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The Iron Cross 1813 • 1870 • 1914

The History and Significance of a Medal

About the book

Two volumes in a slipcase, 864 pages, approx. 1500 colour photographs, contemporary BW-photographs and illustrations, ca. 350 items, bound in linen with a protective cover. Format: 29.5 x 26.0 cm


Dr. Frank Wernitz


€ 149.90


978-3-902526-59-5 (English)
978-3-902526-58-8 (German)


This two-volume work comprising more than 850 pages, which is based on many years of research in German archives, presents the Iron Cross 1813–1870–1914 in a completely new light. In particular the files of the Royal Prussian General Order Commission (GOC) in the State Archives of the former East Germany (DDR), which were basically locked away until, after Germany’s reunification, they were finally made accessible at the Prussian State Archive in Berlin, revealed extra­ordinary documents containing hitherto unknown facts. The author has, with expertise and historical understanding, been able to re-evaluate historical events, to document them clearly and to put them in a pictorial context.

The set comprises one volume of text and a comprehensive illustrated companion volume. The ‘Typologies’ defined in this second volume, extensive colour plates with photographs in a scale of 2:1, provide the reader with all the details of three generations of the Iron Cross along with an unforeseen number of variations – a total of more than 350 items.

These Typologies are largely based on collections, not open to the public in the past, at the Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin, the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr Dresden, the Bayerisches Armeemuseum Ingolstadt and the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, who now hold the almost complete former collection of Max Aurich. In addition, the author has impressively tracked down medals that were long believed to have been lost, historical witnesses such as the ‘Blücher Star’ and its Grand Cross of the Iron Cross from 1813, which belonged to ‘Marshal Forwards’, Graf Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. For the first time, both decorations are presented here in colour.

Not only collectors will delight in this exemplary work, it will also be indispensable for historians – a work for readers of all generations.