Tuesday 20 March 2012

The Schalburg Cross

The Schalburg Cross.

Officers Cross, NCOs and men's badge.
Known Makers - Always Unmarked

Rarity - Extremely Rare, Extremely Rare.

The Officers Cross.
The Officers Cross - reverse. 

The NCOs and men's badge.
The NCOs and men's badge - Reverse.

There were two types of Schalburg Cross produced, the NCOs and men's badge, and the officers.  Both types of cross measure 50 mm by 50 mm, with the boss measuring 25mm and the inner line of the tramline indented by 4mm.  The men's cross was produced from zinc that was gilded.   The outer edge of the arms of the cross has a raised line, as does the circle producing the central boss.  The central boss has an inner line that produces a tramline effect.  In a semi-circle around the upper portion of the tramline is the inscription, in raised capital letters, 'TROSKAB. VOR. AERE', which translates to, Loyalty our Honour.  In the lower portion are two sprigs of green enamelled oak leaves, which meet at the base with a cross tie.  The central portion of the boss has a mobile swastika with raised outer edge line.  The fields of the swastika, tram line and arms of the cross are infilled with off-white paint, while the field surrounding the swastika is finished in a similar opaque red paint.

The officers cross are also gilded. The fields of the swastika, tram line and arms of the cross are, in this case, executed in an opaque white enamel, while the field surrounding the swastika is finished in opaque light red enamel.  The officers cross has, as well as the aforementioned differences in enamel, gold oak leaves instead of green ones, with had all the rest of the exposed metal being finished with a gold plated surface.

The reverse of the men's is just a normal gilded back and the reverse of the officers a gold plated one.  Both forms have a similar pin construction for attachment to the uniform.  This type of pin, in my experience, is unique to these two crosses.

The criteria for the bestowal of the cross is unknown but it is presumed that it was in recognition of service in the Corps against partisan activity and therefore an analogy can be drawn to the anti-partisan badge of the Nazi forces.  It has been reported that one of the crosses was awarded posthumously to a member of the Corps who had been assassinated by the Danish Resistance.  It is unsure which badge was awarded and therefore the style is unknown.

The crosses were supposedly to be worn on the left breast of the uniform jacket.  The box accompanying the award, if one ever existed, is unknown to the author.

The Schalburg Corps was set up after Himmler's insistence that a Danish branch of the Germanic SS should be formed and Knud Borge Martinsen was given that task after the disbandment of the Freikorps in April 1943. Later though, Martinsen was to be dismissed by Himmler for criticising the Germans too much.

Martinsen Knud Borge - Legions-Obersturmbannführer.

The Schalburg Corps was originally called a Germanic Corps and changed to Schalburg in memory of the most popular commander of the Freikorps, Count Christian Frederik von Schalburg, of Baltic German origin, and one time leader of the DNSAP youth, who went on to become an SS Sturmbannführer with the Wiking Division.

SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, his son Alex, and Leg. Untererscharführer Søren Kamm, who was later to become a holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

In some sources he is referred to as Frederik-Christian von Schalburg, the second out of seven commanders of the Freikorps Danmark, who was killed in action on June 2 1942 at Demjansk and was given a state funeral by the Nazi authorities in Denmark.

 SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, with his wife.

 Order of the day mourning the death of SS Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, who was killed in action on 2nd June 1942 before Leningrad as the Commander of the Volunteer Corps "Danmark".

 SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, on his way to the internment.

 The grave of SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg.

It is interesting to note that the only two commanders who were not killed in action were dismissed.  Himmler dismissed Lt Col PC Kryssing on 8 June 1942 because the Germans distrusted him.

Kryssing Christian Peder - Legions-Obersturmbannführer.

Also Martinsen was dismissed, as explained earlier.  The rest of Freikorps Danmark who had been killed were laid to rest at the runway near Biakovo. The attitude towards the Danish soldiers was one of great respect and this shows in the 2nd Commander Lettow-von-Vorbeck's last words, "Give my greetings to all brave Danes!"

SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Albert Lettow-von-Vorbeck Commander "Freikorps Danmark" who was killed in action on 11th June 1942. 

Memorial service for members of the Danish Free Corps killed in Russia, in Copenhagen on the 17th October 1943. From left to right SS-Obersturmbann
führer K. B. Martinsen, SS-Sturmbannführer Boysen, Schalburg's son Alex and widow, and Dr. Wernerer Best.
Several of the ex Freikorps soldiers formed themselves into the new cadre of the Schalburg Corps, which was divided into two groups.  The first group was made up of regular soldiers and the second group, which came to be known as the Dansk Folke-Vaern, the Danish People's Defence, was made up of civilians, some of whom were expected to give financial backing.  Many of Clausen's former supporters were drawn away by the Dansk Folke-Vaern.  For example, Max Arildskov's Nye Danmark, New Denmark, which had been formed after Clausen's bad results in the March election, broke away from the DNSAP and started its own SA, who were known as Landstormen, consisting of about two hundred men with a further five hundred civilian back up.  In December, Arildskov put his men at the disposal of the Schalburg Corps but only around fifty were accepted into the Corps, the others remaining as a form of reserve group, still keeping the Landstormen title.

Schalburg Corps man, showing the right collar patch. Although this is similar to the mobile swastika worn by the Nordland Division, it is larger and not tilted to the left.

While in trainging, the Schalburg Korp members wore the Danish Army khaki uniform with the black collar patches and special arm shield.
The Schalburg Corps adopted the same techniques as the partisan group and countenanced the policy of an eye for an eye.  For every member assassinated by the Resistance, the Corps perpetrated a similar act of assassination against the group.  It has also been reported that every act of sabotage invoked a response of a 'Schalburgtage'.  Following the general strike in Denmark in June/July 1944 the Schalburg Corps was withdrawn from Copenhagen and brought to Ringstad outside the city, where it was incorporated into the SS as Ausbildungs-Btl. Schalburg, SS Training Battalion Schalburg.  Six months later, it was renamed the SS Vagt-Btl. Sjaelland, SS Guard Battalion Zealand.  Martinsen was relieved of his command in October 1944 and replaced by Tipo Madsen.  The Schalburg Corps was officially disbanded on the 28 February 1945.

Schalburg Corps Flag outside the Headquarters at the Freemasons' Lodge in Copenhagen.

After the war Martinsen, founder of the Schalburg Corps, was executed by the Danes and the memorial to the leaders in Denmark near Hoevelte was demolished by Danish members of the resistance in 1945.

The "Freikorps Danmark" war memorial at Hovelte, with Gaurd of Honour.
The "Freikorps Danmark" war memorial at Hovelte, which was blown up by the Danish Resistance in May 1945.

Close up of the role of Honour of the fallen members of the "Freikorps",which includes the name of one of the "White Russians", who served in the "Freikorps".

The Schalburg Cross. Officers Cross, - Fake.

The Schalburg Cross. Officers Cross, - Fake. Reverse.


A total fantersy pieces that has been encountered.
Schalburg Cross - 2nd Class -  Fake.

The diameter is 45mm and the weight is 9.6gm. This piece did not exist during the time of the Second World War.


  1. You write: "SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, his son Alex, and Leg. Untererscharführer Søren Kamm, who was later to become the only Danish holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross."

    Unfortunately this is not correct. Three (3) Danes were recipients of the Knights Cross.

    1) SØREN KAM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B8ren_Kam
    2) EGON CHRISTOPHERSEN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_Christophersen
    3) JOHANNES HELLMERS http://panzergruppe.itgo.com/hellmers.html and http://en.ww2awards.com/person/13467

    Further information:

    The Highest Awarded Men From
    Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway:

    Fredrik Jensen - German Cross in Gold.

    Johannes Just Nielsen - Ehrenblatt
    Alfred Jonstrup - Ehrenblatt
    Egon Christophersen - Ritterkreuz
    Per Sörensen - German Cross in Gold, Ehrenblatt
    Johannes Hellmers - Ritterkreuz, German Cross in Gold
    Sören Kam - Ritterkreuz
    Georg Erichsen - Ehrenblatt

    H.G. Pehrsson - Ehrenblatt
    S.E. Olsson - German Cross in Gold.

    Kalevi Könönen - Ehrenblatt
    Yrjö Pyyhtiä - Ehrenblatt
    Ola Olin - German Cross in Gold

  2. Thank you. I have now made the correction. Also the other information is much appreciated.

  3. Thank you for this. Just a small comment: 'TROSKAB. VOR. AERE' should translate to Loyalty our honor (not is). Blessings from Kopenhagen