Romanian Awards

    Romanian Awards

    All the nations that had alliance to Nazi Germany rendered military awards to those soldiers that in one way or another provided heroic service to their particular country, such awards are shown below. The majority of foreigners receiving such awards were Germans. As the war progress and countries changed alliance those awards were removed such as with Romania and Finland. Many of the Romanian Awards were beautifuly designed and crafted as you will see. The Romanian Orders and Decorations were under the control of the "Monetaria Nationala" (Monetary, National) in Bucharest. Many Orders and Decorations were contracted to German firms such as: "Paul Telge, Berlin and C.F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim."

    The Order of Michael The Brave

    The Order was instituted on 26 September 1916 (By Royal Decree No. 2968/1916) and was the most prestigious of all Romanian awards. As a war decoration it was conferred on officers only for leadership in battle or bravery in the field. During WWII it was re-instituted on 8 October 1941 and on 18 October 1944.

    The Order exist in three grades. The order has the shape of a cross with blue enamel and golden outlines. The obverse illustrates in the center the royal crown with King Michael I monogram and year 1941. The reverse has the royal crown, the double "F" reverse monogram of King Ferdinand and the year of institution 1916.
    The 2nd and the 3rd classes has the cross surmounted by the royal crown made of gold plated silver.
    The Order illustrated is the third class and the crown measures 18mm long, while for the 2nd class measures 28mm in length.
    The 3rd class cross is 40mm long and was worn on the left breast; the 2nd class according to some sources is 60mm in length and was worn around the neck.
    The 1st class is a 60mm pin-back cross and was worn like a brooch on the left breast.

    The ribbon for the 2nd and 3rd class was made of dark cherry-colored moiré and measures 37mm wide, bordered by a 3mm golden stripe on each side. It should be noted that in December 1938 "swords" were authorized for addition to any grade, however it was canceled by a decree published only a couple of months later in February 1939.
    Swords were, however, again authorized in 1944.

    Order of Michael the Brave Order of Michael the Brave

    As indicated the 1944 model had two 57 mm swords added to the 1st and 2nd classes of the 1916 model and 38 mm swords to the 3rd class. The 1st class had on the obverse the crown and Michaels monogram. The 2nd and 3rd classes had on the obverse the crown, Michaels monogram and the year 1944.
    It was meant to replace the 1941 model, which was also awarded to the German allies as a distinction between the allies. According to some sources there were several cases of Romanian officers who received both the 1941 and the 1944 models and even three cases of generals who received the 3rd class of the 1944 model after they had received the 2nd class of the 1941 model.

    During WW1 the following Orders were awarded:
    1st class: 16
    2nd class: 12
    3rd class: 336 (of which 43 awarded to military units)

    During WW2:
    1st class: 15
    2nd class: 76 (of which 13 awarded to military units)
    3rd class: 1628 (of which 118 awarded to military units).

    The Order of the Crown of Romania

    The Order of the Crown of Romania "Ordin Corona Romaneii" was instituted on 14 March 1881 on the day that Romania was proclaimed a kingdom under King Carol I. Five Classes were awarded: Grand Cross, Crand Officer, Commander, Officer, Knight. The statutes and regulations of this Order are, however, dated 10th May 1881. This date is significant one in Romanian history, e.g.
    10th May 1866: Carol's entry into Bucharest and investiture as Prince
    10th May 1877: day of independence
    10th May 1881: crowning of Prince Carol as King Carol I of Romania.
    Originally only awarded to civilians, it was not until 1938 that the military was authorized to receive such an award. The following change of events happen towards the institution of this Order:
    9th September 1932 - The design of both Order and ribbon was altered. A so-called war ribbon was issued. It is watered mid-blue with a silver central stripe and gold edges.
    2nd February 1937 - Swords were added to the Order on all its grades.
    22nd February 1938 - The creation of special Military Division of the Order.
    8th August 1938 - New regulations concerning the Order as applied to the Military Division for merit in peace-time.
    19th December 1938 - The Order "with swords" was henceforth to be worn with the so-called "war ribbon".
    19th December1939 - Creation of a version for ladies.
    30th June 1941 - Awarding on a "ribbon for military bravery" could apply to all grades of the Order.
    27th April 1942 - With the start of mobilization the statutory periods of waiting between promotion from one grade of the Order to the next higher were abolished. In this circumstances the recipient's number on the record-of-awards roll of the Order was prefaced by the letter "M."

    The Romanian Grand Cross

    Romanian Grand Cross

    Above is a breathtaking rarely encountered example of the Romanian Grand Cross 1932 Civil Merit award. Only 200 Grand Crosses for Civil Merit and 50 for Military Merit were rendered. The Military Merit award had Crown attached on the top of the badge and for acts of bravery swords were added. This decoration has to be considered one of the finest awards ever crafted. This eight pointed breast star is huge measuring 87mm. At one time the breast star was gilded because it shows some small traces of gold. It has flawless red enamel with white edges. A beautiful golden crown is placed in the center with the motto "Prin noi insine" (By Ourselves Alone) and date of institution "14 March 1881" inscribed in the outer ring. The golden monograms of King Carol were placed between the arms of the cross. The reverse has a a ring shape rivet measuring 24mm diameter that secures the front side of the cross. In the center the inscription "Josef Resch & FIU Bucuresci," which was the dealers name not the manufacturer. It has a quality hinge, catch and long pin.

    The Order of the Crown, Knight Cross

    Romanian Knight Cross

    The military award shown above is the Order of the Crown, Knight grade with swords. Awarded for either military merit in time of peace or bravery in war. The cross is made of red enamel with white edges. The golden monogram of "King Carol" was placed in the center with the motto "Prin noi insine" (By ourselves alone) and date of institution inscribed in the outer ring. This cross is the 1932 pattern. The reverse in the center it shows the golden inscription indicating the date "10 Maiu" (10th of May) with the dates "1866" "1877" and "1881" inscribed in the outer ring. The crowns were placed between the arms of the cross. The cross is suspended and attached to the Romanian Royal Crown. The ribbon is red with blue edges worn on military awards. The cross came in a blue case with the golden monogram of Michael I and the inscription "Coroana Romaniel Cavaler."

    The Order of the Star, Knight Cross

    Romanian Knight Cross Romanian Knight Cross

    The Order of the Star of Romania shown above was officially instituted in May 1877. This Order is also in six Grades. The Order shown is the (1932-1947) version Knight Grade. The cross of this beautiful award is made of blue enamel. The center shows the golden monogram of King Carol surrounded by a green wreath, while between the arms of the cross show golden "Roman" style eagles with two swords crossing behind the eagles. The swords indicate that the recipient was given for bravery in the field. The Order has water marked red ribbon with two blue stripes at each end and two golden stripes shown in the outer edges. The reverse shows the date when the award was officially instituted although it has been in existence since 1864. The back of the ribbon shows a hook and clasp for attaching into uniform. A Unit or individual citation came with the award. Foreigners as well as Romanians were eligible although most of the foreign recipients were mostly Germans.

    The Romanian medal for the Crusade against Bolshevism

    Romanian Crusade Medal Romanian Crusade Medal

    The Romanian medal for the Crusade against Bolshevism shown above was instituted on 1 April 1942 by decree no. 1014 from King Michel I and was awarded to all branches of the Romanian forces including Germans. The bars were used for soldiers who were in the Front-line. The medal is suspended by a dark red ribbon with white edges. The center of the ribbon shows in a lateral pattern the Romanian national colors red/yellow/blue. The obverse depicts the Romanian liberty symbol and the inscription "ROMANIA RECUNOSCATOARE." In addition, below the liberty head is the designers name "P. Grant" in small letters. The reverse shows a sword being hand held with the date "1941" and around the outer rim the legend "CRUCIADA IMPOTRIVA COMUNISMULVI" (Crusade Against Communism). The recipients of the award were also provided with small bronze or silver metal bars with the inscription of the region of the particular campaign that the Romanians fought. These campaign bars were placed on the ribbon. There were about (13) bars, the rarest being Stalingrad. Currently there exist reproduction medals, they do not have the small "P. Grant" inscription below the liberty head.

    Romanian Crusade Document

    Shown above is a Romanian Crusade Award Document with Crimean Bar that was awarded to a German soldier. The Crimean campaign was one of the hardest battles that the Romanians fought, which amounted to loosing 40 percent of its combat strength. By early April 1944, Germans and Romanians were retreating towards Sevastopol for evacuation. Many Romanian mountain troops were used for rearguard actions against overwhelming odds while protecting the flank of the German V Corps.

    [ Front Page] [Top ][Previous Page] [Next Page]