Victory Medal (Romania)

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Victory Medal
Overwinningsmedaille Roemenië 1914 - 1918 (horizontal).jpg
Obverse (left) and reverse (right) of the medal
TypeCampaign medal
Awarded forCampaign service
DescriptionBronze disk, 36mm diameter
Presented byRomania
EligibilityRomanian Army
Campaign(s)First World War, Hungarian–Romanian War
Established20 July 1921
Totalaround 300.000
Ribbon - Victory Medal.png
Ribbon bar
Next (higher)Commemorative Cross of the 1916–1918 War
Royal Decree for establishing the Victory Medal of Romania

The Victory Medal is a Romanian First World War campaign medal established on 20 July 1921 by Royal Decree.[1]

The design and ribbon was also adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Union of South Africa and the US in accordance with the decision of the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at Versailles (a Winged Victory). A particular form of the historic Greek monument of 'Victoria' was chosen by each nation, except the nations in the Far East who issued the medal but with a different design.


To qualify for the Victory Medal, recipients, of any rank, had to be mobilised for war service and to have taken part in a battle between 28 August 1916 and 31 March 1921, or to have served as an army medic. Thus were also included the combatants from the Hungarian–Romanian War.[1][2]


The design proposals of the medal were to be submitted to an international jury. For the Romanian version, the jury selected the design of Lt. Col. Constantin Kristescu, who was also put in charge with its effective sculpting.[3] It was manufactured in Paris,[4] where Kristescu used to work with La Maison Arthus-Bertrand.[5] The Victory Medal issued by Romania is a 36mm diameter circular bronze medal.

  • The obverse of the Romanian version shows the winged, full-length, full-front, standing figure of 'Victory', holding a palm branch in her left hand and a sword pointing downward in her right hand.
  • The reverse has the words "MARELE RĂZBOI / PENTRU / CIVILIZAȚIE" ("The Great War / For / Civilization") in three lines, over a halberd, all surrounded by a ring with twenty links braided with a laurel and oak wreath. On each of the ten large links is engraved the name of one of the Allied countries: England, Belgium, Greece, Japan, Serbia, United States, China, Romania, Italy and France. The sculptor signed himself as 'Kristesko' near Japan's link.
  • The 39mm wide ribbon has an iridescent colour scheme, with the violet moving through to a central red stripe where both schemes meet.

Usage and hierarchy[edit]

The medal was displayed on official occasions and ceremonies on the left breast of the jacket. On other occasions, it was customary to display only the ribbon bar, pinned on the left buttonhole. In the hierarchy of the Romanian military and civil awards and decorations from the mid 1930s, the Victory Medal held the very low 33rd place. The customary hierarchy of the military decorations was (not including those from the Independence War):[6]

  1. Order of Michael the Brave
  2. The Military Virtue
  3. The Aeronautical Virtue
  4. The Cross of Queen Marie
  5. The Sanitary Merit Cross
  6. Valour and Faith with swords
  7. The Country's Momentum
  8. Commemorative Cross of the 1916–1918 War
  9. Victory Medal

International award[edit]

As well as Romania, a significant number of allied and associated countries involved in the conflict against the Austro-German alliance issued a Victory Medal.

The proposition of such common award was first made by French marshal Ferdinand Foch who was supreme commander of the allied force during the war. Each medal in bronze has the same diameter (36 mm) and ribbon (double rainbow) but with a national design representing a winged victory except for Japan and Siam where the concept of a winged victory was not culturally relevant.

Country Designer Manufacturer Number issued Obverse Reverse Established by
Belgium Paul Du Bois (1859-1938) ----- 300,000 - 350,000 Médaille de la Victoire version belge - envers.jpg Médaille de la Victoire version belge - revers.jpg Royal Decree from 15 July 1919
Brazil Jorge Soubre (1890-1934) approximately 2,500 BRA Victory medal (avers).jpg BRA Victory medal (revers).jpg Decree nr. 16074 from 22 June 1923
Cuba Charles Charles
  • Etablissements Chobillon
6,000 - 7,000 W.W.I. Allied Victory Medal Cuba (avers).jpg W.W.I. Allied Victory Medal Cuba (revers).jpg Decree nr. 905 from 10 June 1922
Czechoslovakia Otakar Španiel (1881-1955)
  • Kremnice Mint
approximately 89,500 W.W.I. Allied Victory Medal Czechoslovakia (avers).jpg W.W.I. Allied Victory Medal Czechoslovakia (revers).jpg Decree from 27 July 1920
France Pierre-Alexandre Morlon (1878 - 1951) approximately 2,000,000 Interalliée 14-18-recto.jpg Interalliée 14-18.jpg Law from 20 July 1922
France[8] Charles Charles
  • Etablissements Chobillon
----- Law from 20 July 1922
  • M. Pautot
  • Louis Octave Mattei
----- ----- Law from 20 July 1922
United Kingdom[9] William McMillan (1887–1977) 6,334,522 plus Victory-Obverse.jpg Victory-Reverse.jpg Decree from 1 September 1919
Greece Henry-Eugène Nocq (1868-1944)
  • V. Canale
approximately 200,000 Diasymahiko mettalio nikis.jpg Diasymmahiko mettalio nikis.jpg Law from 22 September 1920
Italy Gaetano Orsolini (1884-1954)
  • Sacchini-Milano
  • S.Johnson-Milano
  • F.M.Lorioli & Castelli-Milano
approximately 2,000,000 Medaglia interalleata italiana - recto.jpg Medaglia interalleata italiana - verso.jpg Royal Decree nr. 1918 from 16 December 1920
Japan[10] Shoukichi Hata approximately 700,000 Victory Medal (Japan).jpg Victory medal Japan (revers) crop.jpg Imperial Edict nr 406 from 17 September 1920
Poland[11] .... Vlaitov
  • Mint Kremnica
----- POL Alied Victory Medal a.gif POL Alied Victory Medal r1.gif
Portugal João Da Silva (1880-1960) approximately 100,000 Interallieeab.gif Interallieea.gif Decree from 15 July 1919
Romania Constantin Kristescu (1871-1928) approximately 300,000 Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Romania.jpg Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Romania (revers).jpg Royal Decree nr 3390 from 20 July 1921
Siam (Thailand) Itthithepsan Kritakara (1890-1935) ----- approximately 1,500 W.W.I. Allied Victory Medals Thailand (avers).jpg W.W.I. Allied Victory Medals Thailand (revers).jpg
South Africa[12] William McMillan (1887–1977)
  • Woolwich Arsenal
approximately 75,000 SA Victory reverse.jpg Decree from 1 September 1919
United States James Earle Fraser (1876-1953)
  • Arts Metal Works Inc.
  • S.G.Adams Stamp & Stationary Co.
  • Jos. Mayer Inc.
approximately 2,500,000 World War I Victory Medal (United States), Obverse.jpg World War I Victory Medal (United States), Reverse.jpg General Order nr 48 from 9 April 1919 of the Department of War

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Royal Decree nr. 3390 from 20 July 1921, published in "Monitorul Oficial" nr. 121 from 2 September 1921.
  2. ^ Constantin Flondor, Constantin Moisil, Decorațiunile românești [Romanian decorations], in "Enciclopedia României", vol. I, Bucharest, 1938, p. 93.
  3. ^ I.G. Probota, Medalistica noastră în 1921 [Our medals in 1921], in "Buletinul Societății Numismatice Române", nr. 40 from October–December 1921, Bucharest, p. 127.
  4. ^ Constantin Moisil, Medalistul C. Kristescu [The medalist C. Kristescu], in "Cronica Numismatică şi Arheologică", Bucharest, VIII, nr. 83-88, 1928, p. 26.
  5. ^ Katiușa Pârvan, Angela Mihalea, Câteva date privind opera medalistică a sculptorului Constantin Kristescu [Information regarding the medals created by sculptor Constantin Kristescu], in "Acta Moldaviae Meridionalis", XV-XX. vol. 2, pp. 294-295.
  6. ^ Constantin Flondor, Constantin Moisil, Decorațiunile românești [Romanian decorations], in "Enciclopedia României", vol. I, Bucharest, 1938, pp. 96-97.
  7. ^ The interallied victory medals of World War I by Alexander J. Laslo, Dorado Publishing, Albuquerque. 1986 Edition.
  8. ^ a b Unofficial type.
  9. ^ Awarded not only to British combatants but as well to those from the dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and those from the Empire of India.
  10. ^ On the obverse the winged figure of Victory was replaced by Takemikazuchi, the war god in Japanese mythology.
  11. ^ For reasons still not known, Poland did not proceed with the manufacture of the medal at their mint. The medal shows a clearly visible “MK” (Mint Kremnica). The medal may possibly be an unofficial strike by a veterans’ group.
  12. ^ The text on the reverse is in English and Dutch.

External links[edit]