Talk:Iron Cross

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Pictures of Iron Crosses[edit]

You may use all my pictures (german wikipedia !) for the english wikipedia project !

Best regards Bruce Marvin (talk) 15:16, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Bruce Marvin (talk) 15:16, 3 May 2009 (UTC)


Pop Culture[edit]

"The Iron Cross can also be worn as a necklace by someone with German Heritage, denoting German ancestry. They come in various colors (blue, red, etc) and can either be on a chain, or as a tattoo, with the same meaning." As a German myself I find this entry rather odd, I've never seen a person with an iron cross necklace nor have I ever heard of this custom. Tattoos are more common but there meaning (denoting German heritage) is questionable. Please verify this information and add the name of the country where this is "common" practice or delete this entry entirely. Thx in advance. --Volker —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.177.237.82 (talk) 09:06, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

German definitions?[edit]

Is there any interest in adding German-langugage subtitles for English readers who may have an interest in knowing the German words for the various Iron Crosses? My suggestions are: KNIGHTS CROSS ("Ritterkreuztrager" or "Das Ritterkreuz" or "Das Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Dreuzes"). The lowest Iron Cross award to be worn around the throat. OAK LEAF ("Die Eichenlaubtrager" or Eichenlaub") SWORDS ("Schwertern") DIAMONDS ("Brillanten" or "Brilliants") GOLDEN OAK (I don't know the German for this) GRAND CROSS ("Gross Kreuz"). Awarded only to Luftwaffe Feldmarschall Herman Goering, but after Allied planes began bombing Germany he stopped wearing it. It was about double in size. Goering wore a "special version" of the Grand Cross, made of ONYX in a platinum frame. GERMAN CROSS ("Deutsches Kreuz"). It was awarded in either gold or silver classes. It was not really considered part of the "Iron Cross" medals, as it could be awarded without the recipient having first won the other classes.

Looking for the german definition for "GOLDEN OAK LEAF ??? GOLDENES EICHENLAUB, only awarded to Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel on January 1st 1945 by Hitler himself. Rudel wanted to decline the award, in case of being suspended of the Luftwaffe. He said to Hitler "Mein Führer, ich lehne Auszeichnung und Beförderung ab, wenn ich nicht weiter bei meinem Geschwader fliegen darf !) User:Bruce Marvin


Also, in the Iron Cross section, any interest in adding the following trivia comment: "Halsschmerzen" a cynical play on the the word meaning "afflicted with throat trouble." This referred to a German submarine commander who was a daredevil ("Draufganger") in attacking Allied ships in an attempt to earn the Knight's Cross ("Ritterkreuz"), which was the lowest Iron Cross award to be worn around the throat.

I won't add/edit anything to the existing article. I'll defer to the main writer to see if he is interested in adding any of the above. -- 12/3/04 Bill

Also, can someone tell me how to end long-sentence "wrap arounds"? Is this due to my copying verbage from some of my Word docs and then trying to paste it to a new Wiki article? -- Bill

Iron Cross recipients[edit]

How about a list of Iron Cross recipients?

Very hard to get.........ill try though
For anything below the level of a Knights Cross with attachment, you're talking about hundreds of people. For the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class, you're talking in the millions. I think there were over 3-4 million Iron Cross 2nd Classes issued between 1939-1945.

Why is there a huge space at the start of the article. Can we fix that? User:Husnock

The wording of the “third” Iron Cross receipiant is vague and unclear. “A third award was planned for the most successful German general during the Second World War, but was not made after the defeat of Germany in 1945.” Can we clear it up by saying something like, “A third award was planned, but was not finished before Germany’s defeat in 1945.” Le Ted Esquire1:41 p.m. MST 09/03/09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Le ted esquire (talkcontribs) 19:41, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Otto Skorzeny[edit]

2004-Mar-15: According to the Otto Skorzeny page, he also received the Iron Cross with Oakleaves.

Image layout[edit]

The images are a mess. I don't think it's necessary to have images of all the medals in the main article, either. Perhaps they should be just linked to in a list, like this:

Maybe just very small thumbnails collected at one line is a more elegant solution, like this (I've shortened some of the captions):

File:EK 1class.png
Iron Cross First Class
File:RK EK.png
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
File:RK EK mit ol sw.png
With Oakleaves and Swords
File:RK EK mit ol sw di.png
With Oakleaves, Swords, and Diamonds
File:RK EK gold.png
With Golden Oakleaves, Swords, and Diamonds


I won't do anything about it now, as my last attempt to do so was reverted without any comment. :-)

Pladask 14:56, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The idea of thumbnails seems fine. Halibutt 15:43, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)
I like the row of six as you have them displayed above. Maybe have that at the top of the article before the text User:Husnock 27 Jul 04

Image Change[edit]

I went ahead and took charge to change the image layout, as there are at least 3-4 people who have expressed interest in changin in it. Lets all be mature and discuss it before reverting. I think the current layout looks good User:Husnock 27 Jul 04

Puzzled[edit]

According to the text, the only recipient of the Iron Cross with Golden Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds was Hans Rudel, according to whose entry gained the Iron Cross, First Class, in 1941 and presumably the higher honour later. The photograph of the Iron Cross with Golden Oakleaves, swords and diamonds appears to be dated 1939 - so whose was it?

"1939" was the series number and had nothing to do with the first recipiant. All Iron Crosses of World War II, regardless of when the were first issued, had the number "1939" inscriped upon them. It denoted the date that the Iron Cross award was first "turned back on". A section of the article describes this. There were no Iron Crosses inscriped with "1941" or "1944". User: Husnock 28 Aug 04

Use in american counter culture[edit]

I've seen this cross used in various counter cultures in america that don't seem to be neo nazi related, you'll often see it on bikers, hardcore punk rockers, metal heads. It would be good to get this into the article if someone can find an explanation.

Also...what is considered the first American skinhead/oi band was called Iron Cross. They were from Washington, D.C. They put out a few 7"'s and contributed a few comp. tracks to a legendary D.C. punk compilation called "Flex Your Head". Their one classic song is "Crucified For Your Sins", made famous by Agnostic Front. They have no nazis ties and band-leader Sab Grey is (at least partly) Jewish.

You may be thinking of the maltese cross, which is quite similar. mhunter 23:13, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I realise this comment is ancient, but no, they're almost certainly referring to the Iron Cross. - 81.179.148.71 16:29, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Image Change AGAIN![edit]

Okay. That last edit of the images created a huge unslightly hole in the middle of the article. That needs to be addressed as it makes the article look bad, in my opinion. Can we fix the hole? If not, a revert to the old image layout may be in order -User:Husnock 28 Aug 2004

Since there were no comments about this, I reverted to the last clean image version which takes away the big hole and the spacing problems that occurred during the last edits. -User:Husnock 3 Sep 04

The current version of this page splits the images into two lines when viewed with Firefox, although it works fine in IE. So, I added a new line, which (I hope) will display the medals on one line on all browsers. Illuvatar 21:38, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Were there any other nations which used the shape of the iron cross in their military medals? I have seen what appears to be iron crosses on non-germans so was curious.

Yes, I would also like to see some explanation of the Iron Cross in American culture...particulary as it relates to Bikers...my guess is it does have some neo-nazi orgins..but i cant find any information on the subject matter.

Proper Wearing of Iron Cross Second Class[edit]

'...The Iron Cross Second Class was worn as a chest ribbon with the cross suspended from the ribbon...'

As far as I know, the Iron Cross Second Class is only worn this way when they are awarded. For everyday use, only the ribbon is attached second button hole and the cross itself is kept in a safe place.

It was also worn in the "full medal style" when displaying it on a dress uniform or for formal functions. In the field, however, the ribbon only was worn suspended from the button hole. The IC2c ribbon could also be worn on the main ribbon bar, centered above the wearer's left pocket. Husnock 19:27, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well then, perhaps the above information (for both ceremonial and everyday use of the IC II) could be added?

awarding precedents[edit]

>"is presented in grades depending on the rank of the servicemember." Not true. Anyone could win the EK. It was originally designed to be awarded to anyone who deserved recognition for battlefield merit. Many German non-coms won higher grades of the EK than officers above them.

Hitler: 1st or 2nd Class?[edit]

It is said that: "One of the most infamous holders of the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class was Adolf Hitler (which was unusual as very few holders of the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class were enlisted soldiers: Hitler held the rank of Gefreiter, or Lance Corporal)" - but we can see in the article about Hitler that he got the 2nd class in 1914 ( the 1st class, only in 1918)!! Manuel Anastácio 19:46, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


so?--141.31.128.64 08:24, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Dear Manuel Anastacio, this is not correct. Hitler was presented with the Iron Cross 1st class. He also held the "Verwundetenabzeichen" in black (ranking: black, silver, gold) for being wounded in a gas-attack in 1917. "Verwundetenabzeichen" is the german pendant to the american "Purple Heart". He had to stay a very long time in the hospital of Pasewalk and became blind for a few months. You even can see the scars below his eyes (especially the right eye was severe wounded) ...on very rare photos you can see Hitler wearing glasses, especially after July 20th 1944. Hitler wore until his suicide on 30th April 1945 three medals, the Iron Cross 1St class 1914, the "Verwundetenabzeichen" and the golden membership medal of the NSDAP. He gave this medal to Magda Goebbels, the wife of Joseph Goebbels a few hours before his suicide. For further information please read the book from Werner Maser, "Adolf Hitler", the official autobiography. User:Bruce Marvin

First Paragraph suggestions[edit]

First paragraph seems wordy:

The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz) is a military decoration of the Kingdom of Prussia, and later of Germany, which was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and first awarded on 10 March 1813. The Iron Cross is only awarded in wartime. In addition to the Napoleonic Wars, the Iron Cross was awarded during the Franco-Prussian War, and the First and Second World Wars. It has not been awarded, nor any other form of a military decoration to honor or bravery, since May 1945 in the German Bundeswehr.

how about:

The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz) is a wartime military decoration established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and first awarded on 10 March 1813. As a Prussian, later German, wartime military decoration, it has been awarded for service in the Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War, the First World War and Second World War. It has not been awarded, nor any other form of military decoration to honor or bravery, since May 1945 in the German Bundeswehr.

Wendell 03:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Sounds better to me - I'd suggest: go for it! --DerHerrMigo 14:18, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Iron Cross - music[edit]

Iron Cross is also a heavy metal band based out of New York.

How important is this decoration[edit]

What must you do to qualify for this decoration? - the current article doesn't say.

Do you get it if you have seen the enemy, even if you turned and ran? Or do only the bravest soldiers get it awarded? Thue | talk 20:49, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

It was a medal who was awarded for bravery and great sucess so i don´t think you got it for running away from the enemy.


it was only awarded 7.313 times, in it´s lowest class, to german soldiers. I guess that speaks for itself.--Tresckow 20:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

That was the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Looks likewise but was worn as a necklace.
Anyway, running away from the enemy would rarely qualify for a decoration. Instead a good reference for a drum head court martial. ;) -- 80.135.199.136 (talk) 11:00, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Knight's Cross[edit]

I find it odd that the rare variants merit their own article but the Knight's Cross does not. I've created a page and copied the info here, but would suggest the Knight's Cross page be expanded. I noticed the article on the Gran Sasso Raid linked the word "Knight's Cross" to the Iron Cross page, meaning someone clicking in to here would have to hunt for the meaning of "Knight's Cross".Michael Dorosh 17:02, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


Iron Cross on German "Stuff"[edit]

I have found a large hunk of brass in the ocean near the ship yard in Pascagoula Mississippi. I came here for a clue as to what it originated from? Did germany stamp any of their "Stuff" with the iron cross?

Names of the soldiers persented with the Diamonds[edit]

I put in the list of the soldiers persented with the diamonds today. Ranks and the dates of presenting the diamonds will be completed soon. User:Bruce Marvin


Catego:Recipients of Iron Cross[edit]

nearly no entries in this cat. by the way, shouldnt it rather be Recipientes of the Iron Cross?--Tresckow 13:35, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I just went through the list of Field Marshals and added the category if the text listed that award or if the photo showed the person wearing it. It came out to about 20 articles. At the very least those names listed in this article should also have the category in their biographies.... Also, you're quite right; it should say "Recipients of the Iron Cross." Geeman 05:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

There are some who should be on the list but aren't, such as Charles Lindbergh (the first man to cross the Atlantic) and Juan Pujol (alias Garbo) (double-agent spy in WWII). Wrad 05:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Finnish jews were awarded with Iron Cross[edit]

I added reference for that fact since it was asked. Reference is however in Finnish, but I post here the relevant chapter:

"Juutalaiset kieltäytyivät Rautarististä

Saksa myönsi kolmelle Suomen juutalaiselle Rautaristin heidän ansioistaan jatkosodan aikana. Yksikään ei ottanut sitä vastaan.

Lääkintäkapteeni Leo Skurnik oli pelastanut useamman saksalaisen hengen, koska hän katsoi sen olevan lääkärinä hänen velvollisuutensa. Rautaristi ei hänelle kuitenkaan kiitokseksi kelvannut.

Kapteeni Salomon Klass pelasti Pohjois-Karjalassa saksalaisjoukon venäläisten motista, koska hänet oli pataljoonan komentajana niin määrätty tekemään. Tosin hänen aseveljensä sanoivat, että mitä sinä niitä pelastamaan. Jätä ne sinne. Mutta Klass oli sotilas ja totteli käskyjä.

Klass istui teltassaan, kun kaksi korkea-arvoista saksalaista upseeria tuli sisään Rautaristin kanssa. - Siinä vedettiin Heil Hitleriä ja luita kasaan, mutta Klass vain istui eikä ollut lainkaan kiinnostunut.

Klass sanoi olevansa juutalainen Suomen armeijassa eikä halua saksalaisilta mitään. Upseerit kalpenivat ja lähtivät pois, Matso kuvailee.

Nykyisin Israelissa asuva Dina Poljakoff oli lotta ja hänellekin myönnettiin Rautaristi. Poljakoff meni uteliaisuuttaan esikuntaan, katseli ristiä hetken, kääntyi ja lähti ulos."

So actually there were three awarded. I'll fix it. --Thule 00:50, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't speak Finnish, so I for one will just have to trust you. It is, however, an interesting factoid, and well worth including in this article. So thanks. Geeman 04:10, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Number of Iron Crosses awarded[edit]

The present article appears to offer two conflicting statements on the number of Iron Crosses awarded (five million vs. 3.5 million). These numbers have been flagged with "citation needed" to highlight the need for further editing by knowledgeable WP contributors. Jack Bethune 13:01, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Proper wearing[edit]

What is the proper way to wear an Iron Cross, First Class, from 1914? Is it worn on the collar like a bowtie-choker or over the left breast pocket? --JonnyLightning 02:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

All versions of the Iron Cross 1st Class (1813, 1870, 1914 and 1939) were worn as pinback crosses on the left breast pocket. Only the Grand Cross and the various grades of the 1939 Knight's Cross were worn around the neck. Airbornelawyer 05:42, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Neo-Nazi and other use of iron cross[edit]

Hi! This is my first discussion post, so please be gentle.

As of this writing, the article states, "The Iron Cross has nothing to do with racism, Nazism, or bigotry." However, this is clearly wrong. The symbol is used very frequently by neo-Nazi groups worldwide. Here are several sources:

The Anti-Defamation League [1] A Maryland-based flag dealer [2] The NYT [3] LA Daily News [4]

However, the symbol is also used by those not affiliated with neo-Nazism for fashion reasons. Could we discuss how to add this information about this symbol's signifcance in current neo-Nazi culture? I think it is vital to this article's relevance to current events.

Binkitybonk 03:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Iron Cross and west coast choppers[edit]

The iron cross seems to be the worked into the main symbol for west coast choppers [[5]]. Maybe this should be added in the pop. culture references. Caval valor 20:02, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Modern Iron Cross[edit]

The addition to Post WWII, "In 2007, a petition to the German parliament to revive the Iron Cross decoration recieved over 5,000 signatures and support from far-right groups in the country. Groups such as the Central Council of Jews in Germany object to the decoration's return, citing to lingering Nazi-era connotations." was changed to eliminate all mention of the groups for and against the award's restoration. I think the parties involved should be identified in some way. It provides a window into the current dialogue in Germany surrounding the Iron Cross.

Hadrianvs 23:56, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The phrase in the article seems to have been changed to "received over 5,000 signatures and support" - which doesn't make sense grammatically, as you can't have "5,000 ... support"! At any rate, it actually seems a pretty small number: I don't know how popular petitioning is in Germany, but here in the UK, a cause that became really popular across the country could expect to have at least tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of signatures. 86.149.0.189 (talk) 11:54, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

A mess[edit]

I've done an edit on this article but it still lacks sources and is generally a mess. I have deleted some dubious unsourced statements. I have also recast the article in the past tense - the Iron Cross does not currently exist. I have also deleted all the "pop culture" rubbish at the end. No doubt someone will reinstate it but I continue to take a stand against this kind of junk content in serious articles. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 10:00, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

The Iron Cross does not currently exist? What is the current Bundeswehr emblem called? --Farry (talk) 11:09, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
According to the Bundeswehr homepage, it's called, yep, you guessed it, the "Eiserne Kreuz" (Iron Cross).Caisson 06 (talk) 20:15, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

IMHO the article is still a mess. Because it does not properly distinguish between the Prussian and German Army Order (1813-1945) and the sign itself as emblem of the German Forces (1871-present). Yes, both are derived from the same "Iron Cross" emblem, but they are completely different things. Therefore, I suggest to divide the article in:

  • Iron Cross (German Army Order) and
  • Iron Cross (emblem) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 125.162.47.86 (talk) 16:14, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Mother's Iron Cross[edit]

This article is coming along quite nicely and I congratulate all of you for a good job. When time permits, there should be a small section added on the Mother's Iron Cross that Nazi Germany awarded to women who had borne a certain number of sons for the Third Reich. --rumjal 10:35, 1 November 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rumjal (talkcontribs)

You are mixing up two different things.
  • from 1813 to 1918, there were "female" Iron Crosses awarded for women who gave their jewellery for the war effort ("I gave gold for iron").
  • the Nazis gave out the "Mother Cross" for women who had born more than 4 children. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 125.162.47.86 (talk) 16:19, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

colloquial useage of 'care'[edit]

in the section 'Second World War' it is said that "Hitler did not care for the Pour le Mérite..." i am unsure as how to correct this (or if it is even necessary) but the use of the word 'care' seems too casual for a encyclopedia. is it just me? lets add some bigger words! Not the same one (talk) 01:32, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Missing Reference/Note[edit]

Please note that I am not familiar with Wikipedia editing anymore. I have not been on in years. However, reference note 7 is no longer valid and points to a portal page. - MikeCNN —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikecnn (talkcontribs) 06:13, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Materials[edit]

It might seem a ridiculous question, but - seriously - what were iron crosses historically made with? Presumably iron - but was this always the case, and were they 100% iron, or coated with something? Were other materials used during wartime? Are the crosses still made of iron, or something more corrosion-resistant? And why iron? As far as I can tell the article doesn't mention this, but in my opinion it's bad form to take anything for granted. I'm sure earlier versions of the article mentioned that it was cast in zinc and aluminium, but perhaps my memory is fading.-Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 17:26, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the black core of the award was made from cast iron. Iron was chosen because of the the material's symbolic value in wartime and because of its obvious simplicity (it was the first German order to be awarded without regard of class or rank). The mounting was made of silver. There are some models of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with a golden mounting, although this was against the order's rules. Goering had his Grand Cross made with a platinum mounting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 125.162.47.86 (talk) 16:30, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

German critics[edit]

The article ignores the connection to the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes which makes it biased pro-Nazi. http://www.zeit.de/2008/24/Eisernes-Kreuz Compare Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski#German military awards and trophies, Service record of Reinhard Heydrich#Nazi and Axis awards/decorations Xx234 (talk) 12:25, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Confusion of emblem with decoration[edit]

"Iron Cross" is a military decoration. The "Black Cross" is the emblem used by the German army, which happens to have the same design as the medal given with the decoration. But "Iron Cross" is not the term for the "Black Cross" emblem. The latter is treated under de:Schwarzes Kreuz (Symbol) on de-wiki. --dab (𒁳) 10:30, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

I tried to clean up the confusion. I realize that the emblem is also commonly called "Iron Cross", and that's fine, but it will be important to remain aware of the double meaning and keep the two meanings as cleanly separated as possible. --dab (𒁳) 13:23, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Unneeded list of recipients[edit]

Other sections do not include such lists; preserving this material here by providing this link. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:53, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

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