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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. #191


    Hello Rafal, and welcome aboard.

    Ive relocated your posts to the pre-war section as crosses from this era have a dedicated thread here.

    Thank you for shedding some light on both of these KWs. As you know, information is scant to non-existent for the majority of pre-WW2 Polish badges and decorations, so we are more than eager to learn anything new that you can share with us.

    The possibility that cross #14 (Krogulec) is a Gontarczyk product is an eye opener. My example is shown earlier here in post #104. Similarly the revelation that the Unger KW (Krog. #10) is an early production cross. Are you able to share with us how you arrived at these assertions?

    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

  2. #192


    I would like to respond to a message from Rafal, but it unexpectedly disappeared.

    Hallo, Rafal! Welcome to our community!
    I am also very surprised that information, so it is waiting for your explanation.

  3. #193


    Hello guys,

    For your information Krzyz Walecznych is the first and most beautiful award in II RP history. All the time I checking documents, old photos and books. I will try to explain, why I thinking the KW no. 10 is a first Cross in the history of this award.

    In March 1919 Polish regiment 1st pulk strzelcow wielkopolskich (later 55 pulk piechoty) battled in Lwow till June 1919 with Ukrainian army. Residents of Lwow knew soldiers and were thankful for the defense of their city. I'm sure the soldiers visited the engraving workshop mr. Eugeniusz Marian Unger to buy holy medals with a Jezus. Probably somebody gave for mr. Unger eagle from the cap. It was different type of eagle if we compare with model 19. This is beginning of the story....

    As you know 11th of August 1920 in Warszawa, Rada Obrony Panstwa authorised the prototype of the cross. It was four arms cross with bronze with eagle model 1919 with a closed crown ect. (check in G.Krogulec). 15th of Augest started Polish offensive from Wieprz river. 1st Wielkopolska Division was on the southern frond close to Lwow and pushed Soviet Army to the Kiev. Wounded soldiers were transported to Lwow. In this time, the commanders can gave only a document for a brave soldiers, confirming his bravery. The high command didn't has a crosses. Eugeniusz Unger probably heard about a new award which was approved 11th of August 1920 and he started fabricated first crosses in AUGUST 1920!!! He proposed for wounded soldiers with a confirmation documents to buy a crosses. In mr. Krogulec's book we calling cross no. 10 like a Wielkopolski, can you tell me why? The answer is very simple. The eagle on the cross is Wielkopolski Eagle with open crown and somebody found a photos with a soldiers from 1st wielkopolska division with this type of crosses. It was a good businesses for mr. Unger to make a cash on the awards. I don't have a strong proofs and I can't explain more in this topics because my English language is not fluent. Krzyz Walecznych no. 10 is not professional product (few person told me "it is ugly). It was fast production, the crosses was made with cast brass (cheap material compare with bronze). This is my opinion guys, if you want you can believe, up to you. Remember, all the time i searching the files...investigation is in progress...


  4. #194


    Hello, Rafal!

    Thank you for an interesting story. I think, this version may well be true.

    I will be very grateful to you if you can explain why you think that the cross, most likely of French production (Krogulec #14), made in the workshop of Mr. Gontarczyk.

    Best regards, Sergei.

  5. #195


    Good morning,

    I will try to explain you why I thinking that the KW no. 14 and no. 26 are from Gontarczyk's workshop. I must start my story from Wincenty Wabia Wabinski. As you know Wabia was a very famous
    jeweler and engraver in Warsaw (it was family profession). Wabinski cooperated with Arthus Bertrand form Paris. Mr. Bertrand made a awards for Wabinski with his concave maker mark. In 1931 Wabinski stopped pay cash for Mr. Bertrand because in the Poland was crisis. He sold all awards which we had in his shop in Europejski Hotel. He also sold his customers jewellery and he tried escape from Poland by the plane. Unfortunately the police catch him and in October 1932 he had court hearing. He lost everything, but he didn't stop selling awards and decorations. Wabinski cooperated wit some Jew Kweksilber??? I dont remember this surname, but he need a staff for a customers. As you know, Witold Gontarczyk was a professional jeweler and he startet make for Wabinski awards. Wabia payed a cash first, then Wiktor Gontarczyk made His requisition. Wabinski told Wiktor about his previous business with Bertrand, show him French type of awards. Mr. Gontarczyk started produce Virtuti Militari Cross 5th class with silver for Wabinski. Some crosses are without concave ground marked mark (first pieces) other with marked mark but both have a ring like a ball (similar). In 1938 or 1939 Wabinski ordered from Gontarczyk Krzyz Walecznych (G. Krogulec no.14) Gontarczyk produced not to much (cross 40 mm with ball). The war started in September 1939 and he did not make a signature on the crosses. Gontarczyk lost a lot of awards and tools during Powstanie Warszawskie. He fabricated new matrix for KW (krogulec no. 26) and he started small secret production for soldiers from AK. Gontarczyk's soon married with Krystyna in 1944 before Powstanie Warszawskie. His son's wife heard conversations about old productions Krzyza Walecznych no.14 (french style) and new cross no. 26 for polish soldiers from Armia Krajowa. What happened with Wabia Wabinski? During occupation he cooperated with Germans, but I don't know what he produced. After war he worked for communists, but he was a cheater and he stoled casch. Urzad Bezpieczenstwa catch him and shooted.

    Kind regards

  6. #196


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    Marynarz !

    An interesting story, congratulates on the imagination.

    What could you tell me about a different option? We're talking about theoretical.

    The second Legion Brigade had a model Carpathian Eagle. In 1918, they added to this eagle an open crown. There were a couple different models, with straight wings and ones that curved upward.

    The Eagle was made in Vienna/ Austria-Hungary / in the year 1918. The same monarchy in Galicia, Lwow. E.M Unger knows Austrian products, what they make, and maybe he could have worked together with somebody? He wouldn't have needed to look for a picture with a different eagle.
    Earlier, his produced 6 known varieties of legionnaire Eagle which don't indicate that he is the person who made what you have. Grzegorz Krogulec, in his book, talked about it being bad quality because it was made in an industrial implementation rather than handmade.

    Eugene. M Unger was the engraver. Can you look for his different items which he did, which are very good quality.

    I agree with you, this KW can be from Lwow or other locations in Galicia.

    You told about a deal on the KW, but we're not sure what E. M. Unger did at this time. Maybe he was waiting with flowers for the Red Army. This same story was in Warsaw at this time.

    Next, what are your thoughts on how much could be selected soldiers voted to KW in Lwow at this time?

    J.Knedler could do 5 thousand crosses with no lost quality, how much could E. M . Unger do? 100? 200?

    If he did 100, they were in super quality! It's my opinion, which is different than yours. Maybe neither of us have the truth.

    The history is based on the facts and the theme is very interesting, which needs to investigated, but in a different way than you .



  7. #197


    Krogulec # 7

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  8. #198


    Robek, congratulations on adding this rare variant to your collection. It's the best Krog 7 I've seen. Beautiful cross, and the twin-barred wz.29 ribbon is the icing on top

    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. #199


    Antos !

    Thanks for the congratulations! The cross is beautiful, I love it like a kid loves candy. It's a great addition to my collection.

    Thanks Again!


  10. #200


    Here's a recent acquisition to share which happily marks the end of a long search. This early production Type 2 Knedler (Krog #4) has the rarely seen "WALECZNYM" ("valorous") suspender, which of course is text on the reverse of the cross. This provided for the full display of the crosses official motto - 'to the valorous on the field of glory':

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    Mr. Krogulec mentions the production dates of 1920-1925. He adds that these were not widely used possibly due to their limited availability to the veterans dispersed throughout Poland and also that the sharp edges were predisposed to cutting the ribbon at the point of suspension. I'll also add that the slot for the passage of the ribbon did not exactly fit all available ribbon widths. Such is the case with this example where the ribbon is wider than the slot provided. Likely further hindering its popularity was that the French style ball-end suspenders commonly used at the time allowed for the display of more decorations rather than the single KW this one supported.

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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

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