Here we have a Großkreuz des Eeisernen Kreuzes made by the only official supplier: C. E. Juncker, Berlin. Dietrich Maerz has seen this cross and approved it as original. The Grand Cross was awarded by the sole authority of the Führer. Article 3 of the reinstitution order of the 1939 Iron Cross states: “I reserve the authority to award the Grand Cross for outstanding deeds which influence the course of the war in a decisive way to myself.”. Hermann Göring became the first and only recipient of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross during WWII. On July 19, 1940, Hitler personally gave Göring during the so-called “3. Historical Meeting” of the Reichstag. At that same time Göring was appointed Reichsmarschall of the German Reich, an entirely new title in German history, thus making him the highest ranking German of WWII. The award is a die struck three-piece construction that has been soldered together. The single piece core is constructed out of an iron metal base that has been black bone painted. The two piece frame is constructed out of an “800” silver content that has been frosted and polished. The obverse features the largest pattée style cross that has a centrally placed embossed mobile swastika and an embossed “1939” (Hitler’s re-institution date) date to the lower arm, which is all on a black base and surrounded by a silver ribbed/beaded row and flat outlying border. The reverse shows an embossed “1813” (the original institution date) date to the lower arm, which is on a black base and surrounded by that same silver ribbed/beaded row and flat outlying border. To the top-reverse of border (flanking the dipping ring) it is LDO (Leistungs Gemeinschaft der Deutscher Ordenshersteller - Administration of German orders Manufacturers) maker marked “L/12” (C.E. Junker, Berlin) along with a “800” (silver content designation) mark. The black matte paint is in wonderful condition 99%+ and the silver border has beautifully patinaed with age! The cross measures approximately 66 mm wide and tall (without the ring) and weighs 55g. A suspension loop is attached to the ring (Öse) and is also marked “800” (silver content). Accompanying the award is approximately 19 ¾ inches of 55mm post-war red, white and black ribbon. See pages 318-333 of Dietrich Maerz’s “The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross” for more information.
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