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Vichy cross de guerre

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I came across a Croix de guerre , aparently from Vichy with rear dates. 1939-1940, with 2 stars a nd two palmes on the ribbon... The date could be correct????

Thanks

Miguel

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Hello Miguel,

Nice to see you posting here !

1939-1940 is the only correct reverse for the Vichy War Cross ... but I agree with Kevin : pictures would be nice !

Cheers,

Hendrik

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Hello Miguel,

Nice to see you posting here !

1939-1940 is the only correct reverse for the Vichy War Cross ... but I agree with Kevin : pictures would be nice !

Cheers,

Hendrik

Here you have the pics...

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When did he time to get all those citations???

It?s always the same thing...They could be added later???, It?s difficult to know, if you don?t know the guy from who the cross came...Some sellers think that they can got more money if they add items...

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If it was a WW1 cross, or one of the crosses t a guy who had fought in Italy-France in 43-45 it would be more possible I think, but a Vichy one? I am not so sure....

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If it was a WW1 cross, or one of the crosses t a guy who had fought in Italy-France in 43-45 it would be more possible I think, but a Vichy one? I am not so sure....

That?s for this statement that i was asking on th ematter. I know there are otther medals with differentes dates till 1944, but I think these are the unofficial type...

Do you agreed??

Miguel

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The stars look okay. The palms are upside-down. It could be possible if the recipient stayed in the French Army. The later Vichy Croix de Guerre cannot be so easily dismissed as unofficial issues because the P?tain administration was the legitimate power in France. The 1939-1940 crosses with the black and green ribbons were exchange awards for anyone who held a 1939 Republican cross and wished to continue wearing it. I have a framed example, with this type of central medallion, said to be of North African manufacture, with its June 1940 citation and a Republican ribbon of British (London) manufacture, showing that the recipient exchanged his 1939 cross but then obtained a new ribbon after the Liberation when framing his award. The crosses with other dates were produced for French soldiers serving in what remained of the French Army after the armistice and, of course, the "new" French Army, which included units like the 1er R?giment de France. Vichy also produced its own CdG in the shape of a cross bearing the Francisque with the legend Etat Fran?ais and the date '1944'. It's not strictly on topic but it is an interesting subject. I agree that it would have been quite a tall order for a man to win two bronze palms and two stars in the course of the 1939-1940 war but not completely impossible. An airman could have done it. However, those palms are upside-down, which is worrying.

PK

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Hello Miguel and All,

First time I've seen this cross without a ball suspension ... for the sake of comparison, here's the one in my collection :

Cheers,

Hendrik

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Well-spotted! I have never seen anything like that before. But the cross itself looks alright, the rather soft images notwithstanding. A period repair, perhaps?

PK

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108635333_o.jpg108635375_o.jpg

Just for the interest of readers, these images show the 1939 "Republican" issue Croix de Guerre and the Vichy Government replacement with the dates commemorating what they saw as the War of the 1939-1940. In this case, the recipient has put the Republican ribbon back, presumably after the Lib?ration. As an interesting sidenote, a lot of the 1939-1940 awards by the pre-armistice high command were subsequently cancelled because it was felt that the award criteria had been too relaxed in many cases. So any "Vichy" 1939-1940 cross bearing a Republican ribbon is likely to have belonged to a veteran whose original award was considered valid by the examining authority after the Liberation. These two WW2 crosses also show the distinctive difference in appearance of the Republican and Vichy issues, the latter recalling the WW1 cross and its artificial "chocolate bronze" patina.

108636912_o.jpg

The three basic types of Vichy Croix de Guerre: the 1939-1940 cross bearing the rare first type ribbon as seen on Hendrik's example, the extremely rare official Vichy Croix de Guerre which dispensed with the Marianne motif, replacing it with the Francisque and the 1939-1940 cross with the more commonly encountered second type green and black ribbon. Only members of the 1er R?giment de France and Mar?chal P?tain's personal bodyguard detachment, the Groupe de Protection, were eligible for the Etat Fran?ais Croix de Guerre and less than a hundred are estimated to have been awarded. Several holders are still alive, two of whom won theirs in combat against Resistance and Anglo-American Special Forces units.

Regarding Croix de Guerre with other dates, these are described by many as unofficial. The crosses produced in French colonies by local commanders like Giraud could be described as unoffical but it is rather a moot point as the Vichy Government was, after all, the sole legitimate French authority from June 1940 to late 1944, when the remaining Vichy forces were defeated. It should be remembered that Colonel Charles de Gaulle, who promoted himself to the rank of General, was considered a renegade under sentence of death for desertion in the face of the enemy in 1940 and that the Anglo-Americans were very wary of him throughout the war. In other words, the French Republic, as such, had ceased to exist and the "Republican" Croix de Guerre bearing the 1939 date medallion awarded to France Libre personnel by the Gaullist "government-in-exile" during the war were just as unofficial as crosses awarded by Loyalist Vichy administrations in French colonies and territories. In fact, the only official Croix de Guerre awarded or distributed during the German occupation can be seen in the above photograph. Of those, just one was an actual award for military personnel serving in the legitimate French forces (Vichy-controlled) whereas the other was an exchange piece not unlike the denazified WW2 awards produced for veterans by the West German government from 1957 onwards.

PK

Edited by PKeating

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