The War Cross is Norway’s highest distinction. The medal ranks ahead of all other medals and decorations.

The War Cross was instituted in 1941 (while War medal) to honor persons who in a special way contributed to the nation of Norway during the ongoing World War.

Norway did not have an existing decoration system before the war broke out and it was urgent to put in place a way to honor the Norwegian and Allied soldiers who participated in World War II. Since you basically only had two medals (War Medal and War Cross) to use, the War Cross initially awarded both for bravery, leadership and for other special running a profit for Norway’s case (resp. With and without swords). This was eventually changed and the War Cross was made into the pure tapperhets- and leadership medal as it should be. The medal was going after this always awarded with swords and the name of the medal (if we are to be precise) is therefore “War Cross with Sword”. This was a very important distinction in the coin, until then relatively short history. The medal was a medal to honor the people who made extraordinary efforts during the ongoing war, while others running a profit could be honored with their own medals they had instituted specifically for such purposes, including King Haakon VII Freedom Cross etc.

Distributions of the Second World War ended in 1949. Then we had one awarded the medal to just over 270 people, including 130 foreign soldiers and royalty. In the next 50-60 years was the War Cross a “sleeper” decoration and there was simply not a good enough system to honor individuals who distinguished themselves in the service of the Norwegian armed forces in operations around the world. This was changed when the War Cross (eventually together with several other decorations) was reintroduced in 2009. The medal can now be assigned to individuals who meet the statute (the award criteria) also for actions undertaken in armed conflict since World War II. War Cross has once again become an active decoration and will continue to be Norway’s highest award!

Krigskorset is a bottony (Olav Cross) in bronze. Coat of arms of Norway is in relief in the middle of the cross.

The back is normally without design or text. The cross is suspended from the band attached in half eikekrans on the upper arm of the cross. Medal Ribbon is characterized in the Norwegian colors, red, white and blue.

The medal was during the war produced by the English firm Spink & Son Ltd. This is currently the only manufacturer of the War Cross, but firm Sporrong has supplied ribbons and swords to the edition which came in 2011. The medal was in the years 1941 to 1949 delivered to the recipient in a red pouch that had the Norwegian coat of arms embossed in gold on the cover (see picture on the right). The recipients were awarded the payment document together with the medal. These were signed personally by HM the King. From 2011, the receivers assigned to a complete set, with miniature medal and ribbon stripe in addition to the medal. This kit came in a self-made box.