Help identifying German Medal

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Help identifying German Medal

Postby Sareth » February 25th, 2011, 2:52 pm

I was recently going through some things I got after my Grandfather passed away several years ago. He'd fought as a paratrooper in WWII then went on to Korea as a Green Beret, I believe. One of the things I found in his stuff was this:


I know it's not an Iron Cross. That had squared off ends rather than the pendant ends on this. So what is it? I figure we have enough history buffs on this forum to find the answer.
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Re: Help identifying German Medal

Postby Graybeard » February 25th, 2011, 3:56 pm

I would guess this to be a War Merit Cross -- see article here. You might check out the references at the end of the article. Note that this is the version "with swords," and as I understand it, getting that was not a trivial feat. The version "without swords," by contrast, was a trinket considered to be of no particular value.

Where did he serve? Pity that the old lions of that war are passing from the scene, often without their stories being told. I'd love to know where my late father served in New Guinea ... which is not to say I'd be all that anxious to go find the places, since they tended to be miserable (he got hideous diseases there that afflicted him to his dying day).
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Re: Help identifying German Medal

Postby Drannin » February 25th, 2011, 8:29 pm

I showed the picture to my uncle who has a doctorate in military history, and he pointed me to a few websites that pretty much confirmed Graybeard's suspicions:

So yeah, War Merit Cross. Incidentally, are you certain it's genuine? Apparently, the reason very few people get into collecting German WWII memorabilia (aside from the Nazi connotations) is that there are an awful lot of very convincing replicas out there. Of course, it sounds like this one is the real deal, but I felt it was worth bringing up.
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