Bulgarian Order of Bravery in War 1st cl.

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JohnW
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Bulgarian Order of Bravery in War 1st cl.

Post by JohnW » 18 May 2002 16:54

Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone knows where I might be able to obtain a list of recipients of the above mentioned order. I am looking for all recipients of this class, not just those from WWII. TIA.

John

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USAF1986
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Post by USAF1986 » 18 May 2002 21:04

Although I don't have the information you are looking for, here is a summary of the order (primarily WWII issue) that might be of some use.

Regards,
Shawn

P.S. Unfortunately, the Cyrillic lettering I included in the description won't "translate" over to the forum! Sorry!

Bulgarian Bravery Order

• Bulgaria’s oldest order.
• Instituted on 1 January 1880 to commemorate Prince Alexander of Battenberg’s elevation to Prince of Bulgaria on 14 May 1879.
• The obverse features a golden lion rampant on a red background within a green circlet upon white; in Cyrillic is ЗА ХРБОСТЬ or Za Chrabrost (For Bravery) with the date 1941 (date Bulgaria entered World War II) at the base.
• All grades have gilt crossed swords placed between the arms of the cross.
• The ribbon is the same for all classes/grades: light blue with a silver thread inset from either edge. This was known as the “War Decoration” ribbon and was used for other wartime Bulgarian decorations as well.
• As an order, only officers were eligible. The class/grade awarded usually corresponded to the officer’s rank.
• The Soldiers Cross for Bravery was associated with the Bravery Order and was for NCOs. It was slightly smaller yet identical to the basic badge of the Bravery Order.

The Bravery Order consisted of seven classes:
• Grand Cross: Worn only by the King of Bulgaria as the Grand Master of the Order, it consisted of a 95mm breast star worn with a 100mm sash and a 72mm sash badge.
• 1st Class: A silver 63mm breast star and a neck cross surmounted with a crown (during World War I, two higher distinctions were created: “with diamonds” and “with skulls”).
• 2nd Class: A white 57mm cross with a crown worn around the neck.
• 3rd Class (1st Grade): A white 55mm cross without crown worn as a pin-back decoration on the left breast.
• 3rd Class (2nd Grade): A white 42mm cross without crown worn from a triangular ribbon on the left breast.
• 4th Class (1st Grade): A red enamel cross without crown worn as a pin-back decoration on the left breast.
• 4th Class (2nd Grade): A red enamel cross without crown worn from a triangular ribbon on the left breast.

Based on clear photographic evidence, a large number of LSSAH officers were awarded the Bulgarian Bravery Order. Undoubtedly many more received it, but the below list reflects only those observed wearing it in period photographs. With the exception of Staudinger, all held the 4th Class (1st Grade) of the order. The ranks and positions are those held in the LSSAH as of 6 April 1941, the start of the Balkan Campaign.

• SS-Obersturmührer Arnold Jürgensen – Chief, 1. (light IG-)/V (heavy) Battalion
• SS-Hauptsturmführer Hugo Kraas – Chief, 2. (motorcycle troops)/Reconnaissance Battalion
• SS-Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Mohnke – Commander, II Battalion
• SS-Hauptsturmführer Hubert Meyer – Chief, 12./III Battalion
• SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Meyer - Commander, Reconnaissance Battalion
• SS-Hauptsturmführer Rudolf Sandig – Chief, 7./II Battalion
• SS-Hauptsturmführer Georg Schönberger – Chief, 4. (assault gun)/V (heavy) Battalion
• SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Schröder – Chief, 4. (heavy field howitzer)/II Battalion/Artillery Regiment
• SS-Obersturmbannführer Walter Staudinger – Commander, Artillery Regiment (he held the Bravery Order, 3rd Class (1st Grade))
• SS-Sturmbannführer Fritz Witt – Commander, I Battalion
• SS-Hauptsturmführer Max Wünsche – IIa (adjutant) on staff

Luftwaffe Generalleutnant Wilhelm Schmalz, commander of the Fallschirm-Panzer Division “Herman Göring” (and later corps), also held the Bulgarian Bravery Order, 4th Class (1st Grade).

Of interest, Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, the “Red Baron” of World War I fame, also held the Bulgarian Bravery Order, 4th Class (1st Grade). In June 1917, on his way back to the front, he lunched with Kaiser Wilhelm I at Bad Kreuznach. In a letter home, he wrote: “I have just shot down number fifty-three. In [Bad] Kreuznach, on the way back, I was invited by His Majesty to meet the King of Bulgaria [Ferdinand I], who presented me with his Bravery Order, First Class [sic]. It is worn like the Iron Cross, First Class, and looks very nice.”

Sources:
Dr. Kurt G. Kleitmann, "Pour le Mérite und Tapferkeitsmedaille," Verlag Die Orenssamlung, Berlin 1966.

Rudolf Lehmann, "The Leibstandarte I," J.J. Fedorwicz Publishing, Canada, 1987.

David Littlejohn, M.A., A.L.A., "Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, Volume 4: Poland, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Free India, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia," R. James Bender Publishing, California, 1987.

Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, "Der rote Kampflieger," Berlin, 1917.

Timo
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Post by Timo » 19 May 2002 00:57

SS-Hauptsturmführer Gustav Knittel received the Royal Bulgarian Bravery Award IV.Class, 2nd Grade on 10 July 1942.

Don't know what the requirements were for being awarded this medal.

Just my 2 cents,
Timo

wirudar
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Bulgarian Order for Bravery

Post by wirudar » 28 Jan 2006 17:32

In a questionaire, filled in by my uncle, he noted he was awarded the Bulgarian Medal for Bravery at July 11, 1939.

This is the only information I have, no photos, etc.

In WW1 he served in the German IR 165, but I found no traces for this regiment in Bulgaria.

Have anybody any ideas?

thanks

jenova4
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Re: Bulgarian Order of Bravery in War 1st cl.

Post by jenova4 » 14 Jul 2010 16:32

Just as a matter of interest,,,, SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Micheal Wittmann of the 1st SS Leibstandarte,later a Panzer Commander also recieved this award in August 1942.
At the time he held the rank of Staff Sergant or SS Oberscharfuhrer.
The award was 2nd class and his unit was listed as Sturmgeschutzabteilung/ SS - Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.

dibo
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Re: Bulgarian Order of Bravery in War 1st cl.

Post by dibo » 06 Sep 2010 14:12

JohnW wrote:Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone knows where I might be able to obtain a list of recipients of the above mentioned order. I am looking for all recipients of this class, not just those from WWII. TIA.

John
There is such a list in Bulgarian here:

http://www.boiniznamena.com/?action=article&id=155

However it does not include the Second World War.

jenova4
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Re: Bulgarian Order of Bravery in War 1st cl.

Post by jenova4 » 28 Apr 2011 15:26

portrait337.jpg
WITTMANN2.JPG
Two photographs of Michael wittman wearing his Bulgarian Soldiers Cross with crossed swords... A Brass medal with silver plateing over the top.

Some ( but not all ) medals were dated for the second war, earlier issued medals issued during the second war may be dated earlier.
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PLom
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Re: Bulgarian Order of Bravery in War 1st cl.

Post by PLom » 04 Jan 2019 01:38

SS-Ostubaf. Hans Joachim Schiller IIa LSSAH, he might have been a SS-Hstuf. at the time of award (~ 1941).

Look here

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