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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. #1

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

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    Dear friends,

    I would like to propose posting a new thread with regards to the Krzyz Waleczny or Cross of Valour. i love this medal it is a personal favourite of mine.



    What i hope hope to achieve by this post is the following;

    An understanding of the background of the award
    A knowledge of production processes how are they made
    The evolution of the KW fom its beginnings with Rozycki to its many variants.
    Pictures and classifications of the many many variants
    How and when they were awarded and for what.
    How to spot a fake or a copy.
    Ribbons

    Currently i have the Krogulec book which as a reference source is very confusing. I would really like to be able to classify the Kws from their origins in the First War of Independence tothe medals issued during the Second World War.

    I am posting my first picture of a Numbered Rozycki which is on a replacement ribbon. Its ribbon loop has been soldered replaced with one which i believe is from a Knedler. (The dealer forgot to tell me, mmm academics eh)
    OK Robert - let's roll with the Polish 2nd Replublic pre-WW2 types. But first - a little history:

    The Cross of Valor (Polish: Krzyż Walecznych) was first introduced by the Council for the Defense of the State on 11 August 1920. It is awarded to an individual who "has demonstrated deeds of valor and courage on the battlefield." It may be awarded to the same person up to four times [1] . The medal is given only in wartime or shortly after.

    The medal was introduced at the height of the Polish-Soviet War (1920), shortly before the climactic Battle of Warsaw. Initially it had no Order Council and was awarded personally by the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army. Later the option was added of delegating the privilege to front and division commanders.

    Through 29 May 1923, when the last medal for the Polish-Soviet War was awarded, the Cross of Valor had been granted to some 60,000 soldiers. Apart from individuals who had participated in the Polish-Soviet War, it had also been retroactively awarded to some soldiers of the Polish Legions, of World War I military units, of the Silesian Uprisings, of the Great Poland Uprising, and to members of the Polish Military Organization. It had been awarded, as well, to veterans of the January 1863 Uprising and to the city of Płock.

    (source Wikipedia)

  2. #2

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

    The first official Cross of Valour type by Warsaw based maker Albin Różycki issued in October 1920, just weeks after the end of the Polish-Soviet war.

    Stamped from an alloy very close in composition to bronze, with a dark patina. There are several variants of this cross contained within the run of less than 3000.

    The crosses were made with a barrel type suspension, just like the first issue of the 4th and 5th class Virtuti Militari crosses, which were known to break. Robert’s cross has been repaired, although reasonably well compared to some that I have seen.

    (Robert Odulinski’s 1817 and Ivan Putski’s 26 pictured below)
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  3. #3

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

    Two variants of the Różycki from my collection are pictured below.

    Robert’s version is like the 2663, and I am betting that Ivan’s 26 is like the 1323. Any chance at a picture of the obverse of yours Ivan?

    Also attached is a photograph of a lance sergeant wearing a Różycki no-date cross using the early French style parade bar adopted by the Poles.

    T.
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    Last edited by A.J. Zawadzki; 03-19-2012 at 05:35 AM.

  4. #4
    ?

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

    Fantastic Tony !!!

    Gary J.

  5. #5

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

    Thanks Gary. I sort of glossed over the primary defining characteristic of these Różycki crosses which is, of course, the lack of the 1920 date. All other crosses, official government issue and the various ‘replacement’ issues from the pre-war period, carried the 1920 date.

    Before we run off to discuss some of the other pre-war types let’s pause for a moment . . .

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    How to spot a fake or a copy.
    There are two on the market that I am aware of. The most common copy often passed off as genuine is pictured below. These are very well made. In fact, they are too ‘perfect’ – and this is the giveaway. And there are many floating about the market.

    Original Różycki crosses have a certain crudeness about them – especially visible in the cross arm border area. This roughness is the result of being hammered out of the dies. The copies do not display any of this, and have a smooth almost silk like finish. To the novice, the copy is very hard to differentiate, which is why one must study the genuine article closely. Also, these copies are not serial numbered.

    T.

    PS I'll dig out pics of the other lesser known copy and post later
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  6. #6

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

    Just found the pic of the other Różycki copy mentoned previously. This may in fact be from the same producer as the one I posted earlier, hard to be certain. Although it has seen a polishing cloth, and someone's serial number stamping kit - with a font that's way off the mark. I saved this image about 7 years ago, and it remains the only numbered Różycki copy I have encountered on the market.

    T.
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  7. #7
    3mk
    3mk is offline
    ?

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

    Great thread, as far as I know all 4 of my Great Grand-Fathers were awarded the Cross of Valor (1 was even awarded the Virtuti Militari)but all there awards and military stuff were burned down in 1939 hid but never found or destroyed.The only medal I have from my family is a 20 years service medal.If anyone ever has a original stamped Cross of Valor for sale please contact me.

    Nice cross Tony the #26 is the lowest serial number on a cross Ive seen

  8. #8
    3mk
    3mk is offline
    ?

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

    If anyone wants to trade a pre-war cross of Valor for my 3rd of May medal (original) then pm me Its on ebay right now if anyones wondering

  9. #9

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

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Two variants of the Różycki from my collection are pictured below – both on pre-war period ribbons although 2663 has the wz.29 hook and eye type, and therefore a replacement of the original type that was simply sewn across the top.

    Robert’s version is like the 2663, and I am betting that Ivan’s 26 is like the 1323. Any chance at a picture of the obverse of yours Ivan?

    Also attached is a photograph of a lance sergeant wearing a Różycki no-date cross using the early French style parade bar adopted by the Poles.

    T.
    Thanks Gary at last im getting to understand the complexities of the Kw Phew. From a novices eye what strikes me about this version is that the arms are somewhat 'wypuchle' or rounded with the distinctive colour of the patina. Its a very rich attic bronzed colour and in my opinion most certaily the best design.

    When these items were struck i am presuming that they were struck in one piece and then filed.

    You mentioned that 3,000 were originally struck by Rozycki? Why are there variants of the same medal?

    Fantastic information gentleman, thank you sincerely for your intellectual generosity. For me this is just too good to be true.

  10. #10

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

    Quote by 3mk View Post

    Nice cross Tony the #26 is the lowest serial number on a cross Ive seen
    Here's another little tidbit on that cross....
    It was awarded to a fighter pilot.

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