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Iron Cross Minis - Three Wars Worth


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Here are a few interesting minis for your viewing pleasure, representing the FP War, WWI and WWII. Note the mini EK on the Saxon bar is upside down. It's really not the mini that is wrong, its the ribbon. I could switch it but the tabs on the reverse look like they have been that way for a long time. So, I leave it alone - I wonder of the original wearer noticed! 

 

Does anyone have any other 1939 examples to show? Note this one is quite unlike the earlier ones. These are quite unusual. I showed it to Rick L. way back in the day and he approved.

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"The 1914 ones were actually worn at the time, am sure the 1939 was highly unofficial!!"

 

Chris, what was official before the institution of i.g. the LDO? I'm not sure if these devices for wear on WW2 ribbons were indeed sanctioned, probably they were. Why else ban them from production in Spring 1941 (according to a pamphlet from O. Schickle).

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"The 1914 ones were actually worn at the time, am sure the 1939 was highly unofficial!!"

Chris, what was official before the institution of i.g. the LDO? I'm not sure if these devices for wear on WW2 ribbons were indeed sanctioned, probably they were. Why else ban them from production in Spring 1941 (according to a pamphlet from O. Schickle).

hi,

I would bet any device like that was forbidden on a uniform ribbon bar from day 1 (excluding Spangen devices and official bars etc) and for civilian war from a certain point as well.

best,

chris

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If I remember the (unofficial) rules completely - Only ribbon bow = EK2, Ribbon bow with EK mini on the top = EK1 (version with two EKs on top is known as well), Ribbon bow with dangling EK mini = Ritterkreuz. In 1942 these rules became more strict (no buttonhole minis except highest awards), but in 1957 version we can sometimes see comeback of previous unofficial rules.

The allowed and prohibited types of buttonhole miniatures are explained nicely in the final (1945!) edition of Dr. Doehle's "Die Auszeichnungen des Großdeutschen Reiches", which is available as a reprint.

Doehle: Die Auszeichnungen des Grossdeutschen Reiches, ISBN 3931533433



 

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Kasle, can you please tell us more about those "unofficial" rules i.e. before the regulations established by the LDO?

Buttonhole minis started at the end of 19th century as Prinzen sizes, mostly. Very quickly they switched to dangling minis (at the beginning of 20th century). Same "buttonhole revolution" came at the beginning of 1930s. New fashion was fixed minis at the top of the buttonback - with or without ribbon, singles, doubles or couples, mounted side by side or one on top of another. These types are known also from older times, but only in 30s they won the customer´s interest definitely. Dangling minis didn´t ceased absolutely, we can see them from time to time on later Godet buttons as well, not only on veteran imperial pieces (Prussian MVK), but also on buttonbacks of awards instituted in TR era (Olympia Ehrenzeichen). From these facts we can assume, that there was no strict rule  forbidding this or that in area of buttonbacks (until LDO). It was just fashion, natural development of style in process of use, with its own unofficial rules and this fashion clearly started before institution of 1939 awards. When they came, their wearing style was logically influenced by actual (to that date) fashion of wearing ww1 veteran and prewar awards. Until it was regulated by LDO.

 

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Kasle, thanks for sharing your thoughts and presenting an IMO plausible scenario. I suppose it's safe to assume there were no actual rules or regulations prior to the LDO. I do have an excerpt from one of Doehle's books, giving an account for the correct wear of miniatures on miniaturschnalle, including the internationally adopted custom of adding pieces of ribbons and rosettes for identifying the classes. How this was done practically has always been an enigma for me, as I've never seen such a piece.

 

The question that started this inquiry was whether or not a single EK-device was being viewed as a EK1. Perhaps this was correct for the period prior to LDO, but I doubt that was the case later on. The forementioned publication from Schickle specifically state: "Auflagen sind verboten bei: Neues Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse". In addition the LDO made a regulation a few months later, presenting the only way of wearing a single EK2 miniature (other than as a 16mm cross on a chain or/and miniaturschnalle) i.e. a "kleine bandschleife". My very personal conclusion: if a specific device was banned as a specific decoration, I place my bet on the assumption that it was also used as such. Just my two bits :)

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