Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

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The Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Stern zum Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) was the highest military decoration of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. It was considered a senior decoration to the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross.

The Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to the most outstanding of generals who performed feats of leadership to the extreme benefit of the German state. It was awarded only twice, a century apart, to Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher in 1815 for his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, and to Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg in 1918 for his victory at the Battle of Tannenberg.[1] The award is commonly known as "Blücher's Star" (Blücherstern) after its first recipient.[2]

Paul von Hindenburg received the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (9 December 1916) to which the Golden Star added on 25 March 1918 (Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross).

During the reign of Nazi Germany, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess commissioned a new version of the medal, intending to award it to Adolf Hitler once Germany won the Second World War. Since Germany was defeated in 1945, the award was never bestowed on the intended recipient. Following the Allied victory in May 1945, the US Army seized the only known prototype, which had been stored in a bunker. It is now a part of the collection of the Museum of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.[3]

Images
1813 Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross 
1914 Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross 
1939 Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Price, pp. 136–137
  2. ^ Zabecki, p. 1628</
  3. ^ Price, p. 137

References[edit]

  • Price, Judith (2011). Lest We Forget: Masterpieces of Patriotic Jewelry and Military Decorations. Lanham: Taylor Trade Pub. ISBN 9781589796867. 
  • Zabecki, David T., ed. (2014). Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598849813. 

See also[edit]