German WWI 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class-Sound example complete with original ribbon. The black finish is in sound condition but it does have moderate rust spots on the sides, and the iron core has a crack just above the W. It’s hardly noticeable, but it is there. The frame is darkly toned and does have some verdigris. The piece of original ribbon is age toned and in a fragile condition. Still a good display item.
History: On March 10th, 1813, Prussian Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary award for bestowal during times of war. Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Crosses were reinstituted by Kaiser Wilhelm I on July 19th, 1870, for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5th, 1914, by Kaiser Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1ST 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First and Second Classes and established the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The first-class medal was for award to personnel who performed three to five acts of bravery in combat and had already been awarded the Iron Cross second class.