When looking at the Polish medals for the Second World War, we can see four different periods. Before the Second World War, until the German occupation, we have the Second Polish Republic. During the Second World War the Poles had their forces partly in the West and partly in the Soviet Union. The Polish Government in exile in London decided which decorations were awarded. From 1944 we however get the People’s Republic of Poland, that began instituting its own decorations. Finally since the collapse of the Soviet Union we have a new Polish Republic from 1990 on.
Third Polish Republic
In 1990 the Poles freed themselves from the Soviet ruling. The Government in Exile was no longer a necessity and several orders and decorations were re-instituted or taken over frojm the former London Government.
Order of Precedence of the most important decorations of the Third Republic:
1. Order of the White Eagle
2. Order Virtuti Militari
3. Order Polonia Restituta
4. Order of Merit
5. Cross of Valor
6. Cross of Merit with Swords
7. Cross of Merit
8. Cross of Merit for Bravery
9. Medal for Sacrifice and Courage
10. Medal for Long Marital Life