By François Saez and Jacques Calero   


Unofficial Versions of the Decoration

The authors are aware of 3 versions of the Cross which do not correspond to the standards defined above :

- A cloth type with the wreath embroidered in gilt aluminum thread on a black backing, rather sumptuous in its details.  This type is a non-regulation variant, only obtained at personal expense from a private tailor.

- A second embroidered version, attributed to Wilhelm RUGER, Oberwachtmeister in Kradschutz. Btl. 25.  This ‘’local,’’ or personally made example is illustrated by a period photograph.


- The third version is a locally made type in metal, bestowed on Franz PERSCH, Stabsobermaschinist of U-181 (12. U-Flotille).  This Cross, as well as its green box were presented on 7 April 1945 (authorized on 29 Mars 1945) by Fregattenkapitän zS Wilhelm Dommes (Singapore Base Commandant) and Kapitän zS Kurt Freiwald (CO of U-181) in Singapore.  It should be remarked that in this same ceremony Karl KAISER (Obermaschinistenmaat) and Wilhelm LINKA (Maschinist), all three crew members of U-181, received the German Cross in Gold together.   Measurements of this (damaged) DKiG :

Model observed W: 62.25 / H: 61.99 / Weight: 56.86 gr. – weight of the green case (empty): 56.57 gr.


The German Cross in Gold With Diamonds

The construction is of the same type as the normal Crosses (5 parts). The metal employed was silver. There are 6 round and rather large hollow rivets. The wreath is hand worked in the main, then polished. It contains 100 diamonds (21.6 carats). The pin is in silver, lightly oblong. The pin is stamped ‘’RATH MÜNCHEN’’ on the center of the outside.
The presentation case is unique. It is in red leather, lightly convex with a gilt embossed eagle on the lid. The interior top is in white satin bearing in black ink the stamp RATH MÜNCHEN. The interior bottom is lined in bordeaux plush. The lid is bordered with a gilt stripe. There is also another RATH mark in gilt on the outside hinge side of the case, which measures 122.5mm x 121.5mm x 30mm.



Reduced size decorations mounted on stickpins exist for civilian wear, or well mounted on miniatures lapel chains for military gala or civil dress. Some may have the maker’s mark or LDO number.
Weight observed on a L/57 (two pieces) 3.36 gr.


Personalized Decorations

It is not unusual to encounter a German Cross upon which figures the name of the recipient (name, given name, date, unit, Feldpost number, etc) or more simply just the initials of the owner. Examples seen reveal manual and machine engraved inscriptions as well as some that were painted.


DKiG, maker "20" - heavy version, attributed to Heinz Wolf (27.07.42) - Hauptmann in II./JG 27.  Engraved "Heinz Wolf Cuxhaven Alterweg 14"

DKiG, maker "20" - "light" version, attributed to Korvetten Käpitan Peter REISCHAUER (01.09.1942). Commander of the 6th Räumboot Flotilla. 


DKiG, maker "1", engraved to Rolf Lampmann, 16.03.43 as Fw. (air gunner) in 3.(F)/AG 122, Honor Goblet on 15.06.42 Feldpost number L 33014 stands for Aufkl.Staff.3 (F) 122

The 1957 types

The ‘’Gesetz über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen ‘’ of 26 July 1957 authorized and regulated the de-Nazified versions of those Third Reich awards re-authorized for wear by citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. Among these were the German Crosses in Gold and Silver. In place of the massive swastika, the 1957 version of the Cross in Gold used a representation of a 1957 version Iron Cross 1st Class—the cross with date 1939 under the original center triple oak leaves of the 1813, 1870, and 1914 Iron Crosses. The 1957 Cross in Silver used a center device of a 1957 War Merit Cross 1st Class 1939—the cross with date 1939 in the center in place of the swastika. While bearing some relevance to the sorts of service the German Crosses were bestowed for, the 1957 designs again leave the unfortunate mis-perception that these Crosses are somehow integrated within the class systems of the Iron and War Merit Crosses, rather than completely independent awards. 


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