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1939 iron cross

The 1939 Iron Cross First class And the 1939 Iron Cross Second class together with the knights cross of the iron cross are perhaps one of the most significant military awards from Germany during the second world war.


The Iron Cross was first instituted during the reign of King Friedrich Wilhelm III in 1813, successive dates are seen corresponding with various wars up until Adolf Hitler added his own mark to it in 1939 by adding a  swastika to its centre.

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1939 iron cross

 The Iron Cross 1st Class and 2nd Class are of the  same dimensions, measuring 44mm in width and height. The larger Knight’s Cross measured 48mm in width and height

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All three versions of the Iron Cross were emblazoned with the date 1939 at the bottom.

The Nazi Dagger

The Nazi Dagger

Of the three medals the Iron Cross 2nd Class was most common while the Iron Cross 1st Class was awarded much more sparingly. The Knight’s Cross was only awarded to the most exemplary soldiers and as such it is very rare to find one today.

nazi 1939 medal

Unfortunately as one of the more desirable and coveted pieces of WWII memorabilia there are quite a few fakes or reproductions to be found today. If you would like help verifying the authenticity of your Iron Cross medal, submit 

 Kreuz II Klasse) with “65


Some Details of examples of the 1939 Iron cross 

Cased Iron Crosses  1st class, EKI (Eisernes Kreuz I Klasse mit Etui) by Klein & Quenzer (65). can be encountered in both marked and unmarked  variants  A German WW2 EKI bearing  the hallmarks of the K&Q example retaining can be distinguished by most enthusiasts.

Funcke & Brüninghaus (L/56)

The Iron Cross 1st class, EKI (Eisernes Kreuz I Klasse mit Etui) by Funcke & Brüninghaus will have the mark (L/56).  The magnetic black cores have a painted black  finish There is a solid metal hinge and a “C” shaped flat metal catch to go along with a coke bottle shaped pin that functions smoothly. Boxes are  stamped in relief on the outside with the LDO code of the manufacturer, Funcke & Brüninghaus (L/56)

 J.E. Hammer & Sohne


The Cased Iron Crosses 1st class, EKI (Eisernes Kreuz I Klasse mit Etui) by Wilhelm Deumer (L/11 maker mark).

These are fine crosses indeed when

found with only modest tarnishing.


 On the reverse, the coke bottle pin is standard for this maker, and the clasp is strong and firm, with the Wilhelm Deumer L/11 mark stamped clearly beneath it.

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 WWII 2nd Class Iron Cross (EK2) by J.E. Hammer & Sohne.Are  Stamped “55” on the ring, these second class Iron Crosses have  black painted enters  and a magnetic core.


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 , hard to find, and very old award, in exceptional condition for its age. This Franco-Prussian war 1870 / 1813 Iron Cross 2nd Class includes its original ribbon and 25 years Jubilee spange. The cross itself has managed to retain all of its black paint…

German Binoculars 


Second  Class, EKII (Eisernes Kreuz). 1939 pattern, by the maker Gustav Brehmer will have the number (13) die struck into it’s suspension ring these are of three piece construction.

German Uniforms

The typical front-facing side features an embossed, high relief swastika with the “1939” date below it. The reverse shows the date, “1813”.


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Iron Crosses  Second Class EKII, 1939 (Eisernes Kreuz II Klasse) with “65” stamped into the ring, which signifies the maker, “Klein & Quenzer”. These Iron Crosses may be found in mint or battle hardened condition .,

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Each 1939 Iron cross  tells a story all of its own. As any collector knows, to clean or restore any 1939 Iron Cross would destroy its history and value. Genuine patina, and slight surface colour it desirable for the collector who wishes to add the award to his combat mannequin. The black finish to the Iron centre will display random” veins” caused by the drying if the paint.

Zimmermann First Class iron cross

 Zimmermann  First Class iron crosses have their own characteristic pin and  may be encountered with double proof marks, “L/52” and “20”.  The front of these 1st Class Iron Crosses  typically feature a unique“1939 font for Zimmermann…of Forzheim 



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