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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. #131

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

    Hi Caroline,



    Super news. And what an amazing coincidence to meet up with a friend of your father’s from his days in the Polish 2nd Corps. Congratulations on your good fortune. It’s almost a fairy tale ending to the hunt you embarked on!

    Please continue to keep us updated. We look forward to seeing the Cross of Valour document and pictures from the wartime photo album.

    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

  2. #132

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

    Hi Guys,

    Pictures of dads citation as promised.... (If that is what it is called?)

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    I think the signature on the last page belongs to General Anders!

    regards

    Caroline
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  3. #133

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

    Quote by CarolinePaj View Post
    Just wanted to update you all and let you know that I missed that last ebay listing, but that I am still looking.... so please keep letting me know when you find one that is a good replacement for Dad's.
    Hi Caroline! The KRZYZ WALECZNYCH has been relisted by the seller. IMO it's a nice version and is a fair price and would go really well with your father's citation documents
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  4. #134

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

    Quote by CarolinePaj View Post
    Pictures of dads citation as promised.... (If that is what it is called?) . . .
    Super document and a great addition to this thread. The document’s title “Wniosek” translates more accurately to ‘application’, ‘proposal’, or ‘petition’.

    The document records the applications advance through four senior officers, ultimately ending up on the desk of General Anders. And yes, that is his signature.

    The document also records the actions that resulted in the motion to have your father awarded with the Cross of Valour. On July 7th 1944 he took part in a patrol in the area of Tornassano and courageously captures a group of surprised enemy soldiers (presumably Germans). Along with the patrol leader they force their surrender. Then several weeks later July 28th he volunteered for a patrol on the north shore of the river Chienti and with “daring and cunning use of the terrain” was able to make a close approach to the enemy lines to uncover several enemy positions.

    Thanks for posting this document.

    Regards,
    Tony

    PS re-posting your pictures rotated right side up
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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

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

    We’ve briefly touched on the 1940 dated version of this decoration earlier in the thread when a couple of copies were posted along with a post war French made Marcel Delande version. Let’s devote a little more attention to the official issue which was produced for awarding tosoldiers of the 2nd Rifles Division. The 1940 cross is the scarcest of the wartime production KW’s. Towards the end of 1940 a series of 600 crosses were produced by the Huguenin Brothers of Le Locle Switzerland. It is unknown if an additional order was filled as there were just over 700 KW’s awarded.

    First, a brief history of the 2nd Rifles Division (2 Dywizja Strzelców Pieszych – 2DSP) for those that may be wondering about the Swiss connection. The 2DSP started forming in Nov. 1939 as the Poles were regrouping in France following the disastrous September Campaign. The division consisted of roughly 16,000 men under the leadership of General Bronisław Prugar-Ketling. During the German invasion in the spring of 1940 the 2DSP was placed in a defensive role in the Alsace region in north eastern France. Engaged heavy fighting over June 17-19 they were standing firm in the face of the German attack. The unexpected sudden retreat of the French on all sides left the Poles surrounded. There only option was a breakthrough to the Swiss border which over the next two days proved successful. Upon crossing the border the soldiers were interned for the duration of the war, although over the following years many did manage to re-join the Polish Exile Armed Forces based in the UK.

    The change of date on the cross from 1920 to 1940 was a unilateral decision on the part of the 2DSP and supposedly due to lack of communication with the Polish government which had also just escaped France and was reorganizing on British soil. Eventually it was officially decided to keep the 1920 date for crosses issued for the Polish Exiled Armed Forces as this was not only the date of the establishment of the decoration, and also marked the pivotal victory over the Soviets which thereby assured the continuation of the newly reborn Polish state.

    The posted cross is a recent and exciting acquisition. It formed part of a veteran’s grouping that had survived in very good condition being kept in an accordion envelope, interestingly dated 1943 and also Swiss made. The grouping contains a 1940 cross on its original issue ribbon, with rarely seen award document and never previously seen (in my case) factory cellophane wrapper.

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    The 1940 cross measures approx. 36 x 39mm and about 3.5 mm thick at the center shield. These were made to a high quality, not surprising considering the Swiss pedigree. The surface of the cross has a subtle ‘frosted’ texture which is important to be aware of when differentiating these from deceptive counterfeits on the market. The ribbon ring is soldered after installation on the suspension ‘ear’, the latter being stamped as part of the cross. The edges are manually finished.

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    The Swiss made ribbons are infamously fragile with a tendency to fray easily. The same producer made the ribbons for pre-war official issue Virtuti Militari crosses. Some collectors have named them ‘papierkowe’, which essentially translates to ‘made of paper’. Here’s a well worn Swiss made VM and also KW ribbon showing the characteristic fraying.

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    Each award document was personally signed by General Prugar-Ketling in his rather bold style.

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    The cellophane wrapper was an unexpected bonus. It was in the accordion envelope that this veteran used to hold these souvenirs of his service, and fell out onto the floor when I was first removing the various items. I picked up the wrinkled bit of cellophane thinking it was a piece of a candy wrapper and set it aside. Moments later another piece of this cellophane was found in the envelope and on this one I noticed the red text “Huguenin”. The wrapper might have also held the ribbon when issued, although it was not a Huguenin product.

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    In an upcoming post I’ll stacking up the genuine cross to one of the most deceptive copies on the market that has done a lot of ‘damage’ in the collector market.

    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

  6. #136

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

    A recently acquired photo group of a KW decorated soldier consisting of a portrait with dedication to a family that likely billeted this soldier during his stay in Scotland.

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    The smaller photo shows who I believe is General Duch decorating this “chorąży”.

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    Unfortunately there's no identification of this soldier other than what appears to be a first name "Joseph", or maybe it is an undecipherable first initial and surname - ??. The pocket badge shows that he saw combat duty with the 1st Grenadier Division, quite possibly for which he was being decorated with Cross of Valour. The rear of the award ceremony photo is marked with the name of the Scottish town Alloa and dated June 20, 1943.

    The cross of valour appears to be the “24” type as catalogued in the Krogulec listing.

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    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

  7. #137

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

    Tony -

    Congrats on your recent superb acquisitions! And thanks for the write up on the 1940 KW.

  8. #138

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

    Thanks Mike. If this rainy Victoria Day long weekend continues (typical for most long weekends in the spring/summer months on the 'wet coast') I'll stay indoors to post an interesting Polish Navy Cross of Valour grouping. Stay tuned . . .

    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

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

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    Would very much appreciate help with identification of this variant of KW
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #140

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

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    Would very much appreciate help with identification of this variant of KW
    This is a UK made variant, same as the one pictured in post #136 above. But the cross you have pictured has every appearance of being a cast replica. The details are soft and not sharp as those found in the die stamped originals. Note especially in the corners of the center shield. The suspension 'ear' that holds the ribbon ring is wrong. The ribbon rings on original crosses are of a narrow gauge wire that are soldered at the joint.

    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

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