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Graf

Bulgarian Order for Bravery Soldiers Cross -Opinion

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Hi Cartaphilus,

During the first stages of WW2 the 1915 Model had been awarded to Bulgarian andGerman Military personel.

In the late stages of WW2 the 1941 Model was awarded

The quality of the 1941 Model is much better then the previuos models.

It is believed that only very few pieces were made by German maker

Also 1941 Model was awarded only to german Personel , no one Bulgarian is belived to be awarded this model

This is Group of Soldiers Cross, which belonged to a German Soldier

The Cross is 4th Class 1915 Model with awarding Document dated 1942

Best Regards

Graf

Edited by Graf

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Hi Cartaphilus,

It is OK as long as the price is as for 1915 Model -30-40 Euro

Also it is best if the 1915 Model comes with Awarding Document as shown above. The Document is more expensive then the Cross

1941 Model demands 10 times higher price and is very rare.

Besy Regards

Graf

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2012 at 06:59, new world said:

Another argument agains this one being officer cross - surface on the rays is smooth, while on all officer crosses surface has some sort of texture under red enamel.

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.

Edited by camelneck

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2014 at 04:47, Cartaphilus said:

Thanks for your answer. I asked the question because I have often seen pieces with the date 1915, labeled as crosses of the Second World War.

Regards

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

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54 minutes ago, camelneck said:

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.

Correct, I meant 'arms'...

Check this topic - there are a lot of examples of soldier crosses with 1941 date:

 

 

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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.

3 minutes ago, new world said:

Correct, I meant 'arms'...

Check this topic - there are a lot of examples of soldier crosses with 1941 date:

 

 

Thanks!

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camelneck,

I am sure there are some fakes of the 1941 soldier crosses out there. They demand huge premium over normal Bravery crosses, so someone is probably looking to make quick buck.

I don't own any in my collection, mainly because I never saw one for good price.

 

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6 hours ago, new world said:

camelneck,

I am sure there are some fakes of the 1941 soldier crosses out there. They demand huge premium over normal Bravery crosses, so someone is probably looking to make quick buck.

I don't own any in my collection, mainly because I never saw one for good price.

 

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. :)

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Hi Camelneck,

You have good points regarding the soldiers crosses dated 1941 All of them i bought from Germany over a long period of time O own three of them One was from Ebay Germany couple of years ago. I know the seller of it. He is a serious collector and co-author of a German book regarding Bulgaria Order for Bravery ( including the Soldier Cross) I know where he obtained the Cross from.

He stated that in his opinion the 1941 Soldiers cross is less seen on the market then some of the very high Classes Bulgarian Orders

Because it  believed that they are produced in Germany and mainly given to German military personnel and none to  Bulgarians it explain that their are found in Germany Four pieces were sold  on a Auction few years ago as part of one of the biggest collection of Bulgarian Orders and decorations, which belonged to a  Bulgarian collector living in France.

Regarding the quality because, with the exception of 1941, other models were produced in huge numbers the quality may be from a very good one to very poor one Fakes - could be.. Fake 1941 very unlikely, because the fakers have to get the good quality

 

My advice - do not buy any that looks bad and comes without any ribbon Best to have an original ribbon.

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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.

31 minutes ago, Graf said:

Hi Camelneck,

You have good points regarding the soldiers crosses dated 1941 All of them i bought from Germany over a long period of time O own three of them One was from Ebay Germany couple of years ago. I know the seller of it. He is a serious collector and co-author of a German book regarding Bulgaria Order for Bravery ( including the Soldier Cross) I know where he obtained the Cross from.

He stated that in his opinion the 1941 Soldiers cross is less seen on the market then some of the very high Classes Bulgarian Orders

Because it  believed that they are produced in Germany and mainly given to German military personnel and none to  Bulgarians it explain that their are found in Germany Four pieces were sold  on a Auction few years ago as part of one of the biggest collection of Bulgarian Orders and decorations, which belonged to a  Bulgarian collector living in France.

Regarding the quality because, with the exception of 1941, other models were produced in huge numbers the quality may be from a very good one to very poor one Fakes - could be.. Fake 1941 very unlikely, because the fakers have to get the good quality

 

My advice - do not buy any that looks bad and comes without any ribbon Best to have an original ribbon.

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002.JPG

003.JPG

Thanks for all the information.  You are one lucky guy!  :)

David

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photo from Klietman book 

  • Pour le mérite und Tapferkeitsmedaille. Die Ordens-Sammlung, Berlin 1966.  

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I have two 1915 crosses, Zimmermann production between wars. 

You can see some cross, but another date 

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very rare Items, I know only one some cross in Germany collection 

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Edited by Igor Ostapenko

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The Unique Silver Cross is a mystery  I have one and is marked  925 for Silver.

There are samples that are nor marked.

 Late Prince Romanoff showed in his book 1915 model of this Cross There are miniatures of this Cross an also samples that are part of medal bars

if the crosses from 1915 and 1941 are with similar features it is very likely tha the Firmt Zimmerman was their maker.

How rare are both models -- it is very difficult to say. Simply because we are witnessing that more and very interesting "rare birds' are coming on the market.--also the fact that I have already six { one Gold, one Bronze, and four Silver} 1941 Model, which is considered as very rare as well. It is simply matter of time , luck and selective search

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