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Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

Article about: by IvanPutski Here's another little tidbit on that cross.... It was awarded to a fighter pilot. Hello Ivan, OK, the suspense builds . . . so now how about giving us the name? The award lists

  1. #131
    3mk
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    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

    Hi Tony, I noticed it looked a bit like a Knedler cross but was confused on why anyone would waste their time ruining a genuine cross. By the way, here's an example of an officer with a KW ribbon/bar on his greatcoat.



    Name:  rtm Lucjan Szymański wstążka Krzyża Walecznych.jpg
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  2. #132

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

    Quote by 3mk View Post
    . . . but was confused on why anyone would waste their time ruining a genuine cross. By the way, here's an example of an officer with a KW ribbon/bar on his greatcoat.

    Name:  rtm Lucjan Szymański wstążka Krzyża Walecznych.jpg
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    Maybe because it once looked like the cross in post #126. Might as well carve it up

    Nice portrait photo. Love the look of that rogatywka. Even at a distance one can see that it's the product of a high quality maker.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #133

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

    Here’s a new acquisition to share. This is an obscure and little known variant which has been catalogued by Grzegorz Krogulec as number 4a. To the casual observer it looks like a Knedler Type 1 with a nasty looking ‘home handyman’ repair of a failed suspension done at some time after it was awarded.

    Correct on the first count - it is a Knedler Type 1.

    But wrong on the second. The repair was factory made.

    There were about 42,500 larger Type 1 crosses produced in late 1920 through 1921. The quality of the crosses deteriorated over the run as the stamping dies were subject to wear and tear. Crosses in the higher serial numbers exhibited die breaks and other problems.

    In the number range over 40,000 a significant quantity were literally made up of factory rejects that had been tossed aside because of production flaws. Crosses were rejected because they were of incorrect thickness, weak / mis-strikes, or most commonly a failed “łącznik” – the connector that held the ribbon ring. It was decided to salvage a quantity of the rejected crosses that had failed ‘łączniki’ by soldering on a small loop of bronze wire. The repair was crude, but effective.

    In hindsight it might seem questionable to have used these ‘second rate’ crosses. Was it to fulfill a production quantity contract obligation after failure of the stamping dies? Maybe only a cost cutting measure?

    The reason may never be known for certain, but I am inclined to think it was simply a sign of the times. The Polish Second Republic at this time was only in its infancy after having been partitioned for 123 years. The newly reborn nation was destitute after the First World War, having been pillaged by the retreating partitioning powers. Everything was in short supply, especially after the exhausting border wars with its neighbours waged to establish its boundaries. It was prudent to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible. And indeed, the military decorations and badges that were produced in quantity in the early 1920’s were not of the significantly improved quality of those produced in later years of the 2nd Republic.

    This particular cross belonged to Mieczysław Sylber, a major at the time of becoming a German POW in WW2. Here is his ‘Oflag mug shot’:

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    Regards,
    Tony

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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  4. #134

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

    Recently sold on Allegro, a provisional award document issued on the 24th of September 1939, and signed by General Zdzisław Przyjałkowski, CO of the 15th Infantry Division. Remnants of this division had on the day previously reached Warsaw and were absorbed into the Warsaw Army where they fought until capitulation of the city on September 28th.

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  5. #135
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    Hi!
    The cross was found in the Ukraine in the former Polish positions. Cross of Valor- Krzyz Walecznych - type 1 designed by Albina Rozhytskogo (A.Rozycki). №1899
    Original. I think the original photo of the cross will be interesting.
    Best regards,
    Alexandr

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  6. #136

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    Hi Aleksandr,

    Yes, it appears to be a genuine Rozycki. One of only 3000 issued, so quite scarce. This is the Type 2 variant. Thanks for posting it for us.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  7. #137

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    Just got this a couple of "new" Crosses. Here is one.
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  8. #138

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    Tom, congratulations. Beautifully age-toned Knedler Type 1 on a period ribbon. They don't get much nicer than this!

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  9. #139
    3mk
    3mk is offline
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    The patina looks amazing, really adds character to the cross.

  10. #140

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    Here is the other Cross. Both came wit a Virtuti Militari from the same household. The VM recipient had four awards of KW.
    I will post the VM soon.Click image for larger version. 

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