Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this early and extremely desirable formal Knight’s Cross Mappe and Document. This is a top-quality piece, with a gorgeous document featuring hand lettering done by a very skilled artisan. This piece dates from September, 1940, and was awarded to Major Ernst Hoffmann for actions during the 1940 Campaign in France. Hoffmann went on to be very highly decorated during the war, and was also awarded the German Cross in Gold on February 8, 1942, as well as the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on June 9, 1944. Hoffmann ended the war as the last commander of the 4. Panzer Division, and obtained the rank of Oberst (Colonel). The Mappe (folder) is a stunning piece. The crimson leather has lovely original color, and the imprinted gold eagle and swastika emblem on the front is intact, with all of the original shine. There is light wear to the edges, with moderate wear on the folding edge and corners. The obverse of the outer cover has only light, scattered marks, and displays very nicely. The Mappe has the signature of the well-known artist Frieda Thiersch. The inside of the Mappe contains the original formal document, an extremely early type, dated September 3, 1940. This beautiful document remains in very nice condition, with only one minor, hardly noticeable fold that had occurred down the middle of the document at some time. The document is expertly executed, with beautiful gold lettering for Hoffmann’s name. This Knight’s Cross Mappe and Document is an exceptionally evocative display object. The overall condition rates as very good/excellent.
Historical Description: The German Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Instituted on September 1st, 1939, the Knight’s Cross has come to be known as one of the most recognized awards of World War Two. Awarded for acts of extreme bravery during combat, or successful leadership resulting in extraordinary success, the Knight’s Cross and its subsequent grades was among Germany’s highest military decorations. The Knight’s Cross was worn around the neck, suspended by a black, red, and white ribbon. Every member of Germany’s armed forces was eligible to be awarded the Knight’s Cross, provided the requirements of awarding had been met. The awarding process, determining whether or not a soldier was worthy of the award, began as a recommendation at the company level. This recommendation was then reviewed and either approved or denied. Upon approval, it would continue up the chain of command and end with Adolf Hitler, himself, making the final judgment. The Knight’s Cross was awarded 7,364 times during the war. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 Knight’s Crosses were produced between September 1939 to May 1945.
The Knight’s Cross was constructed of three separate pieces, a core and two outer frames. The core, made of iron, zinc, or brass, was placed between the two outer silver frames and delicately hand soldered together. The Cross was then suspended by a large loop through the frames top eyelet. A ribbon of black, white, and red was then threaded through the suspension loop. The production of the Knights Cross was strictly regulated. Only the companies granted approval by the government were legally allowed to produce the Knight’s Cross.
Known Manufacturers: Juncker, Steinhauer & Luck, Klein & Quenzer, Otto Schickle, C.F. Zimmermann, Gebruder Godet, Unknown “3/4 Ring”.
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