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Uffz. Rohleder

Venezuela - Cross of the Army

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Hello im looking for any informations about this award. But it seems kinda hard to find any informations about this medal. It was established in 1952

Maybe someone can enlighten me.

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The website Medal Medaille.com has illustrations they identify as a first class medal that represent the Cross of the Venezuelan Army. The words "Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano" (Cross of the Venezuelan Army) appears on the reverse of the central boss and the motto "Honor al Merito" (honor to [achieve] merit) on the obverse of the boss, bordered by a greenish enamelled wreath. The obverse of the crosses arms are red enamel and each arm terminates in 3 gilt balls. The neck ribbon is yellow with red borders. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=1769)

If you read Spanish, the following site has more detailed information about the medal and additional illustrations. I would be happy to translate the information for you tomorrow, but am busy this evening.  This site has some apparent errors in naming this medal and incorrectly identifies the inscription on the reverse as "Fuerzas Terrestres Venezolanas" (Venezuelan Ground Forces), which is not the motto illustrated on the medals shown on this website (they also are embossed with "Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano").  

http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/militares-cruz-del-ejercito/

The motto "Fuerzas Terrestres Venezolanas" is illustrated on the reverse of a chest badge with a pin, identified as the 3rd class version of the decoration, but the miniature cross suspended from a ribbon that may be the 3rd class miniature has the inscription "Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano" on the reverse. More tomorrow. 

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Thank you very much!

i was offered a Miniature Cross made if 18k gold with red enamel. But I didn't know for what those crosses awarded for. I think if the price is right I will take it. If so I will post some pictures.

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Does the miniature match either of the illustrations on the condecoracionesdevenezuela.com website for the 1st Class award (with an additional even smaller cross on the ribbon) or the 2nd Class medal (with a rosette on the ribbon)? I can't tell the dimensions of the 3rd Class cross from the descriptions or photos or whether it has a miniature. 

Below is my translation of the descriptive Spanish text on the http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/militares-cruz-del-ejercito/ website for the Cruz del Ejercito. I have inserted a few italicized statements with my initials to clarify parts of the translation as well as a couple of notes, and observations from the illustrations on the website. In the Spanish phaleristics terminology (not my forte, and I apologize for some awkwardness in the translation, but some ambiguity may be inherent in the original text) the term venera appears to apply to the general form of the medal that I am glossing as "insignia", in the case of this award it has the same meaning as cruz (cross) or joya (jewel or jewels - that I am glossing as the physical medal) in the text; placa means a badge. The possible origin date of 8 December 1952 (see note in translation below) is interesting as it would be only a bit more than a week after the 30 November, 1952 elections which were a long delayed by the junta and appointed president Marcos Perez Jimenez after the coup of 1948, and only held in response to domestic and international pressure. The ruling party realized that they were losing the election and announced fraudulent results indicating their win on 2 December, 1952. The ruling junta resigned, handing power to the military who then appointed Perez Jimenez president (who had the sole authority to award the Cruz del Ejercito, the highest Army award). 

Translation: 

Cruz del Ejercito (Cross of the Army)

The decoration “CRUZ DE LAS FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS” was created under decree No. 418 on 23 of June, 1952 [in the gallery of the website the creation date is identified as 8, December, 1952-RG], by the Government Junta of the United States of Venezuela, and was created to award distinguished service rendered to the Ground Forces (Army) of Venezuela.

This is the most important decoration of the army and comprised 3 classes. The President of the Republic, in his role as Chief of the Order, had the exclusive authority to confer the decoration, an act approved by the Ministry of Defense, previously voted on in favor of by the Council of the Order.

The medal of the decoration, initially issued in 18 carat gold, has the form of a Maltese cross with arms 27 mm in length enameled in scarlet red. The central portion bears a circle 18 mm in diameter bordered by a laurel wreath that is 2 mm thick and enameled in green. The obverse of the circle’s interior is gilt with the inscription “HONOR AL MERITO” in tall relief in circular form. The reverse of the decoration has the same form as the obverse, however with a plain gilt surface and carries in the center a laurel wreath [apparently without enamel-RG] and the inscription ”FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS” in high relief in circular form [note that most illustrated examples bear the inscription “CRUZ DEL EJERCITO VENEZOLANO-RG]” on the reverse. The ribbon is of silk moiré in fire yellow with borders of scarlet red.

The medals of this Order, like those of similar crosses of other awards, were created in parallel [at the same time-RG] governed by a strict similarity in their regulated [form-RG] and although each possessed its own design, its presentations and component parts are identical. 1st Class: insignia worn on a neck collar, 2nd Class: insignia worn on the chest, and 3rd Class: insignia worn pinned to a ribbon. It is evident that the appearance of these four [sic-3?-RG) break with the classical scheme of presentation of insignia, not only internationally but also from the [Venezuelan-RG] Order of the Liberator [Simón Bolívar-RG] and the Order of Francisco Miranda, that consist [The Orden del Libertador and the Orden Francisco de Miranda-RG] of the 1st Class worn on a sash, 2nd Class worn on a neck collar, and 3rd Class insignia worn on the chest, which results in a divergence [from conventions-RG], especially for the 2nd Class, so that [the Cruz del Ejercito-RG] instead of having a badge or cross complementing the insignia, has [only-RG] the same insignia, resulting in a missing element that would give a harmonious presentation of the medal.

The manufacture of the medal was initially done by the company Russell Uniform [Co. of New York City-RG] and later by N. S. Meyer [Inc.of New York City-RG] (circa 1950-1960), and later was made domestically by several distinguished Venezuelan [jewelers-RG] and other local businesses. In regard to the design, there are several known variants with significant differences in the use of colors for the enamel of the arms of the cross, distinct form the scarlet red indicated in the decree. However it is likely that these were trial designs, so there are no known cases of the medal executed [authorized-RG] with such variations. In spite of these “curiosities”, the medal’s design has been maintained faithfully and exactly to the original design, only incorporating the changes in the name of this award. Accordingly, the medal [was first known as-RG]: “Cruz de las Fuerzas Terrestres Venezolanas” and later [as-RG] “Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano”.

Edited by Rusty Greaves
minor clarification

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Below are images of the Venezuelan Cross of the Army, Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano, from a website about Venezuelan military and civilian awards (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/militares-cruz-del-ejercito/)

Additional website images can also be seen at the auction site Medal-Medaille http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=1769

 

large.CEJ_01.jpg.16f1dba398f7a6f2eef45dcd9d547d1c.jpg

Full set showing obverse & reverse of the neck badge on its ribbon; miniature cross, and ribbon bar of the 1st Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano

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Neck badge; miniature cross, and ribbon bar of the 1st Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano in presentation case

large.CEJ_04.jpg.a6ffc1ba4f73ed99ff2f5140113ab8f8.jpg

Close-up showing the inscriptions and laurel wreaths of the obverse central boss (L) and reverse central boss (R) of the Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano. The obverse wreath has green enamel and the inscription "HONOR AL MERITO" (Honor to Merit-perhaps meaning "Honor to achieve Merit") The reverse has the cast wreath without enamel fill and the inscription "CRUZ DEL EJERCITO VENEZOLANO" (Cross of the Venezuelan Army). This is the same design for all classes of this award.

large.CEJ_06.jpg.4553ee2c012c26e0f73c45adc4575c8a.jpg

Chest badge, miniature cross, and ribbon bar of the 2nd Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano in presentation case

large.CEJ_02.jpg.8135598ee7d8e192f8b81425ac1ff1e1.jpg

Obverse & reverse images of the chest badge of the 3rd Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano. Note the reverse inscription "FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS" (Venezuelan Ground Forces) rather than the "CRUZ DEL EJERCITO VENEZOLANO". The different reverse inscription may be an earlier version name for this award. 

large.CEJ_03.jpg.207fcd914ca55722509b8877cd14bdc2.jpg

Obverse & reverse images of the miniature cross of the 3rd Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano. Note that this example has the "CRUZ DEL EJERCITO VENEZOLANO" on the reverse, not "FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS" 

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I think the illustrations from Condecoraciones de Venezuela of the 2nd Class chest badge, miniature cross and bar with rosette in a presentation was shown in my previous post above (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/militares-cruz-del-ejercito/) may represent an example that is not authentic. The interiors of the "rosettes" on the ribbon for the miniature cross and bar in that image appear more like croquetted knots than standard rosettes seen in most ribbons (also see examples below). 

large.8.jpg.08cf14edf7a62e0f77f6156d70c7f0fa.jpg

Probably a genuine example of the chest badge, miniature cross, and rosette in presentation case of the 2nd Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano. Note the rosette without a bar, in contrast with the image on wikipedia and in some other examples that may or may not be authentic. This example was made by Huguenin of La Locle, Switzerland which was represented in Caracas by Graaven who manufactured commemorative medals and insignia for awards al in 18 k gold from ~1930-1960. They are a known manufacturer of this award. This is from a Russian language website that has collected images from other unidentified sources.

http://wawards.org/oldsite/america/ven/12/medal.html

large.5a1faaf54b059_1raClasebarra.png.84c2445b5ff22941cda2bd724e51fd7b.png

bar for the 1st Class Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano illustrated on Wikipedia. 

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruz_de_las_Fuerzas_Terrestres

large.5a1fab023bac7_2daClasebarra.png.065a1f8e7db24a572b72bacf23781309.png

Possible authentic bar with rosette for the Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano from Wikipedia. Note the difference between the bar & rosette and the isolated rosette in the example made by Huguenin/Graaven

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruz_de_las_Fuerzas_Terrestres

large.5a1fad5dab3fc_3raClasebarra.png.ba84e3a9c728e026f267f27d01148bc1.png

Schematic illustrations of the bar for the 3rd Class Crus del Ejercito from a Wikipedia illustration

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruz_de_las_Fuerzas_Terrestres

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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thank you very much. Those informations a very very good.

Today I took the cross. The Gold test was positive and it's the heaviest miniature medal I ever had. Otherwise it's pretty dirty - but you can rub It of with a finger.

 

Here a uncleaned photo.

20171201_105503.jpg

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