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ww1buff

Citations for Belgian Decorations

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Hi folks,

I am a U.S. based historian/researcher and I need some help with Belgian decorations.  My specific interest is in Belgian decorations awarded to Americans (both military and civilian) for World War One service.  I will have a lot of questions to post on here in the upcoming weeks, and any help that you can give will be greatly appreciated.

My first question has to do with citations for decorations.  I have two Royal award lists (Nr. 6778 and Nr. 6780, both dated 27 Feb 1920) which award decorations to members of the A.E.F.  These documents contain the name/grade of the award and then list the recipients with name, rank and military unit.  I also have copies of two of the Ordre du Jour which awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre to Americans in a list without any specific citations.

The Belgian award documents to individuals in my collection (awarded to Belgians) also do not have any lengthy citations.

Was it the practice to award decorations without citations?  Were these citations recorded in other types of documents (i.e. recommendations for decorations) which may exist somewhere?

I am guessing that in the case of awards to Americans during WWI, the Belgian Government provided a set number of awards to the American G.H.Q. for allocation as the Americans determined, and was not overly concerned with exactly why the American soldiers were selected or what they did.  The only citations that I have found connected with Belgian awards have been those in the U.S. unit archives which were forwarded up to G.H.Q., A.E.F., and may never even have been sent on to the Belgian Government.

Any thoughts on this?

Much thanks,

ww1buff

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Hi ww1buff,

Far from being an expert in the matter, I hold the same opinion as expressed in your "guess" of a number of awards being made available to the US forces to distribute as they pleased. As far as I know the US forces were never actively engaged in the Belgian part of the front and thus, such awards would not be made with a very specific citation but rather more likely with a short sentence indicating "for services rendered during the war" or something of that ilk.

Regards,

Hendrik

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I agree, the allies handed out a crate of medals to other allies which were then distributed according to the recieving nations norm.

i.e. I have a certificate for a French soldier who recieved a british DCM, with a French style citation. I read an account of a bunch of Russian awards sent to be awarded to South African troops serving in German East Africa, they were awarded without any citations, apparently the criteria were overlooked and the higher officers were given the most impressive looking ones and the lower ranks the more boring ones, irrespective of the normal award criteria....

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