J H Croix Biography & Facts
The Croix de Guerre (French: [kʁwa də ɡɛʁ], Cross of War) is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was first awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts; the croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures ("cross of war for external theatres of operations") was established in 1921 for these. The Croix de Guerre was also commonly bestowed on foreign military forces allied to France.The Croix de Guerre may be awarded either as an individual award or as a unit award to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy. The medal is awarded to those who have been "mentioned in dispatches", meaning a heroic deed or deeds were performed meriting a citation from an individual's headquarters unit. The unit award of the Croix de Guerre with palm was issued to military units whose members performed heroic deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters.
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.
For the unit decoration of the Croix de Guerre, a fourragère (which takes the form of a braided cord) is awarded; this is suspended from the shoulder of an individual's uniform.
As the Croix de Guerre is issued as several 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 specifying French Croix de Guerre, French Croix de Guerre (WWI), etc.
French Croix de Guerre
There are three distinct Croix de Guerre medals in the French system of honours:
Furthermore, the French collaborationist government created two croix during World War II. These croix are now illegal under French law and wearing them is outlawed:
The Croix was created by a law of April 2, 1915, proposed by French deputy Émile Briant. The Croix reinstated and modified an older system of mentions in dispatches, which were only administrative honours with no medal accompanying them. The sculptor Paul-André Bartholomé created the medal, a bronze cross with swords, showing the effigy of the republic.
The French Croix represents a mention in dispatches awarded by a commanding officer, at least a regimental commander. Depending on the officer who issued the mention, the ribbon of the Croix is marked with extra pins.
Mentioned in Despatches:
a bronze star for those who had been mentioned at the regiment or brigade level.
a silver star, for those who had been mentioned at the division level.
a silver-gilt (gold) star for those who had been mentioned at the corps level.
a bronze palm for those who had been mentioned at the army level.
a silver palm stands for five bronze ones.
a silver-gilt (gold) palm for those who had been mentioned at the Free French Forces level (World War II only).The French Croix de guerre des TOE was created in 1921 for wars fought in theatres of operation outside France. It was awarded during the Indochina War, Korean War, and various wars in the decades that followed. It is the only version of the Croix de Guerre still considered active, though it has not been presented since the Kosovo War in 1999.
When World War II broke out in 1939, a new Croix de Guerre was created by Édouard Daladier. It was abolished by Vichy Government in 1941, which created a new Croix de Guerre. In 1943 General Giraud in Algiers created another Croix de Guerre. Both the Vichy and Giraud Croix were abolished by General de Gaulle in 1944, who reinstated the 1939 Croix.
The Croix de Guerre takes precedence between the Ordre national du Mérite and the Croix de la Valeur Militaire, the World War I Croix being senior to the World War II one, itself senior to the TOE Croix.
The Croix can be awarded to military units, as a manifestation of a collective Mention in Despatches. It is then displayed on the unit's flag. A unit, usually a regiment or a battalion, is always mentioned at the army level. The Croix is then a Croix de Guerre with palm. Other communities, such as cities or companies can be also awarded the Croix.
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 on a personal 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 mentioned, were authorized to wear the award while a member of the unit but would surrender the decoration upon transfer. This temporary wearing of the fourragère only applied to the French version of the Croix de Guerre.
The 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment of the British Army along with 5 Battery RA were awarded the French Croix de Guerre with palm for its gallant defence of Bois des Buttes on 27 May 1918, the first day of the Third Battle of the Aisne. The Croix de Guerre with palm was also awarded to 2nd Battalion Kings Shropshire Light Infantry for Gallantry near Bligny, part of the Second Battle of the Marne. Several other British Army battalions would receive the award before the end of the war.
United States acceptance
In the United States military, the Croix de Guerre was accepted as a foreign decoration. It remains one of the more difficult foreign awards to verify entitlement. The Croix de Guerre unit and individual award were often presented with original orders only and rarely entered into a permanent service record. The 1973 National Archives Fire destroyed most of the World War II personnel records which are needed to verify a veteran's entitlement to the Croix de Guerre award. However, foreign unit award entitlements can be checked and verified through official unit history records. Veterans must provide proof of service in the unit cited at the time of action in order to be entitled to the award. Individual foreign awards can be checked through foreign government (France) military records.
Regarding the United States in WWI, on April 10, 12, and 13, 1918, the lines being held by the troops of the 104th Infantry Regiment, of the 26th "Yankee" Division, in Bois Brûlé, near Apremont in the Ardennes, were heavily bombarded and attacked by the Germans. At first the Germans secured a foothold in some advanced trenches which were not strongly held but, thereafter, sturdy counterattacks by the 104th Infantry - at the point of the bayonet - succeeded in driving the enemy out with serious losses, entirely re-establishing the American line. For its gal.... Discover the J H Croix popular books. Find the top 100 most popular J H Croix books.