W

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