The Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz)
The Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz) is a Great War decoration of the three Hanseatic Cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, all who were part of the German Empire and jointly instituted the award. Each of the three issued a cross of similar design, differing only in the arms on the central medallion of the face, but the award criteria remained the same. The cross was to be awarded for merit in war and could be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel. When awarded for bravery or combat merit, it was the three cities' equivalent of the Prussian Iron Cross.
The Lübeck version was established first, on August 21, 1915 and the Hamburg medal was instituted on 10th September 1915, followed by the Bremen version on 14th September 1915.
The Hamburg variant of the Hanseatic Cross was awarded approximately 50,000 times.
The Bremen variant of the Hanseatic Cross was awarded approximately 20,000 times.
The Lübeck variant of the Hanseatic Cross was awarded approximately 9,000 times.
The Cross was suppressed at the end of 1918.
Notable among the recipients of the award are:
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen
Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere
Otto von Schrader