Basic Membership
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About camelneck

  • Rank
  1. Demir, I appreciate your opinion. Thanks! David
  2. Hi, I was thinking about buying this Gallipoli star. The front side looks beautiful and is very unique. The enamel appears to be antique, but then again, I don't consider myself an expert. However, what bothers me most is the fact that there are several casting mistakes on the back side of this award. It appears to be very rough in places and there is a lot of pitting especially around the balls. A friend of mine also pointed out some pitting on and around a couple of the balls on the front side (particularly the ball on the 9 o'clock arm). Since variants of this award were made in Turkey, Austria, and Germany, I've seen many different examples of this award and I've also heard the quality of workmanship varied from excellent to fair. Thus, I'd like to hear from some fellow collectors who know a lot more about this award than I do. Is this medal a fake or is it just a victim of shoddy workmanship (especially on the reverse side)? Thanks, David aka Camelneck
  3. Thanks Graf, I wasn't planning on buying this one. (I actually bought one Saturday night.) Thanks for your opinions and thanks for the excellent tips. Mr. C Neck
  4. I recently found the following Order of Merit (2nd class) for sale. In the description the seller referred to it as being silver. However, I have never seen silver tarnish like this before.. This raises a question, was the Order of Merit (2nd class) suppose to be pure silver or was it silver-plated bronze (or brass)? If the Order of Merit (2nd class) was made of pure silver then logic dictates that the medal pictured below is either 1) a fake or 2) the silver has somehow developed a very unusual bronze-like patina. On the other hand, it the Order of Merit (2nd class) was made of silver-plated brass or bronze as opposed to being true silver, then there a 3rd possibility comes into play: 3) this was a silver-plated bronze medal that has lost all of its silver. Well, enough of my logic, I would like to hear from the experts as to why the medal below doesn't look like Igor's Order of Merit (above). They both suppose to be silver, but only Igor's looks like a silver medal. --------- Igor, Those are very nice awards. I especially like your Order of Merit. Thanks for posting!
  5. In addition to a rosette, didn't all the 4th class awards have gold crowns and swords? (At least mine has a gold crown and gold swords.) On the other hand, don't the 5th class awards have silver swords and silver crowns (provided they come with a crown)? I think the same thing was true about the Romanian Order of the Crown? My Officer's Class has a Rosette on the ribbon and gold gilt on the crown and swords. However, I believe the Knight's Class has no Rosette and their swords and crown are silver instead of gold? ---------- Elaborating on what Hypnos was saying, there were actually 36 possible variations of the Medal of Merit although I don't know if all 36 possible types were awarded. Each Medal of Merit falls into 6 basic categories: gold, silver, bronze, gold with crown, silver with crown, and bronze with crown. For each of these 6 categories, there are 6 sub-categories based upon who or what is on the front side of the medal: 1) Knjaz (Prince) Alexander; 2) Knjaz Ferdinand; 3) Tsar Ferdinand I, 4) Tsar Boris III, 5) Tsar Boriss III (with "A" missing from Bulgaria); and 6) a regent coat of arms instead of a prince or king. Technically speaking, there was a 37th variation which was awarded to Stefan Stambolov which was a gold medal with crown and diamonds. (If one was to count wartime awards that were awarded on the bravery ribbon, there were over 50 variations of this award.) And I used to think that the Bavarian MVK held the record for the most variations ... David
  6. I know that German Panzer Tank Ace Michael Wittmann, who had more tank kills than anyone in WW2, was awarded a Bulgarian Soldiers Cross for Bravery in the summer of 1941 when he was a Sergeant on the Russian Front. By the end of 1941, he became an officer who rose to the rank of captain when he was killed in action in August 1944. Wittmann's conquests on the was fighting the British on the Western Front and in the span of 15 minutes his Tiger Tank single-handedly destroyed 15 British tanks, 14 personnel carriers, and 2 anti-tank gus. QUESTIONS: 1) Does anyone know what class or classes of the soldier's cross Wittman was awarded (at the very least do you know whether it was a gold or silver cross)? I've heard he earned a gold cross, but did he also earn a silver cross? 2) Were these awards rank-based, merit-based, or a bit of both and were there any specific rules on how they were awarded. I have heard that the silver crosses (class 4 and class 3) were given to enlisted men and that the gold crosses (classes 1 & 2) were strictly reserved for NCOs. If this is so, what rule or rules governed whether an enlisted man received a class 3 or class 4 award and whether a NCO received a class 2 or class 1 award? For example, were first time (enlisted men) recipients awarded class 4 awards while those who earned a repeat award given a class 3 cross? Or were the 4 classes totally merit-based meaning that a typical act of bravery earned the class 4 cross while a slightly more courageous act earned the class 3 cross. In such a system, a recipient of a class 1 award would receive the award only if he had demonstrated a truly remarkable act of bravery. MORE ON WITTMANN: In the event anybody is unfamiliar with Captain Michael Wittmann, his total number of victories (or kills) were 141 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns. He took command of his first Tiger tank in 1943 and immediately became a war hero. On July 5, 1943, which marked his first day of action in a Tiger tank, Wittmann destroyed 13 Soviet T-34 tanks and 2 anti-tank guns and saved another platoon that had run into trouble. Between July 5 and July 17, Wittmann's Tiger destroyed 30 Soviet tanks along with 28 anti-tank guns. Wittmann is best known for his ambush of elements of the British 7th Armoured Division, during the Battle of Villers-Bocage on 13 June 1944. While in command of a Tiger I tank, he destroyed 14 tanks, 15 personnel carriers, and 2 anti-tank guns within the space of fifteen minutes. As a result of this enormous achievement, on June 22, 1944 he received "swords" to go along with the Oak Leaves he had previously earned for his Knight's Cross. They were presented to him by Hitler himself at the Wolf's Lair. Thanks for all the information. You are one lucky guy! David
  7. Excellent point! The fact that I have never seen a 1941 soldier's cross for sale and you have never seen one for sale at a good price, is testament to its rarity. The fact that I've never seen a 1941 soldiers cross on ebay is also a good indication that there were very few (if any) 1941 fakes.
  8. New World, you have some beautiful Bulgarian Awards! One of these days I would love to find an Order of Bravery 3rd class with crown (that is as nice as yours) to go with my 1915 Order of Bravery 4th Class. The highlight of my Bulgarian collection is the Order of Military Merit Officer's Class complete with gold crown and ribbon rosette. (I just love that crown.) Unfortunately, it isn't one with war decorations. I also have 1 silver and 2 gold soldier's crosses (1915 versions) and a bronze Royal Medal of Merit with crown (Tsar Ferdinand version). I'm presently looking for a silver Royal Medal of Merit with Crown as well as the silver Order of Merit. I hope to find them in the next week or two So far all my Bulgarian awards are WW1 era. Is your primary focus WW2 or do you have just as many WW1 awards? Nice photos of Gen Stoychev. Thanks for sharing. I found the very first photo to be most interesting. The officer that is directly to the left of Gen Stoychev (farthest right in the photo) reminds me a little bit of General Burkhalter from Hogan's Heroes!
  9. Are their fakes of the Soldier's Cross of Bravery going around? Here is why I ask, I currently have 3 Soldiers crosses (1 silver and 2 gold) so I'm familiar with what they look like. However, not long ago, I saw a silver one for sale. I'm 99% sure it was original, but I noticed one thing that introduced 1% of doubt. There was a rough spot (slight ridge) on the side of one of the cross arms. It was as if the maker didn't do his best work when he was filing the edges of that particular cross arm. I've always heard that unfiled ridges on the sides of certain medals (especially in the case of an Iron Cross) could be an indicator that a medal might be fake. (Evidently, many of the people who make fakes don't put the time and effort into filing these ridges down.) But then again, even the best jewelers can occasionally allow a slight flaw or defect to pass. As I said, I'm pretty sure the medal was legitimate, and unfortunately, I don't have a photo I can post. However, it made me wonder if there were a lot of fake soldier's crosses out there. Thanks!
  10. Most every soldier's cross that I've seen has the date 1915 on the front and 1879 on the reverse. However, like this unusual cross, I have seen a couple of soldier's crosses that have no date on the front and 1879 on the reverse. Were all crosses with no date on the front, issued prior to 1915 or were some of these crosses with dateless fronts issued after WW1? Does anyone have a close-up photo of your 1941 Soldier's Cross? I would love to see it. Does it have the date 1941 on the front instead of 1915? Thanks. David
  11. I'm also positive that this wasn't a 4th class award without enamel. I assume new world was talking about the cross arms when he used the word "rays". If so, I was going to mention this also. The cross arms could not be smooth. Some kind of pattern of raised lines would have had to been etched into them in order to provide the texture underneath the red enamel that all 4th class medals possess. Since the cross consist of multiple parts, one would expect these raised lines to be present on the arms of the cross prior to assembly. it would only make sense. However, no such raised lines exist. Thus, if someone applied red enamel to the arms of this cross, it would look like clear glass that was free of any texture. Personally, I find the center medallion (both sides) to be most interesting. In this case, we actually find a pattern of raised lines that have been etched into the medal in the exact location where you would find the red enamel in the center of a 4th class award. However, this particular pattern consists of raised "radial lines" that originate from the center of the medallion in a radial (spoke-like) fashion. While there are raised lines etched into the medallion of a 4th class medal, these lines are vertical lines (that are parallel to each other) as opposed to non-intersecting radial lines. This alone is definitive proof that this medal was designed to be different than both the soldier's cross and the Order of Bravery 4th Class.
  12. I recently saw a silver Waldeck Merit Medal for sale that looks identical to the Golden Waldeck Merit Medal shown in the previous post by eitze (minus the swords). (I'm assuming the reverse side of eitze's medal contains the words "Fur Verdienste" and nothing else.) Despite the lack of swords, the silver medal that I saw was suspended on the same white "war ribbon" as the one used for both the Waldeck Silver Merit Medal with swords and the Waldeck Golden Merit Medal with swords (see Eitze's photos). It was my understanding that both silver and golden "Waldeck merit medals without swords", were suppose to be suspended by the peacetime ribbon which looks identical to the ribbon used in conjunction with the Princely Reuss Silver Medal of Merit. (This ribbon is yellow-orange in color with red and black stripes.). I've looked everywhere, but I cannot find a silver Waldeck Medal that looks like the one that I just described. Every photo that I have seen of the Waldeck Silver Merit Medal has the initials "G V" with a crown on top of the initials. According to Volume 7 of O'Connors "Aviation Awards and the Men Who Earned Them", Georg Viktor (GV) was the reigning prince of Waldeck when the silver merit medal were first issued. However, when the golden merit medal was issued a few years later, Friedrich was on the thrown. This explains why the "GV" initials on the silver merit medal were replaced by a golden 8-ray star with the cross Moline of Pyrmont in the center. As for the silver medal that I saw, has anyone else seen a silver merit medal that has an 8-ray star with a cross Moline in its center on its obverse side as opposed to the letters "GV"? David