War Merit Cross 2nd Class With Swords 1939

War Merit Cross 2nd Class With Swords 1939 War Merit Cross 2nd Class With Swords 1939
Added by Ryo , with updated images by Alain Martineau
General Description : The War Merit Cross 2nd Class (6,134,950 awarded) This award was created by Adolf Hitler in 1939 as a successor to the non-combatant Iron Cross which was used in earlier wars (same medal but with a different ribbon). The award was graded the same as the Iron Cross: War Merit Cross Second Class, War Merit Cross First Class, and Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross. The award had two variants: with swords given to soldiers for exceptional service in battle above and beyond the call of duty (but not worthy of an Iron Cross which was more a bravery award), and without swords for meritorious service behind the lines which could also be awarded to civilians. Recipients had to have the lower grade of the award before getting the next level. There was also another version below the 2nd class simply called the War Merit Medal (German: Kriegsverdienstmedaille), set up in 1940 for civilians in order to offset the large number of 2nd class without swords being awarded. It was usually given to those workers in factories who significantly exceeded work quotas.
The War Merit Cross 2nd Class was bronze plated Maltese cross which measured 49mm. It was constructed from a wide range of materials, from zinc with a bronzed wash to a few very rare bronze pieces. As the war progressed, the quality of the materials decreased, and as a result late war crosses lose their bronze wash with the passing of time, yielding a gray appearance.
The arms of the cross on both sides had a flat edge with a pebbled center. The obverse center disk featured a mobile swastika surrounded by an oak leaf wreath while on the reverse center the oak leaves surrounded the year 1939. An eyelet was soldered to the upper arm of the cross through which a ribbon loop, which had the manufacturers mark, went through. The cross was presented with a 6" ribbon piece of ribbon with bands of red-white-black-white-red (the colors of the Iron Cross reversed). In the case of the combatant grade a pair of military swords, finished on both sides, were placed between the arms of the cross.
On formal occasions or military parades the Cross was worn suspended from the ribbon or as part of a group. For active duty, only the ribbon was worn either through the second buttonhole on the uniform tunic or in a ribbon bar. If worn on the buttonhole, it would go behind the ribbon for the Iron Cross 2nd Class but technically before the Eastern Winter Campaign Medal, though the latter is often seen outranking the War Merit Cross due to its high prestige among combat troops.
Diameter 49.00 mm
Material -I do not know-
Catalog prices No catalog prices set yet

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