|Title||Iron Cross, 2nd Class, 1914-18|
Iron Cross, German bravery medal, issued in World War I. Second class (lowest level) as denoted by the style.
Obverse: crown with monogram of Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany. "1914".
Reverse: oakl leaves surmounted by a crown and the monogram of Fredreich Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany (the originator of the award). "1813".
Iron with silver edging, 2 ins square. Includes black and white ribbon.
Original owner unknown. Presumed to be a souvenir collected by an American soldier.
This German bravery medal was first introduced by the Prussian King Freidrich Wilhelm III, in 1813, to reward soldiers who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars. It was re-introduced for the Franco-Prussian War, in 1870, the First World War, in 1914, and the Second World War in 1939. Given its origins, the medal came to symbolize Franco-German rivalry, which was a continuing theme of the First World War - which came to be seen as a war fought in France by German aggressors.