Gilt metal cross pattée with laurel wreath between the arms, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the head of King Wilhelm I facing left, circumscribed ‘WILHELM KOENING VON PREUSSEN’; the reverse with a circular central medallion bearing the crowned Prussian royal eagle in flight, a laurel wreath in its talons, above a small boat in the sea before a stone wall, a standard bearing the Iron Cross to the right on its stern, the upper, left, right and lower arms inscribed ‘ALSEN’, ‘29’, ‘JUN.’, ‘1864’ respectively; on correct ribbon for combatants.
The Cross was instituted by King Wilhelm on 7 December 1864 for combatants and non-combatants in the taking of the island of Alsen (Danish = Als), the last conflict in the war with Denmark. It was extended on 18 April 1865, first anniversary of the crucial battle of Düppel in the same war, to those troops held in reserve for the battle.
Alsen is an island near the German border to which Danish forces had retreated. On the night of 29 June 1864, 2,500 Prussian troops crossed the Alssund in small boats and took the Danish lines, enabling a pontoon bridge to be built to bring up reinforcements. On 1 August, the Danish king renounced his right to Schleswig-Holstein in favour of Prussia and Austria.
This example is a collector's copy of relativelty recent manufacture.