Bronze Cross Ribbon (1942-1946)
The Order of Liberation was established on November 16, 1940 in Brazzaville by Charles de Gaulle. The Order is held in extremely high regard, and is worn in between the Legion of Honour and the Military Medal. Its recipients are officially known as “Companions of the Liberation” and commonly as “French Resistance Fighters.”
The Order was conferred upon individuals, as well as civil or military organizations, for service and devotion to the Liberation of France.
A total of 1059 decorations were awarded. 1036 decorations were awarded to individuals, 18 to military units, and 5 to the French communities of Nantes, Grenoble, Paris, Vassieux-en-Vecours and Ile de Sein.
The Order was not awarded after January 23, 1946. As Grand Master, De Gaulle had the ability to override the decree outlining the cessation of conferment. He exercised this right on two occasions when the Order was conferred upon Sir Winston Churchill on June 18, 1958 and upon King George VI on April 2, 1960.
The cross was designed by Captain Tony Mella. The first model was made by Cartier in London and then manufactured by John Pinches in London. After the Liberation, the Monnaie de Paris took over production.
The inscription on the Medal is in Latin, and translates to “By Serving His Country, He Has Brought Us to Victory.”
There are many different versions of the cross. The following variables may be encountered on different versions: manufacturers; enamel color; painted or enameled swords; sword handles with striations or crosshatching. There are also privately made versions that were manufactured after the debarment date, even recently.
The first ribbon type was manufactured in Great Britain until August 1942. This ribbon is edged in black and has green with black diagonal stripes. The second ribbon type is the one most often encountered. It is green and edged in black with two vertical black stripes.
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