WWI French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm Leaf
Item #: WR253
This is a French Croix de guerre award by the French government for gallantry in action during World War I. This medal could be awarded to French and Allied soldiers, but it was awarded only once. Any additional citations for bravery in action would be recognized with different devices pinned to the medals ribbon. The medal was designed by sculptor Paul-Albert Bartholome. It is 37mm wide, and is a Florentine bronze cross with two crossed swords pointing upwards. In the center of the cross on the front side is the form of a young woman wearing a Phrygian cap surrounded by the circular inscription REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE, meaning French Republic. In the center of the cross on the back are the dates 1914-1918. The cross is suspended by a ring through a suspension loop cast atop the upper cross arm. It hangs from a 37mm wide green silk ribbon with 7 evenly spaced red vertical stripes. The varying degrees of gallantry that the medal was awarded for are signified by devices attached to the ribbon. The lowest is a bronze star, the highest is a silver palm leaf. A bronze star represents those mentioned in a regiment or brigade level report, or dispatch. A silver star meant the soldier was recognized at the division level. A silver gilt star meant the soldier was mentioned in a corps level report. A bronze palm leaf represented an army level recognition, while the silver palm leaf was worn in lieu of five bronze palm leafs. So whoever this was awarded to did something pretty significant to be awarded the bronze palm leaf! The medal displays well, the ribbon having no frays, stains or damage and retains the bright colors. The cross has a beautiful, eye pleasing patina. While I do not know who was the recipient of this Croix de guerre, many American soldiers were awarded them during WWI. If you have a medal collection, this will add some pop to it!
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