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Colonial Medal (Médaille Coloniale) with ‘Extreme Orient" bar


Noor
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Hi all,

Here is my today's catch - French Colonial Medal (Médaille Coloniale) with "Extreme Orient" clasp. Looks like silver made and pretty old details for me.

Because I don't know almost nothing about this area, I would like to know few things about that. First at all period, when it was awarded? What colonia - Siam? Vietnam, etc? Also French medal are usually maker marked, where I have to look -I don't see any in regular places.

I paid 25 euro for that (did I paid too much?), did I paid too much or almost fair price - Dubln prices are usually way over the top (I really like look of that, so, I didn't mind and dealer wasn't sure as well, so I just went for...)

15852267e8b055_o.jpg

15852273b05aab_l.jpg

1585227504aba2_l.jpg

Edited by Noor
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Hi all,

Here is my today's catch - French Colonial Medal (Médaille Coloniale) with "Extreme Orient" clasp. Looks like silver made and pretty old details for me.

Because I don't know almost nothing about this area, I would like to know few things about that. First at all period, when it was awarded? What colonia - Siam? Vietnam, etc? Also French medal are usually maker marked, where I have to look -I don't see any in regular places.

I paid 25 euro for that (did I paid too much?), did I paid too much or almost fair price - Dubln prices are usually way over the top (I really liked look of that, so, I didn't mind and dealer wasn't sure as well, so I just went for that. Now would be good to know...)

15852267e8b055_o.jpg

15852273b05aab_l.jpg

This looks rather like a "CHOBILLON" medal. It might well be silvered bronze. True lovers of the Colonial Medal like to have a variety of makes, this one being a classic.

I am not truly a great connaisseur but the information I give comes from Jean HASS's book on the subject, considered by the local collecting community as the bible for the Colonial Medal.

Hopefully other collectors of this Medal will add to or correct this information.

Regards

Veteran

1585227504aba2_l.jpg

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Thank you guys!

Ok, it is post WW2 like I know nowblush.gif . Looked more older in the shop.

Not for my collection in this case. If any of you wants it, please send me a pm.

answer on OMSA:

There were only a couple of clasps authorised for the Médaille Coloniale after WW2: Extreme Orient and Madagascar. Some recipients of the Extreme Orient clasp received it for wartime service in Indo-China (Vietnam) during the Japanese occupation and for the brief period fighting between Japanese and French forces at the very end. Others received it for the "1st Indo-Chinese War" of 1945-1948.
Edited by Noor
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It is definitely a Chobillon striking. However, Chobillon does not appear to have produced the EXTREME ORIENT clasp although the general appearance of this clasp evokes Chobillion products. Like other examples I have seen or added to my collection, this clasp was probably made locally, hence the orthographic oversights like the missing hyphen and circumflex.

The EXTRÊME-ORIENT clasp was instituted on 5.8.1946 and was similar to the clasp instituted for the 1939-1945 War Medal. It was specifically for personnel who had fought against the Japanese between 9.3.1945 and 10.9.1945 or against "the rebels" - the forerunners of the Viet Minh - from 23.9.1945 onwards. On 19.7.1948, eligibility was extended to civilians. The area of operations covered Indo-China and other French possessions like Cambodia and Laos. Interestingly, it does not seem to have been extended to French forces that fought against the Thais in 1940 and 1941. These combatants had received the INDOCHINE clasp instituted by the Vichy government on 19.9.1941. This clasp was outlawed by the vengeful Gaullists on 7.1.1944. However, this injustice was actually rectified by a governmental decree on 2.2.1949, which republished the Vichy decree of 19.9.1941 verbatim, thereby allowing veterans of the 1940-1941 conflict between France and Thailand to wear their INDOCHINE clasps, though not on the "État Français" versions of the Colonial Medal!

It's a nice example of this combination. They're not terribly rare but as Vétéran says, they are a classic mainstay of any Médaille Coloniale collection and I think the €25,00 paid by our colleague Timo was money very well spent. As a Dubliner, though long-since expatriated, I am pleasantly surprised to hear that an Irish medal dealer didn't try to charge two or three times the normal asking price. You should offer it in the For Sale section here. I've seen these selling in France and on French eBay for around €40,00, which is a reasonable price so you stand to make some beer money out of this, Timo!

PK

Edited by PKeating
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Thanks!

I will list it up for a sale like you said.

I am pleasantly surprised to hear that an Irish medal dealer didn't try to charge two or three times the normal asking price.

I can see where you are coming fromcheeky.gif ! I must say old Dublin dealer places are now ALL closed. But there is a guy who is coin seller and he have some pits and pieces of medals side as well - most common stuff with most highest prices!!!! But as I said... he is coin man and sometimes he have items undervalued.cheers.gif

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post-281-1233185984.jpg

Here is another example struck by Arthus Bertrand with what appears to be a clasp by Mourgeon, the firm that also produced German Kriegsmarine badges during the Franco-German 'partnership' of 1940-1942. The certificate was issued in Saigon in 1947 to Sergent Roger Loncle of the French Air Force's Compagnie de Garde de l'Air 595.

The C.G.A 595 was tasked with securing Tan Son Nhut airport, near Saigon, after the Japanese surrender in August 1946. French armed forces had co-existed uneasily with the Japanese armed forces during their occupation of Indo-China and there would have been a contingent of French guards stationed at Tan Son Nhut, which was familiar to many American service personnel some twenty years later. This unit might previously have been the Compagnie de Police Sécurité at Tan Son Nhut. Some sources say that the C.P.S. Tan Son Nhut was redesignated C.G.A 595bis, then C.G.A 595 and, later, C.G.A 31/191.

I am inclined to believe that C.G.A 595 was the unit designation of the 150-strong contingent airlifted to Tan Son Nhut in August 1945 and that these men were drawn from Free French Forces in Europe. This might explain the presence of the FRANCE clasp on Loncle's War Medal. The ENGAGÉ VOLONTAIRE clasp also points to a Frenchman who volunteered to join General de Gaulle's forces rather than staying in France. However, perhaps there are some members here who can tell me more than I have so far been able to find out.

The document is signed by General Raoul Salan, Commander-in-Chief of French forces in Indo-China in the early stages of the First Indo-China War. Salan would later gain notoriety for his rôle in, amongst other things, the attempted coup d'état against President de Gaulle in 1961. The rebels took control of Algiers and other major centres but the putsch des généraux, as it is also known, was suppressed before they could carry out their planned airborne assault on central Paris. Apparently, the rebel command planned a parachute drop on the Tuileries gardens, as insane an idea as Otto Skorzeny's plan for SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 to jump on Budapest during the 1944 German-sponsored coup d'état.

Along with others, Salan was charged with treason and condemned to death in absentia. On the run, he and others founded the OAS or Organisation de l'Armée Secrète, best-known to those unfamiliar with postwar French history through the opening scenes of Day of the Jackal, when OAS men spray de Gaulle's Citroën DS with machinegun fire. Salan was captured in 1962 but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He and other officers were amnestied in 1968 and released. In 1982, their ranks and honours were restored in a move by the socialist Mitterand government that enraged many of France's committed lefties. However, Mitterand himself had a chequered past, as a former calgoulard and one of the relatively few Vichy officials awarded the Ordre de la Francisque by Pétain before he reinvented himself as a Résistance hero.

French politics and history are nothing if not complicated...

On second thoughts, Timo, why not just keep the medal and clasp.

PK

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Don't want to hijack the thread here, but I was wondering if anyone already has the Binet publication shown a few messages back? How does it compare to the (impossibly expensive) Hass book where contents are concerned? (the Binet sells for about 40 €)

cheers

l4h

Edited: Never mind, found the other thread a little before this one with the link to the publisher's website. Even has a few samplepages there. Looks good!

Edited by love4history
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  • 1 month later...

Don't want to hijack the thread here, but I was wondering if anyone already has the Binet publication shown a few messages back? How does it compare to the (impossibly expensive) Hass book where contents are concerned? (the Binet sells for about 40 €)

cheers

l4h

Edited: Never mind, found the other thread a little before this one with the link to the publisher's website. Even has a few samplepages there. Looks good!

Hello there,

I picked this book up, on the recommendation of another collector. It is probably one of the best books I have, and is remarkable in dealing with the myriad of manufacturer variations and their mintmarks. It is a very handy reference. Not having the Hass book I can't compare but I think it was well worth the €40.

Regards,

Rob

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Along with others, Salan was charged with treason and condemned to death in absentia. On the run, he and others founded the OAS or Organisation de l'Armée Secrète, best-known to those unfamiliar with postwar French history through the opening scenes of Day of the Jackal, when OAS men spray de Gaulle's Citroën DS with machinegun fire. Salan was captured in 1962 but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He and other officers were amnestied in 1968 and released. In 1982, their ranks and honours were restored in a move by the socialist Mitterand government that enraged many of France's committed lefties. However, Mitterand himself had a chequered past, as a former calgoulard and one of the relatively few Vichy officials awarded the Ordre de la Francisque by Pétain before he reinvented himself as a Résistance hero.

PK

Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un calgoulard? Google shows only your post for a reference.

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Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'un calgoulard? Google shows only your post for a reference.

Cagoulards were a group of French right-wing extremists in the late '30s. They were definitely a undercover organisation and even indulged into some terrorist activities. They were thought to have influence over some of the members of the French Government in Vichy (1940-44. Not much was heard of them after WW2.

"Cagoule" is the French equivalent to a face-mask as worn by cloak-and-dagger conspirators.

Coming back to love4history's question about the new Binet book on Colonial Medal, I also consider it as a MUST for every collector of French material.

I would like to add that the very serious collector will want to have both the HASS and the BINET. They are well worth their prices. Binet clearly considers his book as an adjunct to the Hass, which he refers to very often. It all depends on how interested you are in medals, but if you really want to know your stuff both these books are worth their money, and more.

The Binet is clearly meant to be the collector's hand book. It will help clearly recognise each type of medal and clasp. Since I bought the book I have been looking over the Colonial medals I picked up rather absent-mindedly over the years and I have thoroughly enjoyed finding out the finer details about each of them.

I feel I owe this author for the pleasure I derived from his shared knowledge. And I also know this would not be without the background knowledge derived from Jean HASS's book.

In fact, I am quite convinced this book is going to stir the whole French collectors community. New interest in the Colonial Medal will probably get things moving and possibly wake up the market.

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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Cagoulards were a group of French right-wing extremists in the late '30s. They were definitely a undercover organisation and even indulged into some terrorist activities. They were thought to have influence over some of the members of the French Government in Vichy (1940-44. Not much was heard of them after WW2.

"Cagoule" is the French equivalent to a face-mask as worn by cloak-and-dagger conspirators.

Veteran

Thanks for this, Veteran. You have shed light into an obscure (for me) corner.

Merci bien,

Hugh

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