Established on September 26, 1939 and issued by the French government, the World War II version of the French Croix de Guerre Medal honors individuals who served with the Allied Powers to combat the Axis forces. It is comparable to the United States Bronze or Silver Star.
The Croix de Guerre is accepted in the U.S. military as a foreign award, though verification of entitlement is challenging as much World War II documentation was lost in the 1973 National Archives Fire; some records may be verifiable through corroboration with France’s archives.
Eligible campaigns, support and regions are listed below:
-Battle of France
-Middle East Theater
-support of the Free French Forces
-support of the French Forces of the Interior
The medal is issued with various devices::
-bronze palm for army recognition
-silver palm for five army recognitions
-silver-gilt palm for recognition at Free French Forces level
-bronze star for recognition at brigade or regiment level
-silver star for recognition at division level
-silver-gilt star for recognition at corps level
The medal is bronze and in the shape of a Maltese cross with intersecting swords running through it; the center features the profile of a face symbolizing France, and an inscription reads “REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE.” The ribbon is red with four thin vertical green stripes.