Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse u. 1939 Spange Zum 1914 Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse
Iron Cross Ist Class and 1939 Clasp to the 1914 Iron Cross Ist Class


Date Instituted:
September 1st, 1939
Awarded To:
Men and women of all ranks within any branch of the Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS or the auxiliary service organizations.
Required Qualifications:
In general:
  • The previous award of the EK2 or its Spange, and
  • 3-5 outstanding actions of combat bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
    For the Luftwaffe:
  • The previous award of the EK2 or its Spange, and
  • Accumulation of 5 points total, 1 point for downing a single-engine aircraft, 2 points for a twin-engine aircraft and 3 points for a four-engine aircraft. All points were x2 at night.
    For the Kriegsmarine:
  • The previous award of the EK2 or its Spange, and
  • Accumulation of 50,000 tons sunk for Uboots, or
  • 3-5 outstanding actions of combat bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
  • First Awarded:
    An exact date is not known for the first award of the EK1 or its Spange.
    Number Awarded:
    450,000+ (incl. awards of its Spange).
    Grades/Variations:
    The EK1 came in one version, the version shown. A slight variation existed in an example that could be screwed to the uniform, versus pinned. Another variation existed unoffically in a cloth version, but this was very rarely used, if at all. The Spange can be considered a variation on the EK1 in the sense that it was awarded in place of the actual medal if the individual being awarded had previously held the Iron Cross Ist Class during WWI. The 1914 Spange for the EK1 was slightly larger than the 1914 Spange for the EK2.
    Method of Wear:
    When awarded, the EK1 was worn centered on the lower left brest of the individuals uniform. It took precedence over all other awards worn on the lower left brest, except those with diamonds. If the Spange had been awarded in place of the actual 1939 EK1, the Spange was worn in conjunction with the individuals original 1914 EK1, both on the lower left brest of the uniform, the Spange directly above the original award.
    Notes:
    The EK1 could also be awarded to non-Germans who either were serving directly in the German Wehrmacht or the auxiliary services as volunteers, or to those foreigners that were serving along side Germany in an Axis Allied unit either under German control or in conjunction with German forces. Two German women are known to have been awarded the EK1 during WWII.

    The Iron Cross Ist Class



    The 1939 Clasp to the 1914
    Iron Cross Ist Class



    EK1 holder Heinz Fischer