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Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

Article about: Here are my Finnish and possibly German Commemorative Medals of the War of Liberation. Awarded to all who had participated in the war to secure Finland's independence. Instituted on 10 Septe

  1. #1

    Default Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    Here are my Finnish and possibly German Commemorative Medals of the War of Liberation.

    Awarded to all who had participated in the war to secure Finland's independence. Instituted on 10 September 1918 by the Finnish Senate in Helsinki, this blackened iron medal was originally decreed to hang from a dark blue ribbon. In order to avoid confusion with the Order of the White Rose's ribbon, General Mannerheim decided on 3 July 1919 to have this medal's ribbon altered and black side stripes were adopted.

    The obverse shows the Finnish arms, a crowned rampant lion standing on a curved sword and holding a broken sword in its raised paw. The reverse shows the Cross of Liberty with in each of the upper segments an armoured arm holding a sword (as in the Cross's Military Division suspension). In the lower segments is the year 1918.

    On the same day a silver heraldic rose was instituted for wearing on the ribbon in case of an award for bravery. Equally instituted that day were 11 silver clasps bearing the names of actions in which the recipient had participated:

    Finnish first row/Swedish second row:

    Pohjanmaan vapautus - Österbotten befriande
    Vilppula - Filpula
    Tampere - Tammerfors
    Satakunta - Satakunta
    Savo - Savolax
    Karjalan rintama - Karelska Fronten
    Viipuri - Viborg
    Lempälä-Lahti - Lempälä-Lahtis
    Kouvula-Kotka-Hamina - Kouvula-Kotka-Fredrikshamn
    Pellinki - Pellinge
    Etelä-Suomi - Syd-Finland

    Note the different suspension methods. Any comments?

    Finnish (with Lindman & Tillander hallmark):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation L&T hallmark, double ring, magnetic, less detai.jpg 
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ID:	415774

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Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation L&T hallmark, double ring, magnetic, less detai.jpg 
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ID:	415776

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation L&T hallmark, double ring, magnetic, less detai.jpg 
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    This medal shows obvious tool marks and the suspension hole is drilled off center. It is magnetic. Possible fake or indicative of the tumultuous time when it was made? (shortly after the Finnish Civil War between the 'Whites' and the 'Reds')

    Possible German made:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation - possible German made, detailed, single ring, .jpg 
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Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation back close up - possible German detailed, singl.jpg 
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Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation  - possible German detailed, single ring, no ha.jpg 
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ID:	415771

    Example shown is in a white non magnetic metal rather than blackened iron. It is possible that this medal was manufactured in Germany for members of the German Ostseedivision (the Baltic Division) led by General Rüdiger von der Goltz who participated in the Finnish Civil War on the side of the 'Whites'. Its suggested that if the actual Finnish issue medal (in blackened iron) was unavailable, a German-made copy may have been awarded.

    Reference: The Great War Primary Documents Archive Finnish Medals
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation possible German detailed, single ring, no hallm.jpg 
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    Last edited by dastier; 12-12-2012 at 01:40 AM. Reason: Corrected clasp information to show both Finnish and Swedish names.

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  3. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    An interesting difference in quality Mike , i would be surprised if the L&T example passed quality control .
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  4. #3

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    Quote by Alan M View Post
    An interesting difference in quality Mike , i would be surprised if the L&T example passed quality control .

    Yes. I've often wondered if its a fake given the tool marks, etc. I haven't been able to find good photos of other examples to compare to.

    I need a good reference book or someone with more knowledge to offer an opinion.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    I checked the Orders and Medals Society of America database and found this photograph. It clearly shows the hallmark on the medal. Unfortunately it cannot be enlarged enough to read the date code.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For all I know both of my medals could be fakes. When I posted about the L&T mark in a previous thread, a member thought it to be the hallmark of Lindman & Tillander, a known Finnish producer of medals.

    But I just don't know. Anyone with more info?

  6. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    Thanks for showing this reference Mike , there is a marked difference in the quality of the details , and a great looking medal .
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  7. #6

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    Quote by dastier

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation L&T hallmark, double ring, magnetic, less detai.jpg 
Views:	205 
Size:	245.5 KB 
ID:	415774

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation L&T hallmark, double ring, magnetic, less detai.jpg 
Views:	197 
Size:	245.6 KB 
ID:	415776

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	my Commemorative Medal  of the War of Liberation L&T hallmark, double ring, magnetic, less detai.jpg 
Views:	290 
Size:	230.1 KB 
ID:	415777
    Quote by Alan M View Post
    An interesting difference in quality Mike , i would be surprised if the L&T example passed quality control .
    Quote by dastier View Post
    Yes. I've often wondered if its a fake given the tool marks, etc. I haven't been able to find good photos of other examples to compare to.

    I need a good reference book or someone with more knowledge to offer an opinion.
    Following up on my quest to determine the authenticity of this Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation that I have collected, I found an example of a Lindman & Tillander hallmarked medal at the web site Medal-Medaille, Orders, decorations and medals of the world for sale online Its very similar to mine:

    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation TL hallmark back.jpg
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    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation TL hallmark back close up.jpg
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    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation TL hallmark front.jpg
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    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation TL mark close up.jpg
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    Last edited by dastier; 11-21-2012 at 02:25 AM.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    I found these references to the manufacturers of Finnish medals at the Wehrmacht Awards and Axis History Forums:

    "Here are the manufacturers of the Finnish medals from 1918. All Freedom Crosses of 1918 were made by Otto Oertel in Berlin." (I believe Freedom Crosses refers to the Cross of Liberty) "The Freedom-Medal of 1918 by Sporrong & Co in Stockholm." (by Freedom-Medal of 1918 I am assuming the Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation and not the Medal of Liberty)

    "The Freedom Crosses of 1939 were made by A.Tillander and AB Ordensfabriken in Helsinki. The medals by Tillander. The Freedom Crosses of 1941 were made by AB Ordensfabriken, Finska Guldsmeds AB and A.Barck in Helsinki. The Freedom Medal and the Medal of Merit by AB Ordensfabriken and Finska Guldsmeds AB." (here I believe the Freedom Medal refers to the Medal of Liberty and not the 1918 commemorative medal)

    Foreign Awards on German Medal-Bars - Page 2 - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums Post #12.

    "Dear friends,

    The Crosses of the Liberty (at least 1st patch in 1918) were made at the Ziech, Berlin.

    Invitations to tenders were sent to Otto Oertel and John Wagner & Sohne (which offer was twice as expensive as Ziech's). In earlier books Oertel has been named as manufacturer by E.F.Wrede (who wrote the first book about Finnish Orders), but that was not correct information.

    The ribbons were manufactured by Max Kust. And medals at Sporrong, Stockholm.

    These foreign manufacturers were used because of quite large number of orders to be made. In Finland we did not have capacity to manufacture these during civil war.

    Cheers,
    Jani
    "

    Foreign Awards on German Medal-Bars - Page 2 - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums Post #15.

    "Hi Gentlemen,

    I have been watching this thread for awhile now until I decided to participate.

    On 28.8.1918 15,000 Awards were ordered from the firm Sporrong & Co in Sweden, in November a further 6,000 were ordered from Sweden. Another maker of the War of Liberty medal was Lindman & Tillander. On 19.3.1919 another 50,000 were ordered. The maker Finska Guldsmeds AB made 20,000, 20,000 were made by Lindman & Tillander, and 10,000 came from Sporrong in Sweden.

    14,648 War of Liberty medals were sent by the Finnish Ministry of War to Germany, asking the German authorities to distribute them. Also 1,200 Swedes were given the medal.

    It´s very hard to determine how many Awards were made since the Award was authorized after the Independence War in the summer of 1918 and was still obtainable as late as 1958 - 1961.
    "

    Axis History Forum Post by Hans N on 28 May 2005.

    In this last post I derive that the author is posting about the Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation and not the Medal of Liberty by his reference to 14,000 medals being sent to Germany. The Great War Photo Archive makes mention of German recipients as did Jani in his entire post.

    "There were something 13000 Germans in Finland to help "white" Finnish at the end of Civil war. The regiment was called Baltic Division and was under command General Rudiger von der Goltz.

    Most common medal in German bars is the Liberation war medal, which was basically awarded to every German in Finland.
    "



    So to summarize: it seems there are three manufacturers of the Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation: Lindman & Tillander and Finska Guldsmeds AB of Finland and Sporrong & Co of Sweden.

  9. #8
    ?

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    Interesting information Mike , thanks Do you know if all the awards were identifiable to makers by MM's
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  10. #9

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    I have been able to identify two MMs: Lindman and Tillander and Sporrong and Co from Sweden. The medal from the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) database was manufactured by Sporrong and Co.

    Here is another example of the Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation taken from the Medal-Medaille.com web site. It clearly shows the makers mark.

    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation Sporrong hallmark front.jpg
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Size:  19.8 KBName:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation medal Sporrong hallmark back .jpg
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Size:  18.6 KBName:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation iron no silver stamp Sporrong hallmar.jpg
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    This is a very nice example complete with documentation. It was issued in the 30s.

    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation medal and document.jpg
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Size:  22.2 KBName:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation document 1.jpg
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    Name:  Finnish 1918 Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation medal envelope.jpg
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    I have not found an example made by Finska Guldsmeds AB. I have read that there is some variation in details but there was no elaboration. Please note that these medals do not bear a Finnish hallmark or silver purity stamp as the Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation is made from blacken iron.

    The possible exception is the supposedly German made ones referenced in the Great War Primary Documents Archive Finnish Medals which described these as being 'silvered' (see my second medal in post #1, although there is no guarantee that it is not a fake).

    However from Hans N's post on the Axis History Forum, it seems that Finland sent 14,000+ medals to Germany for distribution. When this occurred I do not know. Perhaps the Baltic Division veterans had medals privately made in Germany prior to this.


    Here are two German WW1 medal bars with the Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	GrafvBernstorff 6bar Finn1918OCL2.jpg 
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Finnish 1918 Cross of Liberty 3rd Class front.JPG 
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ID:	425891
    Last edited by dastier; 11-22-2012 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Added German WW1 medal bar

  11. #10

    Default Re: Commemorative Medal of the War of Liberation

    Commemorative Medal for the War of Liberation Ribbon Clasps and Rosette

    Engraved Clasps:

    For those who had participated in the war 'under enemy fire' with the following name either in Finnish or Swedish. Made of iron, 4 mm high and 31 mm wide:

    Finnish first row/Swedish second row:

    Pohjanmaan vapautus - Österbotten befriande
    Vilppula - Filpula
    Tampere - Tammerfors
    Satakunta - Satakunta
    Savo - Savolax
    Karjalan rintama - Karelska Fronten
    Viipuri - Viborg
    Lempälä-Lahti - Lempälä-Lahtis
    Kouvula-Kotka-Hamina - Kouvula-Kotka-Fredrikshamn
    Pellinki - Pellinge
    Etelä-Suomi - Syd-Finland



    Finnish Heraldic Rose.

    The Finnish heraldic rose, 13 mm in size, attached to the ribbon was chosen to show that the medal had been given as an award. The Medal of Liberation War was ranked equal as the 2nd class Liberty medal and is to be regarded as given to those who fought bravely under enemy fire.

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