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aurichnet

Iron Cross Handel-U Boot Deutschland

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Hello,

Ive this "Iron Cross" auf the fraight Submarine DEUTSCHLAND in my collection. It was made for mememorial of the first arrival in Baltimor USA 9. Juli 1918. Has somebody more informations of this Iron Cross? I found out, that maybe only 5 peaces came back to Germany. How many were made and how many do exist? Other informations are wellcome.

Edited by aurichnet

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A number of items were produced to commemorate the visit of the Deutschland in 1916. Baltimore and the surrounding area has a high proportion of German families and these items were popular souvenirs. There was a book printed on the voyage of the Deutschland, one version in English language and another in German (I have the German version). I see the crosses like you have on a regular basis, so most likely they made quite a number of them. The story I have heard is that they were made from the ballast of the carried over on the boat. There are also the postcards like you display. I cannot say how many came back to Germany on the return trip or in the years since. Not only were souvenirs made at her highpoint in 1916, but also at her low point. My best friend also has a steel cigar case with the Deutschland impressed into one side. It still has the original paper with it saying it was made up from the steel of the Deutschland after it was scrapped in England in 1919.

Dan

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Hallo,

I found out, that some were made for the Crew. These were made in the USA from the ballast iron of U-Deutschland. But after Amerika was starting war against Germany, these Iron Crosses did not come to Germany. After the war, Kapit?n K?nig brought about 5 of them back to Germany (around 1930). The crew has had 29 members, maybe only 30 of the crosses were made?

Does somebody know, is the centre medall at both sides made of real gold?

Edited by aurichnet

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I am a new arrival on this forum but this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I am the author of two books on the U-Deutschland; The Merchant U-Boat (Naval Institute Press, 1988) and The Baltimore Sabotage Cell: German Agents, American Traitors, and the U-Boat Deutschland During World War I (Naval Institute Press 2015). I was hoping to find a slot here to discuss the entire Commercial U-Boat project (1915-1917) and collecting the many artifacts, coins, and awards it produced. But it looks like I am a bit of a square peg in a round hole. But while I am here I will take the opportunity to answer this ten-year-old question in some detail.

While the U-Deutschland was in Baltimore in July 1916, Captain Paul König donated 2,000 tons of the boat’s cast iron ballast to the Baltimore chapter of the Verein für Deutschtum im Ausland (VDA), a German cultural organization that was headquartered in Berlin. The VDA commissioned the Baltimore sculptor, Hans Schuler, Sr., (1884-1951) to design several souvenirs to be made from the boat’s cast iron ballast, and then gave the ballast to the Prisoners of War Relief Committee, a New York City-based charity, to find manufacturers and handle the sales of souvenirs.

The first souvenirs made were these large Iron Crosses that the Baltimore iron works, G. Krug and Son, cast in late 1916. The 1.25-inch brass-plated-white-metal medallion that is embedded in the center on each side is not made from the boat's metal, only the cross is. Several hundred of these iron crosses were sold along the United States Eastern Seaboard until April 1917.

When the United States declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917, the Prisoners of War Relief Committee returned the remaining U-Deutschland Crosses to the VDA in Baltimore for safekeeping.  Fearing that the United States Government would seize the crosses, the VDA hid the remaining crosses until the end of the war. In 1932, Paul König acquired the entire remaining stock of these Iron Crosses from the VDA during a speaking tour on the East Coast. He took them back to Germany, and donated them to the VDA Chapter in Bremen.  As late as WWII, the Bremen VDA chapter awarded the crosses to its members for loyal service. Dwight

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Hello Dwight,

Welcome to the forum! Great to see you here!

Dan: Any chance you have a photo you could post of the cigar case?

Thanks.

 

Luke

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Gents,

Please allow me to share my contribution to this interesting topic:

Within the estate of the former U-Deutschland member seaman 1st class Anton Born, who served as engineer on the U-Deutschland and was interned in the US, was this “Iron Cross” with the counterfeit of Paul Koenig as well as an ash tray, made out of the scrapped Deutschland.

BR, Chris

U-Deutschland_a.jpg

U-Deutschland_b.jpg

U-Deutschland_c.jpg

U-Deutschland_d.jpg

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What am incredible nice group. I assume the medal bar belongs to Anton Born too.

Congratulation to this group. Do you have any further infos to Born?

Kind regards

Alex

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Hi Alex,

Yes, it's Borns medal bar. As far as I know, Anton "Toni" Heinrich Kaspar Born was born in 1890 in St. Goashausen, Hessen-Nassau. He received the MEZ 2 for his service at Pohnpei in 1911. But I am not sure, which ship Born joined during this time (SMS Emden, SMS Nuernberg, SMS Cormoran).

I have a copy of a postcard; no. 21 is Born.

BR, Chris

 

Crew U-Deutschland.jpg

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I hope this is ok? Otherwise, you need to be patient, 'till I take this bar back from the safe desposit box.

BR, Chris

Ponape.jpg

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The medal bar is impressive. especially with this background story!

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Gents,

Did anybody of you guys won the Benemerenti auction lot-no. 1031 (Document Group of a Matrose of the Trade-Submarine "Deutschland" / Ponape 1911.)?

I would be happy to get in touch with the winner!

BR,

Gensui

 

 

 

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