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Düppeler-Sturmkreuz

Duppel Storm Cross

Instituted on October 18, 1864 by the king of Prussia Wilhelm I to commemorate the Prussian victory in a key battle of the Second Schleswig War (February 01 – October 30, 1864) – the Battle of Dybbøl known in Germany as a Storm of the Duppel fortifications (Erstümung der Düppeler Schanzen) that took place on April 18, 1864.

Duppel Storm Cross was initially instituted in two versions that differed in the color scheme of ribbons: for combatants and for non-combatants.

Duppel Storm Cross for combatants (Düppeler-Sturmkreuz für Combattanten / am Kämpferband) was awarded to the following categories of the military personnel:

- Generals and staff officers who participated in planning and commanding of the battle;

- Officers, NCOs and other ranks of assault detachments who took part in the battle;

- Officers, NCOs and other ranks of reserve units that were either ordered to the state of combat readiness to support assault detachments or took effective measures during an assault of the Duppel fortifications or battles fought between those fortifications and the Alssund, a narrow strait between an island of Als and the mainland of Jutland.

- Officers, NCOs and other ranks of artillery units that provided preparatory bombardment straight before an assault of the Duppel fortifications.

Ribbon of a Duppel Storm Cross for combatants was made of 30-32 mm wide blue silk with two vertical stripes closer to the edges: 1 mm wide white inside and 4,5 mm wide black outside. Both edges of the ribbon were white. Color scheme of the ribbon represented combination of the Prussian Order of a Crown ribbon color (blue) and Prussian national colors (black and white).

Duppel Storm Cross for non-combatants (Düppeler-Sturmkreuz für Nicht-Combattanten / am Nichtkämpferband) was awarded to medical staff, clergymen and other subjects falling within that category who carried out their duties during an assault of the Duppel fortifications.

Ribbon of a Duppel Storm Cross for non-combatants made of 30-32 mm wide silk was orange with two thin 2 mm wide blue stripes in its centre and white-black-white stripes (1 mm wide each) at both edges.

The king of Prussia Wilhelm I extended Duppel Storm Cross to reserve troops, thus instituting the third version of an award on the first anniversary of the glorious battle, i.e. on April 18, 1865.

Duppel Storm Cross for reserve troops (Düppeler-Sturmkreuz am Band für Truppen in Reservestellung / am Band für Reservetruppen) was issued to officers, NCOs and other ranks who contributed to the Prussian victory unless having been part of reserve units and thus not participating directly in an assault of the Duppel fortifications.

Ribbon of a Duppel Storm Cross for reserve troops was made of 30-32 mm wide blue silk with wide white-black-white stripes in its centre and thin white 1 mm wide stripes near the edges.

Design of a Duppel Storm Cross was elaborated by a Prussian court medallist Friedrich Wilhelm Kullrich (18.12.1821 – 01.09.1887). All the three crosses shared the same design.

Duppel Storm Cross had a shape of a cross pattée with a circular medallion superimposed on its centre and a round laurel wreath between its arms. 

A central medallion on its obverse had a bust of the king Wilhelm I facing left and circumscribed “Wilhelm, the King of Prussia” (“Wilhelm Koenig von Preussen”) in capital letters.

A central medallion on its reverse showed a crowned Prussian eagle leaning against a captured cannon bearing a Danish cross. Upper arm of a cross bears an inscription “Düppel”, left arm – “18”, right arm – “Apr.”, lower arm – “1864”. All inscriptions were made in capital letters.

Duppel Storm Cross was 34,5x34,5 mm approximately, weighed about 12,5 g and was made of light bronze.

Official dies of the Berlin Royal mint differed in minor details as well as in metal used from private awards produced by various manufacturers.

Design of this cross was later used in production of an Alsen Cross, as well as of a Königgrätz Commemorative Cross.

The fourth and the rarest version of this decoration made its appearance on November 04, 1865. Iron Duppel Storm Cross on the House of Hohenzollern ribbon (Düppeler-Sturmkreuz von Eisen am Bande des Hausordens von Hohenzollern) was awarded to the members of the Royal Prussian Order of St.John (Königlich Preußischer Johanniter Orden) who performed religious rites, provided medical assistance or acted as various officials during the battle. Award criteria sometimes results in a designation of this version as a “Düppeler-Sturmkreuz für Johanniter-Ritter, Ärzte, Seelsorger und Beamte”.

Design of an obverse and a reverse of the decoration remained the same but the cross was made of nielloed iron.

As appears from the title of this version a ribbon was that of the House Order of Hohenzollern (Hausorden von Hohenzollern): silk white with two wide vertical black stripes closer to both edges and one central thin stripe.

Only 20 pieces of the Iron Duppel Storm Cross on the House of Hohenzollern ribbon were awarded approximately.

Totally 38,814 Duppel Storm Crosses were manufactured by the Berlin royal mint.

Duppel Storm Cross