François Saez and Jacques Calero

The invasion of Russia saw the massive engagement of German troops, and certainly an important increase in acts of bravery.  The German Cross (Kriegsorden) was created on 28 September 1941 (1) by Adolf Hitler (Führer und Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht) in order to publicly reward the heroism of the German Legions dispatched to defeat Bolshevism.  

The award was created in two classes, Gold and Silver, independent of one another.  The type in Gold had as its objective the recognition of repeated acts of bravery or exceptional command not justifying the award of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, but superior to requirements for award of the Iron Cross 1st Class.  The type in Silver was to reward significant performance in military conduct of the war.  Neither were in any way part of the classes of the Iron Cross.  Because of this, recipients might first receive the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and afterwards the German Cross—or vice versa.  The detailed conditions for bestowal are shown in the ‘’Reichsgesetzblatt’’ of 2 October 1941 (Teil I, Nummer III).  

This article deals in detail with this complex decoration by sectioning off the topics as below in order to cover each subject matter in depth.  Throughout the article the pictures are thumbnailed, so clicking on them will lead to a detailed, full size photo.

All sections compiled and written by François Saez and Jacques Calero. Editing and layout by Sebastian Bianchi.
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