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Iron Cross

The Iron Cross was established as a military honor by King Friedrich Wilhelm III[?] of Prussia in 1813 in the Napoleonic Wars[?], and re-established in 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War and then in 1914 in World War I.

Adolf Hitler again restored the award in 1939, instituting four grades: 2nd Class, 1st Class, Knights Cross to the Iron Cross, and Grand Cross to the Iron Cross. The award was for bravery in battle as well as other military contributions (e.g. planning). Awardees progressed through the award hierarchy to the top.

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