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Graf

Bulgarian Order for Bravery 1941

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Hi Igor ,

 

The pictures are very interesting finding From the Uniform I can see that the Bravery Order is a 1st Class

As far i know  no 1st Class was given during Boris III period and after 1944.

It will be very helpful if you can dig in the MG records to find out when he was awarded the Bravery Order

 

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Hi Igor.

It will be interesting to find out when they are awarded. Both 1st and the 3rd Class are with the Royal crown, that means that they might have been awarded during the Regency Period or at least one of them. There is a speculation that during the republican periods  the removal of the crown was done only  on  3rd  Class 2nd Grade and replaced with wreath. That means  a piece of 2nd Class with a wreath could be a 'fantasy' one

There  is  a lot of grey area during post war two period

 

Graf

87af2c3e_bgwwiibrave2c3starregencywr1.jpg

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2 hours ago, Graf said:

Hi Igor.

It will be interesting to find out when they are awarded. Both 1st and the 3rd Class are with the Royal crown, that means that they might have been awarded during the Regency Period or at least one of them. There is a speculation that during the republican periods  the removal of the crown was done only  on  3rd  Class 2nd Grade and replaced with wreath. That means  a piece of 2nd Class with a wreath could be a 'fantasy' one

There  is  a lot of grey area during post war two period

 

Graf

 

If you refer to post #74 in this discussion - there are photos of Soviet Marshal Tolbukhin with 1st class of Bravery. He was awarded post September 1944, most likely in 1945.

As you can see he received award with a royal crown.

In the same post - another Soviet officer with Bravery 3rd class 2nd grade - also award with a crown.

As you can see, these are real examples of people receiving official Bravery awards during Republican times. It's possible that Bravery awards with wreath were all fantasy pieces.

Does anyone have a photo of Bravery cross with wreath in wear?

 

 

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It is a known fact that the Marshall was decorated with the 1st class Order "For Bravery" but I cannot find any reference for the exact date. Sources vaguely indicate late March 1945 as one of the first mass decoration of Soviet army men but it is highly possible that individual decorations did take place prior to this date, too.

It is important to note that the 'old-style' decision-making for the Military order (i.e. Order Council) has been disrupted  and even suspended in the later years of the War, especially for the privilege of awarding the 4th class orders which were now given upon the personal decision of the army group commander. In this sense, we cannot say with certainty that any decorations with 1st, 2nd, etc. classes were documented officially (as it should under the proper practice of the Order Council) at that time.

A few facts which some of you might find interesting:

As early as late September 1944, the old stock of orders and medals at the Chancellery has been exhausted and the Chancellery hires Berdj Kesterdjieff's (alternatively spelt Berdz Kesterdziev) factory to mint Soldiers' crosses and to re-silver some old and worn ones. Two weeks later, due to the high demand, Georgi Shishmanov's factory joins in, too. It had to repair broken and deformed awards.

November 29th, Two other Sofia-based companies have been employed with award manufacturing - Strahil Miloshev' factory and the Onik Chakarov and Onik Simonyan's joint corporation. They were to mint 4th classes of the Military order (according to Petrov's book, 3,000 of first grade and 500 of the second grade). This is the so called 1944-1945 emission you all know, featuring a five-pointed star on the ring.

In April 1945, the Ministry of War considers that the number of Bravery orders, given so far, is unacceptably high and reminds the commander-in-chief of 1st Army, Gen. Stoychev*, that Orders of St Alexander and the National Order of Military Merit also have war-time variations and these should be properly used for decoration of battlefield merits, too. However, in the original text we can sense that the Minister of War has little knowledge as to when St Alexander is given with swords and also which is the war and peace time ribbons for the Order of Military merit.

During the later stages of the war, the 6th class of the Order of Military merit has been 'generously' awarded to various military ranks, thus ignoring (in a great extent) the bronze and silver medal of merit.

And some numbers from Petrov's book: People awarded with 3rd and 4th class (both 1st and 2nd grade) for the war of 1944-1945 totalled 3,387 (which is 2.82% of the total number of the military). For the same period, the total number of military men awarded with the wartime decorations is 12,974. No data present for the 1st and 2nd class decorations of the Military order.

 

*Gen Stoychev has been decorated with 4th, 3rd and 2nd class (with crown suspension) of the Military Order. Wikipedia states that he's also been decorated with the 1st class but I cannot find a photograph where he's displaying it. I am thinking they might be referencing the later socialist order "For Bravery" instead.

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2 hours ago, ilieff said:

*Gen Stoychev has been decorated with 4th, 3rd and 2nd class (with crown suspension) of the Military Order. Wikipedia states that he's also been decorated with the 1st class but I cannot find a photograph where he's displaying it. I am thinking they might be referencing the later socialist order "For Bravery" instead.

From what I can find - it looks like the highest grade Stoichev was awarded with was 2nd class.

He used to wear neck cross and white breast cross, however it appears to be 3rd class 1st grade cross.

 

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Here's General Stoichev in late years of his life - 1980. He's wearing only white star, which looks like 3rd class 1st grade.

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Finally - his monument in Sofia - with neck cross 2nd class and breast crosses of 3rd class 1st grade and 4th class 1st grade.

No 1st class star...

 

GenVS_07.jpg

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On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2012 at 14:39, new world said:

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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!  :) 

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I hope it's not too off-topic:

A very poor quality image of Major General doctor Ivan Batsarov who appears to display his IV class 2nd grade order without swords. 

Even though I haven't specifically attempted to try to find an image where the Military order w/o swords is being worn, I believe that this is the sole publicly available image in this regard so far.

Regards,

I

 

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5 hours ago, Nicolas7507 said:

Anyone knows how many Order of Bravery 3rd Class 2nd Grade were awarded including WW1?

 

Best regards,

Nicolas

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,

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Here what i found on internet -This is a first Document i have ever seen to an SS Person awarded Bravery Order -It is an Soldiers cross,

Also i found on internet this very rare Document for the 3rd Class 1st Grade of the 1941 Order for Bravery it is the highest i have ever seen from this period It is given to a High ranking  German Officer (Colonel) Also the pfot of the officer wearing the Order

 

Hi Camelneck the Awards you are looking are not difficult to find on Ebay The Silver Medals for merit are not rare one unless you like to get ones that are from Prince Battenberg Period or the first Prince Ferdinand models with Princely crown The most difficult ones are the Gold ones.According to prof Pavlov only 28 were awarded Also the Military Order with War decoration  in low Classes is not difficult to find

Most of us are not restricted in certain period of collecting, however because due to many factors some of us have more Awards from particular period then from the other periods. personally I try to have a balance in my collection, however at certain points i have more from one period then the other ones. Simply this is the story of collecting.

Also some are more lucky to find rare "birds" then oters..or/and have more $$$$ in their pockets or/and more desire to obtain an Award at certain point

I remember an English Lord, who bought a very expensive items from an Action.was asked why he spent so much money for them. The answer was " One can say that they were more valuable to me then they were for the other bidders"

Hi Ilieff very nice photo. I regret that i did not bid on the 1941 Model Soldiers Cross for Doctors i am still looking whether at least i managed to save it in my files

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11 hours ago, Graf said:

... I regret that i did not bid on the 1941 Model Soldiers Cross for Doctors i am still looking whether at least i managed to save it in my files

 

 

 

 

Do you mean Soldiers Cross without swords?

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Hi New World,

 

Yes I did mean Soldiers Cross without swords I even did not look whether it was "adapted" by cutting the swords Or it was originally made without them

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15 hours ago, Graf said:

>>Hi Camelneck the Awards you are looking are not difficult to find on Ebay The Silver Medals for merit are not rare one unless you like to get ones that are from Prince Battenberg Period or the first Prince Ferdinand models with Princely crown The most difficult ones are the Gold ones.According to prof Pavlov only 28 were awarded Also the Military Order with War decoration  in low Classes is not difficult to find<<

Hi Graf, Thanks for sharing the photos. 

In regards to the Order of Merit (silver medal with silver swords and wreath), I need to study up on this award before I consider buying it.  I can't seem to find any information about it and prices vary substantially. 

I would love to find more info about this award. Other than photos on ebay and those provided by on-line sellers, I can't find any information about this award.  I can find plenty of info on the Order of Military Merit and the Order of Civil Merit, but nothing on the Order of Merit. 

Do you know of any websites that have any information about it? (I looked into Pavlov's book and it is no longer in print.) Perhaps, if someone could just answer a few questions that would be a tremendous help.  

1) For starters, is this a true order or is it just a single medal.  By a true order, I mean is it a series of awards comprised of various classes and grades? 

2a) If so, what are the classes and grades within this order and were the classes rank-based?

2b) On the other hand, if it is just a single medal, was this medal awarded to officers, NCOs/enlisted men, or both?

I did find one website that provides some photos and possible information, but I don't know how credible it is.  This website is: 

http://www.ordersandmedals.net/World/Bulgaria/Bulgaria.htm

This website lists various awards, such as the (Soldiers) Cross of Bravery, Military Order of Bravery, and Order of Civil Merit. If you look at the Section titled Order of Civil Merit, you will see photos and a brief description of the various classes that make up the Order of Civil Merit, such as Grand Cross Set, 1st class, 1st class set, 2nd class, Ladies 2nd class, Commander's (3rd) class, Knight's (5th) Class, and the Silver Civil Merit Cross. 

However, under the section titled Order of Merit, things are very confusing.  It shows a white enamel award (Commander's or 3rd Class) that looks a bit like the Commander's Cross of the Order of Civil Merit.  However, it shows no more enameled awards.  It then shows a photo of what I call the "standard Order of Merit"--a silver medal with swords and wreath that is suspended by a solid red ribbon.  It calls this the "Second Class Medal". 

3) This leads to the question, "What does the "1st Class Medal look like?"  Is it a pinback version of the 2nd class medal? 

Next (and still under the "Order of Merit" section, this website shows 3 versions of the Silver "Medal of Merit".  These versions are Boris III, Ferdinand I, and Prince Ferdinand, but all 3 of them are labeled incorrectly.  This is one of the reasons which makes me doubt the credibility of this website.

4) Thus, is the "Medal of Merit" considered part of the so-called "Order of Merit"?   With all the gaps and labeling mistakes, I don't know what to think about the info provided by this website.

5) I'm curious, do you (Graf) have this medal in your collection?  Or do you only coll

I just got finished checking out ebay (USA).  Currently, there are 2 Prince Ferdinand versions in very good condition both priced for $250 although one of them comes with an original case.  The 3rd medal is a TSAR Ferdinand version with a price of $180 or bo.  I also found an online dealer who has a Ferdinand I priced for $100, but no case. Another online dealer has Ferdinand I and Boris III versions, each selling for $125, but the prices include cases.  However, this same dealer has a bronze "medal of merit with crown" priced for $90.  Two weeks ago,  I found 2 bronze "medals of merit" (not orders of merit)  elsewhere for $35 and $55 .  Follow this logic one might be able to find an "Order of Merit" for $45 to $65, or maybe not! :)

I'd really appreciate it if someone could help provide some answers to the above questions or direct me to some websites that provide some information on both the "Order of Merit" and how it relates to the "Medal of Merit" (if at all.)

Thanks,

David

 

 

 

 

Order of Merit (emedals $125).jpg

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3 hours ago, Graf said:

Hi New World,

 

Yes I did mean Soldiers Cross without swords I even did not look whether it was "adapted" by cutting the swords Or it was originally made without them

I doubt they existed. 

If you were a doctor, for which you would have to funish a university and a med school. With that much education you would be in the army at the officer level.

Edited by new world

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Hi New World,

 

My apology

I just noticed that I made a mistake

I did mean Order for Bravery 4th class 2nd Grade without swords 1941 Model  I also share your opinion regarding Soldiers Cross, however we have to bear in mind that the Orders was given to medical persons and Clergy mans and in the army they had medical persons that are not doctors Simply because those crosses are not mentioned in any books we do not have to ignore their existence..we have to give them the Benefit of Doubt However as i mentioned I share your opinion till proven wrong

Hi Igor Ostapenko Can you show the sites of the Soldiers cross without swords.

 

Hi Camelneck there iare two nice books on Ebay USA for Bulgarian Orders and Decoration one is Prof  Pavlov book

and B. Denkov book If you are serious in collecting Bulgarian decorations you need a good books not just internet I can explain you a bit Order for merit and the medal for merit later on. I personally do not collect the i have only two Gold Medal for Merit -Prince Ferdinand Model simply because they are very rare birds

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A Bulgarian Soldier Cross of Bravery 3rd Class & Letter to 27 Fighter Wing

Award letter states that the Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 27 presents the Bulgarian Soldier Cross of Bravery 3rd Class to Inspector Fritz Ristow. The letter has been sent on January 26, 1943 and received by the 1st Battalion of the Luftgau Signals Regiment 2 on January 30. The document is signed by a Senior Lieutenant and Deputy Adjutant, the name is indecipherable.

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1941 version of Bravery Order 4th class 2nd grade to a German General.

A decorations grouping, from the legacy of Staff Physician General Dr. Hans Schmidt-Hofmann, Staff Physician General Army Group.

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On 3/31/2017 at 17:35, Graf said:

The pictures are very interesting finding From the Uniform I can see that the Bravery Order is a 1st Class

As far i know  no 1st Class was given during Boris III period and after 1944.

It will be very helpful if you can dig in the MG records to find out when he was awarded the Bravery Order

In Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow where Marshal's uniform with awards is displayed, they also have his award certificate for Order of Bravery 1st class. The certificate states that Marshal Tolbukhin was awarded in May 1945 (7 V 1945) and document is dated December 1946 (XII 1946).

He was presented with Three Dots version of 1st class Bravery order.

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At last  I managed to get all versions of the 1941 Soldier Cross Model

Thr Bronze cross does exist. What is the purpose of it --it is still mystery for me.

I have not seen any 1941 Model with crossed ribbons, therefore i still think it was made to represent 3rd Class,

Perhaps, because all 1941 Soldiers Crosses were made in Germany and given only to German Personnel i can speculate that they try to copy/adopt  other similar German awards models  1st Class -Gold 2nd Class Silver and 3rd Class Bronze.

 

Graf

 

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Thank you.

 

I was lucky to get few more It looks like the Silver is a little bit easier to find

here is my small collection of the 1941 Soldier Cross

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