Cross of Valour (1943)
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The Cross of Valour was established by the Council of National Defence in 1920. It was renewed again by the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile in 1940 and was also awarded by the Polish People’s Republic until the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. It was officially re-established by the Republic of Poland in 1992.
It is awarded to Polish military personnel in recognition of acts of bravery performed in combat. It may be awarded up to four times to the same recipient, in which case a bar clasp is worn on the ribbon to denote each additional award. It may also be awarded to Polish civilians who have fought alongside Polish forces, but only under exceptional circumstances.
Three models of the Bronze Cross were awarded in the Polish People's Republic. The first model was awarded in 1943 and features this date on the reverse. The second model features an uncrowned eagle on the obverse and a different date on the reverse. The third model was the most widely produced during the period and features a more detailed engraving. It should be mentioned that another version was produced later in the period as a replacement cross. This version features wider lettering and a wider sword on the reverse.
All versions of the Bronze Cross feature an obverse inscription that translates to “On the Field of Glory,” and a reverse inscription that translates to “Brave.”
There may be additional versions of Bronze Cross that differ in size, composition, design, inscription, suspension, or manufacturer.
The other models are listed in the Medals & Decorations of the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939) and the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile (1939-1989), and the Third Polish Republic (1989-).
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