Originally, the Cross had three classes, listed in ascending order: second class, first class, and Grand Cross, the latter being awarded only 19 times through the end of World War I It was awarded only once more, to Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg in A civilian order of the Cross was created for and conferred upon the English Germanophile Houston Stewart Chamberlain. From the time of its creation until the end of World War I, 5,, Iron Crosses first and second class were awarded. The basic design of the medal has remained constant, that of a Maltese Cross of cast iron edged with silver. The World War II badge also had a swastika , which replaced the previous symbols of the crown and royal cipher. A West German statute of permitted the Iron Cross to be worn only with the swastika removed. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions.
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The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. In , the Iron Cross resumed its German military usage, as it became the symbol of the Bundeswehr , the modern German armed forces. The traditional design is black and this design is used on armored vehicles and aircraft.
Since the end of World War II, Germany has been reluctant to focus much attention on its fighting forces. More than six decades after its end, though, Germany has reintroduced military honors :. A politically correct, newly minted version of the Iron Cross — awarded to German soldiers since , but withdrawn after the Second World War — was pinned on the chests of four senior non-commissioned officers yesterday. They had dragged comrades and children to safety after a suicide bomb attack in northern Afghanistan. The award of the bravery medal — known as the Honour Cross, although it has the same shape as the Iron Cross — marks a breakthrough in the way that Germany sees itself. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. More than six decades after its end, though, Germany has reintroduced military honors: A politically correct, newly minted version of the Iron Cross — awarded to German soldiers since , but withdrawn after the Second World View Comments. Tags: Europe , Germany. More from Foreign Policy.
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