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Old 09-11-2004, 11:41 AM   #11
DutchBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taz
Matt,
sad but true on the Polish collectors militaria market today we can find up to 90% of items to be fake or reproductions.

Eddie.
Eddie,

Maybe I'll ask my friend to take some pictures of the fakes and repros he has, and post them in the Poland section. He has some grand crosses and other stuff that are all repros (the breast star weighs about 300-400 grams! I think it was cut from plate steel! :D ) Might be helpful to some.
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:06 PM   #12
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The resolution also stated that the first class of the GRUNWALD CROSS should be decerned by the People's National Council, upon proposal by the Praesidium or the General Command of the People's Army, and the II and III classes by the 1st People's Army General Command, upon proposal by the commanders of inferior rank. The proposals, made by writting, must describe in details the act deserving the award. The awardees have right to promotion. The december 20th, 1944 law changed the ribon colours which continued to be decerned instead of the insignias which were still not ready. There was added some green to the white-red colours.
By the middle of 1944, the Grunwald cross insignia was projected by the artist Mieczyslaw Berman. The definitive version was approved in september 1944 with the participation of general Michal Rola-Zymierski and colonel Marian Spychalski. Was adopted an equal arms cross with two swords in the middle of a triangular ecu on the avers, and the insciption 1410/KG/1944 on the same ecu on the reverse. The first insignias were executed in march 1945 by the "Goznak" Moscow Mint.
The National Liberation polish Comitee decret dated of december 22,1944 (Law journal nr.17, 1944, art.91) quoted the order of Grunwald Cross as an award instituted by the People's National Comitee on february 20, 1944, and the decret's article 3 stated that "the Order of Grunwlad Cross awardees enjoyed the same privileges than the Virtuti Militari Order knights, moreovereach awardeehas the right to progress of one rank". The next decree from the NLPC of december 23,1944, about the "Way for attributing Orders, military awards and medals" defined the Order awarding principes, following it the order of the Grunwald Cross was confered by the NPC Praesidium, but during the war in progress, the II and III classes could be decerned upon the NPC name, by the People's army commander in chief or by the armies, corpus and divisions commanders authorised by him. The 1st class releved from the PNC Praesidium direct competence, upon proposal by the NLPC president or by the polish Army commander-in-chief. The decree defined also the way of establishing candidatures and documentation. After Decree publication,the Commander-in-chief authorized by a personnal order, in december 1944, army commanders to award the IIIrd class cross of Grunwald to soldiers, warrant officers and officers up the battalion or division commander.From 1947, the Order was attributed by the State Comitee.
Up to the end of 1945 were awarded 2681 orders, 27 of the 1st class, 61 for the 2nd and 2593 for the 3rd class.
The order of the Grunwald Cross is a war Order. It has three classes: I,II and III.
The Order insignia is an equal branchs cross, in gold to the dimensions of 55mm for the fisrt class, silver-plated (following the february 17 law - Law journal of PRP nr.10 of 1960, art.10 - the II and III classes insignias are in silver), and of a 45mm diameter for II and III classes, to the exception of the IIrd class reverse, the cross arms have a border line (??), on the center is a triangular bordered badge (ecu); the averse ecu bears two cutting edges swords, tips looking at the bottom, the reverse ecu bears the inscription in three lines: 1410/KG/1944. The arms and ecus borders, and the swords and the inscription are goldened in the IInd class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lapa
William,

That would mean one of two possibilities:
1. References are erroneous
2. Your cross is not what it pertains to be

Marc
hello Marc and William, we have more possibilities than that!
1. My english version is not so good (high probabilities!!)
2. The polsih-to-french version has defects.

The sentence is not precise, stating the 1st class is "in gold", not others informations. The others classes are in precious metal, silver.

So the new possibilities could be:
3. There are two Cross versions.

My arguments in favor of this option:
I often see in german auctions in Hamburg Grunwald crosses of all classes in perfect condition, with reasonnable prices of 100euros. They're said belonging to a 1992 struck.
I have one of these, it is a first class. It's made in a vulgar golden bronze. Brand new. When I asked Taz about fakes or reproduction, it is because the new Poland Republic in 1992 renewed its complete awards system, and authorized communist orders to survive for veterans.
I believe the "genuine" communist Grunwald cross is extremly rare, the first class could be in solid gold, but it is a complete hypothesis. This order is extremly rare in its 3 classes, and could be compared to the soviet Gory order:

following Dr. Wesolowski, the stats are: 69 st class; 376 2nd; 5382 3rd...

The ribbon for all 3 classes is 35mm wide, beared on the chest (up to 1952 the first class Order was worn in necklet), is red with 2mm wide green stripes along the ribon borders, and a 7mm white stripe on the center.
Since 1952, the Order is confered by the State Council.
Up to 1983 were awarded 5738 Orders, whom 71 1st class, 346 2nd class and 5321 rd class.
Let's quote some awardees of the 1st class of Grunwald cross:
-Army general Zygmunt Berling, commander of the polish Army 1st corps;
-Bolesalw Bierut, president of the People's national council;
-general David Dwight Eisenhower, commander-in-chief, since 1943, of Allies armed forces in Europe;
-Wladyslaw Gomulka, secretary of the polish Workers Party;
-Andrei A. Gretchko, marschall of USSR;
-Ivan J. Yakubovski, marschall USSR;
-Division general Franciszek Jozwiak, People's Guard Staff commander;
-Ivan Koniev, marschall of USSR;
-Army general Stanislaw Poplawski;
-Konstanty Rokossowski, marschall USSR;
-Division general Juliusz Karol Rommel, commander of the "Lodz" and "Warszawa" armies and of the Varsovia 1939 defense;
-Army general Wladislaw Sikorski, commander-in-chief of polish forces in Occident from 1939 (posthumous title);
-Stefan Starzynski, Varsovia mayor in 1939 (postumous title);
-Army general Karol Swierczewski, vice-minister of National defense;
-Dmitri F. Ustinov, marschall USSR;
-Alexandr M. Vasilevski, marschall USSR;
-Wanda Wasilewska, writter, president of polish Patriots Union in USSR;
-Gheorghi Joukov, marschall USSR;
-Army general Michal Rola-Zymierski, commander-in-chief of polish Army.

The order has been decerned at postumous title to militants of workers and peasants movement:
Norbert Barlicki, Marian Buczek, Stanislaw Dubois, Pawel Finder, Malgorzata Fornalska, Irena Kosmowska, Alfred Lange, Mieczyslaw Niedzialkowski, Marceli Nowotko, Adam Prochnik, Maciej Rataj and Wincenty Witos.
Here are some generals who figure amongst the IInd class of the Grunwald cross awardees: Boleslaw Kienewicz, Wladyslaw Korczyc, Franciszek Ksiezarwicz , Mieczyslaw Moczar, Stanislaw Poplawski, Karol Swierczewski, Wsiewolod Starszewski, Aleksander Zawadski.
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Last edited by CtahhR; 02-10-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 09-11-2004, 05:14 PM   #13
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Sebastian,
Thanks once again for the great translation. ;)
I tend to agree with your hypothesis that the "genuine" communist Grunwald first class could be in solid gold. Maybe the version up to 1952 on the neck ribbon.
Unlike Soviet awards there are offical restrikes and repro's so just because William's Cross is not solid Gold doesn't mean it is fake, it all depends on the collectors own views.
To quote Mr Wesolowski, After WW II, returning veterans were unable to obtain replacement decorations since the post-war Polish government became a People’s Republic. They were forbidden to wear pre-WWII decorations because military contributions of pre-WWII soldiers were not recognized by the new government. During the last few years, the politics have changed and veterans of WWI and WWII who have their old decorations can now wear them. Those who did not, purchased jewelers retrikes or bought them from collectors.
Also a quote, many Polish awards were made abroad. During WW II a small number of Orders of Virtuti Militari, Medals on the Field of Glory and Polonia Restituta were made in solid gold and silver at the Moscow State Mint. In London, the firm of Spink and Son produced the Orders of the Virtuti Militari in the Grand Cross (10 sets), a large number of 4th and 5th class, the Order of the White Eagle (10 sets), Crosses of Merit and the Orders of the Polonia Restituta in sterling silver with gold gilt for the Polish Government in exile.
It's all very complex when talking about "fake" Polish awards.

Eddie.
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Old 09-11-2004, 05:45 PM   #14
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Sebastien,

Who's that Rommel who got a 1st class? Is it THE Rommel? That would be somewhat strange.

Marc
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Old 09-11-2004, 06:51 PM   #15
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hello Marc, yes, when I taped this name I was surprised...but it is not Erwin (Johanes Eugen) Rommel, the very known feldmarschal of WW2...The polish homonym is Julius Karol Rommel. As a great part of Poland as been german, the Silesia being the most known region, could we imagine a community of names as a result of a population mix? Julius K. Rommel is well known in Poland as one of the great defenders of Varsovia.

see this link about Gal. Rommel:http://www.wpk.p.lodz.pl/~bolas/main...cy/dowodcy.htm
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Last edited by CtahhR; 02-10-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lapa
William,

That would mean one of two possibilities:
1. References are erroneous
2. Your cross is not what it pertains to be

Marc
I suspect that my cross may not be original, as I bought whole bunch of them as one large lot for very low price...

On the other hand, the Cross 1st class posted in the beginning of this thread (post #2) does not look gold to me, it looks like gold-plated one.

William
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new world
I suspect that my cross may not be original, as I bought whole bunch of them as one large lot for very low price...

On the other hand, the Cross 1st class posted in the beginning of this thread (post #2) does not look gold to me, it looks like gold-plated one.

William
Hello William: about your cross and mine, the question is: it is a 1992 official restrike? it is a reproduction? it is a fake?

About the pics: I do not know how to distinguish genuine from fakes...most Grunwald crosses are brand new, it's my only tip. And their simple design, like the Glory order, make them easy to strike. For me all crosses shown here are possibly fake. The only one with a touch of authenticity is the patined 3rd class...but we all too know a good faker can age a brand new insignia.

I paid my 1st class cross when I began, for 15euros in Paris, in a shop known for importating crude soviet fakes!
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #18
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Re: Order "Grunwald Cross".

With all I've heard about fakes I need to know: Is my Grunwald good or just a chunk of metal...
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #19
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Re: Order "Grunwald Cross".

Looks good at the first glance, but I lack the knowledge to say for sure (I can only say it doesn't look like copies I have seen). If it came with a document I would say it's an authentic piece.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:28 AM   #20
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Re: Order "Grunwald Cross".

Thanks for your reply Al-muell. Unfortunatlly no documents. It came from a big old collection sold at auction here in Sweden. But I don't really care how big the guy's collection was. From my own humble experience - the bigger the collection the less knowledge about the stuff. So size or age is no guarantee.

What's the current situation on groups from the Polish army in the USSR? If I wanted a nice Grunwald cross group what would be the cost? Can they still be found?

/Kim
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