pre-WW2 Rare Polish Cross of Merit of Central Lithuania – French productionMay 26, 2019
pre-WW2 Polish Ribbon to the Commemorative Medal for the War 1918–1921 (French Made)June 1, 2019
WW2 Virtuti Militari Cross of 5th Class – French Made
France, 1930-1950, Brass silver plated, 38mm width.
The Polish Virtuti Militari Cross of 5th Class, the highest Polish award for military acts of bravery.
A private purchase of the Virtuti Militari cross made in France. Crosses of similar design were sold by Wabia Wabiński with his mark in Poland pre-war. This cross was made most likely circa 1945-50, belonging to Colonel Henryk Spaltenstein. Very good condition as in photographs with signs of wear.
Colonel Henryk Spaltenstein. (born 13 December 1896, died 1973). Colonel of Artillery of the Polish Army.
Born on December 13, 1896. In 1913, he graduated from the 4th grade at the C. K. Department of the Gymnasium in Stryj. After Poland regained independence, he was admitted to the Polish Army. He was promoted to the rank of infantry lieutenant with seniority on June 1, 1919. In 1923 and 1924 he was an officer of the 80th infantry regiment (Słonim garrison), including in 1923 he was assigned to the 1st Staff Division in the Command of Corps District No. III in Grodno. He was transferred to the corps of artillery officers and verified as an artillery lieutenant with seniority on June 1, 1919. In 1928 he was an officer of the 29th field artillery regiment in Grodno. On January 27, 1930, he was promoted to the rank of captain with seniority on January 1, 1930 and 3rd place in the corps of artillery officers. In 1932 he was an officer of the 5th Infantry Division in Lwów. In 1939, as a major, he served in the 19th Light Artillery Regiment in Nowa Wilejka as the commander of the 4th squadron. He fought in this position in the September campaign.
After getting to France, he became an officer of the Polish Army in France. In 1940 he was the commander of the 3rd Division of the 1st Wilno Light Artillery Regiment. Later he became an officer of the Polish Armed Forces.
After the war, he remained in exile. In 1960 he was promoted to the rank of artillery colonel. He was a member of the Council of the Republic of Poland (in Exile) of the third term (from September 9, 1963 to July 20, 1968, on behalf of the Union of Eastern Territories), and of the fourth term (from October 8, 1969 to November 7, 1970, on behalf of the Union of Polish Socialists). He died in 1973.
Award in the shape of the cross, in the center a crowned white enameled eagle with wings spread. On the arms is an inscription in black enamel “Virtuti Militari”. The reverse has clear arms, the center medallion has a laurel leaves crown, with an inscription in the center “Honor i Ojczyzna 1792”, meaning Honor and Fatherland 1792.