Orders, decorations, and medals of the Independent State of Croatia
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After the early April 1941 invasion of Yugoslavia, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was crushed, and the so-called Independent State of Croatia was established with Ante Pavelić as the Head of State. As the Ustasha government of Yugoslavia were allies of the German Nazi government, the orders and decorations of Croatia from World War II remained secret until 1990 when Croatia became independent.
List of Medals
- Military Order of the Iron Trefoil (Vojnički red željeznog trolista) (27 December 1941)
- Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir (Red krune kralja Zvonimira) (17 May 1941)
- Medal of the Crown of King Zvonimir (Kolajna krune kralja Zvonimira) (27 December 1941)
- Medal of Poglavnik Ante Pavelić for Bravery (Kolajna poglavnika Ante Pavelića za hrabrost) (27 December 1941)
- Memorial Sign for Founding of Independent State of Croatia (Spomenznak na uspostavu Nezavisne Države Hrvatske) (18 March 1942)
- Order of Merit (Red za zasluge) (19 December 1942)
- Wound Medal (Ranjenička kolajna) (8 April 1943)
- Memorial Sign for 5th December 1918 (Spomenznak 5. prosinca 1918.) (30 November 1943)
- War Memorial Sign (Ratni spomenznak) (29 December 1943)
- Ustasha's Honor Sign (Ustaški častni znak) (3 April 1944)
On 10 April 1945 the Velebit medal (Velebitska kolajna) for bravery (silver and bronze) was added to the order of Croatian decorations. It was created on 1 January 1932 in Italy, and awarded to soldiers who participated in a diversion in Lika village Buršani (7 September 1932).
By declaration of the Croatian government on 10 October 1943, small signs (ribbons) were added as decorations. Ribbons were made for military personnel and worn on uniforms.
The Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir was made from the design of air force colonel Jakob Machiedo. Colonel Machiedo's design incorporated art elements from the oldest Croatian culture heritage, the trefoil ornament.
The Medal of the Crown of King Zvonimir and the Medal of Poglavnik Ante Pavelić for bravery were made by the Croatian sculptor Ivo Kerdić. The Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir and The Military Order of Iron Trefoil have the shape of the Trefoil Cross. The Trefoil Cross has become famous and is known in world literature as the "Croatian Cross".
Knighthood in the Independent State of Croatia was conferred by the state during its existence from 1941 to 1945. The title of vitez, or knight, was awarded to recipients of certain state orders and awards.
The following awards granted the title:
- Military Order of the Iron Trefoil 1st Class with oak leaves
- Military Order of the Iron Trefoil 1st Class
- Grand Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir with star and oak leaves
- Grand Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir with star and swords
- Grand Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir
- Ante Pavelić Medal for Bravery in gold
- Military Order of the Iron Trefoil 2nd Class with oak leaves
- Military Order of the Iron Trefoil 2nd Class
- Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir 1st Class with star and oak leaves
- Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir with star and swords
- Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir with star
The title was awarded to 26 generals:
- Ladislav Aleman (-1945)
- Salko Alikadić (-1941)
- Received award posthumously after death in Operation Ozren.
- Vilko Begić (1874–1946)
- Rafael Boban (1907-?)
- Eduard Bona Bunić (1894–1944)
- Received award posthumously after death in Battle of Travnik.
- Matija Čanić (1901–1964)
- Milan Desović (1895–1960)
- Fedor Dragojlov
- Stjepan Duić (-1934)
- Received award posthumously after establishment of the Independent State of Croatia.
- Jure Francetić (1912–1942)
- Received award posthumously after his death in 1942.
- Đuro Grujić (1885–1945)
- Artur Gustović (-1945)
- Đuro Jakčin (-1944)
- Slavko Kvaternik (1878–1947)
- Vladimir Laxa (1869–1945)
- Vjekoslav Luburić (1914–1969)
- Franjo Lukac (-1946)
- Josip Metzger (1883–1945)
- Ante Moškov (1911–1948)
- Ivan Perčević (1881–1947)
- Krunoslav Stjepan Perčić (1891–1971)
- Dragutin Rubčić (-1986)
- Adolf Sabljak (1886–1947)
- Tomislav Sertić (1898–1945)
- Franjo Šimić (1900–1944)
- Slavko Stanzer (1872–1945)
Colonels to receive the title included:
- Mr. sc. Stjepan Adanić, Major General Krešimir Kašpar, prof. Boris Prister i prof. Ivan Ružić "Hrvatska odlikovanja."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Military decorations of Croatia in WW2.|
- Independent State of Croatia's Military Decorations, at Wehrmacht-Awards.com