The Military Order of the Iron Trefoil, also known as the Croatian Cross, was the highest military decoration of the Independent State of Croatia, and it was awarded for "acts of war, achieved by personal incentive, for efforts and good leadership in ventures, which had remarkable success against the enemy." The Order had four classes: the 1st Class is worn on a ribbon around the neck, 2nd Class without the ribbon on the left chest, 3rd Class on ribbon on buttonhole, and the 4th Class on triangular ribbon on left chest. For exceptional merits the Order was awarded with Oak Branches. The recipients of the 1st and 2nd Class had the right to the title "Vitez" (Knight). The Military Order of the Iron Trefoil was awarded rarely. The only holder of the 1st Class with Oak Branches was Poglavnik dr. Ante PaveliÄ‡, and 1st Class was awarded to only two high-ranking Croatian officer, and one of them was a VojskovoÄ‘a and former Austro-Hungarian Colonel Slavko Kvaternik. This Order is esteemed by collectors because it is very rare and made in high quality.
Holders of the Military Order of the Iron Trefoil
1st Class with Oak Branches
Only one holder:
Ante PaveliÄ‡, Poglavnik of the Independent State of Croatia
(Awarded, but not presented to, Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal) Friedrich Paulus)"Award Document to General der Panzertruppen Paulus, Item Number: EU4642". eMedals. eMedals, n.d. Web. 12 Dec 2013. < >.
Rafael Boban, general of the Croatian Armed Forces
Paul Dahm, SturmbannfÃ¼hrer
Walter Stettner Ritter von Grabenhofen, Generalleutnant of the Heer
Slavko Kvaternik, VojskovoÄ‘a and commander of the Domobarnstvo
Vjekoslav LuburiÄ‡, general of the Croatian Armed Forces
Artur Phleps, ObergruppenfÃ¼hrer of the Waffen SS
Werner Sanne, Generalleutnant of the Heer
2nd Class with Oak Branches
Colonel Marko MesiÄ‡
August Schmidhuber, SS-BrigadefÃ¼hrer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
3rd Class with Oak Branches
Mato Dukovac, captain of the Croatian Air Force; Croatian fighter ace with the most victories
Jure FrancetiÄ‡, colonel and commander of the Black Legion
Franjo Å imiÄ‡, general of the Croatian Armed Forces
Horst Weber, Schnellboot commander in the Kriegsmarine - awarded 11 May 1944
4th Class with Oak Branches
256 holders, including Colonel Eduard BuniÄ‡
Military Order of the Iron Trefoil is founded, Order serves as a visible sign of decoration for particularly successful actions against the enemy.
The Master of the order of the Poglavnik of the Independent State of Croatia.
Order of Iron Trefoil is the highest military order of the Independent State of Croatia, and it is rewarded for the acts of war, achieved by personal incentive, for efforts and good leadership in ventures, which had remarkable success against the enemy.
The Order confers on officers, NCOs and Home Guards, and Ustashas of Croatian Armed Forces. Members of allied or friendly armed forces, who successfully fought to achieve independence of the Croatian State, or who later fought shoulder to shoulder with the Croatian detachments, may also be awarded with this Order.
Sign of the Order was made in the form of the Croatian Trefoil of black iron with a narrow silver edge. The ribs of the leaves are made of silver triple wattle ornament. In the middle of Trefoil is located Croatian coat of arms with the Ustasha symbol (the letter "U" in blue, and it burst with a flame). On the reverse of the Trefoil there is inscription in the middle: "READY FOR HOME", above the inscription is "10 IV." and below is "1941." For exceptional merit to any Class can be added two green Oak Branches, which will frame the Croatian coat of arms. Order of the 1st and 2nd Class is rewarded for special military acts, which need to be tested and confirmed by special military commission.
Order has four Classes, namely:
First Class, height and width of Trefoil is 52mm, a diameter of the extent in the middle is 13mm; it is worn around the neck on the prescribed ribbon;
Second Class, designed as the First Class, it is worn without ribbon on left chest;
Third Class, height and width is 42mm, a diameter of extent in the middle is 12mm; it is carried on the ribbon on the buttonhole;
Fourth Class, designed as the Third Class; it is worn on triangular ribbon on left chest. The ribbon is red with white edge on each side; the width of whole ribbon is 40mm and 6mm of white edge.
Holders of the 1st and 2nd Class have right on title "vitez" (knight).
The Order is awarded by Poglavnik by a charter.
Unauthorized wearing of the order is punishable by judicial imprisonment up to month or a fine up to 50.000 Kunas.
The implementation of these legislative provisions is entrusted to the Head of Department of Decorations in Poglavnik's Office, and he will issue regulation on awarding and carrying the Order.
This provision will be in legal power on the day of proclamation in the Official Gazette.
Zagreb, 27 December 1941.
Polavnik of the
Independent State of Croatia
Dr. ANTE PAVELIÄ† v. R.
Number CDLXIII - 2167-Z-1941.
Minister of Justice and Religion:
Dr. MIRKO PUK, v. R.
Mr. sc. Stjepan AdaniÄ‡, general bojnik KreÅ¡imir KaÅ¡par, prof. Boris Prister i prof. Ivan RuÅ¾iÄ‡ "Hrvatska odlikovanja."
Category:Orders, decorations, and medals of the Independent State of Croatia