Citation for the Legion of Merit. Degree of Chief Commander

The White House, Washington

Citation for the Legion of Merit. Degree of Chief Commander

His Majesty King Mihai I of Rumania rendered exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the cause of the Allied Nations in their struggle against Hitlerite Germany. In July and August, 1944, his Nation, under the dominance of a dictatorial regime over which the King had no control, having allied herself with the German aggressors, he, King Mihai I, succeeded in giving purpose, direction and inspiration to the theretofore uncoordinated internal forces of opposition to the ruling dictator. In culmination of his efforts, on 23 August, 1944, although his capitol [sic] was still dominated by German troops, he personally, on his own initiative, and in complete disregard for his own safety, gave the signal for a coup d'etat by ordering his palace guards to arrest the dictator and his chief ministers. Immediately thereafter, in an inspired, country-wide radio address, he proclaimed to the Nation his decision to release Rumania from the Nazi yoke and called upon his Army to turn upon the German troops, and to kill, capture or drive them from the country. Confronted wit this forthright and aggressive action on the part of the sovereign, the response of the Rumanian people and the Rumanian Army was wholehearted and immediate, with the result that, in the space of a few days, the greater part of Rumania's territory was liberated from Nazi control, and the main line of German resistance on the Southeastern front was withdrawn over five hundred kilometers to the Northwest. By his superior judgment, his boldness of action and the high character of his personal leadership, King Mihai I has made an outstanding contribution to the cause of freedom and democracy.

Harry Truman (sign.)

King Mihai I was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1946.


«Citation for the Legion of Merit», 1946, annex to «His Majesty King Michael of Romania. Biographical notes», enclosed in the letter from the Secretariat of H.M. The King of Romania to Dag T. Hoelseth, dated 28 June 1993.

The citation used to be available at the url

A Romanian translation can be found at Prince Radu's former blog (

This page was last updated on Thursday 11 august 2016
(first time published at on Thursday 6 October 2005).

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