Military Cross (France)


January 24, 2022

The Military Cross (Fr. Croix de guerre) is a French military merit cross established by President Raymond Poincaré on April 8, 1915, during the First World War.

General information

The French Military Cross was established to reward both the military (officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, entire military units) and civilians who particularly distinguished themselves in wartime. Foreign citizens could also receive this award. The military cross is of four types.

War Cross 1914-1918

On the back of the cross, the year of the beginning of the war and the year of the award are indicated - 1914-1915, 1914-1916, 1914-1917 or 1914-1918. The ribbon is green with five red stripes.

Military Cross of Foreign Theaters of War

Established April 30, 1921. This cross was originally awarded to participants in the colonial war in Morocco. The military cross of foreign theaters of operations was awarded to the French military later, up to the present time - in particular, for participation in the Korean War, for military operations in Kosovo and Iraq (1991).

War Cross 1939-1945

This Military Cross was established on September 26, 1939. Like the Military Cross of 1914-1918, the year of the award is indicated on the cross itself - from 1939 to 1945. The ribbon is red with four green stripes. The Vichy government used a green ribbon for its awards, similar to the ribbon of the cross of 1914-1918, but not with red, but with black stripes. After the overthrow of the Vichy regime, the wearing of this ribbon was banned.

Military Cross of Legionnaires of the LFV

The military cross of the Legion of French Volunteers against Bolshevism was established on July 18, 1942 by the Vichy collaborationist government. They were awarded to members of the French Legion who fought on the side of Nazi Germany. The first awarding of this military cross took place on August 27, 1942 in the courtyard of the Paris Invalides. After the overthrow of the Vichy government in France, the wearing of this Military Cross was prohibited (since January 7, 1944). The military cross of the legionnaires is decorated on top with a laurel wreath with an eagle sitting on it and looking to the left. On the chest of the eagle is a shield with the inscription "FRANCE".


The insignia is a bronze cross with two crossed swords at the corners. On the medallion in

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