Bronze 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 perched on a cannon, the upper, left, right and lower arms inscribed ‘DÜPPEL’, 18’, ‘APR’, ‘1864’ respectively; on replaced correct ribbon for Reserve Troops.
The Cross was instituted by King Wilhelm on 18 October 1864 for combatants and non-combatants in the storming of the fortified Düppel (Danish = Dybbøl) peninsula during the war with Denmark. It was extended on 18 April 1865, first anniversary of the battle, to those troops held in reserve for the battle.
Duppel was a key fortress and site of the crucial determining battle in the war of 1864 between Denmark and a confederation of German states over the future of Schleswig-Holstein. The fortress was besieged from 7 April and stormed on the morning of 18 April by some 11,000 troops, 26,000 being held in reserve. By contrast, the Danes deployed 5,000 men in defence of the fort with 6,000 in reserve.
The Cross was issued in white bronze; this example, very unusually, is in bronze and would have been manufactured privately.