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July 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm #11972ed_haynesParticipant
Médaille commémorative de Syrie-Cilicie / Commemorative Medal for Syria and Cilicia
For those who participated in operations of the Army of the Levant between November 1918 and October 1921. In November 1919, French troops relieved British occupation troops in Lebanon and Cilicia. The operations were mainly against King Faisal ibn Hussein’s troops and Turkish pressures from the north.
From November 1919 to July 1920 several batallions of the Third Division conducted operations were against King Faisal’s troops in the region of Tyre and Alexanderetta. On 21 July 1920, the French troops achieved victory over King Faisal’s troops and drove him out of Syria into exile in London. This established French dominance in Syria. The British later set him up as King of Iraq.
In Cilicia, the fight was more complex and difficult, in that the French Second and Fourth Divisions also faced entrenched Turkish troops in difficult terrain. With the capture of Ain Tab on 5 February 1921, French power was established in the region.
The medal was awarded to soldiers and sailors who served in action from 11 November 1918 to 20 October 1921. In 1932, the award was extended to civilian personnel.
The same medal would be reissued for campaigns in the Levant 1925-26 with the clasp: “1925-1926”.
And the medal was also used by the Vichy Government for the defensive actions against the British and Free French attacks on Syria in June-July 1941.
Established by Law of 18 July 1922, amended by laws of 12 September 1922 and of 13 December 1932, which extended awards to French civil personnel.
FR-Levant.jpgJuly 9, 2011 at 8:02 pm #13916Frank DutilParticipantJuly 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm #13917AnonymousInactive
Here’s one with the 1941 clasp instituted by the Vichy government, beside the derivative version instituted by the Gaullists for the same campaign and struck in London by J R Gaunt. According to Free French veterans who participated in this campaign, it was not considered the done thing to wear the Gaullist Levant Medal because it involved Frenchmen engaged against Frenchmen.
Fr_Levant_Vichy&FL_obv.jpgJuly 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm #13918
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