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The Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (also called Iron Cross with Golden Rays) was meant to be worn like the Iron Cross 1st Class (pinned to the breast). Like the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross, this award was not intended to be bestowed for bravery. Rather, it was bestowed upon the most successful General officer at the conclusion of a war.

The first Star of the Grand Cross was presented to Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher for defeating Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo, 1815. That medal is called the Blücherstern (“Blücher Star”). The second version of the Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross was presented to Paul von Hindenburg for the German victories over the British in the German offensives in March and April 1918. (See Spring Offensive.) A Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross was manufactured for World War II, but it was never awarded. The only known example was found by Allied occupation forces at the end of the war, and was eventually added to the West Point military collection. It is generally believed that Reichsmarschall Göring was the intended eventual recipient. The design was based on the 1914 version of the Star of the Grand Cross, but with the 1939 Iron Cross as the centerpiece.

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