Wednesday, 13 November 2013

War Victory Cross Order


War Victory Cross Order

 

The War Victory Cross Order ranks third in precedence among Slovak orders. It was instituted on the 11th September 1939, but went through a number of modifications and alterations during the course of its existence. The basic badge of the order is the characteristic twin armed patriarchial cross. Originally there were four grades:
1st Class with Star.
1st Class without Star.
2nd Class.
3rd Class.

The 1st Class with Star.
Instituted on.
Rarity – Extremely Rare
Known Makers –
 
War Victory Cross Order - 1st Class with Star Obverse.

 
War Victory Cross Order - 1st Class with Star Reverse.

This was the equivalent of a Grand Cross and consists of a silver breast star who’s horizontal and vertical ray’s measure 82mm and whose diagonal rays measure 72mm. In the centre is the badge of the Order in red and gold the centre is transparent red enamel. This measures 25mm high by 18mm wide. The reverse is scalloped and at the centre are two ball rivets. It has a massive hinge with a semi-circular pin, on to which is stamped the raised makers mark K in a recessed circle; this is followed by the raised silver mark 987 in a recessed oblong box.at the base is a massive “C” hook.

 
War Victory Cross Order - 1st Class with Star - Neck Badge Obverse.



War Victory Cross Order - 1st Class with Star - Neck Badge Reverse.

At the throat a patriarchial cross measuring 52mm high and 36mm wide was worn from a suspension devise in the shape of an open winged, gilt eagle which has on its chest the red/white/blue enamelled badge of Slovakia and in its talons is grasping the fasces. Beneath this is a “v” through which is a circular oues that is attached to the upper arm of the cross. The frame of this neck decoration and the rays between its arms are gilt, the centre is transparent red enamel through which as on the breast star can be seen a pattern of linden leaves. The reverse is flat with two small marks one on either of the upper protrusion, that on the left the silver grade the raised silver mark 987 in a recessed oblong box and that on the right the makers mark the raised makers mark K in a recessed circle The ribbon of the neck decoration is coral red with yellow woven linden leaves which face alternate ways and have, alternately, three and two buds each. The width of this ribbon is 37mm.
 
This award shown was awarded to General Avramescu.
 
General Avramescu.
 
 
General Avramescu  - 1941-Crimeea-Kerson.
 


The 1st Class without Star.
Instituted on.
Rarity – Rare.
Known Makers –

This is the neck decoration as found with the 1st Class with Star.

The 2nd Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

This is a similar neck decoration but with silver replacing gold, and blue enamel replacing red enamel in the centre again it is transparent. The ribbon from which this decoration hangs is blue instead of red but it has the same alternately facing linden leaves woven in yellow; it has also two 3mm broad red stripes narrowly outlined in white, one on either side of the linden leaves.

The 3rd Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

This is a plain bronze patrical cross, without the rays between the arms. Its centre is brown transparent enamel through which can be seen a pattern of linden leaves. The ribbon is 36mm wide and is red with ornamental edges in roughly triangular patterns of red, yellow, white and blue “dots” between white strips. This “folk-art” type of ribbon is unique among Slovak ribbons and is impossible to describe precisely in words.

The grade awarded depended on the rank of the recipient. The highest grade was given only to Generals, the 3rd Class only to Lieutenant-Colonels and Majors.

This configuration of steps in the Order was adequate enough for a military force not actually engaged in fighting an enemy, but after June 1941, and Slovakia’s fatal involvement in Hitler’s war against Russia, it proved necessary to revise and expand the grading of the Order.

Grand Cross.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

This was similar to the former 1st Class with Star.

Grand Cross with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

This was similar to the former 1st Class with Star, but with silver swords along the diagonal arms of the breast star. The neck decoration was replaced by a “collar” in the form of a double row of looped links; each link being a miniature of the patriarchial cross with rays between the arms, the size was 15mm by 7mm which were finely made in silver gilt. From the centre loop is suspended a small eight-pointed star. This “collar” was only worn in this grade.

The 1st Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

A neck decoration that was exactly like the previous 1st Class but with a new ribbon, the band was red with two yellow centre strips.

The 1st Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

As the 1st Class but with silver crossed swords between the arms of the cross.

The 2nd Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

Similar to the 1st Class but with silver replacing the gilt. The cross is still red transparent red enamel.

The 2nd Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

As the 2nd class with swords added between the arms of the cross.

The 3rd Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

It is a patriarchial cross in silver with blue transparent enamel centre with silver rays between the arms. It is pin backed and worn on the left breast pocket.

The 3rd Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

The same as the 3rd Class with gilt swords added between the arms of the cross.

The 4th Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

A bronze cross with a brown transparent enamel centre and “folk- art” ribbon exactly the same as for the previous 3rd Class. On this ribbon was worn a metal emblem in the form of the gilt eagle of Slovakia with the red/white/blue enamel shield on its chest and grasping in its claws a fasces.

The 4th Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

A bronze cross but with a white enamel centre. In this case the enamel is opaque, thus the linden leaf pattern which normally appears behind the transparent enamel is worked into the enamel itself. The ribbon is the same “folk-art” type as before but the metal eagle worn in the centre of the ribbon now grasps in its claws a pair of crossed swords.

In 1943 a medal was added to other revised grades, in three grades 5th, 6th, and 7th each having the addition of swords. These were to be awarded to, in the case of the 5th Class, Subalterns; the 6th and 7th Classes went only to non-commissioned ranks.

The 5th Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

This is a round medal with a diameter of 36mm. it is gilt with on the obverse a facsimile of the patriarchial cross with rays between the arms. The reverse has the words in raised capital letters, ZA ZASLUHY, which translates to For Merit. Above and below is a cluster of three linden leaves. The suspension is a gilt bar of linden leaves bound in the centre and at either end. The ribbon is 36mm wide, and is red with two 4mm wide yellow stripes in the centre.

The 5th Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

The obverse and reverse are the same as the 5th Class. The suspension is a round wreath of linden leaves upon which are crossed swords this being attached to the ribbon by a plain gilt bar. The ribbon is the same as the 5th Class.

The 6th Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

Similar to the 5th Class, but silver.

The 6th Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

Similar to the 5th Class with swords but in silver.

The 7th Class.
Instituted on.
Rarity –
Known Makers –

Similar to the 5th Class but in bronze.

 
 
The 7th Class with Swords.
Instituted on.
Rarity – Rare.
Known Makers –
 
War Victory Cross Order - 7th Class with Swords Obveres.
Similar to the 5th Class with swords but in bronze.

 
The decorations were made in Slovakia at the State Mint at Kremnice, approximately twice as many were made as were actually awarded, including 122 breast stars.
 
 

 
War Victory Cross Order - 6th Class in wear.
 
 
On the 14th March 1944, the fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Slovak Republic, all members of the Slovak armed forces who had served continuously for four years received an award of the War Victory Cross in the grade commensurate with their currently held rank. This involved the presentation of 2270 decorations.

In all, 3769 awards of the Slovak War Victory Cross were made in the course of the War. Of these, 630 went to non-Slovak citizens, not surprisingly the largest share 437 went to Germans, the next largest 142 to Rumanians.
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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