ilieff

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About ilieff

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  1. Prof. Pavlov's book is too overrated. Its price has been high since it's launch in 2002/2003 and I am sure such high price has been artificially maintained (one way or another). Do not forget that Pavlov is a professor in Economics and [should] knows how to sell his stuff.
  2. I've just came across this interesting example, sold at ebay.at. At first, it appears to be a generic cross with missing ribbon. However, when I looked closer, it is a bit different. The obverse is generic - the usual horizontally positioned crowns and central medallion. However, the reverse is identical to the 'rare' model shown in Prince Romanoff's book. If my assumption is correct, then we have an example of a third type of this cross or at least a sub-type of either of the known ones. @Petar Keserdzhiev , could you please post an image of the reverse so we can compare? Thanks,
  3. Thank you for the scans, Petar. Igor, information about Battenberg period awards (in general) is next to zero. I doubt that any of the current books can provide you with a detailed knowledge in this regard.
  4. This is a great find, Petar. As far as I know, apart from the position of the crowns, there are also visible differences in the centre of the cross. These are especially clear on the reverse. Looking at the ribbon - it looks as if someone has manually drawn the green stripe by hand (being quite wavy, washed away at the edges and not centrally aligned). Is this the case? If yes, this can suggest a later alteration. Also, I don't think this has been given to a lady (if given at all), Graf. Firstly, the 'straight' ribbons are strictly for males and secondly, as far as I know, the lady ribbons for this particular medal did not differ in width (like other Bulgarian decorations do). Have you noticed the clearly larger ring? There certainly must be a reason for it. Ilieff
  5. Would it be possible for someone to post in here a couple of sample pages from this book please? I cannot decide whether it`s worth buying it, considering I am not fluent in German.
  6. A few more - portraits of former participants in the Voluntary Corps (1877-1878)
  7. I assume 992F meant any other decorations, beside the ones shown.
  8. I can't really say with certainty but I suppose that he did not. Actually, Stoyanov (major back then) was sacked from the Air Force (without the right of a pension) following the aftermath of the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Priot to that, the State security agency was following him constantly as they suspected him of being 'not too loyal to the communist cause'. Even the code name of his file was named 'Fritz', as a hint for his good relation with the Germans during the war years. After 1956 the war hero has to work as a construction worker, then at the local thetre. Eventually, he was employed as a tourist guide (due to his good language skills) in the Rila Monastery where he actually wrote his memoirs. @new world Thank you for the link. More interesting things about his decorations. The media in Bulgarian inaccurately portraits him as having earned all classes of the Military order. He has been given the Order of Military merit V class but for some reason this decoration was not displayed at his funeral. I assume that Stoyanov has tried to remove all the 'unsuitable' royal awards back in the day, as we can't see crowns on either of them. This is the case with the 3rd class, which clearly has been given to him with crown (once). And if you wonder why he wore the commemorative medal for the Balkan wars with black stripe in the middle - that's because of his father who died 5 months prior to Stoyanov's birth.
  9. Hi new world, As the theory goes, since the inception of the Third Kingdom, the Bulgarian Monarch is automatically allocated both 1st and 4th Classes of the Military Order. I am not too sure what's the reason behind it, but I assume it might be just another feature which has been copied over from St.George's Order. An interesting example of this rule is the fact that Prince Alexander I, during His state visit in Russia, displays the 1st Class of the sole (at that time) Bulgarian order, utilising His position as head of state. Only months later he is officially recognised for His deeds in the Russo-Turkish war (1877-1878) and awarded the 1st class, this time for His merits and not for the position he is currently occupying. It is funny though, as I am thinking The Prince would have had to present the order to Himself. Perhaps he used a mirror. Next in line, Ferdinand I is often seen (especially in the earlier period of His reign) displaying both the neck order and the 4th class on His chest. It's highly possible that he used several badges and not just one, as is the case with His 1st class badges. He used His position as Monarch to display the Military order, so it might be slightly different to the general rule which applies to generic decorations we all are familiar with. By the way, the heir to the throne (in this case Boris of Tarnovo) has been given an officer rank since His birth, as some suggest, just to be eligible to be decorated with the 4th Class of the Order "For Bravery". There are several photos of Him as child having the badge on His chest. Surely he could not have possibly earned it on the battlefield at this age. And later, as King Boris III, He was never seen wearing 1st class, nor Grand cross. He only displayed the 4th class which He has by right and the two grades of the 3rd class He was presented with during the Balkan and Great wars.
  10. Hi all, Allow me to share with you some interesting information about General Stoyan Stoyanov - a WW2 Bulgarian ace, pilot instructor and later deputy-commander of the anti-aircraft system of Socialist Bulgaria. Due to the limited involvement of Bulgaria during the initial stages of the war, the fighter pilots were the first to actually engage in combat with the Western allies. Stoyanov and his fellow fighter pilots were defending Bulgarian air space from the American and British planes which were bombing the oil refineries in Ploesti or simply bombing the capital Sofia. On 1st August 1943 Stoyanov shoots down an American B-24 and another B-24 is damaged severely. Six days later, he is invited to the Royal palaca where King Bors III personally presents him with the 4th Class 2nd Grade of the Order "For Bravery". According to the mainstream sources, this is the first decoration of a Bulgarian officer with the Military order after the end of the Great war. Soon after that, he is also decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class by the German command (a scan of the actual document is available on Wikipedia). In the period between August 1943 and September 1944 Stoyanov scores 15 air victories which earns him the 4th Class 1st Grade of the Military order. Date of decoration not currently known. After the Communist coup in September 1944, Stoyanov continues to be a pilot instructor for the new Bulgarian pilots. At this time, he already has the effigy of a living legend for the Bulgarian air force. In November 1944, gen Vladimir Stoychev takes part in the decoration of all surviving pilots near Sofia. Stoyanov is promoted to major and decorated with the 3rd Class 2nd Grade (again, the date of actual decoration is unknown), thus becoming the sole Bulgarian officer to receive three orders "For Bravery" during the Second World war. He has a very interesting and dynamic life. If you are interested I can share some info. In 1972 he manages to publish memoirs which have been greatly censored by the communist censorship. His book has been re-published several times since but is still very rare to find (I haven't been able to read the book yet). In 1992 he is officially promoted to general by president Zhelev. On 13th Match 1997 Major-General Stoyanov passes away. He is honoured with a military funeral with the whole General staff of the Air Force attending it. On the photographs: - Stoyanov shortly after being decorated with the Iron Cross - Stoyanov's decorations on display during his funeral (understandably, his German decorations are not on display)
  11. That's what happens when people wash their ribbons along with the white laundry. On the serious side, there are a number of reasons why the colours might differ from ribbon to ribbon: 1) Ribbons do lose their colour with time, especially if kept in not very suitable places. Thus, a red ribbon might look orange afrer just a coulple of decades. 2) Different makers used different suppliers of ribbons and often they varied in their colour/tint. Numerous examples throughout Europe. 3) Poor materials used - e.g. during wartime years, the materials used tend to be of a lower quality (being cheaper), hence the colouring could fade away more quickly, compared to other examples. 4) Etc. etc. I am not an expert in foreign decorations, but my suspicion is that the top ribbon on the above image is a replacement/copy ribbon actually, while the 'organge' one appears to be a genuine one. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  12. Original awards were NOT 'casted'. They were minted (press-stamped) and because of this, their reverse and especially edges are very smooth and straight - something which is a huge give-away for fake decorations (which are usually casted) whose reverses are covered with little holes (due to the trapped air while casting) and the edges are more rounded due to hand-sanding the imperfections of the cast. This is visible on the above images too. Even so, I've seen some obviously faked stars for sale, which do have a smooth texture on the reverse. This makes me conclude that either (1) they used original parts/bases OR (2) that professional machines and/or dies were used for the production itself (which is really bad if true).
  13. HI all, Graf, may I elaborate and correct you on some of your points, The Order of Merit had only two classes - Gold and Silver badges (also called 1st and 2nd class) but due to the fact that the 1st class has only been presented to a dozen of men (or so), the general assumption is that the Order of Merit represents a silver badge, used for decoration of army officers (predominantly). As for the Medal of Merit, indeed it came into three classes. It was used for decoration of a broad range of professionals, including military men. The gold medal is indeed the rarest of things. It is a symbol of a great merit and its holders were the highest ranking officials in the country or similar in rank foreigners. Todor Petrov, citing Vl. Vladimirov, writes about 69 golden medals being awarded by 1940 (presumably, the majority of these abroad). I am prone to think this figure is plausible, or at least near the actual number of awarded men. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the original golden medals were simply gilded (with silver of bronze base), there is a certain number of faked golden medals out there. The same applies (perhaps in greater extent) to the golden Orders of Merit. It's a pity. I really like your two golden medals Graf. Congrats! Have these been given to German nationals? Are you able to share any background information? Here's an original illustration on behalf of the Chancellery of Bulgarian orders (circa 1904), showing the classes of both order and medal. Regards, order_and_medal_of_merit.pdf
  14. According to one source, for the period of 1880-1918, about 270 Bulgarians have been decorated with the third class (2nd grade), of whom nearly 170 during WW1. However, this source is most certainly not fully accurate and I assume these numbers could be greater. Sadly, there's no data of the number of foreign nationals given this class. Best,