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Encyclopedia > Croix de guerre

The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of both Belgium and France which was first created in 1915. The decoration was awarded throughout World War I and again during World War II. The Croix de guerre was also commonly bestowed to foreign military forces allied to France and Belgium. 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...

French Croix de Guerre of the World War I
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French Croix de Guerre of the World War I

The Croix de guerre may either be bestowed as an individual medal or as a unit award. The Croix de guerre medal is awarded to those individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces. The medal is also awarded to those who have been "mentioned in dispatches", meaning a heroic deed was performed meriting a citation from an individual's headquarters unit. The unit award of the Croix de guerre was issued to military commands who performed heroic deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters. Image File history File links Croix-de-Guerre. ... Image File history File links Croix-de-Guerre. ... Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) is a military award for gallantry or otherwise commendable service. ...

Contents


Appearance

The Croix de guerre medal varies depending on which country is bestowing the award and for what conflict. Separate French medals exist for the First and Second World War, and the French medals are different in appearance from the Belgian design.


For the unit decoration of the Croix de guerre, a fourragère is awarded which is suspended from the shoulder of an individual's uniform.


Because the Croix de guerre is issued as several different medals, and as a unit decoration, situations typically arose where an individual was awarded the decoration several times, for different actions, and from different sources. Regulations also permitted the wearing of multiple Croix de guerre, meaning that such medals were differentiated in service records by specifing French Croix de guerre, Belgian Croix de guerre, French Croix de guerre (WWI), etc.


Degrees

The Croix de guerre was awarded with various attachments, depending on the command level of the awarding authority.


For French Croix :

  • a bronze star for those who had been cited at the regiment or brigade level.
  • a silver star, for those who had been cited at the division level.
  • a silver gilt star for those who had been cited at the corps level.
  • a bronze palm for those who had been cited at the army level.
  • a silver gilt palm for those who had been cited at the Free French Forces level (WWII only).

For Belgian Croix : A regiment is a military unit, larger than a company and smaller than a division. ... Brigade is a term from military science which refers to military echelon under a division, above a regiment where that exists as such, nowadays often a group of several battalions (typically two to four), and directly attached supporting units (normally including at least an artillery battery and additional logistic support). ... Symbol of the Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division in NATO code A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of around ten to fifteen thousand soldiers. ... A corps (a word that immigrated from the French language, pronounced IPA: , but originating in the Latin corpus, corporis meaning body; plural same as singular) is either a large military unit or formation, an administrative grouping of troops within an army with a common function (such as artillery or signals... Army (from French armée) can, in some countries, refer to any armed force. ... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters in World War II, who decided to continue fighting against Axis forces after the surrender of France and German occupation, following the call of General De Gaulle, and the de jure government (Free French Government) of France...

  • a bronze lion for those who had been cited at the regiment level
  • a silver lion for those who had been cited at the brigade level
  • a gold lion for those who had been cited at the division level
  • a bronze palm for those who had been cited at the army level. A silver palm is used for five bronze ones and a gold one for five silver ones.

The Croix de guerre would be referred with the different type of attachment, such as the Croix de guerre avec palme et étoile (War cross with palm and star) or the Croix de guerre avec palme et lion.


Unit Award

The Croix can be awarded to military units, as a manifestation of a collective Mention in Dispatches. It is then displayed on the unit's flag. Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) is a military award for gallantry or otherwise commendable service. ...


When a unit is mentioned twice, it is awarded the fourragère of the Croix de Guerre. This fourragère is worn by all men in the unit, but it can be worn in a personnal basis : those permanently assigned to a unit, at the time of the mentions, were entitled to wear the fourragère for the remainder of service in the military. Temporary personnel, or those who had joined a unit after the actions which had been mentionned, were authorized to wear the award while a member of the unit but would surrender the decoration upon transfer. The Fourragère is a French military award, distinguishing military units as a whole. ...


This temporary wear of the fourragère only applied to the French version of the Croix de guerre.


United States issuance

In the United States military, the Croix de guerre was commonly accepted as a foreign decoration. In the modern age, however, it remains one of the most difficult foreign awards to verify entitlement. This is since the Croix de guerre was often presented with original orders, only, and rarely entered into a permanent service record. The unit award was virtually never entered into U.S. records, especially since in most cases it was considered a temporary decoration which was surrendered when an individual departed a unit. An added complication is that the 1973 National Archives Fire destroyed a large number of World War II personnel records, meaning that there are very few sources from which to verify a veteran's entitlement to the Croix de guerre. The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ... The 1973 National Archives Fire, a severe blow to the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, was a disastrous fire that occurred at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. ...


Today, members of United States 5th or 6th Marine Regiments are authorized to wear a fourragère signifying that brigade's award of three Croix de guerre during the First World War, but only while that individual is assigned to the unit. The wearing of the decoration is considered ceremonial and the fourragère is not entered as an official military award in permanent service records.


Luxembourg War Cross

During the Second World War, a decoration known as the Luxembourg War Cross was issued to those members of the Allied forces who had performed combat duty in Luxembourg during the liberation of Europe. The decoration was frequently referred to as the Luxembourg Croix de guerre or simply as the Croix de guerre. This was, however, a separate award from the French and Belgian versions of the Croix de guerre with different criteria for issuance. Luxembourg Croix de guerre The Luxembourg War Cross is a military decoration of Luxembourg which was first created in 1945 by the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. ... World map showing Europe Europe is one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to various perspectives about Europes borders. ...


Though in World War I two blacks in the were awarded this medal for heroism. They were the first americans to be awarded this medal.

Col. Jimmy Stewart being awarded the Croix de guerre with palm in 1944. USAF photo.
Col. Jimmy Stewart being awarded the Croix de guerre with palm in 1944. USAF photo.

Lt. ... Lt. ... Jimmy Stewart, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1934 James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American film actor beloved for his persona as an average guy who faces adversity and tries to do the right thing, an image which was largely reflected in his own personality. ... The United States Air Force (or USAF) is the aerospace branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ...

Notable Recipients

  • Sir William Birdwood was awarded 1st de Guerre on the 22 February 1916 by the French Presdient, 2nd by HM the King of Belgium on the 11th March 1918.
  • Cher Ami, a homing pigeon was awarded the Croix de Guerre in the first World War.
  • Actor Jimmy Stewart was awarded the Croix de guerre with palm in 1944 by Lt. Gen. Henri Valin, Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, for his role in the liberation of France.
  • Guy de Rothschild was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his military valor during World War II.
  • Alvin C. York was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palme en bronze for his valor in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest near the town of Verdun, France during World War I.

f the Bulge]] and also his service in World War II. William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood (13 September 1865 - 17 May 1951) was a World War I general who is best known as the commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915. ... Cher Ami (French for Dear Friend [male]) was a famous homing pigeon who was owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918. ... The homing pigeon is a variety of domesticated Rock Dove (Columba livia) that has been selectively bred to be able to find its way home over extremely long distances. ... Henry Johnson biographical cartoon by Charles Alston, 1943 Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897-1929) was an American soldier, and recipient of the Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross and French Croix de Guerre. ... Samuel Beckett Samuel Barclay Beckett (April 13, 1906 – December 22, 1989) was an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. ... Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle ( ) (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970), in France commonly referred to as le général de Gaulle, was a French military leader and statesman. ... Jimmy Stewart, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1934 James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American film actor beloved for his persona as an average guy who faces adversity and tries to do the right thing, an image which was largely reflected in his own personality. ... Josephine Baker, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1949 Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975), born Freda Josephine McDonald, was an American dancer, actress and singer, sometimes known as The Black Venus. She was of mixed Apalachee Native American and African-American descent. ... Bold textItalic textLink title // Headline text Headline text Headline text == The cross of Lorraine used by the French Resistance as a symbolic reference to Joan of Arc. ... Baron Philippe de Rothschild (13 April 1902 - 20 January 1988) was a member of the Rothschild banking dynasty who became a Grand Prix race-car driver, a scriptwriter, a theatrical producer, a poet, and the most successful wine grower in the world. ... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters in World War II, who decided to continue fighting against Axis forces after the surrender of France and German occupation, following the call of General De Gaulle, and the de jure government (Free French Government) of France... Sgt. ... The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was a major battle of World War I. It was the biggest operation and victory of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in that war. ... Verdun, (German: Wirten) sometimes also called Verdun-sur-Meuse, is a city and commune in northeast France, in the Meuse département, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...

  • Audie Murphy the most decorated soldier in the history of the U.S. Army. Murphy received French Croix de Guerre twice and Belgium Croix de Guerre once, also the Medal of Honor.
  • John Howard (American actor) was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1944 for his valor in World War II. When his ship struck a mine off the French coast, killing the captain, Howard took over command and fought valiantly to save his ship and crew, even jumping into the sea to rescue wounded sailors.

Audie Leon Murphy (June 20, 1924 - May 28, 1971) was an American soldier in World War II. He was the most decorated U.S. service member in the war including the highest award, the Medal of Honor. ... Three different versions of the Medal of Honor are awarded: one each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. ... John Howard (April 14, 1913 - February 19, 1995) was an American actor, best known for his role in Lost Horizon. ...

See also

Croix de Feu was a French nationalist group of the Interwar period. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into far right. ... Awards and decorations of the United States military are military decorations which recognize a service members service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces. ...

External links

  • Belgian medal in WWI
  • Info about French medal, with picture

  Results from FactBites:
 
Croix de guerre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1285 words)
Because the Croix de guerre is issued as several different medals, and as a unit decoration, situations typically arose where an individual was awarded the decoration several times, for different actions, and from different sources.
Sir William Birdwood was awarded 1st de Guerre on the 22 February 1916 by the French Presdient, 2nd by HM the King of Belgium on the 11th March 1918.
Alvin C. York was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palme en bronze for his valor in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest near the town of Verdun, France during World War I.
Vincent Pantozzi-Croix de Guerre (759 words)
The Fourragere, in the colors of the Croix de Guerre, representing two unit citations in the Orders of the Army, is authorized to be worn by all active members of the 9th Regiment.
The third picture shows two individual awards of the French Croix de Guerre, (France's highest WW1 Valor decoration), and the French Fourragere, in the colors of the Croix de Guerre, to the 9th Infantry Regiment, for extraordinary heroism in the key Soissons, and Mt. Blanc battles.
A translation of the Croix de Guerre (Star) citation is as follows: [In the Meuse-Argonne Campaign,] Sgt. Vincent Pantozzi, 9th Infantry Regiment, showed exeptional courage and coolness in fulfillilling the functions of stretcher-bearer, in several reprises, and while under fire of enemy barrage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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