German Cross, in Gold, in Cloth (Luftwaffe/Air Force)


SKU: 01.GTR.0401.101.08.001

Estimated market value:

$750 USD

  • German Cross, in Gold, in Cloth (Luftwaffe/Air Force) Obverse
  • German Cross, in Gold, in Cloth (Luftwaffe/Air Force) Obverse
  • German Cross, in Gold, in Cloth (Luftwaffe/Air Force) Reverse

Estimated market value:

$750 USD


  • Country
  • Composition
  • Inscription
    Obv: 1941
  • Size
  • Version Remarks
    Ca. 26,000 German Crosses in Gold were awarded. The colour of the cloth backing indicates the recipient's military branch: field-grey for Heer/Army, dark blue Kriegsmarine/Navy, blue-grey for Luftwaffe/Air Force, Black for Panzer units, grey for Waffen-SS, olive coloured for Heer/Army Afrikakorps, khaki/tan for Luftwaffe/Air Force Afrikakorps, and white for Summer/tropical uniforms.
  • Image Licensing

Physical Description and Item Details

A textbook example Luftwaffe German Cross in Gold (Deutsches Kreuz in Gold); issued by the Luftwaffe; Stoffausführung/Cloth Version; hand embroidered example featuring a double-overlaid sunburst pattern with eight points, with the bottom outer layer for the cross in silver/aluminum threads; the cross features a fire gilded stamped bronze circular wreath impressed with oak leaves, ribbons, and the introduction year (1941), with the typical die-flaw on number “9”, signature to “C. E. Juncker, Berlin” manufacture; the inner and outer sides of the wreath feature a thin red intertwined cord acting as a border around it; within the wreath is a densely embroidered black swastika (Hakenkreuz) with a silver/aluminum bullion outer border; all on a gray Luftwaffe wool base; the blacker appears fire damaged/molten; measuring 69 mm x 69 mm; near very fine condition.


The War Order of the German Cross was instituted by Adolf Hitler on September 28, 1941. It was awarded to recognise the contributions of combat and noncombat military personnel who had previously received the 1939 I Class Iron Cross. The German Cross was technically not a part of the Order of the Iron Cross, it is considered to be a pseudo-member of the Order.

The German Cross in Gold was the combat class and it was awarded for actions that were deserving of an accolade higher than the I Class Iron Class but did not qualify an individual for a Knight’s Cross. As such, it filled the large gap between these two award grades. It should not, however, be considered a prerequisite for the Knight’s Cross, as many Knight’s Cross recipients only later received the German Cross.

The German Cross in Silver was the non-combat class and it had the same award criteria as combat class. The German Cross in Silver is much rarer than the Cross in Gold, as only about 2,500 Silver Crosses were awarded, while about 26,000 Gold Crosses were awarded.

The embroidered and cloth version of the cross was instituted to be worn during active combat service. The colour of the crosses' wool backing indicated which branch of the armed service the recipient served with.

Examples in cloth can be observed in three different models.
The first model is often, but not always, stamped “SH”, the logo of the maker, Hermann Schmuck & Cie., Weißenburg. This model features short outer silver thread rays made from two individual single strands.

The second model also often features a maker’s stamp, however in all observed examples it is blurred and damaged beyond recognition. Compared to the first model, the outer silver rays are longer, and they are made of several strains.

The third model is almost identical to the first model, however, the swastika has thinner arms. It often features the company name C. A. Westmann/Dresden on the reverse.


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