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I need a crash course in Belgian Medals for WWI


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#1 Jason_Williams

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:11

Need Help Guys,

I need credible, accurate information about Belgian medals awarded to Belgian pilots in WWI ASAP!

Time is short. I need a definitive list on what was awarded and what actions they were awarded for. Please no dissertations, give me the down and dirty.

If you have nothing helpful or concrete to add, please do not post in thread.

So far we have this tentative list. The details I have are a bit skimpy. I need to know what to make or not to make. If some items had embellishments like palms or bars please tell me what they were and how they were arranged.

Croix de Guerre
Military Decoration (Second Class)
Military Decoration (First Class)
Order of Leopold
Order of Leopold II
Order of the Crown
1914–1918 Commemorative War Medal

Post all info in this thread. No PMs please.

Thanks in advance.

Jason
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#2 Gunsmith86

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:33

maybe of some use:
http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/foreignguide/belgian/belgium_index.htm

If you click on the medals you get a more detailed info of them.
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#3 AzraelMalik

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:50

Here is what the Aerodrome has. It doesn't list all of the medals that you have in your list, but it has a few as well as some of the pilots who received the medal.

http://www.theaerodr...lgium/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.theaerodr...lgium/index.php
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#4 gorillacake

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:52

Hi Jason here is an almost complete list of Belgian military medals from the first world war, including their history and requirements (the article claims it's an overview of all the Belgian medals):

http://www.wo1.be/ne...ieMedailles.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.wo1.be/ne...schiedenis/gast … ailles.pdf

Sorry it's in Dutch only, google translate or asking a native speaker to translate might do the job. There are quite a few on the forums here.

EDIT: Some great pictures in there too!

Gorillacakes
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#5 actionjoe

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 14:41

There is the same .pdf but in french.

But you have carefully read the document, because some of these medals are post-war, or show pictures of post-war modified medals (ex: no "glaives croisés"-"crossed swords" on Ordre de Léopold I & II, Ordre de la Couronne before 1939).
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#6 AndrewHart

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 16:59

This is a very good website on the subject ..nice images too

http://users.skynet..../eng/B-WW1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://users.skynet..../eng/B-WW1.html
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#7 Hellbender

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 18:12

Jason, only read the bold, red text, please.



1. The Croix de Guerre (War Cross) is your go-to medal. Award it early, then add Palms to it.

    Willy Coppens, the top-scoring Belgian balloon-buster ace was awarded no less than 27 Palms on his War Cross. Edmond Thieffry, the top scoring regular ace was awarded "many".


2. All (or nearly all) Belgian airmen were volunteers who had paid for their own flying license. They should all receive the Medaille du Volontaire-Combattant (Medal of the Volunteer-Fighter).

    Jan Olieslagers is perhaps the most notorious of them all. He was the only pilot of any nation to have flown throughout the entire war. He volunteered and was officially commissioned at the end of 1914, flying his own plane (a Bleriot XI). His last flight took place on November 9, 1918, when he crashed his Hanriot HD.1 and thankfully came out unscathed. He had clocked 567 combat sorties and was involved in 96 dogfights but only ever claimed 6 kills. By British standards, his kill tally was perhaps ten times that.


3. Award French and British decorations as well for assisting them during combat missions. The French Legion d'Honneur and the British Military Cross, for instance.

    Willy Coppens once flew too far south, but shot down three German balloons when crossing the lines. He was reprimanded by the Belgians for flying over British-held territory. The British in turn awarded him the Military Cross for his valiant actions. Many other pilots often assisted the French during missions.


4. Nearly all medals, decorations, knighthoods and titles were awarded AFTER the war. I'd focus on awarding the Croix de Guerre and some Military Decorations. Feel free to take liberties with history in order to make things more interesting.

    Really don't go overboard with the medals. Consider Jan Olieslagers, perhaps the greatest Belgian airman of all time, he was awared the Croix de Guerre, Medaille de l'Yser (Medal of the Yser - the river that runs along the front), Croix du Feu (Fire Cross), Medaille du Volontaire-Combatant, Medaille de la Victoire (Victory Medal), Medaille Commemorative (Remembrance Medal) and obtained 8 Chevrons de Front (frontline chevrons). The French awarded him the Legion d'Honneur, and some other nations also honoured him. He became at the very least a Chevalier de l'Ordre de Leopold (Knight in the Leopold Order - Leopold I and Leopold II being the first two Belgian Kings). Lastly, since you're not reading this anyway I might as well say it, I can't pretend not to be excited about a possible Belgian career, I'd still much rather see some flight model fixes happen. Good luck, in any case.


Source: The Belgian Air Service in the First World War, Walter Pieters, 2010

http://www.aeronautb...8-1-935881-01-8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.aeronautb...8-1-935881-01-8
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J5_Hellbender


#8 ccr

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 20:54

If your needing any photos of the medals/ribbons, they should be covered here:

http://www.all-medal...ribbon_list.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.all-medal...ribbon_list.asp
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#9 Jason_Williams

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 21:48

Ok guys. Good stuff. Got it. I think we have enough to make a plausible Belgian set of medals.

Bender that was exactly what I needed. The context is great. I have that book, but I gave it to Luke to do research on Belgian squadrons.

Jason
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#10 Jason_Williams

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 22:13

Bender,

What about the Military Decoration in First and Second classes? Could this award also have the Chevron and Palm in multiples like the Croix de Guerre?

http://en.wikipedia....ary_Decoration_(Belgium" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Military_D … n_(Belgium)

Jason
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#11 Hellbender

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 00:17

I'll have to read up on the Military Decorations.

As for the frontline chevrons, they are there to denote time spent at the front.

1 chevron for the first year, then 1 more for every 6 months

Willy Coppens had 5. Jan Olieslagers, who served from beginning to end, had 8.


They must have looked something like this. These are French. The ones on the left are for time spent at the front, the ones on the right are for war wounds.

Image
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J5_Hellbender


#12 Raine

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:12

Décoration militaire: Awarded to other ranks [enlisted men] and NCOs for courage or outstanding devotion. Established 1873. Note that this has a red ribbon with red / gold / black sidebars. A similar decoration is given for long service but lacks the predominantly red field.

Croix militaire: Officers’ equivalent of the Décoration militaire, but this was given only as a long service medal, so should not figure in ROF.

Croix de guerre [belgique]: Established October 1915. Awarded to men of all ranks for bravery or outstanding duty in battle. Also awarded to deserving foreign soldiers. Awarded in many forms:

• Bronze palm for mention in daily dispatches.
• Silver palm for the 5th such mention.
• Gold palm for the 25th such mention.
• Bronze lion for mention in brigade or higher unit orders of the day
• Silver lion for 5th such mention.
• Gold lion for 25th such mention.

Ordre de Léopold: Top honorary order for bravery in war. Issued in 3 medal formats [civil, military, maritime]. Would likely be issued long after event.

Ordre de Léopold II: For service to the monarch. Awarded in 5 grades: Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Knight and in 3 medals [bronze, silver, gold]. Could be awarded to foreigners. Established 1900, but medals modified in 1915. Likely issued long after the event.

NOTE: Ordre de la couronne or Ordre royal du lion were given only for colonial service, so should not figure in ROF.
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#13 LukeFF

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:19

The Belgian Air Service in the First World War has this note on page 407 for 16 November 1917:

A record number of honors & medals were awarded on this day. One man was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre Leopold I, 17 were made a Chevalier de l'Orde de la Couronne, & seven were made a Chevalier de l'Ordre de Leopold II. 26 Croix de Guerre were awarded.

Based on that, it would be valid to award the two Leopold orders during the war and thus would be good to include in the list of medals for career mode.
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#14 Jason_Williams

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:35

Guys,

Which Leopold II medal do you think was most likely awarded to pilots? There are too many variations. Please choose one as most likely for a Belgian ace pilot.

Edit: Ok it's the Knight variation.

Jason
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#15 Raine

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:17

Correction to my earlier post: by WWI, the Ordre de la couronne was given for service outside the colonies as well. Willy Coppens won it in Europe.

Of course, Belgian pilots could also win foreign decorations such as the British MC or DSO or the French Croix de Guerre as well.
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#16 Jason_Williams

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:27

Phew ok…I think I got it all sorted for sure now. Thanks everyone! Let's hope we can make them in time.

Jason
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#17 Waldo.Pepper

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:46

I have that book, but I gave it to ____ to do research on Belgian squadrons.

Tradesmen/mechanics etc do not lend there tools out. There is an excellent lesson to be learned here. :)
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#18 J.j.

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:46

Correcting and adding things from above (by order of precedence)

Medal of the Volunteer-Fighter

Croix de guerre [belgique]: Established October 1915. Awarded to men of all ranks for bravery or outstanding duty in battle. Also awarded to deserving foreign soldiers. Awarded in many forms:

• Bronze lion for mention in brigade or higher unit orders of the day
• Silver lion for 5th such mention.
• Gold lion for 25th such mention.

• Bronze palm for mention in daily dispatches, at the Army level
• Silver palm for the 5th such mention.
• Gold palm for the 25th such mention.

Croix du feu: medal awarded to a good number of fighter pilots, awarded for continuous service of 18 months at the front. With ROF career mode, you should receive it in February 1918 if you start your career in september 1916. If you start your career after april 1917, this medal should not be awarded.

Décoration militaire: Awarded to other ranks [enlisted men] and NCOs for courage or outstanding devotion. Established 1873. Note that this has a red ribbon with red / gold / black sidebars. A similar decoration is given for long service but lacks the predominantly red field.
Chevrons system as described by Hellbender, but if the medal was awarded for bravery chevrons are replaced by a silver palm. Decroation first class is awarded after the second class, and is shown by an inverted gilt chevron.
Very rare, it seems only one blegian fighter pilot was awarded it in war time: C. Wouters

Croix de guerre [belgique]: Established October 1915. Awarded to men of all ranks for bravery or outstanding duty in battle. Also awarded to deserving foreign soldiers. Awarded in many forms:

• Bronze palm for mention in daily dispatches.
• Silver palm for the 5th such mention.
• Gold palm for the 25th such mention.
• Bronze lion for mention in brigade or higher unit orders of the day
• Silver lion for 5th such mention.
• Gold lion for 25th such mention.

Ordre de Léopold II: For service to the monarch. Awarded in 5 grades: Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Knight and in 3 medals [bronze, silver, gold]. Could be awarded to foreigners. Established 1900, but medals modified in 1915.

Some Belgian aces received it in war time, and thus this order should be included in the career mode, perhaps with the "Officier" rank also.

Ordre de la Couronne: awarded to 11 belgian pilots for service in WW1, some of them directly during the war.

This order should be included in the career mode, perhaps with the "Officier" rank also.

Ordre de Léopold: Top honorary order for bravery in war. Issued in 3 medal formats [civil, military, maritime].

Some Belgian aces (the famous Coppens) received it in war time, and thus this order should be included in the career mode, perhaps with the "Officier" rank also.

So, the list is quite a little bigger in fact!
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#19 flapping-brown

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:27

blimey never seen so many medals , need a broad chest to carry all those lol
good interesting stuff though
flapping brown
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#20 Wykletypl

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 14:54

So you are planning to add Belgian campaign for the game?

Well, of that be the case, then maybe by the way, apart from repairing certain bugs once mentioned, you could add some variety to French and Americans. Because these are basically the variations of one medal, I am sure more different medals for these sides would be nice. Like Purple Heart, the medal which in order to get you must be wounded or killed in action.
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#21 Trooper117

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 15:04

I thought the purple heart wasn't officialy sanctioned as an award until 1932?….
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#22 LukeFF

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 15:51

Tradesmen/mechanics etc do not lend there tools out. There is an excellent lesson to be learned here. :)

It's OK. Jason knows where I live. :mrgreen:
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#23 J.j.

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 16:35

you could add some variety to French and Americans. Because these are basically the variations of one medal, I am sure more different medals for these sides would be nice. Like Purple Heart, the medal which in order to get you must be wounded or killed in action.

As for the Americains, the lack of variations about the awards is perfectly historical. And I can add that the most represented one, the DSC, was not created before July 1918.
As for the French, the only big lack is the Médaille Militaire, which was awarded to NCO pilots only.
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