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Everything posted by Dietrich

  1. Hi Mark, I know, too, that values in books should only serve as a relative comparison. Can you help me with what you mentioned as “scarer”. I am new to this topic, my main focus of research is Third Reich. Best regards, Dietric
  2. Mark, the mini is inscribed "For Distinguished Conduct in the Filed" on the reverse. I noticed that this type is listed in the Medal Yearbook 2017 for £ 70-100 which seems to indicate a quite rare item, just as you said. Thanks again, Dietrich
  3. Thanks again for the answers. I bought the bar simply because of the QSA miniature since that is what I mainly was after. When I got it I thought it might be able to trace the owner. However, it is completely unimportant to me. And it could very well be that it is “fabricated”. Thanks again for your help!
  4. Dear friends, I bought this miniature bar a couple of days ago and was wondering whether it is possible to determine the recipient? The ribbons were loosely attached to the bar and I am reasonably sure it is the original combination. Thank you very much for any help, greatly appreciated! Dietrich Maerz
  5. Otto Schickle made KVKs in both classes and with and without swords. They are either unmarked or marked L/15. After mid 1941 Otto Schickle was no longer allowed to produce orders and medals of the period past 1933 by order of the PKZ. The LDO number "L/15" was never reissued. It has been established by research and personal interviews with the person concerned that L 15 marked orders and medals, especially those which use mixed hardware from Vienna manufacturers (Orth, Souval, ..), are post war productions, using left over parts. It has been argued that the use of L 15 (w/o the "/") was an early mix up by Orth with his PKZ number "15". This is not supported by the evidence, especially because there are post war fakes with 100% new parts also marked "L 15". I personally consider everything marked L 15 a post war production. Dietrich
  6. Hi Chris, yes I am sure. (Merkblatt 15/5, Ausgabe 1. Juli 1943, Eisernes Kreuz, Richtlinien und Zusätze des Oberkommando des Heeres, 1.3. 1943, Absatz III Personenkreis Sonderbestimmungen). Dietrich
  7. This is correct, but not quite. It was only an "automatic" EK2 if the Wound Badge in Silver or Gold was awarded for an amputation due to frostbite (while at the front!) or if the Wound Badge in Silver or Gold was awarded for one exceptional single wound. An "automatic" EK2 was not possible if a soldier received the Silver or Gold grade of the Wound Badge due to the accumulation of the required (three resp. five single wounds). Dietrich
  8. I cannot really comment on the earlier versions of the EK only that I think just based on the award numbers of the EK2 in the First World War it lost some of its initial grandeur. This happened again in the Second World War were the EK2 at the end was given to kids. Who doesn't remember the terrible pictures of Hitler awarding the EK2 to HJ boys in the ruins of his chancellery? Despite the other awards Chris mentioned (some of them were proficiency badges and combat award badges, not bravery decorations), the EK1 had still a very high value. One could not be awarded the German Cross in Gold (the second highest bravery award) without the EK1 and EK2 ( or the Spangen thereof). Even the Close Combat Clasp was not tied to individual acts of bravery (like the RK or the GC) but rather to the accumulation of close combat days (which certainly required a lot of bravery, I know that!). The Knights Cross of 1939 is a perfect example of the transition (maybe even degeneration) from an extremely high award to a more common award. The Knights Cross was still a very high award at the end of the war, but one should not forget that it was also a propaganda tool. The addition of the higher grades (which were basically second, third and fourth awards of the Knights Cross itself) is another indication of the inflationary tendency. A simple graph which I included in my book makes clear what I mean. At the end of 1941, after the attack on the SU and after the battle for Moskau only 11% of all Knights Crosses were awarded. One can hardly say that the time frame between the Polish campaign and this date was not filled with fewer deeds of bravery then the timeframe after 1941. Another very telling point is that 50% percentille of all Knights Crosses awarded was December 1943! Meaning that in the last 17 months of the war as much RKs were awarded as in the 52 months before. I think that this is a clear indication of a transition of a highly coveted and rare bravery award to one that was more and more used as a motivational tool - just like the EK2 was awarded in far greater numbers towards the end. It is unfortunate that such a graph cannot be constructed for the EK1 or EK2 due to reliable data. But I am sure it is similar if not more dramatic! (As a side note: the 50 percentile for the Oaks and for the Swords is March 1944 resp. July 1944 - supporting the above data and notion) Certainly I do not think that the German soldier was either less brave in the first 52 months of the war nor was he more audacious in the last 17 month. Fact is, that Hitler himself approved every RK personally and that it was his decision to award more after the Invasion of Normandy and the Battles in the East. He certainly knew the motivational value of a Knights Cross or higher grade and that of an EK2 to a little boy he was shamelessly sending into the lost Battle for Berlin. Dietrich
  9. Chris, what you have there is something that happened quite often: the adding of a cross to a group where it was missing. The main type to be found in this case are the post war B-Types from S&L with the typical die flaws of that type (which are not present on the war time A-Type). The company of S&L produced all kinds of models for that market and they were sold and bought with all kinds of COAs up until 2006/2007. Today the topic of the RK is covered with an extremely high level of confidence and buying a fake is really more like a self-inflicted wound. Same applies to the oaks and swords, Diamonds are rarely on the market but are also well documented. The very, very few grey items are more for esoteric discussions and should not influence the average collector. Why take the risk in an unproven RK if one can buy an S&L A-Type or an Juncker nearly every day? Why go for a possible S&L set of oaks for high money? Or an L/12 marked one? The questions right now are in regards to defining the time lines even more accurate and assembling data about the rarity of the pieces. One cannot put the extreme rare crosses like the 3/4 Ring, the L/52 or the extreme rare Godet on the same level as the mass produced L/12 and S&L A-Types. Dietrich
  10. Chris, to say something definitive I would need better pictures. Dietrich
  11. Hi Gordon, Herbert Steinkopf was awarded the RK on 15. May 1944 while Chef of the 3./GR 467. As far as I can tell from the not so good picture the maker was Klein & Quenzer. Going by the award date and the established time lines for the use of the PKZ code on Knights Crosses (which was around beginning of 1944, despite the introduction of the code in mid-late 1942) I venture to say that the cross is marked "800" on the reverse and "65" and "800" on the loop. The award date of spring 1944 would also be ok for a K&Q. If you have time, take some better pictures of the obverse and reverse, just to make sure! Dietrich PS: Thanks for the nice article for my magazine! It will be in the next issue.
  12. I have, but you haven't. I admire your talent in making a fool out of yourself, though!

  13. Tom, apart form the 'lawless' times between September 1939 and October 1941 where the private sales of the Knights Cross and the higher grades was allowed, there was from October 1941 on only one source and that was the PKZ. I have partial original records which indicate that - as an example since you brought up the possession of two RK by most of the awardees you met - by end of October 1944 only 599 recipients bought replacement crosses from the PKZ. I would think the number for the Oakleaves is lower - it makes no sense to buy just the oakleaves and not the cross. It is unfortunate in our hobby that a lot goes back to "stories" which are absolutely not reconcilable with reality or original documents. And it must also be clear that the Knights Cross and the higher grades (as well as the German Cross) must be treated differently since they were equipped with different sets of rules. A deduction from your medals or even other German medals, such as the EK1 which is even part of the family, is false and misleading. The argument "It was like that here - so it must be like that there" is one of the worst contributions to our hobby. We have to look at every medal, badge and award on its own! Again, in your case the time to produce and sell the "L/21"-marked oakleaves is 7 month.I have not seen a set of L/21 oakleaves other than the Type 1 marked such. I would thin that during my research I would have found a trail. However, I have found tons of spurious marked RKs, oaks, swords, ... Even running the danger of being called names and getting even lower on the "not too fond" level: my book only deals with the official manufacturers of the RK (7), the oaks (1), the swords (1), the diamonds (1), the golden diamonds (1) and the Grand Cross (1). This in extreme depth with all the variation one might find. There are chapters about the LDO, the PKZ, the regulations and such. It is fairly deep. Have a great weekend! Dietrich
  14. Tom, there was only one official supplier for the oaks and the oaks with swords and that was Godet. So this rules out that L/21 was ever an official supplier. The myth of "jeweller's" copies is something which was invented to sell unofficial and fake pieces to the collector masses. In October 1941 is was forbidden to sell any Knights Cross or higher grades via private shops. So no shops could sell anything and based on the rules of money making they would not buy anything. The LDO numbers were introduced in March 1941. So the time frame is very short for a legal sale of all kinds of 'jeweller's' copies. As the Niemann example shows, Förster & Barth seemed to have acquired samples (or one sample) from Godet and tried to market it. To be sure, there were and are pre-prohibition oaks from S&L and Juncker, but they were short lived and no longer available after October 1941. The collector community is still trying to find out which is what since the market is flooded with such "jeweller's" copies. They are in no relation to the few official oak recipients which had the chance to buy a private piece between June 40 and October 41 (only 128 recipients. Todays market applies at least 50 jeqweller's copy to each one of them ...). Regarding the order to produce: who should have ordered other than the PKZ? The private sector for the 128 recipients who could buy a piece? I certainly don't know what Förster & Barth did and did not on a daily basis and if you are looking for "undisputable, beyond a reasonable doubt, proof" you will not find it. You will always find someone who tells you that your oaks are good, could be could and so on. When you will try to sell them for the price of 'accepted jeweller's copies" (which is around $ 4000 regarding Mr. Niemann ) you will get your wake up call. Unfortunately there is a lot of myth and lore in the 'stories' of the Knights Cross and the higher grades. However, the subject is straight forward and well documented. Dietrich
  15. "L/21" is the LDO-code for Förster & Barth and it should be meanwhile common knowledge that this company did not manufacture any Oakleaves. Some time ago Mr Niemann thought he had the very, very rare set of "L/21" and "900" marked Oakleaves and put them in his newest (big size) catalog for the outrageously ridiculous price of $ 20,000.- In his expert excitement he oversaw one slight little detail: the oaks were clearly Godet Type 1, usually marked L/50. But he also had a total of three types of L/12 marked oaks in the catalog and nobody seemed to care. This set is for sure a (bad) copy. DM
  16. What's on your mind?

  17. Francois, thank you very much for you nice and unbiased review. I really do appreciate it. I have attached the Table of Content so potential buyers or interested people can see what the book offers since it is not only about the Knights Cross but also about the higher grades as well as the Grandcross and Star. As the table shows I have only included the authorized makers so the book is very drastic in its approach. Thanks again! Dietrich
  18. Hi Edgar, a lot is in the pipeline - also together with friends. All in all there are 7 books in the making between now and the next 18 month. Just check my website for regular updates. Dietrich
  19. Thanks everybody for the overwhelming response and 100% positive reception. This is a great boost for me and the current projects which are in the making and will hit the market next year. As one of the most knowledgeable and advanced collector said about the book: "Just amazing!" For further info please check out my website www.ironcross1939.com Again, thanks a lot for the enthusiastic response! Dietrich
  20. I promissed not to post the full reverse oif the badge and I will not brake that promiss. This is not because I want to be a 'know it all' - it is because I don't want to help the dark site. Hiowever, I think it might be helpfull to the community to see the difference in construction between the Hartmann badge and the others shown here. Again, there is no marking on the other wingtip. None whatsoever. And no "holes" or break-thrue's" in the outer frame. Of course, I do not know whether all genuine badges need to be constructed in this way. And just because I don't know that, I personally would only like to own one which is identical to a known original. Pure pragmatical approach w/o judgement....
  21. Chris, Thanks for the answer. Do you know whether the Goering and Rudel piece were marked? Dietrich
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