Spanish Cross

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Spanish Cross
Spanienkreuz
Spanish Cross.jpg
Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords
Awarded by Nazi Germany
Type Badge
Eligibility Military personnel only
Campaign Spanish Civil War
Status Obsolete
Statistics
Established 14 April 1939
Total awarded Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords - 7869
Spanish Cross in Silver without Swords - 327
Spanish Cross in Gold without Swords - 0
Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords - 8462
Spanish Cross in Silver with Swords - 8304
Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords - 1126
Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds- 28

The Spanish Cross (German: Spanienkreuz) was a distinguished award of Germany given to Germans troops who participated in the Spanish Civil War, fighting for nationalist general, later Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco.[1]

History[edit]

With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Germany sent the Condor Legion to give military aid to Francisco Franco's nationalist forces.

On April 14, 1939, Germany instituted the Spanish Cross as a decoration for the German soldiers that fought in the Spanish Civil War.

Classes[edit]

Bronze[edit]

The non-combatant version was awarded for three months of service in Spain.

7869 bronze crosses were awarded.

Bronze with Swords[edit]

The Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords was given for showing merit during the war.

8462 bronze crosses with swords were awarded.

Silver[edit]

The Silver Cross was a non-combatant version awarded for merit.

327 silver crosses were awarded.

Silver with Swords[edit]

The Spanish Cross in Silver was awarded to the soldiers who took part in decisive battles or had a considerable fighting experience.

8304 silver crosses with swords were awarded.

Gold[edit]

The Spanish Cross in Gold was awarded to a soldier who showed great merits in combat or achieved uncanny accomplishments.

1126 gold crosses were awarded. Rudolf Henne was one of the recipients.

Gold with Diamonds[edit]

The Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds was the highest rank of the decoration. It was awarded to those who showed great leadership skills in battle or great merits.

28 gold crosses with diamonds were awarded. (Sperrle, Volkmann, Richthofen, von Thoma, Mehnert, Harlinghausen, Wolff, Harder, Lützow, Mölders, von Moreau, Neudörffer, Schellmann, Schlichting, Balthasar, Bertram, Enslen, Galland, Hoyos, von Kessel, Kraft, Oesau, Seiler, Stärcke, Boddem, Fehlhalber, Henrici, Runze)*

* ordered by rank, beginning with General der Flieger

Next of Kin[edit]

The Spanish Cross for Next of Kin was awarded to relatives of soldiers who died during their stay in Spain.

315 crosses of this class were awarded.

Design[edit]

The Spanish Cross is very similar in shape to a Maltese cross. In its centre is a swastika, and between each arm of the cross there is the Luftwaffenadler, coats of arms, and two crossed swords (they aren't in the non-combatant version). Diamonds are placed around the swastika in the highest ranking of these awards.

The reverse side is plain and has a pin used for wearing the cross on the uniform.

The cross for next of kin is shaped as a non-combatant cross, only smaller in size. Unlike the other it is attached to a ribbon in black with edges in red, yellow, and red (the colours of the Spanish flag).

References[edit]

For Führer And Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich by LTC John R. Angolia. 1976 R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0-912138-14-9