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1940 FRENCH VICHY CROIX DU COMBATTANT GALLANTRY MEDALFRE045Reg Price:
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About this item
ORIGINAL WWII FRENCH VICHY CROIX DU COMBATTANT MEDAL
AWARDED FOR GALLANTRY IN COMBAT BY THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT TO THE GERMAN OCCUPATION
Extremely scarce - French Croix du Combattant gallantry medal ever awarded. Made during the German occupation of France, all French veteran's that were awarded the Croix de Guerre for Gallantry in combat before the German invasion, and if now loyal to the newly formed Vichy Government placed in power by German occupation forces had to exchange their Republic awards to this the new Vichy type. This extremely rare French medal is in a good condition with original ribbon.
This scarce Vichy version cross was instituted on the 28th of March 1941. It has the same design as the earlier 1939 type with the exception that the reverse shows 1939/1940 inscription, the ribbon was changed to green with black edges and five black stripes, it was only awarded from 1941 until the liberation of France by the allies in 1944. It was proudly worn by French Vichy soldier's serving in the French colonies, including members of the French Foreign Legion serving on the Russian Front. Pétain and the Vichy regime willfully collaborated with German Forces.
You might be surprised to learn that Germany in WW2 allowed a well armed Vichy French Army whilst it occupied France until the liberation of France in 1944, known as the Vichy French Metropolitan Army, it was set at 3,768 officers, 15,072 non-commissioned officers, and 75,360 men. All Vichy French forces had to be volunteers. In addition to the army, the size of the paramilitary Gendarmerie was fixed at 60,000 men plus an anti-aircraft force of 10,000 men. Plus another 145,000 strong Vichy French Colonial Force stationed in the Mediterranean area, Morroco, Algeria, and the " Army of the Levant" in Lebanon and Syria, a total Vichy armed force of some 309,200 men, Army, Anti-Aircraft Force and Police.
This extremely rare Vichy Croix du Combattant became prohibited after the war ended and was removed in accordance with the degree of 7th January 1944. A scarce original examples in a rare fantastic condition is very hard to find.
* Note: prices shown above are exclusive of Aust GST - GST only applies to Australian based buyers