German Knight's Cross, Breast Star, in Gold
Image courtesy of Hvrandow, Wikipedia
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The German Knight’s Cross was established and designed by Captain Alfred von Randow in March 1919. The Cross was primarily conferred upon members of the Freiwilligen Detachement von Randow, a unit that was formed in January 5, 1919 and tasked with establishing security in the Baltic region.
The German Knight’s Cross is also known as "Randow Cross".
The Cross was established to strengthen comradeship in the unit and serve as a reminder of days gone by.
The Cross was originally established in two grades, the standard Knight’s Cross and a Breast Star in Silver. The Knight’s Cross was issued for four months of meritorious service, and the Breast Star in Silver was issued for six months of meritorious service.
The first award ceremony took place on April 12, 1919 just nine days after the first batch of crosses had been delivered. The Deutschritter-Kreuz was issued together with a certificate.
The Breast Star in Silver was only awarded to four officers: Captain Alfred von Randow, Detachment adjutant Leutnant G.Negendank and commanders of Northern and Southern groups of the detachement – Hauptmann Meyer and Hauptmann Ebert.
In May 1919, two grades were added: the Breast Star in Gold and the Grand Cross. The standard German Knight’s cross was divided into grades, I and II Class.
The Awards that were conferred upon combatants featured crossed swords.
The Award was primarily awarded between 1919 and 1923, but continued to be awarded sporadically until 1928.
German Knight’s Cross was manufactured by various German companies. The quadrilateral eight-point Cross black enameled and it varies in size depending on a manufacturer.
The Grand Cross was issued with the Breast Star in Gold to Commanders who demonstrated exceptional merit. The Award was worn at the neck.
Only five people were nominated for an award but only von Randow was decorated. The four unaccomplished holders were:
- Russian count Major-General Pavel Bermon(d)t-Avalov (04.03.1877 - 27.12.1973)
- Oberstleutnant Karl Heinrich von Diebitsch (05.12.1865 - 23.02.1924)
- Hauptmann Ritter Franz Felix Pfeffer von Salomon (19.02.1888 - 12.04.1968)
- Hauptmann Cordt von Brandis (04.10.1888 - 11.06.1972)
The I Class worn on the left breast pocket attached by a vertical pin.
The II Class was worn on a black ribbon with a clasp. The clasp had the shape of crossed swords and a crown.
The Breast Star in Silver and the Breast Star in Gold was worn on the tunic pocket.
The Grand Cross was worn as a neck decoration.
The Award became obsolete following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933.
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