Croix de Guerre 1939–1945
|Croix de guerre 1939–1945|
1939–1945 War Cross with 2 silver-gilt (gold) stars
|Awarded for||Military duty during World War II mentioned in dispatches|
|Status||No longer awarded|
|Established||September 26, 1939|
Ribbon bar & streamer of the French Croix de guerre 1939–1945
|Next (higher)||Croix de guerre 1914–1918|
|Next (lower)||Croix de guerre des TOE|
The Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (War Cross 1939–1945) is a French military decoration, a version of the Croix de guerre created on September 26, 1939, to honour people who fought with the Allies against the Axis forces at any time during World War II.
Due to the large extent of the war zone, recipients included those who fought during, with, at, or in the following:
- Battle of France
- French Forces of the Interior
- Free French Forces
- Western Front,
- Middle East Theater
- Mediterranean Theater
- African campaigns
The Croix de guerre was designed by the sculptor Paul-Albert Bartholomé. The medal is 37 mm in size and is in the shape of a Maltese cross with two swords criss-crossed through the center. In the center of the front, is the profile of the French Republic crested by a Phrygian cap. Around this portrait, are the words République française ("French Republic"). On the reverse of the medal are the dates of the conflict : 1939–1940, 1939–1945, or simply 1940.
The suspension and service ribbon of the medal has a red background crossed with four green lines in its center.
On every medal and ribbon, there is at least one ribbon device, either in the shape of a palm or of a star, and fashioned from either bronze, silver or silver-gilt (vermeil). The relative importance of the six possible combinations is detailed below. The total number of devices on a "Croix de guerre" is not limited.
Mentioned in Despatches
The lowest degree is represented by a bronze star while the highest degree is represented by a bronze palm:
- regiment or brigade level. Bronze star (étoile en bronze) for those who had been mentioned at the
- division level. Silver star (étoile en argent), for those who had been mentioned at the
- Silver-gilt star (étoile en vermeil), for those who had been mentioned at the corps level.
- Bronze palm (palme en bronze), for those who had been mentioned at the army level.
- Silver palm (palme en argent), represents five bronze ones.
- Silver-gilt palm (palme en vermeil), for those who had been mentioned at the Free French Forces level (World War II only).
The clasps are awarded for gallantry to any member of the French military or its allies and are, depending on the degree, roughly the equivalent to the U.S. Bronze Star and Silver Star or UK Military Cross and Military Medal.
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
- Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
- George S. Patton, Jr.
- Omar Bradley
- Joseph Collins
- Courtney Hodges
- Matthew Ridgway
- Maxwell Taylor
- Lyman Lemnitzer
- Earle Wheeler
- William Westmoreland
- Tommy Yeo-Thomas
- Audie Murphy
- James Stewart
- Ribbons of the French military and civil awards
- Croix de guerre 1914–1918
- Croix de guerre des Théatres d'Opérations Exterieures
- Croix de guerre (Belgium)