Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
jeffskea

Greek Orders - Military vs. Civil Division

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I have been trying to research a Greek ribbon bar, and have a few questions regarding the Orders:

Do crossed swords on Greek Orders indicate all military awards or do they only indicate that the award was made during wartime or for a specific act in combat? In other words could a Greek military officer receive an Order without swords, during peacetime perhaps?

Also with orders, were recipients required to wear all levels of the same order they received on their ribbon bars?

I appreciate any assistance and will post the bar when I receive it.

Jeff

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Jeff,

A difficult question to answer.  And one I have pondered.  For instance, the Order of Phoenix has a military division and you can often find this order on military medal bars without swords.  But obviously awarded to a military person.  This would be shown on the military persons ribbon bar with crossed swords.  You can also find this order on medal bars with swords.  My personal thoughts are that the order, shown on the medal bar with crossed swords, was awarded for acts of bravery.  Or it could  mean that it was awarded during war time.The same thing appears to have happened to the Order of George the 1st.  Here is a picture of a medal bar, and its matching ribbon bar, from my collection, that illustrates some of what I have said above.  So yes, some awards could be presented during peace time and show swords on the ribbon bar.  You need both bars to be able to know the whole story.

 

s-l1600 (4).jpg

Edited by Gordon Craig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff,

Now on to your second question. "Also with Orders, were recipients required to wear all levels of the same order they received on their ribbon bars."  Another good question and I can say yes at least in the example I will show from my files.  I would love to have bought this matching medal and ribbon bar but the vendor would only sell them with the uniform and I did not wish to pay the asking price.  This medal bar only shows the Order of Phoenix once but it is shown twice on the ribbon bar.  The same thing goes for the Oder of George the 1st.  The War Cross of 1940 is treated differently.  It is only shown once on the medal bar but has a crown on it on the ribbon bar.  This probably indicates a second award for bravery.  Greek medal and ribbon bars can be very confusing and thanks for your questions.  They have helped me sort things out in my own mind.

Regards,

Gordon

 

s-l1600 (16).jpg

s-l1600 (18).jpg

s-l1600 (11).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gordon,

Thank you very much for your detailed response that is very helpful. With my ribbon bar there are no swords on either levels of the George or Phoenix and unfortunately I do not have the medal bar but the set indicates a naval officer to me with considerable sea going service in WW2. I will post a photo once the bar arrives and look forward to further discussion.

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff,

Your welcome.  I have been thinking for some time that I needed to put my thoughts on Greek awards into some sort of coherent form and your question prompted me to do so.  Looking forward to seeing your naval bar.  Not too many of those around.

Regards,

Gordon

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gordon,

I have always found Greek awards intriguing but never delved much further into them - this bar will be my first and it looks very interesting - a nice solid metal bar similar to the British naval style. The ribbons comprise:

- Order of George I, Commander (no swords)

- Order of George I, Silver Grade (appears to show signs of some stiching in centre possibly indicating a rosette of gold grade or crossed swords was previously mounted)

- Order of the Phoenix, Commander (no swords)

- Order of the Phoenix, Silver Grade

- Greek War Cross (no crowns attached)

- Greek Naval Campaign Cross with six stars (appear to be Gilt)

- Greek Maritime War Cross

- Greek Military Merit Medal with Laurel leaf (cannot tell if Gilt or Silver from photo)

- Commemorative War Medal 1940-41

- Campaign Star 1941-45

- United States Legion of Merit, Officer grade

A very nice quality bar which from my limited research represents a career post-War officer who saw considerable operational sea service (likely at the rank of Lt. Cmdr or below) who attained potentially flag rank at one of the lower levels. Unfortunately there are not too many resources online to attribute but at least will be nice to see the bar close up and keep researching.

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

The two Greek Orders that had a military division was the Order of George I and the Order of Phoenix and were awarded for deeds related to matters of the three branches of the Armed Forces. The Order of George I with swords was constituted in 1921 and the Order of Phoenix with swords in 1941.

Both military personnel and civilians could be decorated but as expected the majority of the awards went to military officers. In parallel, the Greek officers received the Orders without swords, according to their rank and years of service. What is interesting is that when an officer was promoted to the next class of an Order, was still nominated to wear the lower class of the same Order with swords.  That means the Orders with swords were equivalent to awards for gallantry/bravery or important acts during wartime.

Nikos

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attached a Greek army officer's WWII medal bar with the two Orders with swords and a higher class of the Order of George I without swords.

Greece.JPG

And a beautiful Greek navy WWII miniature bar...

Navy miniatures (1).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nikos,

Thanks for adding to this thread.  Very useful information and that is a great navy miniature bar.

Regards,

Gordon

 

Jeff,

Sounds like a very interesting bar. Looking forward to seeing it.

Regards,

Gordon

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nikos,

Thanks for the excellent information and photos. The naval miniature bar essentially matches the same entitlement as my ribbon bar! Except of course for the Medal For Outstanding Acts - what are the chances they could be to the same individual, perhaps the ribbon bar was worn prior to recieving his Medal FOA later on? Again I wonder there can't be too many with the American Legion of Merit. Thanks again.

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff,

Despite their similarities it is impossible to find out if your ribbon bar and my miniature bar belong to the same individual. Furthermore there is no chance that the Medal FOA was received later on.

The American Legion of Merit is not very common on Greek medal bars and could indicate an officer serviced as Defence Attache in USA.

Nikos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×