France and Germany Star

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The France and Germany Star
WW2 France and Germany Star.jpg
Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Type Military campaign medal
Eligibility All Ranks
Awarded for Entry into operational service
Campaign Northwest Europe 1944-1945
Clasps ATLANTIC
Statistics
Established May 1945
Order of wear
Next (higher) Italy Star
Next (lower) Defence Medal (United Kingdom)
Related Atlantic Star
Ribbon - France and Germany Star.png Ribbon - France and Germany Star & Rosette.png
Ribbon bar without and with rosette

The France and Germany Star is a military campaign medal, instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth who served in the Second World War, specifically for service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Germany and adjacent sea areas between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945.[1][2]

The Second World War Stars[edit]

Altogether eight campaign stars and nine clasps were initially instituted for campaign service during the Second World War. On 8 July 1943 the 1939–1945 Star and the Africa Star were the first two of these stars to be instituted. One more campaign star, the Arctic Star, and one more clasp, the Bomber Command Clasp, were belatedly added on 26 February 2013, more than sixty-seven years after the end of the war.[3][4][5]

Only one of these campaign stars, the 1939–1945 Star, covered the full duration of the Second World War from its outbreak on 3 September 1939 to the victory over Japan on 2 September 1945.[6]

No-one could be awarded more than five (now six) campaign stars and no-one could be awarded more than one clasp to any one campaign star. Five of the nine (now ten) clasps were the equivalents of their namesake campaign stars and were awarded for the same respective campaigns as those stars, to be worn on the ribbon of that campaign star of the applicable group that had been earned first. The maximum of six possible campaign stars are the following:[3][5][7]

  • The 1939–1945 Star with, if awarded, either the Battle of Britain Clasp or the Bomber Command Clasp.[6]
  • Only one of the Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star or France and Germany Star and, if awarded, the first to be earned respectively of the Air Crew Europe Clasp, France and Germany Clasp or Atlantic Clasp, to be worn on the ribbon of that one of these three campaign stars to have been first earned and awarded.[8][9][10]
  • The Arctic Star.[5][11]
  • The Africa Star with, if awarded, the first to be earned of the North Africa 1942–43 Clasp, 8th Army Clasp or 1st Army Clasp.[12]
  • Either the Pacific Star or Burma Star or, if awarded, either the Burma Clasp or Pacific Clasp respectively, to be worn on the ribbon of that one of these two campaign stars to have been first earned and awarded.[13][14]
  • The Italy Star.[15]

Since only the first of the Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star and France and Germany Star to be earned could be awarded to any one individual, the possible Star and Clasp combinations for these three campaign stars are:[3]

  • The Atlantic Star with either the Air Crew Europe Clasp or the France and Germany Clasp.
  • The Air Crew Europe Star with either the France and Germany Clasp or the Atlantic Clasp.
  • The France and Germany Star with the Atlantic Clasp. As a result of the different date ranges involved, the earlier period Air Crew Europe Clasp could not be added to the later period France and Germany Star.[3]

Institution[edit]

Concurrently to the campaigns in the Far East, the Allies launched their final campaign in Northwest Europe on D-Day on 6 June 1944, when British, American and Canadian forces landed on the beaches of Northern France. Over the following eleven months these forces advanced across Western Europe and liberated German occupied France, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the same time the Russians advanced towards Berlin from the East through German occupied Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945 when the Allies reached Berlin and the war in Europe was brought to an end.[2]

The France and Germany Star was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 for award to those who had served in operations on land or in the air in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland or Germany from 6 June 1944 until the end of active hostilities in Europe on 8 May 1945, both dates inclusive, as well as for Naval and Merchant Navy service directly in support of these land operations.[1][7][10]

Award criteria[edit]

The France and Germany Star was awarded for entry into operational service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland and Germany between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945 inclusive. The qualifying sea area was south of a line from the Firth of Forth to Kristiansand (South) in the North Sea, east of longitude 6° West in the Bay of Biscay, and in the English Channel, provided such service was directly in support of land operations in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland or Germany.[10]

Air crew who flew on operations against the enemy over Europe or over the sea area in direct support of land operations, qualified by one operational sortie. The qualification for flying personnel posted or employed on air transport or ferrying duties from bases in the United Kingdom was at least three landings in Europe.[7][10]

Sorties flown from the Mediterranean did not qualify for the award of the France and Germany Star. Similarly, Army personnel who entered Austrian territory during the closing stages of hostilities in Europe, and Naval and Merchant Navy service afloat in the Mediterranean in support of operations in the South of France did not qualify for this award. All these qualified for the award of the Italy Star.[7][10]

The France and Germany Star was not awarded in addition to the Atlantic Star or the Air Crew Europe Star. Personnel who qualified for the award of two or all three of these campaign stars were awarded only that star for which they first qualified and a clasp in respect of the first earned of the other two stars. Since the Air Crew Europe Star could not be earned for service after 5 June 1944, only the Atlantic Clasp could be awarded to a recipient of the France and Germany Star.[1][3][7]

Order of wear[edit]

In the order of wear of the Second World War campaign medals, the two campaign medals take precedence after the nine campaign stars, of which the order of wear was determined firstly by their respective campaign start dates, secondly by the campaign's duration and thirdly by their dates of institution.[16]

  • The 1939–1945 Star, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.[6]
  • The Atlantic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.[8]
  • The Arctic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.[11]
  • The Air Crew Europe Star, from 3 September 1939 to 5 June 1944, the period until D-Day minus one.[9]
  • The Africa Star, from 10 June 1940 to 12 May 1943, the duration of the North African Campaign.[12]
  • The Pacific Star, from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Pacific War.[14]
  • The Burma Star, from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Burma Campaign.[13]
  • The Italy Star, from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Italian Campaign.[15]
  • The France and Germany Star, from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Northwest Europe Campaign.[10]
  • The Defence Medal, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.[17]
  • The War Medal, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.[18]

South Africa[edit]

Until 5 April 1952 the position of the France and Germany Star in the official order of precedence was prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. With effect from 6 April 1952 these awards continued to be worn in the same order of precedence but, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, took precedence after all South African orders, decorations and medals awarded to South Africans on or after that date.[16][19][20]

Italy Star France and Germany Star Defence Medal (United Kingdom)

Description[edit]

The set of nine campaign stars were designed by the Royal Mint engravers. The stars all have a ring suspender that passes through an eyelet formed above the uppermost point of the star. They are six–pointed stars, struck in yellow copper zinc alloy to fit into a 44 millimetres diameter circle, with a maximum width of 38 millimetres and 50 millimetres high from the bottom point of the star to the top of the eyelet.[21]

Obverse

The obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher "GRI VI", surmounted by a crown. A circlet, the top of which is covered by the crown, surrounds the cypher and is inscribed "THE FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR".[21]

Reverse

The reverse is plain and, as with the other Second World War campaign medals, a no engraving policy was applied by all but three British Commonwealth countries. The recipient's name was impressed on the reverse for Australians, Indians and South Africans. In the case of Indians this consisted of the recipient's force number, rank, initials, surname and service arm or corps, and in the case of South Africans of the force number, initials and surname, in block capitals.[3][21][22][23]

Clasp
Atlantic Clasp

The clasp was struck in in yellow copper zinc alloy and has a frame with an inside edge that resembles the perforated edge of a postage stamp. It is inscribed "ATLANTIC" and was designed to be sewn onto the medal's ribbon. When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette is worn on the ribbon bar to denote the award of the clasp.[1][3][10][21]

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide with equal width dark blue, white, red, white and dark blue bands. The colours are those of the Union flag and also the national colours of France and the Netherlands.[2][7][21]

The ribbon for this medal and the Defence Medal as well as those of the other Second World War campaign stars, with the exception of the Arctic Star, were devised by King George VI.[7][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d New Zealand Defence Force - British Commonwealth War And Campaign Medals Awarded To New Zealanders - The France and Germany Star (Access date 18 April 2015)
  2. ^ a b c - Defence and armed forces – guidance - Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility - France and Germany Star (Access date 18 April 2015)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Stephen Stratford Medals site - British Military & Criminal History - 1900 to 1999 - Atlantic Star (Access date 1 April 2015)
  4. ^ War Service (Decorations) - Statement in the House of Commons by Winston Churchill on 3 August 1943 (HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 cc2091-3) (Access date 9 April 2015)
  5. ^ a b c The National Archives - Ministry of Defence - Arctic Star and Bomber Command Clasp (Access date 1 April 2015)
  6. ^ a b c New Zealand Defence Force - The 1939-45 Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals in Time of War (May 1945). "Campaign Stars and the Defence Medal (Regulations)". London: HM Stationery Office. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  8. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Atlantic Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 4 April 2015)
  9. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Air Crew Europe Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g New Zealand Defence Force - The France and Germany Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  11. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Arctic Star (Access date 12 April 2015)
  12. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Africa Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  13. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Burma Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  14. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Pacific Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 9 April 2015)
  15. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force - The Italy Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  16. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56878. p. 3352. 17 March 2003. (Access date 14 April 2015)
  17. ^ New Zealand Defence Force - The Defence Medal Eligibility Rules (Access date 21 April 2015)
  18. ^ New Zealand Defence Force - The War Medal 1939-45 Eligibility Rules (Access date 22 April 2015)
  19. ^ Government Notice no. 1982 of 1 October 1954 - Order of Precedence of Orders, Decorations and Medals, published in the Government Gazette of 1 October 1954.
  20. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  21. ^ a b c d e Birkenhead Returned Services Association - Military Medals - The France and Germany Star (Access date 19 April 2015)
  22. ^ Memoirs - My Days With The I.A.F (1940-48) - V S C Bonarjee, IAS (Access date 14 April 2015)
  23. ^ Rear Side of the Medals (Access date 14 April 2015)
  24. ^ Forces War Records - Medals - 1939-1945 Star (Access date 2 April 2015)