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Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

Article about: 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 ac

  1. #111

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Hi Piotr,



    The type 1 and 2 designations are arbitrary and I’m not aware know of any formal cataloging of the two crosses in this manner. In fact, there’s some uncertainty as to whether the cross you have pictured is in fact produced in the Middle East, or Italy as some suspect. Unfortunately, there is very little available information on the production of these two crosses (and many of the other types as well).

    The Krogulec reference does attribute this cross as being of Middle Eastern production , and identified two sub-variants: earlier war and later war production. There are differences in alloy composition and in the size and construction of the ribbon ring.
    I agree that the Spink cross does share some close similarities. See post #12 for a side by side picture.

    Your observation that the cross type with the long ribbon ring suspension eyelet seems associated with the crosses awarded for Monte casino is consistent with what I’ve noticed as well. However, the other types were also awarded, all depending on when, where, and in what manner the award was conferred on the individual. There is an effort underway to document the cross type with original award documents, and I have actually participated in this endeavor with surviving veterans in the Polish community here locally.

    Regards,
    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

  2. #112
    ?

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi Piotr,

    The type 1 and 2 designations are arbitrary and I’m not aware know of any formal cataloging of the two crosses in this manner. In fact, there’s some uncertainty as to whether the cross you have pictured is in fact produced in the Middle East, or Italy as some suspect. Unfortunately, there is very little available information on the production of these two crosses (and many of the other types as well).

    The Krogulec reference does attribute this cross as being of Middle Eastern production , and identified two sub-variants: earlier war and later war production. There are differences in alloy composition and in the size and construction of the ribbon ring.
    I agree that the Spink cross does share some close similarities. See post #12 for a side by side picture.

    Your observation that the cross type with the long ribbon ring suspension eyelet seems associated with the crosses awarded for Monte casino is consistent with what I’ve noticed as well. However, the other types were also awarded, all depending on when, where, and in what manner the award was conferred on the individual. There is an effort underway to document the cross type with original award documents, and I have actually participated in this endeavor with surviving veterans in the Polish community here locally.

    Regards,
    Tony
    Hi Tony,

    Thanks a lot for your comments. Indeed, there is very little information available on the production of these two Middle East crosses. Krogulec attributes this cross to the Middle Eastern production, and up to date he is the only reliable source of information. Things may change when the research you mention has been completed

    Judging the cross by the ribbon I would say it is a later war production - the hook is sewn onto the ribbon with three strands, while the hooks of the crosses awarded for the battle of Monte Cassino are not sewn onto the ribbon. In both cases ribbons look identical which points at the ME production. Perhaps just pure coincidence. I have not seen all of them.

    Anyway, at least we have consistent observations which is a step forward

    Regards,
    Piotr.

  3. #113
    ?

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    On another subject. Mariusz asked how to clean ribbons. NEVER touch ribbons unless you can practice proper preservation measures.

    Ribbons are not stable and thus very fragile. You will damage them if you try to clean them on your own. If they have been folded for an extensive period of time all you can do is to apply steam but NEVER EVER iron them!

    Historical artifacts consist of two basic categories of materials: organic, which includes ribbons, and inorganic and only professional conservators have extensive training in a specific type of material. The idea of preservation is to slow down an object’s rate of deterioration but not to make it look brand new. Conservation is another story and only qualified conservators can perform it.

    General advice is to handle your historical artifacts, organic ones in particular, as little as possible because the acids and salts in your skin will damage them over time. Don’t let others touch them either

    Some time ago Wadowicznic asked me how to care for metal cap badges. I gave him basic guidelines for the preservation of metals and he replied he would play with it
    If you think you can perform preservation and/or conservation of historical artifacts while sipping on your coke you are wrong. It takes years of experience to apply proper preservation measures to both organic or inorganic objects.

    If you have any doubts regarding repair or cleaning of your historical artifacts contact your local museum. There are museum service programs to provide both technical assistance and advice to collectors.

    Regards,
    Piotr.
    Last edited by Taurus; 07-05-2012 at 12:26 PM.

  4. #114
    ?

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Quote by Taurus View Post
    Judging the cross by the ribbon I would say it is a later war production - the hook is sewn onto the ribbon with three strands, while the hooks of the crosses awarded for the battle of Monte Cassino are not sewn onto the ribbon.
    I apologize to have confused you I am getting old and needed a magnifying glass to see that the ribbon hook is not sewn onto the ribbon. The edge of the ribbon is kind of finished with some silk strands which kept me believe they hold the hook.

    Cheers,
    Pit.

  5. #115

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Hi Piotr, No worries. In the words of Enrico Fermi “Before I came here, I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused -- but on a higher level.”

    Good advice re the treatment of ribbons. Best left alone, especially if an original issue ribbon. An exception could be made if soiled with any encrusted deposit such as from food, but as always, care needs to be taken lest more damage be done. As any serious collectors knows, there’s a lot of value in that little piece of silk fabric.

    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

  6. #116
    ?

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi Piotr, No worries. In the words of Enrico Fermi “Before I came here, I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused -- but on a higher level.”

    Good advice re the treatment of ribbons. Best left alone, especially if an original issue ribbon. An exception could be made if soiled with any encrusted deposit such as from food, but as always, care needs to be taken lest more damage be done. As any serious collectors knows, there’s a lot of value in that little piece of silk fabric.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    Hi Tony,

    That's right. Leave the ribbons alone. To remove organic deposits first make sure the ribbon is dry, then brush the ribbon gently with a fine brush, apply steam and brush again when it dries. Remove the remains with petroleum ether. Use cotton swabs while cleaning the ribbon with petroleum ether. Palestinian ribbons are made of silk. Hope this helps

    There's a way to remove rust from ribbons, and I would love to write more on cleaning ribbons (silk) but imagine what may happen when people start experimenting.... No way

    Cheers,
    Pit.

  7. #117

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Hi Guys,

    As some of you might know I recently obtained my fathers war records and found that he was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour. Whilst I know I will never find the original I have been looking at some for sale..... Well today my wonderful husband presented me with this......

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am so overwhelmed....... Can anybody tell me anything about where it was made etc????

    Regards

    Caroline

  8. #118

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Hi Caroline,

    You do have a considerate husband! Unfortunately this cross is entirely incorrect for your father’s grouping. It is a communist era version where the Soviet overlords mandated changes to the national decorations. For the Cross of Valour that meant a year change from 1920 to 1944 and removal of the crown from the national eagle. Sorry for this bad news.

    Arguably the ‘most correct’ type of cross to find would be the type pictured in post 3 and 5, and elsewhere on this thread. Most of the other exile type would also be suitable (posts 7, 12, 13, 18).

    Regards,
    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. #119

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Was this type awarded to so-called Berling's Army during WWII or post-war communist army?
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #120

    Default Re: Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) - Exile Types

    Hi Stefan, communist era militaria is not an area of my collecting interest, but my understanding is that most of the crosses awarded to Berling's 'First Polish Army' during wartime were the 1943 dated Moscow made version. There may have been some 1944 dated ones in the mix (as the first 1944 dated crosses were also made in Moscow sometime in 1944) but it would have been very few. Cross of Valour awards for the Poles fighting alongside the Red Army during the war years were quite scarce – IIRC less than 600 - in comparison to the immediate post war years when upwards of 20,000 were distributed.

    Worth noting is that the Soviet adoption of the cross was technically illegal as this decoration was the property of the recognized Polish Government residing in London. Also, despite the military motto “Na Polu Chwały” (On The Field of Glory) emblazoned on the cross the Soviets modified the criteria under which the decoration could be awarded. Even political acts of defending the Stalinist puppet government installed in Poland qualified.

    As was the case with the treatment of the Virtuti Militari just over century earlier by the Russians, there was an element of deliberate degradation. Of course many of the awards were well deserved by soldiers that fought bravely alongside the Red Army, but the cross symbolizing these veterans’ heroism was further degraded when the Cross of Valour was dropped in hierarchy behind the Cross of Merit, a primarily civilian decoration.

    Regards,
    Tony
    Last edited by A.J. Zawadzki; 10-14-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: error - "war for years" changed to "war years"
    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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