Norway – Merit Cross with swords, Quisling Issue 1940-45. Extremely Rare.
Condition: Good very fine
The Cross began life as the ‘Order for Bravery and Loyalty’, instituted by the collaborationist Nasjonal Samling government under Vidkun Quisling to be awarded to Norwegian combat forces on the same basis as the German Iron Cross. Shortly afterwards, however, Josef Terboven, German Reichskommissar of Norway, dictated that only German awards were to be worn by Norwegian collaborationist forces. (Terboven and Quisling has a long history of rivalry and disagreement with Terboven doing his utmost to minimise the influence of Quisling, despite the orders of Adolf Hitler to help build the Nasjonal Samling). The Order was thus awarded for only a very brief period. In 1944, a very few examples had the ‘Sun Eagle’ symbol affixed to the face, covering the date ‘1941’ in ‘Nordic’ script and were awarded to members of the Nasjonal Samling, such awards being referred to as ‘politisk utgave’ (political awards). After Allied victory in May 1945, recipients of the award naturally did everything possible to conceal the fact. As a consequence, it is extremely rare.