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Belgian General jacket

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Thanks Jef

1.  Legion d'honneur officer (France)

2. croix de querre  ww I (France)

3. Ridder in de orde van Oranje Nassau sectie militair. (Pay-Bas)

Thats the way I got this jacket many years ago, and thats the way I keep it.

I have seen al lot of "not official' kinds of wearing the medals an the medalribbons on the jackets.

Also pay attention to the lower pockets. These are not the pockets of the model 1935 (harmonica), but just flat pockets on the uniform.

I also have one (with those flat pockets) dated 1938 !!

The Belgian officers took the regulations not too close I have encountered this during the long of collecting.

A, example

Admiraak W. Herteleer

sharp of Great Cross order of the Crown.

Star on his breast is Great Officer of the order of the Crown.




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38 minutes ago, Jef said:

Wonderful. Have a question. I see 3 foreign (not Belgian) medals in the middle of the group and not at the end. Is this correct? Just want to learn.



They should be, although exeptions can be granted due to courtesy. But note that in this case the Belgian medals are not correct worn either. It should be (foreign medals exluded):

Officer cross's (Order of Leopold, Order of the Crown and Order of Leopold II), War Cross, Yser medal, Firecross, Victory Medal, Commemorative Medal of the War 14-18, Military Cross.

I'm not sure if he should wear the cross of officer in the Order of Leopold, Order of the Crown and Order of Leopold II since he has higher decoration of those orders.

In my opinion the crossed swords (on the ribbon of the cross of Officer in the Order of Leopold II) should be on the sash of the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II, his highest decoration.



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Another example of the arbitrariness of the officer. (this uniform is also named):whistle:

for example, the sabers are both unturned on the ribbon.

I think the military cross is not in place.

But who cares ?


Daeleman 003_01.JPG

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I also had different Belgian uniforms coming right from the original owners, during a house clearance, and get to see it every time that medals are not correctly worn.

I am also in favor of leaving them as found.

There is a very intresting thread, on a other forum, regarding German TR uniforms that show irregularity's, on time pictures. You wouldn't believe, if the pieces showed up today, they are genuine.

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Beautiful group Guy!!

My experience tracks with Guy's & Stuka's...Sometimes awards worn are inconsistent with actual entitlements, and not only in Belgium.  

Two examples:  

Immediate post-WWII U.S. and Soviet Russian officers consistently seem to wear foreign decorations in non-statutory ways.  

Admiral Herteleer's Leopold commander correctly has crossed swords, statutory for personnel of all military branches.  However, in the early 1990's the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels displayed an admiral's uniform with a Leopold maritime division Grand Cross set.  According to statutes, the maritime division should be granted only to merchant marine personnel.  So unless that admiral received his Order while serving in the merchant fleet this display erred, likely due to someone ‘thinking’ an admiral should have anchors rather than swords!!!    

Edited by 922F
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I don't think so.

The hierarchy should be:

  1. National Orders (with their own hierarchy, wich is correct in this picture)
  2. Medals of the two World Wars and the Korean War
  3. Militray Decoration (article 4) [10th in this picture. It could be that this medal precede also the war medals but I'm not sure.]
  4. Military Cross
  5. Military Decoration 
  6. [...]
  7. Foreign Medals (in chronological order as they are received)


Question to the members of the Belgian Army:

Since I haven't served in the Belgian Army I wonder if it is possible to serve at least 10 years as a soldier or NCO (Military Decoration 2nd class) and than, at least, 25 years as an officer (Military Cross 1st class)?


Here are some usefull links for this matter:
(all are in Dutch, last two can be translated in English, German and French on the top left)

http://www.orderofleopold.be/nl/deco01.php (Dutch)
http://www.orderofleopold.be/en/deco01.php (English)

Below: Can be translated in English by clicking "En" on the top left.

http://diplomatie.belgium.be/nl/Diensten/Protocol/nationale_orden/hierarchie (Hierarchy of the National Orders)


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Dear Vincent.

I have three uniforms of this officer. (Summer, winter and gala dress).

Also, I have all the official documents of his decorations.

Militair ereteken 2de klas dd. 1 février 1953

Militair Kruis 2de klas dd 6 november 1969

Militair Kruis 1ste klas dd 20 juli 1978

So it is sure possible :thumbup:

There also some other decorations that he wore but not the ribbons onhis uniforms.

He wore his medals differently than the ribbons on his uniforms.

As I wrote and some examples cited is this another one of the things which attracted a offcier hear nothing of the regulations.

Iff you like to see more about this officer :


Kind regards




Edited by Guy
forgothen to translate
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Have you identified the foreign decorations in group ID 9?  Looks like U.K. France/Germany Star [fits according to his military service listed on the link above], Zaire Order of Merit knight, Zaire Croix de Guerre [War Cross] with Palm and  UN Congo [but with palm??]

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Yes, It was verry easy because I have also the papers of those medals.

He got the first one for his action in Shaba 1979.

But the last is not the UNO Congo medal but the

"Croix de la Bravoure militaire"  Republique Democratique du Congo (dd 27 december 1966).





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The uniform(s) with ribbons ... the medals ... the documents ... and all of the same person
Now I'm jealous ;)

As for the regulations ... it doesn't suprise me that an officer (or a soldier) doesn't know them. We are medal enthusiasts here and we have trouble knowing what medal comes before an other. And to be honest, I don't think anyone in Belgium really cares (exept us).

Most of the Royal Decrees that create a medal that I've seen just state: "The medal comes directly behind ..." or "... comes after all medals already existing". So first you have to find all Royal Decrees and then you must puzzle them into a list :wacky:

The only full list that I found was one created by a medal collector (Hendrik Meerschaert) on his website www.medals.be, but this site is down :(.



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Ah yes, Guy,  thank you.    "Croix de la Bravoure militaire"-----as you say!   Republique Democratique du Congo, have one of these in my collection!!  Ed Emmering documents on his site as well.

Zaire Order of Merit knight with swords; is this the Zaire version?   

When you have time could you kindly post the DRC/Zaire documents?  

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Here are some documents relating to the medals.

I'm going to check because I believe that there are others documents in the other folders with papers. However, there are still two documents conserning  the citations but they are so fabulous printed on that very light paper that they do not copy , you see only the stamp but no text.






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These are documents from his personal archive.

By the way, I also have a 800 numerous pictures of his entire military career:)

I have to be the subject of a other texts, he was very close to President Mobutu.

In a text about Shaba (1978) :

"Major Van Melle, which was a member of the Staff of President Mobutu, be appointed to draw up a plan for an airborne operation."




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For Orders, The Spirit of the Lion: Orders of Belgium by Antti Ruokonen is quite useful [reviewed here, I believe] in English.  U.S. edition should be easily obtainable.  Several dealers stock it and Amazon has it.  For Medals Dan Byrne's small format work [1968?] is a bit dated but a good English language referance  [

 44 pages, over 125 black and white pictures identifying about 175 different medals; plus colored ribbon chart.]  On-line dealers sometimes have copies.

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