WWII GERMAN SPANG FIRST CLASS -
This is a German WWII award. Known as the spang First Class. Introduced in September 1st 1939. Issued to
individuals who earned the Iron Cross during the First Wold War.
The following is a list of the actions that need to be completed in order to attain the First class Spang.
|| To have earned the Iron Cross during the First World War.
|| To have earned the Iron Cross again in during World War Two.
|| To show acts of bravery in combat.
The award was issued in a black box which had a facsimile image of the spang in silver applied to the top of the lid.
The box pebbled texture. The award rested on top of a black velvet surface.
The award was presented with a plain citation that had a facsimile of the Iron Cross on top. The signature of the
commanding officer is found in the lower section, along with an official stamp and the unit to which the soldier was
The design consisted of an eagle with spread wings, head looking left, cluthing a circle. The circle is outlined by a
wreath. The center of the circle has a swastika and is pebbled. The feet of the eagle are clearly visible and very
detailed. A trapeziod shape device is attached below the circle. With a thick border. The main body of this piece is
also pebbled. The date 1939 is written in the center with bold numbers.
The biggest difference between the First Class and Second Class spangs is that the first class has a pin in the
back instead of prongs. In addition, the chest of the eagle is different in the first class than the second
This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German badges and awards. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points
that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII German badge worth?". A price
guide is included here to address this question. The value of the badges and awards is reviewed
over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German
badges in the collector's market is illustrated.
This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of
a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military
antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.
The pin shown in the photogrpah above is of the thick type. There are some examples that have a thinner pin. Some of
the spangs were marked in the back with a manufacturing stamp while others were not.
BY THE NUMBERS
It is hard to determine the exact number of Iron Cross Second Class Spangs that were produced. However, thanks to the
record keeping maintained by the Wehrmacht, it is possible to estimate how many crosses were actually issued. The number
stands at close to 500,ooo.
The spang was issued to soldiers who received the Iron Cross Secnod Class during WWI and distinguished themselves
The actual number of Iron Cross Spang produced is greater than the number that was issue. It must be accounted that the
armed forces would have a stock in hand so it could replace lost ones and issue new awards. In addition the factories
were likely to have warehouses with inventory at hand. The Iron Cross was one of the awards most widely distributed
The population of Germany in 1939 was approximately 64,000,000.
COLLECTING IRON CROSS SPANGS
Collecting Third Reich memorabilia is a field that has been growing since the days the GI's rummaged around Europe
bringing back military souvenirs. German soldiers wore many of their awards on their uniforms when they went to battle.
Once the soldier was killed or captured, the American soldiers would take the awards as war trophies. Eventually all
these pieces came back to the United States where military history enthusiasts began to collect them.
"I am trying to figure out if I should get into collecting Iron Cross Spangs."
Determining which military badges to collect can be a challenging decision. The combination of availabiilty and
cost will often set the pace of what can be collected.
The adjacent table outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of collecting the Infantry Assault badge.
| WWII GERMAN SPANG VARIATIONS
There were several companies that produced the Spang during WWII. Even though the badges may all seem identical
there are usually differences among them depending on the manufacturer. In some cases variations are found among the same
factory depending on when the Spangs were produced. This section of the site provides different examples of the badge.
This award is currently being
It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality
of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style
and materials employed in the manufacturing of this badge. Attention to the details is critical in
order to be able to determine the authenticity of the badge.
If you have an interest is seeing other badges and awards of the Third Reich, you can do so by going
WWII German Badges and Awards
identification guide. Where we cover Heer (Army), Navy (Kriegsmarine) and
Air Force (Luftwaffe) items.