1939 - 1945
Albania was invaded by Italy on 7 April 1939 and consequently annexed, with a puppet government installed under Italian leadership. Throughout the occupation, numerous small Albanian resistance units came to life. After the surrender of Italy in 1943, German troops occupied the country till November 1944.
In relation to World War II, the following awards can be listed :
The Medal of Remembrance
Instituted on 9 July 1945, this medal was awarded to those who served uninterruptedly, from July 1943 (creation of the National Liberation Army's General Staff) till the liberation of Albania on 29 November 1944, either as combattants or in a political role. Recipients of this medal also received the Medal of Bravery.
The Order of the Partisan Star
Also instituted on 9 July 1945, this order was created in three classes (gold, silver, bronze) for award to officers for successful meritorious or heroic leadership in wartime. Military units could also receive the order for distinguished service in battle.
The Order and Medal of Bravery
Equally instituted on 9 July 1945, the Order of Bravery was awarded to officers for excellence in command of military units on the battlefield.
The Medal of Bravery was an award to officers, NCO's and soldiers for courage shown in combat.
The Medal of Liberation
Created on 13 October 1945, this medal was the main campaign decoration for service in World War II : it was awarded to all military and civilian personnel who actively participated in combat operations during the war and could be awarded posthumously.
This section of the website would not be complete without mentioning the excellent study by Erik Schena, "The Decorations of Socialist Albania", which served as its main source of information.
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Copyright Hendrik Meersschaert 2009 ©