Award of the "Legion Condor"

 

 

The "Legion Condor" was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and from the German Army (Wehrmacht - Heer) which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939.

The "Legion Condor" developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War shortly afterwards. The bombing of Guernica was the most infamous operation carried out by the "Legion Condor".

Hugo Sperrle commanded the unit's aircraft formations and Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma commanded the ground element.

 

Notable participants

Hermann Aldinger
Oskar Dirlewanger
Rudolf Demme
Adolf Galland
Hajo Herrmann
Werner Molders
Hugo Sperrle
Karl Schweikard
Hannes Trautloft
Heinrich Trettner
Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma
Hellmuth Volkmann
Chiang Wei-kuo

 

 

Homecoming

 

Homecoming Parade for the Legion Condor

On the return of the Legion an assembly for a personal address by Hitler on 6 June 1939, and a parade as part of the celebrations was organized for Hitler's 50th birthday 20 April 1939.

 

Members of the Luftwaffe at the homecoming parade in Berlin

Members of the Luftwaffe at the homecoming Parade for the "Legion Condor" - Berlin

 

 

Spanish Cross

(Deutsche Spanien-Kreuz)

 

 

Bronze without Swords

The non-combatant version was awarded for three months of service in Spain.

7869 bronze crosses were awarded.

 

Bronze with Swords

The Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords was given for meritorious service during the war.

8462 bronze crosses with swords were awarded.

 

Silver without Swords

The Silver Cross was a non-combatant version awarded for merit.

327 silver crosses were awarded.

 

Silver with Swords

The Spanish Cross in Silver was awarded to the soldiers who took part in decisive battles.

8304 silver crosses with swords were awarded.

 

Gold

The Spanish Cross in Gold was awarded to a soldier who showed great merits in combat or achieved uncanny accomplishments.

1126 gold crosses were awarded.

 

 

Spanish Crosses

From left to right: Bronze without swords, Bronze with swords, Silver with swords and Gold

 

 

Documents for the Spanish Cross

Award documents for the - left: bronze without swords, right: bronze with swords

 

Spanish Cross without and with Swords - in wear

Spanish Cross in wear - left: without swords, right: with swords

 

 

 

Gold with Diamonds

The Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds (Deutsche Spanien-Kreuz in Gold mit Schwertern und Brillanten) was the highest rank of the decoration. It was awarded to those who showed great leadership skills in battle or outstanding meritorious service

28 gold crosses with diamonds were awarded.

 

 

Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds

 

SC in wear - Molders

Werner Mölders wearing his Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds

 

 

 

List of Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds recipients

 

Recipients of the spanish cross in gold with diamonds

 

Spanish Cross recipients

 

 

The Spanish Cross for Next of Kin

The Spanish Cross for Next of Kin were awarded to relatives of soldiers who lost their lives during duties in Spain.

315 crosses of this class were awarded.

 

Spanish Cross for Next of Kin

 

 

 

"Legion Condor" Tank Battle Badge

(Panzerkampfabzeichen der Legion Condor)

 

 

On the 23rd September 1936 Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma was ordered, by the Army High Command, to Spain as Commander of Group "Imker" (Beekeeper), the ground contingent of the German Legion Condor.
Arriving in Spain in early October 1936, the personnel of Group "Imker" who were originally volunteers from Panzer Regiment 6 "Neuruppin" of the 3rd Panzer Division were tasked with the training of Franco's Spanish Nationalist officers and men in tanks, infantry tactics, artillery and signals employment. Group "Imker" maintained two, then three panzer training companies equipped with Panzer I light tanks under the codename group "Drohne" (Drones).

Members of the panzer group received the Legion Condor Tank Battle Badge for their participation, this making the Legion Condor Tank Battle Badge the first award issued in a time of war by the Nazis.  

 

 

Legion Condor tank Battle Badge

 

 

Legion Condor veteran with Tank Battle Badge in wear

Veteran of group "Drohne" wearing his Legion Condor Tank Battle Badge

 

 

 

 

Spanish Decorations awarded to members of the "Legion Condor"

 

 

Cuff Title of the Legion Condor

Cuff title of the "Legion Condor"

(Schellmann Family)

 

 

As well as the Spanish Cross, Legionnaires could also expect a Campaign Medal struck by the Spanish authorities to thank German volunteers for their service.

There were also decorations awarded to both combatant and non-combatant Legionnaires who had shown meritorious service during the Civil War.

 

 

Spanish Civil War Campaign Medal

(Spanischen Freiheitskampf Feldzugsmedaille)

(1936 - 1939)

 

 

Spanish Civil War Campaign Medal

 

 

Award document to the campaign medal

The Spanish award document to the Civil War Campaign Medal

 

 

 

Order of Military Merit

(Red - combatant)

 

 

Order of Military Merit - combatant

 

 

award document to the Order of Military Merit - combatant

The Spanish award document to the Order of Military Merit - Combatant

 

 

Legion Condor ribbon bar

Typical Luftwaffe combatant ribbon bar to a member of the Legion Condor

 

 

 

Order of Military Merit

(White - non-combatant)

 

 

Order of Military Merit - non combatant

 

 

 

Award document to the Order of Military Merit - non combatant

The Spanish award document to the Order of Military Merit - non combatant

 

 

in wear

Luftwaffe service parade bar in wear

4 year service medal, Spanish Order of Military Merit & campaign Medal

 

 

 

The Spanish Military Medal

(Militärmedaille)

 

 

 

The Spanish Military Medal

 

 

 

General Officer wearing the Spanish Military medal

Spanish Military Medal in wear

 

 

The three commanders of the "legion Condor" (Sperrie, Volkman and von Richthofen) were awarded a special class of this award with diamonds.

 

Wolfram von Richthofen with his Military Medal in wear

Wolfram von Richthofen seen wearing his Spanish Military Medal with Diamonds pinned to the lapel

 

 

 

Spanish War Cross - Breast Star

instituted on January 26, 1937

 

Spanish War Cross

 

Cased Spanish War Cross

Cased Spanish War Cross

 

 

Rudolf Henne with Spanish War Cross in wear

"Legion Condor" veteran Rudolf Henne seen wearing his Spanish Cross and War Cross

 

 

 

A presentation piece to Rudolf Henne by the members of his Staffel

 

Acquired from the estate of the late Rudolf Henne, a presentation from the members of his squadron to commemorate his time in the "Legion Condor"

 

 

 

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