Finnish crosses of Mannerheim. From personal collection!

Finnish crosses of Mannerheim. From personal collection!

Hi experts, today I want to introduce you a very interesting Finnish badge. Its name is Monnerheim Cross or Finnish Cross of Liberty. In my collection I have three such crosses of different classes.

Order of the Cross of Liberty Fourth Class for military merit on a ribbon with the date of 1939. The Order of the Cross of Liberty was established on March 4, 1918 at the initiative of the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Armed Forces, General, Baron Karl Gustav Emil Mannerheim (years of life; 1867-1951). It is the highest award of Finland.

Original name in Finnish; Vapaudenristin ritarikunta.

Vapaudenristin ritarikunta

Cross of the Order of the Cross of Liberty. Photo by Apolon.

In total, the Order had (with exceptions in the form of additions) seven classes. Every class had its own distinguishing sign: for military merits in wartime, for military merits in peacetime, for civil merits. There were also varieties of signs for rewarding medical personnel, relatives of those killed in the hostilities. Separately, there are the so-called “Crosses of Mannerheim”, consisting of two classes (established July 22, 1941). On the crosses are various dates of the wars of Finland with the enemy – 1918, 1939 and 1941.

Cross of the Order of the Cross of Liberty

Cross of the Order of the Cross of Liberty. Photo by Apolon

The design of the award was developed by Finnish artist of Swedish origin Axeli Waldemar Gallen-Kallela (years of life; 1865-1931; including a suspension with the image of hands with a sword and saber).

The dimensions of the cross excluding the fixing eye: 40 x 40 mm. Sign thickness – 1 mm. The width of the tape is 30 mm.

Finnish sniper, junior lieutenant Simo Hyayuha

Finnish sniper, junior lieutenant Simo Hyayuha

Photos of the Finnish sniper, junior lieutenant of the Finnish Army, Simo Häuhä (1905-2002), who was awarded with the Crosses of the Order of Liberty of the 3rd and 4th grade during the fighting with the USSR. The photo shows a healed injury received when a bursting bullet hit the left side of the face. During the fighting with the Red Army of the USSR, a sniper killed more than 500 people.

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