Jump to content

Romanian Victory Medals

Recommended Posts

As we start out, we can use this thread for Romanian Victory Medals, award documents, variations in medals/ribbons, etc.

Tim :cheers:

Dear Gentlemen, beer.gif

this post is an attempt to display the variations in the Romanian Inter-Allied Victor Medal of W.W.1 the medal has been described in detail in the book ?The Inter-Allied Victory Medals of World War 1.? by Alexander J. Laslo. Pages 79 - 82.

Designer: Constantin Kristesko.

Manufacturer: Unknown. Probably a commercial firm in Paris.

Number Issued*: Approximately 300,000.

* Applicable to the Official type. Number of Unofficial issues not known.

Unofficial makers to numerous to know.

Basic design showing to the front a standing ?Victory? with a downward pointing sword held in the left hand point of the sword behind the right foot. The right foot standing above the rim with a fold of the dress hanging over the edge.

Rear: Heavy chain with names of ten of the Allied Countries on the links, starting at the 9 o?clock position with the name ROMANIA, ITALIA, FRANTA, ANGLIA, BELGIA, GRECIA, JAPONIA, SERBIA, *RIC* and CHINA.In the centre of the medal a double edged battle axe standing upright to the left laurel leaves and to the right oak leaves, the words MARLE RAZEBOI over PENTRU CIVILIZATIE. / THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION.

The medals in my picture show from left to right:

Medal 1 & 2: Official Type, this comes with the designer name lightly impressed on the rear next to the link of the chain with the word ?JAPONIA.?

Diameter: 36mm for both and ball mount for ribbon ring, and 4mm thick

Medal 3: Unofficial Type 1, nearly the same as the official but has not got the designers name next to the JAPONIA link.

Diameter: just a shade over 36mm, and has a ball ribbon ring mount, and 4mm thick

Medal 4: Unofficial Type 2, not being as refined or detailed as the official types, no designer name, in the countries names the ?N? letter has been inverted and the ?C? letter has replaced the letter ?G? so the names read: ROMAИIA, FRAИTA AИCLIA, JAPOИIA, and CHIИA. And the letter ?G? in the names are replaced with a ?C? and read ANCLIA, BELCIA, CRECIA, There also shows a defined rim to the edge of the medal.

Diameter: just a shade short of 38mm, and ball ribbon ring mount, and 3mm thick. Metal types varies.

Medal 5: Unofficial Type 3a, there is a pronounced difference in the wings of ?Victory? and both the right foot of the figure and the robe drape over the rim. With regards the rear the connecting links of the chain between the links with names are very thin, the words are still spelt with a ?C? instead of ?G?, but the letter ?N? is the Roman version as opposed to the Cyrillic version, next to the ?JAPONIA? link is part of a leaf in the place of the designer name on the original.

Diameter: 36mm and the ribbon ring mount is cylindrical, the medal is a shade over 4mm thick.

Medal 6: Unofficial Type 3a, (Cast Type) very rough appearance above the right wing tip of ?Victory? can be found a molding flaw, both the foot and robe blend into the rim, good detail to the rear but a rough appearance to the metal, the country names again feature a ?C? instead if a ?G?, but the letter ?N? is the Roman version as opposed to the Cyrillic version, and again a leaf design protrudes into the space where the designer name is found upon the original.

Diameter; is between 35 - 36mm, the ribbon ring mount is cylindrical, and the medal is 4mm thick.

All thickness measurements are taken from the centre of the medal between front and back.


The Romanian Victory Medal was established by King Ferdinand I on the 20th of July 1921 with High Decree No. 3.390/921. Award criteria for the Victory medal were issued in Ministry of War Decision No. 847 of 3rd of August 1921.

According to High Decree No. 3.390/921, all personnel who effectively took part in the fighting at anytime between 28th August 1916 and 31st of March 1921 were eligible for the Victory Medal.

The late date was probably intended to recognize operations following WW1 which lead to the annexation of Transylvanian region of Hungary.

Decision No. 847 listed the categories of personnel eligible for the Victory medal. "No minimum period of service was imposed, however entitlement was limited to combatants and to those traditionally noncombatant role directly related and contributed to the fighting at the front or from a rear area, such as aircraft mechanics, stretcher bearers, surgeons, hospital orderlies, and Chaplains.

Commanders of Artillery units, Divisions, Corps, and Armies, their Chiefs-of-Staff and Staff Officers, who performed duty at the front, while falling somewhere between combatants and noncombatants, also were eligible.

Officers decorated with Order of Military Virtue, automatically qualified, yet military attaches were specifically excluded."

Decision No 847 emphasized that ?personnel outside these categories were not entitled to the Victory Medal, and that the greatest care will be taken to ensure that those that were remote from the fighting were not recommended.?

The medals hung from a "Rainbow" ribbon of a style peculier to the Romanian design, however variations have been encountered, I personaly believe that the official medals came from France with a ribbon, while the unofficial medals were supplied with a ribbon of local manufacture, however I have no documentation to back this up, so it must remain as conjecture.


These variations of the unofficial Victory Medals may have been prompted by a provision in Decision No, 847 which allowed veterans, after obtaining the Authorizing Brevet, to wear a facsimile Victory Medal, purchased from a commercial source until the official versions was sent and received by the veteran.

Given this sanction, it has been speculated that several military outfitters began to produce the Victory Medal in advance of the official striking to meet a perceived demand among the military veterans.

Lacking an official example to model their version on these suppliers had to resort to a drawing, or drawings or more likely a written description of the proposed medals design, which ultimately lead to a variation in the dies and made the refined product more difficult to achieve.

This and the inferior manufacturing techniques, and the rush to complete the medals resulted in some very crude interpretations and models being produced.

It is known that large numbers of Romanian WW1 veterans bought these unofficial medals including some lacking the Authorizing Brevet, others never bothered to obtain the official medals when available and added the unofficial medals to their medal bars where they remain to this day.

I have in my possession a bar for over 25 years service to a Romanian officer which has an Unofficial Victory Medal mounted upon it.

Accompanying the Victory Medal was the ?Brevet? or award paper which normally measures 21.2 cm by 34.5cm.

The first picture shows Front of Medals 1 - 2 - 3.

Kevin in Deva beer.gif

Edited by IrishGunner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 221
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images


This section of ribbon is one, I believe of the locally made Romanian ribbons that accompanied an Unofficial Type 1 Victory Medal in my collection, the ribbon is folded to the rear in the customary way of Romanian ribbons with hook and eye.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent post Kevin. Please, also post this info on the worldwar2.ro forum.

Few people know, even here in Romania, that the Inter-allied Medal of Victory was actually a Romanian idea and design.

It was King Ferdinand of Romania who proposed such a medal and even designed the first variant (it had the "victory" on the front and the national coat of arms of each country on the reverse).

The allies accepted the idea but not the layout and organised a design competition in Paris. The competition was won by another Romanian, Col. Constantin Cristescu (not "Kristesco"), who proposed almost the same design as the king for the shape and obverse of the medal. Each of the countries could use their own design for the reverse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hallo Dragos03, beer.gif

Can you confirm the information with regards the design and proposition of the Victory Medals and the Romanian King??

As Mr. Alexander J. Laslo Author of the book "The Inter-Allied Victory Medals of World War 1, Second Revised Edition", makes no mention of this.

From his book it states, page 1: " The story of the (Inter-Allied) Victory Medal began as early as January 1917 when Great Britain recommended to France and Belgium, and both governments agreed, that a common war medal should be developed after the war. Reffered to as the "Allies Medal", this proposal was an outcome of a British committee appointed in 1916 to consider the whole question of War Medals."

"The French called the British Allies Medal the "International War Commemorative Medal", and a proposal to create this medal was introduced in the Chamber of Deputies on the 5th March 1918 by Deputy Bouilloux-LaFont.

The matter was tabled until the 17th of December 1918, when Deputy A. Lebey proposed to the Chamber a law establishing a medal to observe the Allies' Victory. In making his proposal, Deputy Lebay reminded the Chamber that all great events in the history of France were occasioned by the striking of a commemorative medal.

Because of French interest Marshal Foch carried to the Paris Peace Conference the idea of a unique commemorative medal that would be awarded to all Allied combatants.

On the 24th of January 1919, the Supreme Council, consisting of the ranking delegates of the five chief powers; that is the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, met in the room of the French Foreign Minister, Mr. Pichon, at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris.

At this session, the Supreme Council first convened as the Supreme War Council.
In attendence were President Woodrow Wilson and the Premiers and Foreign Ministers of the five chief powers as well as Marshal Foch, Field-Marshal Haig, General Pershing, General Diaz, and the generals of the Versailles War Council, including General Wilson, Belling, Bliss, and Robilant.

During the meeting of the Supreme War Council, Marshal Foch read the following proposal:

" I have the honour to propose to the Supreme War Council of the Allies that those who have fought in the Great War, of all the Allied Nations alike, should receive one identic commemorative medal. This glorious emblem, worn by them in all parts of the world, would help to maintain among them a feeling of close fellowship which, after fortifying our armies on the battlefield, will assure during peace, by the bond of common memories, the greatness of the Associated comrades."

President Wilson approved the idea and inquired whether the intention was that each government strike a medal of the same kind. To this question Marshal Foch replied that each government should agree to issue to their troops the same medal on the same ribbon.

The Supreme War Council then agreed to recommend for approval of the governments concerned the issue of an identical medal and ribbon to all the troops of the Allied and Associated Powers who had fought in the war.

On the 18th, 19th and 21st of March 1919, an Inter-Allied Commission met at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris, to formulate the medal agreed to at the 24th of January 1919 meeting of the Supreme War Council.
Specific terms of reference were the name, ribbon, and design of the medal and the principles for its award.

All proceedings were conducted in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the office of Mr. William Martin, Director of Protocole. William Martin, who was the senior French representative to the Commission, was also chosen to be the Commission Chairman.

The nations represented on the Commission besides France, were Belgium, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Poertugal, Serbia, Siam and the USA


The name originally proposed for the medal, the Allies Medal, was discarded by the commission because the name excluded the USA, which was an Associated Power. Moreover, the Central Powers could legitimately produce their own "Allies Medal".

The Commission then discussed the various names for the medal, including:

"The Inter-Allied and Associated Medal",

"The International Medal of the Great War",

and "The Medal of The Great War."

Finally, Commandant Purnot, one of the French representatives, suggested the "Victory Medal." this name was unanimously adopted by the commission because it was short and the one title for a war medal the Germans could not copy.

Colonel Mott (USA) is creditedwith proposing, after much discussion on the sublect, the double rainbow suspension ribbon.

The British delegation simply state that the rainbow ribbon would remove any need to have national colours on the ribbon."

End of quotation.

In 1916 Romania was just entering the War, so if we take the British Committee proposal in 1916 this would predate King Ferdinands proposal I presume, unless some papers or evidence can state otherwise.

Also there was no International competition to design a single Inter-Allied Victory medal, each country was advised to follow the basic guidelines, but, there was certainly individual competitions in each country for a national design.

Japan and Siam (Thailand) could not include a female "Winged Victory" in their design as this form had no meaning in their Ideology, so Japan chose a representation of one of its "Gods" and Siam likewise.

Kevin in Deva beer.gif

Edited by IrishGunner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The translation:

Ministry of war

Award Certificate

Us, State Minister at the Department of War, confirm that by High Decree no. 3390 from 20 July 1921 His Majesty the King had the kindness to award [military] priest Deleanu Ilie from the 20th Infantry Regiment the "Victory" medal of the great war for civilisation 1916-1921.

Signed: Minister of War, Director of personal

Award certificate no. 3318, 30 September 1923, Bucharest

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The military career of my grand-grandfather Ilie Deleanu (as Kevin requested by PM):

- born in 1886

- 1910 - he graduated the University in Bucharest

- 1913 - takes part in the 2nd Balkan War with the 4th Infantry Regiment "Arges"

- 1916-1918 - during the First World War, he was the confessor of the 20th Infantry Regiment "Teleorman"

- 1925 - promoted to Captain, transferred to 2nd Infantry Regiment "Valcea"

- 1934 - promoted to Major and named as confessor of the Constanta garrison and the 34th Inf. Regiment "Constanta"

- 1942-1943 - confessor of the 2nd Army Corps, took part in the Battle of Stalingrad

- 1943 - promoted to Lt. Colonel, named confessor of the military units in Bucharest-Cotroceni

- 1946 - in reserve

- he died in 1969


- 2nd Balkan War victory medal (1913)

- Medal of "Reward for church labor", 1st Class (1920)

- Inter-allied Victory Medal (1921)

- Order of the Crown, knight (1928)

- Medal of Cultural Merit, 2nd Class, with ribbon for religion (1941)

- his WW2 awards are now lost (except the Crusade against Communism Medal)

He also wrote a number of books (poetry and religious books) and built churches in the cities of Zimnicea and Constanta.

His veteran papers for 2nd Balkan War and WW1:

IPB Image

At the oath ceremony, Constanta garrison, 1938:

IPB Image

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hallo Dragos03 :beer:

thanks for posting the information with regards your Great-Grandfather, who was a military priest,

that makes his family history and yours very unique :jumping::jumping::jumping:

And thanks again for sharing the information with the forum.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
  • 2 years later...
  • 2 months later...

To all,

Here is a Romanian unofficial type 1. It has only minor die variations compared to the official strike. It is suspended by a much smaller ball than the official and unofficial type 1. The major difference is that it doesn't have the makers name on the reverse. There are also minor variations in the lettering in the country rings on the reverse. Diameter is 36.5 mm.

It was produced by, an as yet, unknown French manufacturer. It has been reported some have the word 'BRONZE' on the edge whereas this one has no edge markings. Strangely enough it is found a bit less often than the official strikes.

Close-up of the reverse area lacking the makers name to follow.



Edited by RobW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the close-up of the reverse area. A comparison with the previous close-up of the official strike will show the similarities in design as well as the lack of the makers name.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

To all,

Here is a Romanian unofficial type 2 or more commonly referred to as the 'Reverse N' variety.

It has some more variations to the design compared to the official strike and the unofficial type 1. It was produced by an unknown local Romanian manufacturer. It is 36.6 mm in diameter. Other examples have been seen with a gilt finish.

The interesting feature of this variety is that on the reverse the letter 'N' is reverse on all the allied nation name rings, as well as having the letter 'G' replaced by a letter 'C'.

A close-up of the reverse showing the reversed 'N's will follow.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

To all,

I have already posted these pics on the 'WW1 Victory medals of the world' thread but thought they would be of use here as well, and as Tim B has said it will keep the interest level up.

Here is an official Romanian, noting the designers name 'Kristesko' on the reverse.

Close-up of the designers name to follow.



Edited by RobW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Blog Comments

    • Sounds great other than the Orange & Mango squash only because I prefer cran-pomegranate juice.
    • "(...) disgusting herbal concoction (...)" I took note of this description, to enrich my otherwise limited, English "Wortschatz"...
    • At work the standard indian tea such as PG tips is referred to as chimp tea. This goes back to the days when we had a Spanish girl working for us whose command of the English language was extremely limited. One lunch she said she was going to the shop could she get anything. I asked if she could get a pack of tea bags. She returned with some disgusting herbal concoction. I tried to explain what was required but without success. I then remembered PG tips had a picture of a chimpanzee on the packe
    • When I read Lapsang Souchong i decided to post something about these Tea . Many years ago I dont  know about Lapsang until I read James Michener book Centennial and the description of the savour of the Lapasang as a mix of tar and salt & smoked made me proof . It was exact ! and i liked it since then .
    • I have been known to drink Lapsang Souchong and Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... both "without pollutants". I normally have one mug of coffee in the morning, then spend the rest of the day drinking Orange & Mango squash (by the pint). Then evening comes and it's a pint, followed by red wine with dinner and sometimes a drop of Laphroaig afterwards.
  • Create New...