German WWII Iron Cross 1939 1st Class-Very good example which has a nicely toned silver frame, and some wear and paint loss to the black finish on the center core. Otherwise, in great shape. There is a rugged block hinge, coke bottle shaped pin and round wire catch. A great example of this desirable award.
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.