German WWII 1939 Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz) 2nd Class-Desirable EK Iron Cross with beautiful toning to the frame, and virtually all of its finish intact. It includes a short portion of ribbon which has some discoloration. There are some slight scratches to the paint on the front, and what appears to be paint over a thread on the reverse. This is an unmarked example which is usual for these awards.
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.