Great War Group of Five: *** PRUSSIA. Iron Cross, II class (PREUSSEN. Eiserne Kreuz, II. Klasse), 1914 issue. White metal cross pattée with magnetic core with a blackened cross pattée within a hatched border imposed, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a central ‘W’ (for Wilhelm), a crown above, the date ‘1914’ below; the reverse with a central oak branch, the crowned cipher ‘FW’ (for Friedrich Wilhelm) above, the date ‘1813’ below. The Iron Cross was instituted on 10 March 1813 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia during the War of Liberation against the Napoleonic French forces. It was reinstated in 1870-1871 for the Franco-Prussian War and again in 1914 for World War I. It is awarded for bravery. In spite of its iconic image and fame, it has always been made of modest materials and issued in relatively large numbers. It was designed by the neo-classical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross of the Teutonic Knights in the late Middle Ages which was also the emblem of Frederick the Great. ***BADEN. Order of the Zahringen Lion knight with swords - uniface copy (Orden vom Zähringer Löwen, Ritterkreuz mit Schwertern - einseitig Sammleranfertigung). Green glass cross pattée with silvered clasps and gilt crossed swords between the arms, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central gilt-edged polychrome enamel medallion depicting the ruins of Zahringen Castle. The reverse plain; a small crack to the green glass of the lower right. The Order was instituted on 22 January 1809 by Grand Duke Carl alongside the House Order for Fidelity (Hausorden der Treue) to be awarded ‘Erkennung vorzüglicher Verdienste‘ (in Recognition of Outstanding Merit). ***HAMBURG. Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz), 1914-1918. Red enamel cross pattée with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the silvered arms of Hamburg; the reverse silvered with a circular central medallion inscribed ‘Für Verdienst im Kriege 1914’ (For Merit in War, 1914). Each of the three ancient Hanseatic Cities - Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck - issued a cross of similar design in World War I, differing only in the arms on the central medallion of the face, that for Hamburg being instituted on 10 September 1915. Hamburg suffered 40,000 casualties during the war, from a total population of 800,000. The Cross was suppressed at the end of 1918. ***GERMAN EMPIRE. Cross of Honour of the World War, combatant (DEUTSCHES REICH. Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges, Frontkämpfer), 1914-1914-18. Bronzed iron cross pattée with crossed swords between the arms, on laterally-pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the dates ‘1914 1918’ encircled by a wreath of laurel leaves; the reverse plain with maker’s mark. The Cross was instituted on 13 July 1934 by President Field Marshal Paul von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg and is often referred to as the ‘Hindenburg Cross’. There were three versions - for combatants, non-combatants and next of kin - the latter being awarded to the widows and parents of those who died during the conflict. Designed by Eugene Godet, this was the first and only commemorative medal issued by the Third Reich. ***AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE. Cross for Military Merit, III class, with war decoration, on war ribbon (Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III Klasse mit K.D., am Kriegsband). Silver-edged red enamel cross pattée with inset white enamel panels, with silver gilt laurel wreath between the arms, with ribbed loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central white enamel medallion bearing the inscription ‘VER / DIENST’ (Merit) in applied silver letters within a red enamel ring; the reverse of plain white ename. The Cross was instituted on 21 October 1849 to be awarded to officers for distinguished service in peacetime and for bravery and leadership in wartime. In 1860 a laurel wreath between the arms was added for wartime awards. ***The Group is parade-mounted with pin for wear. The original insignia of the Order of the Zahringen Lion has been removed at some stage and replaced with a good quality replica. An interesting group.