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French Croix de Guerre WWI

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Emanuel,

That is a great looking bar; 1st Serbian bar w/CdG I've even seen! :cheers:

Thanks for adding this one to the thread! :beer:

Tim

Thanks Tim,

I saw your contribution too and I said we need something more to add here, a medal Bar with a Croix de Guerre I thought was a good addition wink.gif

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Emanuel,

This serbian bar is really superb !! :jumping:

But, why is the french awrd in second position ? Shouldn't it be in 4th ?

Cheers.

Ch.

Seems Serbian guys was very proud of the recognition of their French allies and Croix de Guerre had a high value for their contribution in WW1.

And by that I mean also the authorities as its was by law regulated what you wear where on a medal Bar (more or less, of course you always have exeptions from the rule).

Thus,from the rare examples of Medal Bars that I saw with Croix de guerre, French cross comes after the Orders,first of all the war crosses, even I saw a picture of King Alexander I wearing his Croix de guerre after Orders and Milos Obilic bravery medal and then the rest of the medals (some 7-8).

Also General Zivojn Misic was wearing his Orders and Breast II class orders and from medals, proudly only his Croix de Guerre.

From all these, I can imagine, what this cross ment to them back then, they wear their French Cross very proudly....

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Hi all & Merry Christmas!!

Yes, the example I posted in post #65 above, is a genuine CdG with an (currently unknown) unofficial commemorative/unit? badge attached. Here are some other ones I have seen over the last year or so. I also own and posted the one with the Aisne pin. Completely unofficial but, interesting!

Tim

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A medal bar to a Lieutenant Colonel in the RFA that contains a French Croix de Guerre with a Bronze and Silver Star: the medals from left to right are: Distinguished Service Order (Geo. V); Queen's South Africa with five clasps (Lieut., RHA); King's South Africa Medal with two clasps; 1914 Star with Date Bar; British War Medal; Victory Medal with MID emblem; Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal; Civil Defence Long Service Medal;[iCroix de Guerre with Bronze and Silver Star; Italian Order of the Crown, 5th Class. Gunner 1

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:cheers: Excellent bar Gunner!

I never understood how a person was supposed to wear these large bars in a single row; do they go from armpit to armpit? :speechless:

Really a beautiful example; do you have the full story with this officer?

Tim

Edited by Tim B

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I never understood how a person was supposed to wear these large bars in a single row; do they go from armpit to armpit? :speechless:

Please, have a look...

Ch.

Pic : © Christophe – ChR Collection

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:D

Hi Christophe,

Yes, my point exactly. Very cumbersome to walk around in. I remember having to walk around wearing full size medals (we have a max of five in one row) and that was bad enough. I've seen some Imperial photos and am amazed these guys could even move their arms! :P

It's all good! :beer:

Tim

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The croix de guerre is comparable to the British Military Medal and Distinguished Service Medal, the German Iron Cross, American Silver and Bronze Crosses.

I think a comparisson is very very difficult.

The CdG is a very much more flexible award than the British MM or German Iron cross.

I was recently reading that initially it was to be awarded at Division level and there were worries that if awarded at Regt level there may be abuses. In the end it was decided to award it at different levels all the way down to regiment. This descision leads to a very, very variable award.

Whereas a CdG at Army level may correspond with a british MM, a regimental CdG seems to have no other equivelent. I have a couple of groups to really brave front fighters who have 8-9 CdG awards. This is not possible in the British or German system.

Even the German EK2 needed to be awarded by a commanding General.

unfortunately/fortunately the collecting world seems to ignore the difference between the levels of the award. Fortunate for me as a buyer of course.... ;-)

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Hello Chris

You are right about the wide variety of levels for the award of a Croix de guerre. That is why I wrote that it was "comparable" and not "identical".

The French system clearly was meant to recognise individual valour. At the time the Croix de guerre was created, no one would have known the War would go on for such a long time and so many men (and women) would be brought to show courage in the face of the ennemy.

Quite naturally some of the men at Head-Quaters would get more than their share. On the other hand, if every time you went into action your C.O. was killed or wounded, never mind what you did no one was there to put you up with a citation !

For outstanding behaviour, the award would be a Legion of honor for an officer or a Medaille militaire for NCOs and other ranks + a croix de guerre with palm. A second act of courage at the same level would be promotion to Officer of the Legion of honor for an officer or the Legion d'honneur for NCOs and ORs. This occured at times.

I don't think Allied soldiers looked down on the croix de guerre when they received one.

Cheers and best wishes

Veteran

Edited by Veteran

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Hi,

I agree 100%, the CdG was a fairer system than the british MM as it allowed the regiment to reward its men.

I am sure many British soldiers did things that were not rewarded as the "much higher ups" were having a bad day.

Best

Chris

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:cheers: Excellent bar Gunner!

I never understood how a person was supposed to wear these large bars in a single row; do they go from armpit to armpit? :speechless:

Really a beautiful example; do you have the full story with this officer?

Tim

Tim

There are only two possible ways of wearing a large number of full-size awards :

- either you have them mounted as shown by Christophe with ribbons and badges overlapping to some extent, wich is the British solution.

- or the French way in several rows of three or four awards sewn on a piece of dark felt, which in this case with 15/16 awards would look like an apron!

The only way out is to wear only the four or five most significant awards on one row and forget about the others.

But this may not be allowed in some Forces.

Imperial Germany had the "Prinzengross" reduced badges for official wear on the uniform. But I am not sure everyone was intitled.

The arrangement on one row still seems to be the better looking one.

Greetings and best wishes

Edited by Veteran

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Hi Veteran!

Yes, it's a beautiful bar! :love: I would have hated to been the person that had to actually wear it like that or maintain it, but it does look spectacular.

The bad things about medal bars that overlap or have multiple rows atop one another, is that most of the attachments are covered up once mounted. But, alas, it's not a prefect world.

Cheers!

Tim

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A few of these guys have 5 stars or more... no wonder, they are the HQ runners in the 4th Zouaves... some very, very heavy action in the war. I am the proud owner of the documents and framed set to the guy on the right (8 times awarded the CdG)

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Guys,

what is the item that is used to suspend French medals, i.e. the bar with balls on the end (I presume the balls either screw in at each end or one end screws on to rod that is pushed through a hollow tube?)?

Does anyone know where I can buy some?

Graham

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Hi Graham,

The bar is simply tubular stock with ends that slip on (at least the ones I see). You can get these for a varied number of medals from one to ... max? I think you can still order these but don't quote me on that.

Tim

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Here's a couple of general questions I had when researching CdG's and fourragere's. What is meant by the term "Genie"? Is it an HQ type command?

2nd question; when the units are referenced, as below, what is the meaning of the letter "e" behind the unit number?

Génie : Compagnie 15/12 du 7e régiment de génie ( 09/08/1917 ) ; Compagnie 28/4 du 28e bataillon de génie ( 03/12/1917 ) ; Compagnie 6/3 et 6/53 du 9e régiment de génie ( 17/02/1919 ).

Thanks!

Tim

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Hi,

Genie is engineer, the "e" is lime the "th" after 7th... can also be 7e or 7eme (same-same)

Best

Chris

Thanks Chris!

I kind of suspected the "e" crossed over to "th" but wanted to confirm that. The Genie part makes sense as I seen one reference "sappers" but the translations kept coming back as "genius", so.. :whistle:

I have a 1917 CdG with mini fourragere in the colors of the Medaille Militaire and am trying to lock down the various units it could have came from. Thanks again!

Tim :cheers:

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Thanks Chris!

I kind of suspected the "e" crossed over to "th" but wanted to confirm that. The Genie part makes sense as I seen one reference "sappers" but the translations kept coming back as "genius", so.. :whistle:

I have a 1917 CdG with mini fourragere in the colors of the Medaille Militaire and am trying to lock down the various units it could have came from. Thanks again!

Tim :cheers:

Tim

Engineer (Génie) units intitled to a Médaille militaire fourragère were :

Compagnie 6/3 du 9e Régiment du Génie

Compagnie 6/53 du 9e Régiment du Génie

Compagnie 15/12 du 7e Régiment du Génie

Compagnie 28/4 du 28e Bataillon du Génie

This information comes from :

Bulletin Officiel du ministère de la Guerre.

Edition méthodique.

DECORATIONS et RECOMPENSES DIVERSES.

Charles-Lavauzelle & Cie. Paris 1956.

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Hi Veteran! :cheers:

Actually, on the piece I have, Genie is only one possibilty I am looking into. The CdG is dated 1914-17, so if I am thinking correctly, it could be any of these units below:

1917 Croix de Guerre with Fourragere with the yellow and green colors of the ribbon of the Military decoration (Medaille de Militaire) for the units or regiments having four or five mentions in dispatches.

Artillery:

- 60th Field Artillery Regiment (30/12/1917)

Engineers:

- Company 15/12 Engineers of the 7th Regiment (09/08/1917)

- Company 28/4 Engineers of the 28th Battalion (03/12/1917)

Department of health:

- Group stretcher-bearers of the 38th Infantry Division (30/11/1917)

FOREIGN UNITS FOURRAGERE WITH THE TITLE OF THE WAR 1914-1918:

- American medical section n° 646 [ex-S.S.U n° 5] (21/03/1919) ***not sure how to read this one***

- 15th Infantry Regiment of the Portuguese Army (04/04/1958).

I assume the last two were late entitlements? Anyway, trying to find out some more on the history of the piece to eliminate some of the possibilities.

Tim :beer:

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Okay, here's an interesting one and I wanted to wait until the ebay auction was over in case there were bidders (or the seller) here. This one sold for $129.50 if I remember correctly.

What do you guys think of this one? I personally think the ribbon is very new looking and suspect it is replaced. What really begs the question is the fourragere. I have never seen a double-fourragere melted/blended like this one. All the pieces look modern.

I honestly do not know and only ask for increasing my knowledge base; again the auction is already ended.

Tim

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Here's a close-up of the fourragere and the circled area makes me question the authenticity of the piece.

Tim

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Again, only trying to learn here but, these two examples are what I have to come to consider original Croix de Guerre with the double Legion of Honor Fourragere.

Other thoughts? :beer:

Tim

Edited by Tim B

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