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Obermaat Herbert Maier - Hilfskreuzer Thor - Schiff 10

The Auxiliary Cruiser Badge / Kriegsabzeichen für Hilfskreuzer was an award of the German military of the Third Reich. It was awarded to officers and men of the Kriegsmarine for service on Auxiliary Cruisers or the supply ships that supported them for a successful large voyage. During World War II mainly the u-boats, but also other ships needed to be supplied at sea to continue their patrol with minimum time lost on refueling and supply.

Formerly a freighter named Santa Cruz, she was built by Deutsche Werft, Hamburg, (DWH) in 1938, and was owned and operated by the Oldenburg Portuguese Line (OPDR), Hamburg. In the winter of 1939–1940 she was requisitioned by the KM and converted to a war ship by DWH. She was commissioned as the commerce raider Thor in March 1940.

The Thor began its first combat cruise on 6 June 1940, under the command of Captain Otto Kähler. Thor spent 328 days at sea, and sank or captured 12 ships, for a combined tonnage of 96,547.

Thor set out on its second cruise on 30 November 1941 under the command of Captain Günther Gumprich. Thor sank or captured 10 ships during her second cruise, for a total of 58,644 tons, during 328 days of operation.

The Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse) was instituted on September 1st, 1939. The soldier had to be a recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class and had to perform three to five acts of bravery above the military obligations. There were 450,000 decorations awarded during WW2.