War Cross / Croix de Guerre – 1939-1945

Orders & Medals Society of America Forums French Medal Collecting French Medals post-1870 War Cross / Croix de Guerre – 1939-1945

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4,206 voices, and was last updated by  ed_haynes 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #11979

    ed_haynes
    Participant

    On 18 October 1939, the Croix de Guerre was reestablished for the new war. The history of this award during the war is complex, and reflects France’s experiences during that war.

    The official cross has the reverse dates of "1939-1945".

    A less official variety with the reverse dates of only "1939" was created in Algeria, by General Henri Giraud, on 16 March 1943.

    There are also the awards of the Vichy government.
    FR-CdG-39.jpg
    FR-CdG-3945.jpg

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    #13977

    felix
    Member

    – The official WWII war cross is the "1939" one, established on 26 september 1939. The "1939-1945" war cross is an unofficial post war made, there is no text about it but apparently it is now accepted as "official"

    – The "1939-1940" cross was introduced on 28 march 1941 by the Vichy’s government. It was awarded as a replacement to those who already received the "1939" cross but only after re-examination of their citation.
    Some crosses bearing the dates "1939-1941", "1939-1942", "1939-1943", "1939-1944" are known. They are unofficial.

    – A cross known as "légionnaire" cross was instituted for soldiers who fought on the eastern front within the german army (LVF). It was a unofficial private cross.

    – There is a London made of the war cross for the free french without date on the reverse.

    – The Giraud war cross established on 16 march 1943 bear the "1943" date on the reverse and 2 crossed flags on the obverse.

    – The "1939" war cross was re-established on 7 january 1944 by de Gaulle. London, north-african and italian mades are known. After this date it was the only official cross and replaced the London, Giraud and Vichy’s cross.

    #13978

    Christophe
    Participant

    – The "1939-1945" war cross is an unofficial post war made, there is no text about it but apparently it is now accepted as "official"

    That’s a good point. If we could find any period text implementing the 1939-1945 Cross as official, it would be a plus…

    Ch

    #13979

    Frank Dutil
    Participant

    Since you’re in France, it will probably prove easier for you to find this:

    Décret du 28 janvier 1954

    #13980

    felix
    Member

    This decree is about the attribution of the cross, not the pattern, apparently there is no text stipuling that " the reverse of the cross is modified and bear the dates "1939-1945" instead of "1939"

    #13981

    Anonymous

    Does anyone know more about the London made Croix de Guerre? Are there any links to its history or records to whom it was awarded?

    Thanks, dastier

    #13982

    Christophe
    Participant

    Hi Dastier,

    I have not a lot of data to add to what has already been said by Felix.

    The first crosses seems to have been produced from end of 1942, by J.R. Gaunt. Spink seems to have bought Gaunt’s crosses in the 1950s…

    For the other points you raise, let’s see if, all together, we can give additional infformations…

    Cheers.

    Ch.

    #13983

    felix
    Member

    I just bought the book "Décorations officielles françaises" (french officials awards) published by the Paris mint in 1956. What is interesting is that, in the text, the WWII war cross is called "croix de guerre 1939-1945" but on the picture it is still the "1939" pattern. So it’s possible that the name was officially changed after the war but the design remained the same.

    #17363

    aaagul45
    Member

    The "1939-1940" cross was introduced on 28 march 1941 by the Vichy’s government. It was awarded as a replacement to those who already received the "1939" cross but only after re-examination of their citation.
    Some crosses bearing the dates "1939-1941", "1939-1942", "1939-1943", "1939-1944" are known. They are unofficial.
    – A cross known as "légionnaire" cross was instituted for soldiers who fought on the eastern front within the german army (LVF). It was a unofficial private cross.???

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