Hanseatic Cross


Hanseatic Cross

Establishment and criteria

The Hanseatic Cross was jointly instituted by agreement of the senates of the three cities, with each senate ratifying the award on different days. The Lübeck version was established first, on August 21, 1915. The Hamburg version followed on September 10 and the Bremen version on September 14. The cross was awarded for merit in war, and could be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel. When awarded for bravery or combat merit, it was the three cities’ equivalent of the Iron Cross.

The three types of the Hanseatic Cross.

The Bremen Hanseatic Cross was awarded approximately 20,000 times. There were approximately 50,000 awards of the Hanseatic Cross of Hamburg, the largest Hanseatic city. Lübeck was the smallest of the Hanseatic cities, and its Hanseatic Cross was awarded approximately 8,000 to 10,000 times.


The Hanseatic Cross came in only one class, a cross worn from a ribbon on the left chest. The cross was a red-enameled silver cross pattée which bore the arms of the relevant city-state on the center medallion. The reverse was identical for all three versions and the center medallion bore the phrase "Für Verdienst im Kriege" ("for merit in war") and the date "1914".

CommanderDate  Command
Oblt. Amberger, Gustav2 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Arnauld de la Perière, Lothar von   U 35

Kptlt. Bender, Waldemar3 Jan 1917  U 76
Kptlt. Berger, Gerhard3 Jan 1916  
Kptlt. Beyersdorff, Hans1918 or later  U 111
Ltn. Buntebardt, Hans3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Deuerlich, Gustav3 Jan 1917  UC 40

Oblt. Eiffe, Peter Ernst3 Jan 1917  
Oblt. Emsmann, Hans Joachim3 Jan 1917  

Kptlt. Forstmann, Walter1 Jan 1916  U 39

Kptlt. Gansser, Konrad3 Jan 1916  U 33
Oblt. Georg, Carl-Siegfried Ritter von   
Kptlt. Gerlach, Helmut3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Götting, Friedrich1918 or later  UB 93
Kptlt. Götze, Alfred3 Jan 1917  

Kptlt. Hersing, Otto1 Jun 1915  U 21

Kptlt. (R)Kiesewetter, Wilhelm3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Koopmann, Karl3 Jan 1917  
KrvKpt. Kophamel, Waldemar   
Kptlt. Krech, Günther3 Jan 1917  
Oblt. Kümpel, Otto3 Jan 1917  

Kptlt. Lafrenz, Claus1918 or later  
Oblt. Lamprecht, Fritz2 Jan 1918  
Oblt. Lange, Werner20 Apr 1918  UC 11

Kptlt. Metger, Hermann3 Jan 1916  
Oblt. Meyer, Wilhelm3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Middendorff, Heinrich3 Jan 1917  
Oblt. Mildenstein, Christian2 Jan 1916  

Oblt. Ramien, Kurt   
Oblt. Reiche, Curt von3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Rhein, Wilhelm1918 or later  UB 112
Kptlt. Rose, Hans3 Jan 1917  U 53
Oblt. Ruckteschell, Hellmuth von29 May 1916  
Kptlt. Rücker, Claus3 Jan 1916  U 34

Kptlt. Saalwächter, Alfred5 Mar 1918  U 94
Kptlt. Sahl, Ludwig Karl3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Schmidt, Hugo3 Jan 1917  U 71
Oblt. Schmitz, Walter3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Schrader, Otto von1918 or later  UB 64
Kptlt. Schuster, Karlgeorg1 Apr 1918  
Ltn. Schüler, Hans3 Jan 1917  
Kptlt. Sieß, Gustav2 Jan 1917  U 73
Oblt. (R)Stein, Walter3 Jan 1917  

Oblt. Utke, Kurt1918 or later  

Kptlt. Valentiner, Max5 Jan 1917  U 38
Oblt. Vesper, Karl3 Jan 1917  UC 27

Oblt. Warzecha, Walter2 Jan 1918  
Kptlt. Waßner, Erwin1918 or later  UB 117
Kptlt. Wenninger, Ralph1918 or later  
Ltn. Wurmbach, Hans Heinrich3 Jan 1917  

50 officers decorated with Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz) located.

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

Back to WWI decorations page