German WWI Iron Cross 1st Class-Fine example, “800” marked on the reverse, the black center core retains approx. 70% of its original black finish, the entire frame and back is beautifully toned in the 800 silver. Pin functions perfectly.
History: On March 10th, 1813, Prussian King 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 King Wilhelm I on July 19th, 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5th, 1914, by King 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.