Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords

Spanienkreuz in Bronze ohne Schwerter

Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords

The Spain Cross was given for outstanding service during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. It was only lend on the 6 June, 1939. On this day the Legion Condor paraded in front of Hitler in Berlin. The Spanish Cross was awarded in all classes a total of 26,117 times. The highest class, the Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern in Gold mit Brillanten was given only 29 times mostly for pilots like the later aces Galland, Mölders and Oesau. The Spanish Cross was awarded in four classes with swords and two classes without swords:

Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern in Gold mit Brillanten

Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern in Gold

Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern in Silber

Spanienkreuz mit Schwertern in Bronze
(Spanish Cross in Gold, Silver, Bronze
with swords and diamonds)

Spanienkreuz in Silber ohne Schwerter

Spanienkreuz in Bronze ohne Schwerter
(Spanish Cross in Silver and Bronze
without swords)

Spain Cross in Silver with swords

More than 50 U-boat men wore the Spanish Cross, but most of them earned the Cross not on U-boats. So received for example Kaptlt. Gerhard Bigalk his Spanish Cross with Swords for 31 sorties on a reconnaissance aircraft. Also a lot of Crosses were awarded for duty on great ships like the Deutschland, Admiral Scheer and several torpedo boats.

A few U-boats took part on this prewar incidents during the so called operation Ursula. Only a handful of U-boat men were decorated for service on U-boats in Spanish waters. The officers from the following boats received on 6 June, 1939 the Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords:

U-25   Kptlt. Günther Frauenheim
U-31   Oblt. Claus Korth
U-28   Oblt. Fritz-Julius Lemp
U-27   Oblt. Wolfgang Lüth
U-33   Kptlt. Wilhelm Schulz
U-26   Fähnr. (Ing) Erich Zürn

Kptlt. Lemp wearing on the left side his
Spain Cross without Swords

It had been said, that the commander of U-34 Kptlt. Harald Grosse sank on the 12th December, 1936 the Spanish Republican submarine C 3 and therefore became the only German Navy officer to receive the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords, but I have no confirmation for either fact.

A Spanish Cross document

Note: In our old decoration pages we had all the Spanish Crosses in one page labeled simply as "Spanish Cross". The officers were all moved into the Bronze without Swords class (this page) unless we knew otherwise.

Decorations ordered by last name

See this list sorted by date

Commander and rankAgeCrewDate  U-boat Command(s) held *
Kptlt. Baume, Günter La +28296 Jun 1939  
Ltn. Bode, Thilo21366 Jun 1939  
Kptlt. Büchel, Paul31256 Jun 1939  U-32

Oblt. Endrass, Engelbert +28346 Jun 1939  

Frahm, Karl26   
Kptlt. Frauenheim, Fritz27306 Jun 1939  U-21

Kptlt. Hartenstein, Werner +31286 Jun 1939  
Oblt. Heidtmann, Hans253426 Nov 1939  
Oblt. Henke, Werner +30336 Jun 1939  

Oblt. Jürst, Harald +2632   U-59

Kaeding, Walter236 Jun 1939  
Oblt. Korth, Claus27326 Jun 1939  U-57

Oblt. Lemp, Fritz-Julius +26316 Jun 1939  U-28, U-30
Oblt. Lüth, Wolfgang +25336 Jun 1939  

Oblt. Maus, August25345 Jun 1940  
Oblt. Mehl, Waldemar24336 Jun 1939  
Kptlt. Mengersen, Ernst283323 Oct 1940  U-18, U-143
Oblt. Möhlmann, Helmut25336 Jun 1939  

Oblt. Oesten, Jürgen25336 Jun 1939  

Ltn. Poel, Gustav21366 Jun 1939  

Oblt. Rasch, Hermann24346 Jun 1939  
Oblt. Rosenbaum, Helmut +26326 Jun 1939  U-2

Kptlt. Schacht, Harro +322629 Mar 1940  
Kptlt. Schulz, Georg-Wilhelm33326 Jun 1939  U-10

Oblt. Witte, Helmut Friedrich24346 Jun 1939  

25 U-boat Commanders decorated with Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords (Spanienkreuz in Bronze ohne Schwerter) located.

+ Indicates the Officer died in the war.
* Commands held indicates the U-boat commands held by this officer before award date. In some cases the officer had not taken command his first boat yet or was not even in the U-boat force yet.

Note: This listing is still being compiled and some recipients might be missing.

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