The Lappland Shield has always been a decoration I have had a soft spot for. I think it's because they were all awarded after the end of the war, in POW camps, made out of anything and everything that was available to them at the time. That level of dedication, even after the war was lost, and the need to have their achievements recognised when there wasn't any more glory to be won, has always fascinated me from a psychological standpoint.
The German Cross has such a bold, beautiful design! ... The swastika is a bit of a problem these days, of course ... Too much baggage that comes with that symbol. But honestly, the 1957 version just doesn't have quite the same feel to it.
I enjoy seeing rare awards like this one. Last year I was lucky enough to be shown one of these and hold it in my hands. It really makes you appreciate the historical value of these seldom awarded decorations.
DavidB here. As Director of the NZ Honours Secretariat from 2003-2010 I purchased two new VCs on behalf of the NZ Government, the first in 2006 and the second in 2008. The first was awarded to Corporal Willy Apiata, NZSAS in 2007. The second cross remains unissued. The two crosses differ considerably in the colouration of the metal (the patina), and also in the colour of the ribbon supplied.. the