AND DECORATIONS OF POLAND
Republic of Poland since 1990
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(Medal pamiatkowy Wielonarodowej Dywizji Centrum-Poludnie)
Instituted in the fall of 2003, by the Commander of the Multinational Division Central-South in Iraq. It is awarded to all servicemen and women, as well as to civilians serving with the Division, irrespective of nationality, who have completed 90 days of service in the operational zone. First medals were awarded in January 2004.
Badge: round medal of oxidized silver metal. Obverse: an outline map of Irak with an enameled Iraqi flag and a dove, holding a laurel branch inside, the whole circumscribed: STABILIZATION FORCES : FOR SERVICE IN IRAQ, separated by two small five pointed stars. Reverse: a map of the world with two laurel sprays below, circumscribed: MULTINATIONAL DIVISION CENTRAL SOUTH, with three small stars below. The medal was designed by LTC Mariusz Michalski from the first Polish contingent, and it is manufactured by ART-MEDAL company from Czestochowa, Poland.
Ribbon: 36 mm, of the Iraqi national tricolor of red, white and black. Each subsequent 90 days in the operational zone are denoted by an Arabic numeral attached to the ribbon
2.Badge on the ribbon (unofficial)
(Odznaka Weterana Walk o Niepodleglosc)
Instituted on June 6, 1994 by the Council of Combatants and Prosecuted Individuals (Rada Kombatantow i Osob Represionowanych). Meant as an extension to the Independence Cross and conferred by the Director of the Combatant Affairs Office to all veterans who fought in the cause of Poland's independence.
Badge: silver, black enameled Greek cross, 42 x 42 mm, with a silver line along each arm, very much like the Independence Cross. A silver crowned eagle sitting on the Amazon shield is superimposed on the center. The reverse has a screw for mounting. On the military uniform the badge is worn on the right chest pocket.
Note: There exist an unofficial version, worn on the ribbon of the Independence Cross
(Odznaka pamiatkowa Akcji "Burza")
Instituted in 1986. Eligible are all participants of the "Tempest" operation (Akcja "Burza") planned to be conducted in 1944 by the Home Army (see the Home Army Cross), whose aim was attacking the withdrawing German troops and thus taking control over the territory of Poland before the advancing Red Army. For oganizational and political reasons that plan was not fully accomplished. The outbreak of the Warsaw uprising (see the Warsaw Uprising Cross) was a part of the "Tempest" operation. There exist two equally ranking types of the decoration: the badge and the cross. On the military uniform the badge is worn on the right chest pocket, while the cross suspending from the ribbon is worn together with other decorations and medals.
Badge, 1st type: silver, with a Greek cross 40 x 40 mm, holding the inscription ARMIA : KRAJOWA (Home Army) on the horizontal arms and AKCJA : BURZA (Tempest Operation) on the vertical ones. In the middle there is an oval medallion with a crowned eagle sitting on the Amazon shield as worn on Polish military headgears. Between the arms there are four "anchors" - symbols of Polish Resistance and a stylized laurel wreath. The area between the arms is solid, granular.
Badge, 2nd type: as above, but oval 43 x 47 mm, openwork, differs in detail. That type was bestowed on the occassion on the 50th anniversary of the operation in 1994.
Cross: 41 x 41 mm, of oxidized silver metal, similar to the cross of the badge, but with more massive arms. The central shield is pentagonal and the Amazon shield has the "anchor" in the center. The horizontal arms of the reverse bear the years 1944 and 1945, separated also by the "anchor."
Ribbon: 37 mm, green with black side stripes (ribbon of the Partisan Cross).
(Medal "Pro Patria")
Instituted on September 1, 2011 by the Director of the Office for the Combatants and Oppressed Individuals. Conferred in a single class to honor individuals or institutions that rendered particular merit in cultivating the memory of the struggle for independence of the Polish Republic. It takes precedence before the "Pro Memoria" Medal.
Badge: silver round medal. Obverse: a crowned Polish eagle sitting on the crossed saber and scythe (a weapon used by peasant troops during the 1794 war with Russia). Reverse: a three-line inscription "PRO / PATRIA / 1768 - 1989" (the year of the Bar confederation - the first rebellion against the Russian domination in Poland and the year of restoring a sovereign country), with a cross pattee above and crossed oak and laurel sprays below, all surrounded by "URZAD DO SPRAW KOMBATANTOW I OSOB REPRESJONOWANYCH" (Office for Combatants and Oppressed Individuals).
Ribbon: 38 mm, crimson with a dark blue central stripe flanked by narrow white stripes, and with narrow black edges.
(Medal "Pro Memoria")
Instituted on January 25, 2005 by the Director of the Office for the Combatants and Oppressed Individuals. Conferred in a single class to honor individuals, who contributed to commemorating the people who had fought for independence of Poland during and after World War II.
Badge: silver round medal. Obverse: a crowned medal sitting on a saber and a barbed wire, with broken prison bars in the background. Reverse: crossed oak and laurel sprays, with a two-line inscription "PRO MEMORIA" above and "8 MAJA 2005" (60th anniversary of the end of WWII) below, surrounded by "URZAD DO SPRAW KOMBATANTOW I OSOB REPRESJONOWANYCH" (Office for the Combatants and Oppressed Individuals).
Ribbon: 38 mm, crimson with wide light blue side stripes and narrow black edges.
(Krzyz Zrzeszenia "Wolnosc i Niezawislosc")
Instituted in 1988. Conferred by and to former members of the organization Freedom and Independence, grouping a part of the Home Army and established to fight against the Red Army occupying Poland and its Polish collaborators. Those who took part in an armed struggle are entitled to wear the cross "with swords." Those sentenced and imprisoned for participation in the organization can wear special silver stripes for each year of imprisonment.
Badge: silver oxidized cross, 23 x 23 mm, similar to the Home Army Cross, with small years 1945-1954 on the lower arm. In the center there is a crowned silver eagle on red background, with stylized letters WIN below; the whole is surrounded by a barbed wire. The reverse is plain with a screw for mounting.
(Order Krwi Przelanej za Ojczyzne)
Instituted on September 1, 1943 as a decoration of the resistance organization SWIT (dawn) but never awarded then; renewed on February 21, 1991 and conferred by Krajowy Zwiazek Weteranow Walk 1939-1989 o Polske Wolna i Sprawiedliwa (National Association of the Struggle for Free and Righteous Poland Veterans) to combatants wounded in combat against nazi or soviet occupants.
Badge: a white enameled Greek cross, 41 x 41 mm, with short and wide arms. In the center there is a large gothic red shield with a silver crowned eagle bearing a small shield with the years 1939 / 1989. On the left, right and below the eagle there are white rectangles bearing the years 1939 (beginning of the nazi and soviet occupations), 1945 (end of WWII and beginning of the communist government in Poland) and 1956 (first big demonstrations against the communist rule) respectively. Above the eagle on white background there is the three line inscription with the order's name. The reverse of the order is plain.
Ribbon 35 mm, half white half red.
(Order Meczenstwa i Zwyciestwa - o Polske Wolna i Sprawiedliwa)
Instituted on February 21, 1991 and conferred by Krajowy Zwiazek Weteranow Walk 1939-1989 o Polske Wolna i Sprawiedliwa (National Association of the Struggle for Free and Righteous Poland Veterans) to all those who were arrested, tortured, sentenced, imprisoned or persecuted in any other way for their activity in the cause of freedom and independence of Poland.
Badge: a white enameled Greek cross, 41 x 41 mm, with short and wide arms. In the center there is a red shield with a silver crowned eagle bearing a small shield with the years 1939 / 1989. On both sides and above the shield there is the inscription - REPRESJONOWANYM / ZA WALKE : O POLSKE WOLNA : I SPRAWIEDLIWA (to those persecuted for fight for free and righteous Poland); the years 1939 / 1989 are repeated below the shield. The reverse of the order is plain.
Ribbon 35 mm, of three light blue and two white stripes.
(Krzyz Wieznia Politycznego)
Instituted on July 15, 1994. Conferred by Stowarzyszenie Polskich Bylych Wiezniow Politycznych (Former Polish Political Prisoners' Association) at the recommendation of the decoration's Chapter to former political prisoners, imprisoned between 1939 and 1989 by nazis, soviets or communist authorities for the cause of free and independent Poland.
Badge: a cross of silver oxydized metal, 44 x 44 mm, very much like the Cross of Valor. The horizontal arms of the obverse bear the inscription WIEZIEN : POLITYCZNY (political prisoner), while the vertical ones have the dates 1939 and 1989 respectively. In the middle there is a red shield with a stylized white crowned eagle with broken bars in the background. The horizontal arms of the reverse have the abbreviation SPB : WP; in the center there is an "anchor" - the symbol of Polish Resistance, surrounded by an oak wreath.
Ribbon 35 mm, medium blue with half white half red central stripe.
Instituted in 1998 by the Association of Former Polish Political Prisoners to honor the young people of Poland who fought in defense of the country during WWII and in the Polish Resistance. It can also be conferred to the young people who during the Stalin era in Poland conspired against communist rule and were opressed due to that or who attempthed to restore independent scouting movement in that time.
Badge: Silver oxidized cross pattée, 44 x 44 mm, similar to the cross of the Polish Scouting Association, with slightly concave arms and five rays between them. Upon the rays there rest the four types of lilies (the symbol of thePolish scouting movement). The horizontal arms bear the motto of Polish scouts CZU : WAJ (be alert). In the center there is a red enameled round shield with a white eagle on it, surrounded by a blue ring inscribed NIEZLOMNI : TOBIE OJCZYZNO (the unbroken to you country). The horizontal arms of reverse bear the words ZAWSZE : WIERNI (always faithful), while the lower one has the letters SPbWP (Association of Former Polish Political Prisoners). In the central medallion there is the anchor of Polish Resistance, surrounded by a laurel wreath.
Ribbon: 35 mm, green with a white-red central stripe and black side stripes.
Photo courtesy Jerzy Swiderski, Harcerze 1944-1956, Warsaw 2006.
(Krzyz Wieznia Politycznego Okresu stalinowskiego)
Instituted in 1996 by the Main Board of the Association of Former Political Prisoners of the Stalin Era 1939-1956. Conferred to Polish citizens imprisoned after 1939 by the Soviet authorities, or by the Polish communist ones after 1944 for their struggle for the cause of Poland's independence.
Badge: red outlined and white enameled silver cross pattée, 40 x 40 mm, of slightly concave arm sides and bases. In the center there is a red enamel rhombus with a silver crowned Polish eagle. Reverse: non-enameled, inscribed ZWPOS on the upper, and 1939 : 1956 on the side arms.
Ribbon 36 mm, black with red (inner) and white (outer) edge stripes.
(Krzyz Antykomunistycznego Zwiazku Wiezniow Politycznych lat 1939-1956)
Institution date unknown. Instituted by the Main Board of the Association and conferred to the people who had opposed the comunist rule and were prosecuted for that by the Soviet and Polish political police. In exceptional cases the cross can be conferred also to other people who rendered merit to the Association.
Badge: gilt, white enameled Maltese cross, 40 x 40 mm, with ball finials. The large (27.5 mm of diameter) medallion has a white crowned eagle on red background; the green enameled ring bears the inscription ANYKOMUNISTYCZNY ZWIAZEK : WIEZNIOW POLITYCZNYCH LAT 1939-1956. The reverse is plain.
Ribbon: 40 mm, half white half red central stripe and very wide edge stripes in the colors of Virtuti Militari (identical with that of the Warsaw Uprising Cross).
(Krzyz Represjonowanych Zolnierzy-Gornikow)
Instituted on April 19, 1997 to give satisfaction to all former soldiers of the so called Mining Army Corps, organized 1949 and dissolved 1959, where young people who were against the communist rule were sent to serve. The cross can be awarded posthumously.
Badge: gilt, white enameled cross pattée, 44.5 x 44.5 mm, with gilt rays between the arms. On the arms there is the following inscription: 1949 (upper), 1959 (lower), ZR (left) and ZG (right). Medallion: oval, with a silver crowned eagle, sitting on the Amazons' shield on red background. Reverse is plain.
Ribbon 41 mm, half black half green (the colors of Polish mining industry), with a half white half red central stripe.
(Odznaka pamiatkowa Zwiazku Sybirakow)
Institution date unknown. Conferred by Zwiazek Sybirakow (Association of Formerly Deported to Siberia) to Poles deported to Siberia after the invasion of the Red Army in 1939 and later. Mass deportations were a part of persecution and extermination policy of the Soviet regime on all occupied territories.
Badge: bronze Greek cross with raised borders around the arms. In the middle there is a green enameled stylized shield with interwoven letters ZS (Zwiazek Sybirakow) with two crossed swords pointed down and a broken chain around. Above the shield there is a crowned silver eagle.
Suspension: green enameled metal bar with the inscription SYBIR
(Krzyz Deportowanych Regionu Warminsko-Mazurskiego)
Instituted in September 1998 by the Association of Formerly Deported to Siberia and conferred to the members of the Warmia-Masuria Region of the organization (in north-eastern Poland) for outstanding merit. In exceptional cases it can be confered to the non-members as well.
Badge (initial project): cross pattée, 45 x 45 mm, of oxidized silver metal. The central medalion of the obverse depicts the coat of arms of Siberia with superimposed crossed swords and broken chains on either side. The reverse has the years 1939 / 1956 within a thorny crown, and the years 1918 : 1998 on the horizontal arms and the inscription POLSKA / NIEPODLEG£A (independent Poland) on the vertical ones.
Badge (actual): Cross as above, but 34 x 36 mm. The vertical arms of the reverse have a 7-line inscription ZA / ZASLUGI / DLA : ZWIAZKU / SYBI- / RAKÓW / R.W.M. (for merit to the Association of the Deported to Siberia of the Warmia-Masuria Region); the horizontal arms have the years 1939 / 1956 : 1918 /1998. In the center there is a thorny crown.
Suspension: initially half white half red ribbon, 38 mm wide, with a green stripe on the left side and a blue one on the right. Some crosses were confered on the dark blue ribbon with light blue stripes. Now the badge suspends from a rectangular silver metal green enameled bar 32 x 11 mm, inscribed SYBIRACY (deported to Siberia), with a mounting pin on reverse.