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Rare German Cross in Silver by C.F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim.
"20" maker marked to the back of the pin. Black enameled swastika. No damage. Multi-piece construction. Because of its weight and construction, collectors call it a "light" Zimmermann. Including the rare case of issue. It comes with the typical silver line around the top. The case opens and closes correctly.
Weight: 43.8 gr.
German Cross in Silver
DATE OF INSTITUTION
28. September 1941 as a military order in two grades. A special grade, the German Cross in Gold with Diamonds was planned and prototypes were made.
The golden grade was awarded for multiple exceptional deeds of bravery or leadership and the silver grade for exceptional deeds in troop leadership. The award of the Iron Cross 1. Class, the Spange 1. Class , or the War Merit Cross 1. Class was a pre-requisite for the awarding of the German Cross. The German Cross was located above the Iron Cross 1. Class and War Merit Cross 1. Class but below the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, respectively the Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross.
The German Cross was awarded by the decision of the supreme commanders of the three army branches.
The German Cross was produced by five known manufacturers and maybe one or two not yet known companies. The known manufacturers are Deschler & Sohn, who designed the cross, Gebrüder Godet, C.E. Juncker, C.F. Zimmermann, and Otto Klein.
Early crosses are unmarked and from the end of 1942/early 1943 onwards, the crosses were marked with the Präsidialkanzlei numbers of the companies.
Due to the heavy and slightly bulky nature of the award, a cloth version was authorized in June 1942. The cloth version can be found with eight different cloth backing colors: field gray (army), dark blue (navy), blue-gray (LW), black (tank forces), stone gray (assault gun), olive (Africa Heer), light khaki (Africa LW), and white (summer uniform).
Accurate numbers are not known but the closest estimation based on surviving documents are 25,964 for the gold grade and 2,471 for the silver grade. A known total of eleven soldiers were awarded both grades.
The crosses were mainly stored and registered at the Präsidalkanzlei and were given out by this office. It is possible that smaller numbers were stored at the personnel offices of the three army branches.
The Heer issued preliminary award documents in the format A5, followed by a larger (356 mm x 254 mm) formal document. The Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine never issued any preliminary documents, only the formal ones in the same size as the formal document of the Heer.
The German Cross was worn at the right side of the uniform on the breast pocket.