Re-introduce the Iron Cross for the German military?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Alsacien, Mar 7, 2008.

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  1. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

  2. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    ..they still trot about with it on all their military kit though - maybe just a design update? Remove the swastika for sure....

  3. That's already been done, all the WW2 combat decorations were 'de-nazified' in the fifties, and can be worn freely (by the recipiants obviously).
  4. The bit that gets me going though, is that some apologist on german TV yesterday evening stated that they shouldn´t get any kind of recognition for gallantry because it smacked of Nazism !

    I agree that perhaps the award should be redesigned, but saying that they deserve no recognition whatsoever is just kicking the arrse out of it and it wouldn´t surprise me, if the gentleman in question, had never served a single day in his life.
  5. I seem to recall that 4-5 were awarded to GSG9 personnel for the Mogadishu rescue in '77. I've seen a pic of the CO (Oberst Wenger?) being decorated with some Knights Cross tin but cannot find it on t'Interweb thingy..........I stand to be corrected as I'm very old and I smell of wee :oops:
  6. Even though I have Prussian blood flowing through my veins I just don't understand the boxies. Iron Crosses are right out, yet the Reichs kanzellor or whatever she's called nowadays, is allowed to threaten Liechtenstein with annexation without anyone batting an eyelid. Has she forgotten that's how the last lot of unpleasantness began.
  7. That is more likely to have been this one, perhaps?

    <Edited to add: The order of the iron cross was as some of you may know founded during the "liberation wars" in 1813, and could not be qualified for in peacetime, so you also have "non-nazi" gongs from both 1870-71 and 1914-18. So a reinstatement would also mean a discussion on whether Germany currently is at war or not.

    /Anorak off.
  8. What people from outside Germany sometimes forget is that Germany is not a normal country at all. Symbols are incredibly controversial. Not just symbols from 1933-1945, although they are obviously most controversial, but almost all symbols. That is because they are often linked to German history and the truth is that most of German history is a cause of deep moral agony for what you would call "the chattering classes", writers, philosophers, historians, art critics, journalists and so on.

    You have ancient "Germany" and its mythological symbolism, all of which is now effectively outlawed and not taught at school because the Nazis were fascinated by it and used parts of it.

    You have Germans as the bad guys who finished off the Roman Empire. Also unpopular, especially when looked at from a modern Enlightenment perspective. Comparative barbarians they were true enough.

    Then you have medieval Germany, its incessant wars and oppression of ordinary people. Also nothing particularly great by today's standards, neither is the expansion eastwards by fanatic Christian knights. As the centuries pass you also have some nice decades long wars and the plague. Hmm. Since Luther and the 30-years-war in the 17th century, even Christian symbology isn't uncontroversial anymore. Catholic? Protestant? The divides are still there today. The only symbol dating back to this period is probably the eagle in endless variations.

    Then there is the time of extra-splintered Germany, it's 46 or so tiny kingdoms, dukedoms, whatever-doms. Nothing particularly inspiring there. Then Napoleon rides through and you get the Iron Cross, the first gallantry award dished out with no regard for rank and status. That was perhaps one of the very few uncontroversial symbols until 1933. That's about it.

    After that, you get the restoration of the old, by modern standards despicable and despotic, European order. Liberals and German nationalists are persecuted as a threat to that order. Liberal symbols from that time are sort-of okay, like the German flag (black, red, yellow), but even the anthem written at the time is censored. Singing any stanza except the third is an offense and can land a German in jail.

    Fast forward to 1871 and Prussia-pushed, top-down German unification. Dodgy symbology afterwards because of resentment for Prussia in general (especially in the southern, non-Prussian states), the lack of democracy, and its cultural values (i.e. military values, including obedience).

    Then the Weimar Republic from 1918-1933. No great symbols from that time either. Then it obviously gets much worse.

    Thing is, if you were Germany or the German military, where do you go from there? You can't use existing symbols, and if you make up new ones their shape will undoubtedly be linked to some historical thing of the past 1500 years that's horrible.

    I'd suggest a little metal square. But maybe even that would be controversial because horrible things happened on assembly squares or something.


    (sorry for the long post)
  9. [​IMG]

    They don't seem to have any problem with the Luftwaffe using it!
  10. Where are they going to qualify for it? by the recent photo's in Kabul, it's not going to be there....unless they introduce a drinking medal!
  11. GSG9 was set up by the Hereford people as far as I can remember.
  12. I beg to differ...........(short of saying "what a load of B.......llocks")...the sign on the Eurojet is the official symbol for military sovereignty of the German republic (MOD). You will find it on all ships, planes and vehicles that are representing this sovereignty. It is a national symbol
    comparable to our army flag with crossed swords. It has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the german military medal called the Iron Cross, whatsoever !

    My son is a member of GSG 9........the officer was WEGENER !

    No..........I am not German and served 12 years in the Infantry, but I hate people who dribble about things they obviously know little about.
    There are always facts to settle the assumptions.