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(s) Spanish Civil War
Status Obsolete
Statistics
Established 14 April 1939
Total awarded Bronze without Swords – 7869
Silver without Swords – 327
Bronze with Swords – 8462
Silver with Swords – 8304
Gold – 1126
Gold with Swords and Diamonds – 28

The Spanish Cross (German: Spanien-Kreuz)[1] was a distinguished award of Germany given to German troops who participated in the Spanish Civil War, fighting for nationalist general, later Spanish caudillo, Francisco Franco.[2]

History

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 14 April 14 1939, Germany instituted the Spanish Cross as a decoration for the German soldiers that fought in the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Cross was to be worn on the right breast below the pocket flap or, if awarded, below the Blood Order. After the death of the recipient, the award remains with the next-of-kin.[3]

Classes

The Spanish Cross was awarded in Gold, Silver and Bronze classes. The Gold Class was awarded only with swords. The Silver and Bronze Classes were awarded with and without swords. For outstanding bravery in combat, the Gold Class could be awarded with diamonds.[3]

Bronze

The non-combatant version was awarded to military personnel or civilians for three months of service in Spain without combat experience.

7869 bronze crosses were awarded.

Bronze with Swords

The Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords was given to individuals involved in front line combat during the war.

8462 bronze crosses with swords were awarded.

Silver

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

327 silver crosses were awarded.

Silver with Swords

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

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

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.

Next of Kin

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

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

  • Angola, LTC John R (1976). For Führer And Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149. 
  • Doehle, Dr Heinrich (1943). Medals & Decorations of the Third Reich: Orders + Decorations +Badges. Reddick Enterprises. ISBN 0962488348. 
  1. ^ Doehle 1943, p. 14.
  2. ^ Spanish Cross
  3. ^ a b Doehle 1943, p. 15.


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