War merit Cross 1st Class with Swords
War Merit Cross 1st Class with SwordsWar merit Cross 1st Class with Swords

Early KVK 1st Class With Swords 65

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Very nice early War Merit Cross 1st Class with swords / KVK 1st class / Kriegsverdienst Kreuz 1. klasse mit schwerten. It is marked “65″ for “Klein & Quenzer” on the pin. These early ones are getting tough to find !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Production of the decoration was in progress until the end of the war. There were 483,603 decorations with swords awarded and 91,239 decorations without swords.

This award was created by Adolf Hitler in 1939 as a successor to the non-combatant Iron Cross which was used in earlier wars (same medal but with a different ribbon). The award was graded the same as the Iron Cross: War Merit Cross Second Class, War Merit Cross First Class, and Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross.

The award had two variants: with swords given to soldiers for exceptional service in battle above and beyond the call of duty (but not worthy of an Iron Cross which was more a bravery award), and without swords for meritorious service behind the lines which could also be awarded to civilians. Recipients had to have the lower grade of the award before getting the next level.