GERMANY – DOCUMENT AND AWARD – 1914 IRON CROSS 2nd CLASS – GERMAN NAVAL SEAMAN
German naval operations were based in two areas of Germany: the North Sea’s Wilhelmshaven and the Baltic Sea’s Kiel. [During WW I Kaiser Wilhelm II’s brother, Prinz Heinrich of Prussia, was a Großadmiral (the only Großadmiral to have tactical command at the front) based at Kiel. He was responsible for operations in the Baltic against the Russians. Kiel was always a secondary front, since Wilhelmshaven hosted Germany’s biggest, newest, and best ships as they faced the English fleet. This was particularly true in 1916 when the two fleets clashed at the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrak)].
Our offering today is a fine 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and its urkunde (award document) for a man whose last name was Parschau. The first thing that appears on the document’s “award line” is the abbreviated word “Kan.” (I am speculating here) which could be for Kanonier. It is followed by “Griffen,” which could be his first name. His last name definitely is “Parschau.” The document measures 6 ¼” x 8 ¼.” It was prepared at Kiel on 24 March 1920. [I have seen 1914 Iron Crosses 2nd Class that were awarded as late as 1923 and 1924. This also occurred with 1st Class Iron Crosses, although less frequently. Obviously, it sometimes took time to sift through all the necessary reports and requests in order to issue the award]. The unit stamp in the lower left corner reads “Preussisches Marine Kommando Kiel.” The document features two punched holes on its left side, which allowed the document to be filed away in a folder.
This pair makes a fascinating mini group.