Iron Cross

The Iron Cross was originally established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III in March 1813. On 5th August 1914 Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany and the King of Prussia, reestablished the medal. The Iron Cross was awarded without regard for nationality or social class to combatants for acts of heroism, bravery or leadership skills. During the First World War Germany awarded over five million of these medals to members of the armed forces: Grand Cross (5), First Class (288,000) and Second Class (5,200,000).