War Merit Cross

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The name War Merit Cross is used for various German military or war awards from the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of these decorations were donated in the 19th century and in the First World War by the individual German states in their own forms and awards. The best-known award of this name today is probably the War Merit Cross (1939) , which was introduced by Adolf Hitler at the beginning of the Second World War .

German Empire 1871–1918

Crosses for war merit existed in most of the individual German states and were given in various designs and classes.

National Socialism 1933–1945

In 1934, President Paul von Hindenburg donated a World War Cross of Honor , which was awarded on the 20th anniversary of the start of the war as a kind of commemorative medal and was bestowed in its most common form with swords as a cross of honor for front-line soldiers. However, this cross must not be confused with the War Merit Cross from 1939.

At the beginning of the Second World War , Adolf Hitler donated the War Merit Cross (1939) as an award for services during the war that were not sufficient for the award of the Iron Cross , as well as to honor people who were not in military service.

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