fi-award-liberty4

(Vapaudenristi / Frihetskorsets orden)

Date Instituted

Mar 1918

Requirements

Awarded for bravery or merit

Number awarded

?
Mannerheim Cross 1st Class - 2
Mannerheim Cross 2nd Class - 197 (191 distinct recipients)

Recipients

Holders of the Mannerheim Cross 1st Class - Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (7 Oct 1941) & Axel Erik Heinrichs (5 Feb 1942)
Holders of the Mannerheim Cross 2nd Class

The German holders of the 1st Class and 1st Class with Star grades of this award are listed on the individual unit histories as part of the Holders of high awards project.

Field Marhal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim wearing the 1st and 2nd Class Mannerheim Cross in 1942
mannerheim-1942
(Courtesy of Eino)

Illu Juutilainen wearing the Mannerheim Cross 2nd Class
fi-juutilainen-illu
(Courtesy of Ossi Juntunen)

Nils Edward "Nipa" Katajainen wearing two Order of the Cross of Liberty crosses (3rd and 4th Class) as well as Medal of Liberty 1st Class and 2nd Class
fi-katajainen-nils
(Courtesy of Ossi Juntunen)

SS-Obergruppenführer Karl-Maria Demelhuber wearing the Order of the Cross of Liberty 1st Class
demmelhuber-karl-maria2
(Courtesy of Ernest)

Generaloberst Eduard Dietl wearing the Order of the Cross of Liberty 1st Class with Star
dietl-eduard-1943
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

A memorial in Parikkala to the Mannerheim Cross Knights of the area: Leo Kojo, Paavo Paajanen, Eino Kiiveri, Heikki Kärpänen and Mikko Anttonen
memorial-fi-parikkala
(Courtesy of SeppVei)

Comments

This was Finland's highest decoration

Awarded in these classes:
Grand Cross (breast star with sash and sash badge)
1st Class with Star (breast star and white neck cross)
1st Class (white neck cross)
2nd Class (black cross with gold ornamentation worn from a ribbon on the left breast)
3rd Class (smaller black cross with gold ornamentation worn from a ribbon on the left breast)

fi-award-liberty4


4th Class (with oakleaves) (as above but blue with silver)
fi-award-liberty4-oak

Medals:
Medal of Liberty 1st Class (silver)
fi-award-liberty-medal1
Medal of Liberty 1st Class on a Rosette Ribbon
Medal of Liberty 2nd Class (bronze)
fi-award-liberty-medal2
Gold Medal of Merit of the Cross of Liberty (civilian)
Silver Medal of Merit of the Cross of Liberty (civilian)
Bronze Medal of Merit of the Cross of Liberty (civilian)
fi-award-liberty-medal-merit-bronze

Mannerheim Cross:
Mannerheim Cross of the Cross of Liberty 1st Class (neck decoration, as the 1st Class Cross above but in black enamel)
Mannerheim Cross of the Cross of Liberty 2nd Class (cross as above but worn on the left breat pocket)
The Mannerheim Cross of the Cross of Liberty was introduced 16 December 1940 for outstanding bravery or merit.

A total of six recipients recieved the Mannerheim Cross more than once:
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1st & 2nd Class, both 7 Oct 1941)
Erik Heinrichs  (2nd Class 31 Dec 1944 and 1st Class 5 Feb 1942)
Aaro Olavi Pajari (twice 2nd Class, 14 Sep 1941, 16 Oct 1944)
Martti Johannes Aho (twice 2nd Class, 1 Mar 1942, 16 Oct 1944)
Ilmari Juutilainen (twice 2nd Class, 26 Apr 1942, 28 June 1944)
Hans "Hasse" Wind (twice 2nd Class, 31 July 1943, 28 June 1944)

Awarded to next-of-kin:
Grief-Cross of the Cross of Liberty (Cross of Mourning)
fi-award-liberty-mourning

Photo courtesy of © Thomas L. & Sakari Leppanen

 

Sources used

Research by the AHF Staff

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