© Hendrik Meersschaert 2017
WORLD WAR II ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES
The Order of the Hungarian Holy Crown
This order was instituted in 1942 but the official foundation took place on 3 March 1943. It is awarded in 5 Classes and 3 Crosses of Merit to foreigners for furthering the interests of Hungary. All classes and crosses can be awarded "with swords" to military recipients and with the "War Decoration" (a green and gold laurel wreath) for war services.
The classes and crosses are :
Grand Cross, Commander 1st Class, Commander, Officer, Knight, Gold, Silver and Bronze Cross of Merit.
From 1920 on Hungary was a Kingdom and in 1941 entered the Second World War as an ally of the German Third Reich. A provisional Hungarian government signed an armistice on 20 January 1945.
The Medal for Bravery
These medals, inherited from the Austria-Hungaria era, were originally instituted on 14 April 1939 (gold, large silver, small silver and bronze) for award to non-commissioned officers and men and on 12 September 1942 the Gold Medal for Bravery for Officers was added.
The obverse shows the bust of the Regent, Admiral Miklos Horthy, the reverse the arms of Hungary with St. Stephen's crown above and crossed swords behind the shield. The reverse inscription reads "VITEZSEGERT".
The Fire Cross
Also called the Frontline Fighters Cross, this decoration was instituted on 24 November 1941 in three categories :
* with swords and a laurel wreath around the central medallion for three months' front line duty as a combatant,
* without swords but with laurel wreath for six months' service at the front in any capacity,
* without swords or laurel wreath for six months' military service at home.
and for posthumous awards a black ribbon is used instead of the normal one.
The central medallion is inscribed "A HAZAERT" in three lines and on the lower arm is either 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 or 1942-43 which reflects the year the award was made. The reverse is plain but for the year of the foundation : 1941.
The National Defence Cross
The Cross was instituted on 11 December 1940. It has a shield with the arms of Hungary on the obverse. The shield on the reverse carries the wording "A / HAZAERT / 1940".
Although awarded for merit in defeating the communist revolution of 1919, this cross is included here because of its date of institution.
The Medal for the Liberation of Siebenbürgen
To commemorate the incorporation of Siebenbürgen (perhaps better known as Transylvania) into Hungary, this medal in "war metal" was instituted on 1 October 1940.
The obverse has the bust of King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490) while the reverse holds the arms of Siebenbürgen.
The Medal for the Recapture of South Hungary
This medal was instituted on 4 September 1941 and is also struck in "war metal".
The obverse shows the Regent, Janos Hunyadi (1445-1456) on horseback and holding a sword, the reverse has three shields : the top one bearing the crowned arms of Hungary, the left one with the arms of Hunyadi and the right shield having the arms of Admiral Horthy.
The Hungarian Red Cross Medal with War Decoration
I have no further information on this award.