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Title War Merit Cross (VK2) with swords, 2nd class
Nationality German
Period c 1939-45

This was the basic gallantry award of the Third Reich, instituted in 1939 and awarded in a bronze finish, and about six million were awarded. The level of gallantry required fell short of that needed for the Iron Cross 2nd Class - the next step up. (The 1st Class award had a silver finish.)

The VK2 could also be awarded without swords for non-combatant bravery (eg nursing sisters).

In the VK2's original institution, the award criteria specified bravery and service not in direct connection with combat, but, as the war went on, it was most certainly awarded for active combat under fire, as I have an SS Police battalion certificate for a partisan action in the Lublin area of Poland in 1943.

This example, which has no maker mark, is made of bronze, as opposed to late war examples which were made of zinc with a bronze finish. The ribbon is original, if a little short. The award itself has a natural bronze patination and is of a very thin construction, as all these early bronze awards were.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Medals : Third Reich : Wehrmacht]


Arrived safely in the last hour. Well pleased, thanks for additional info.

J A, UK, 11.04.2013

Chris, the knot arrived safely today. It is beautiful ? and the only Honved knot I have. Thanks for selling this item!

J F, USA, 06.04.2013