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Researching a soldier awarded 1914 EK2 in 1939 (supposedly)

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Hello, everyone.

I'm obviously new to this forum. I'm not an EK collector specifically (although I do have one), I'm more a collector of German (Prussian) and Canadian WWI militaria in general, driven mainly by my research interests. A topic I've been researching has been very difficult to find info about through google, I find. A colleague of mine told me that collectors are often the best source for knowledge, so I'll give this place a shot to see if anyone here can help fill in some gaps for me.

I'm researching a soldier who served with Germany in WWI and moved to Canada in 1923. The story as it has been passed down through his family, is that he was supposed to have been awarded a 1914 EK2 but he had left the country before it could be awarded to him. Jump forward to 1938 when the Nazi government invites recipients to apply for awards they had not received. He does, and eventually the medal is due to arrive in Canada a week before WWII breaks out. The Canadian government promptly confiscates the medal. Anyway, this is how the family describes the sequence of events.

I did find his name in the Verlustlisten, his listing published on June 21, 1917. Unless I'm mistaken, by this point in the war the majority of men who were wounded did receive an EK2, so I believe the family story that he was "supposed" to get one holds some weight.

My questions are these: Does this sound like a plausible story? Were 1914 EK2's still being distributed that long after WWI? I found a book called "German Iron Cross Documents of World War I" by William Hamelman that makes brief mention of late awards being sent out almost up to the beginning of World War II, which seems to support the story, but I haven't found reference to this anywhere else yet. Has anyone here heard anything about these late awards?

If this sort of thing really did happen, then it leads to my next question -- was there any discernible difference between 1914 EK's distributed in the Kaiser era vs. those in the Nazi era? Unique markings or construction methods, or were they just using old medals still on hand? Is there any sort of official documentation about these late recipients that survived WWII?

If anybody has any info at all about this topic to share, or even names of books that might help, I'll be super grateful.

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awards of the Iron Cross stopped in 1925, HOWEVER, it was possible at a later date to get the medal itself if an award had been made and approved before the cut off date in 1925.

Most likely is that your guy had his award approved before 1925, at which time he was in Canada, then in the 1930s he wrote saying "Where is my bloody medal!"

I have a group where the gus has a note from the division in November 1918 saying "Lt XXX deserved the EK1, but the division has none to award"... fast forward to 1934, the Reichswehrministerium issues his award document and sends him a cross.



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Funnily enough I have just archived one such document to a Bavarian, Peter Geimer, who won the award in 1916 and eventually got a certificate and presumably the medal in 1934.




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I assume most of the postwar ones were KO... then there were 10 years of private purchase.... I dont think it is possible to say 800 or Silber pieces were never awarded, but they were not really the Official Govt approved model.

Just what they handed out in the mid 1930s (which I think were the absolute exception) I cannot say :-(

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Thanks for the info, Chris. That's interesting. I didn't know about the 1925 cut off date. Or divisional shortages of medals for that matter. That definitely makes the sequence of events for my guy easier to wrap my head around. I'm also trying to figure out what unit he might have served with and what battle he was wounded at, going only by the vague details his son remembered many years after his death and a photo from 1914, and I'm kind of leaning toward the foot artillery, which I'm sure you know is extremely tricky to put into any sort of logical order. I wonder if the massive restructuring of the foot artillery throughout the war could have also added to the administrative headache of getting a medal to the right guy (if it was in fact one of those units he served with)?

And thanks for the sharing the document, padro. It's nice to see visual evidence of the long gap it took for some men to receive their award.

I definitely need to look more into the history of the EK.

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