Iron Cross 2nd 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:

A single act of outstanding combat bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

First Awarded:

An exact date is not known for the first award of the EK2 or its Spange, but this likely took place in relation to the first days of combat in Poland in September of 1939.

Number Awarded:

3,000,000+ (incl. awards of its Spange).


The EK2 came in one version, the version shown. The Spange can be considered a variation on the EK2 in the sense that it was awarded in place of the actual medal if the individual being awarded had previously held the Iron Cross IIndClass during WWI. If that was the case, the individual would simply attach the Spange to the ribbon of the 1914 EK2 and wear it as he or she would wear the WWII version of the EK2. The Spange was produced in two sizes, one smaller than the other, the smaller version being privately manufactured.

Method of Wear:

When awarded, the EK2 was worn from a ribbon suspended from the second buttonhole of the tunic. The medal and its ribbon could also be worn on a medal bar for formal and dress events. For everyday wear, simply a ribbon was worn through the second buttonhole of the tunic. If the Spange had been awarded, the ribbon worn through the second buttonhole of the tunic would be the 1914 EK2 version with the Spange attached by prongs.


The EK2 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 alongside Germany in an Axis Allied unit either under German control or in conjunction with German forces. 39 women are known to have been awarded the EK2. The youngest person awarded the EK2 was 12 year old Jungvolk-ZugführerAlfred Zeck from Goldenau (Ober-Schlesien) in March of 1945 while at the Oder-Front. He was awarded the EK2 for the rescue of twelve wounded German soldiers under heavy enemy artillery fire. In some cases, entire units were awarded the EK2 en-masse, as was the case of the Kriegsmarine Admiral Scheer on April 1st, 1941 when all 1,300members of the crew were awarded the EK2.
WW2 German Iron Cross 2nd Class
The Iron Cross 2nd Class
WW2 German Iron Crosss 2nd Class Clasp
1939 Clasp to the 1914
Iron Cross 2nd Class
WW2 German Iron Cross 2nd Class Soldier
An unknown EK2 holder