Germany awards new Iron Cross

#1
This is obviously a national matter for Germany and the Bundeswehr, but when the planned new medal was discussed on ARRSE some time ago I think there were favourable reactions. The new medal is in Maltese Cross shape and there is a photograph on the BBC link.

BBC News said:
Germany awards 'new Iron Cross'

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has presented four soldiers with the country's new medal for bravery, the first to be awarded since World War II.

The Cross of Honour for Bravery features a golden Maltese cross with an eagle in the centre, held on a black, red and gold ribbon with oak leaves.

It is the Bundeswehr's first decoration for bravery since the Iron Cross was shunned due to its WWII association.

The soldiers are being honoured for their bravery in Afghanistan in 2008.

The four risked their lives to aid those wounded in a suicide attack near Kunduz that left two soldiers and five children dead, the defence ministry said in a statement on its website.

"Despite burning vehicles and exploding munitions, the soldiers attempted to rescue their comrades and Afghan civilians," it added.l

Germany has some 7,200 troops currently serving abroad, including 3,830 in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Ulrich Kirsch, chairman of the Federal Armed Forces Federation, a union representing German soldiers, told ARD television that the medal was fitting recognition of the military's increasing role.

"The soldiers are so close to death and injury - that's not the situation in other jobs," he said. "We consider this honour absolutely appropriate."

Before the creation of the Cross of Honour for Bravery, the Bundeswehr's four existing decorations were given only for "loyal services and in appreciation of exemplary soldierly acquittal of duty".

The Iron Cross was established originally as a Prussian military honour by King Frederick Wilhelm III in 1813.

The medal was later awarded as a top honour to German servicemen during both world wars, but was abandoned in 1945.
 
#2
Recession , unemployment, a new iron cross is this the precursor to a new European tour, time to get the Sven Hassel books out again
 
#6
Generalissimo said:
I preferred the previous design. They should also bring back the Pour le Mérite
Technically the Pour le Merite never left - albeit it still exists only in its civil form (like the OBE there was a military and civil division).
 
#8
If this keeps up the French will be cranking up production at the white flag factory.
 
#9
I'm told that in the late 1950s there was a serving TA Soldier in Bristol who had the Iron Cross. He won it as a teenager fighting on the eastern front, he was a Czech German (Sudeten) or something simmilar. After the war he was lucky enough to end up in the UK, became a British Subject, and Joined the TA. As it was a bravery award and not political, he was allowed to wear it, with the Nazi symbols ground off, or so I was told over a beer by an old boy who served with him!
 
#10
Here's a vid of the presentation ceremony for those who're interested. It's in German, but a whole bunch of ARRSErs are conversant with the language anyway:

http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1010895.html

I wonder how long it'll take before your man Jimbo's sporting one.

MsG
 
#11
SomersetMan said:
I'm told that in the late 1950s there was a serving TA Soldier in Bristol who had the Iron Cross. He won it as a teenager fighting on the eastern front, he was a Czech German (Sudeten) or something simmilar. After the war he was lucky enough to end up in the UK, became a British Subject, and Joined the TA. As it was a bravery award and not political, he was allowed to wear it, with the Nazi symbols ground off, or so I was told over a beer by an old boy who served with him!
He was a tanky, though I forget which regiment. Up for another crack at the Ivans no doubt.....

He was considered an asset in the unit because he had fought the Russians in his youth and had some idea of what to expect from them. Useful knowledge if the cold war had turned hot.
 
#12
Bugsy said:
Here's a vid of the presentation ceremony for those who're interested. It's in German, but a whole bunch of ARRSErs are conversant with the language anyway:

http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1010895.html

I wonder how long it'll take before your man Jimbo's sporting one.

MsG
Cheers for the link Bugsy. Old Angela Merkel sounded bored to me, not her usual firey self.
 
#13
Recce19 said:
Bugsy said:
Here's a vid of the presentation ceremony for those who're interested. It's in German, but a whole bunch of ARRSErs are conversant with the language anyway:

http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1010895.html

I wonder how long it'll take before your man Jimbo's sporting one.

MsG
Cheers for the link Bugsy. Old Angela Merkel sounded bored to me, not her usual firey self.
As this was the first official presentation of the new medal, Recce, I reckon she was trying to distance the whole ceremony from the ardent, patriotic shite of the Third Reich. It was also she who insisted that the whole thing be very "civilian-orientated" and not overtly military.

Mind you, it's quite a handsome gong, innit?

MsG
 
#14
alll together now...............

Ob's stürmt oder schneit, ob die Sonne uns lacht.............................
 
#15
Alaarm! said:
alll together now...............

Ob's stürmt oder schneit, ob die Sonne uns lacht.............................
Oder auch:

Vor der Kaserne, Hände in den Schoß
Wartet sie vergeblich auf den letzten Stoß

MsG
 
#17
Ob's stürmt oder schneit,

Ob die Sonne uns lacht

Der Tag glühend heiß

Oder eiskalt die Nacht

Bestaubt sind die Gesichter

Doch froh ist unser Sinn

Ist unser Sinn

Es braust unser Panzer

Im Sturmwind dahin



Oh YAASSS! :p Pretty soon it'll be like it was in the good old days. :wink:
The Germans deserve a bravery decoration like the VC or the Medal of Honor, so why not an Eisen-Kreuz? We shouldn't let our good sense be swayed by the recent unpleasantness of 1939-45.
 
#18
DavidBOC said:
If this keeps up the French will be cranking up production at the white flag factory.
The only difference between the French and British armies in 1940 was the English Channel.

The French suffered a higher rate of casualties in World War I in proportion to its population than any other combatant.

Without the French Army and Navy George Washington would probably have ended up on the end of a rope.

The hundred years war ended up with the French winning France and the French language losing England.

If the French hadn't thrown back the Muslim invasion of Europe at Tours in 732 AD you might be wearing a turban right now.

No nation with the fall of Singapore on its record has any business poking fun at anybody else's surrenders.
 
#19
littlejim said:
DavidBOC said:
If this keeps up the French will be cranking up production at the white flag factory.
The only difference between the French and British armies in 1940 was the English Channel.

The French suffered a higher rate of casualties in World War I in proportion to its population than any other combatant.

Without the French Army and Navy George Washington would probably have ended up on the end of a rope.

The hundred years war ended up with the French winning France and the French language losing England.

If the French hadn't thrown back the Muslim invasion of Europe at Tours in 732 AD you might be wearing a turban right now.

No nation with the fall of Singapore on its record has any business poking fun at anybody else's surrenders.

Don't steal fantassin's thunder.

And an important fortified port on the other side of the world doesn't equal your own country, atleast three times in the last two centuries. It's also sad that the 'French winning France' should be something notable.
 
#20
Kitmarlowe said:
Ohhhh...."Let's go where the Iron Crosses grow..."
Shouldn't that be "Let me show you where the Iron Crosses grow..."? Or are we refering to different things?

Anyway, good on the krauts. Bravery awards shouldn't be political.
 
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