Croix de guerre

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Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with a palm branch

The Croix de guerre ( German  War Cross ) was first donated on April 8, 1915 by the French President Raymond Poincaré . The award is given to officers , non-commissioned officers , men , units and institutions who have distinguished themselves in times of war and military actions. An award to foreigners is permitted if the award criteria are met.

Order decoration

The medal is a cross made of bronze with crossed swords through the cross angles. In the medallion the head of Marianne turned to the left with the inscription RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE (Republic of France). The only difference between the different foundations of the cross is a different medallion on the back.


Croix de guerre TOE
Croix de guerre Légionnaire de la LVF

The French Croix de guerre distinguishes between four different foundations.

Croix de guerre 1914-1918

The years 1914 1918 can be found in the medallion . The following versions also exist: 1914 1915 , 1914 1916 and 1914 1917 . The ribbon is green with five red stripes.

Croix de guerre des Théâtres d'Opérations Extérieurs

Since the Croix de guerre was donated exclusively as an award for services during the First World War , it was inevitable for the French government to create another award, which should, however, have the same character. The reason was the ongoing military conflict in Morocco, for example. Therefore, on April 30, 1921, the Croix de guerre des Théâtres d'Opérations Extérieurs was founded, which is awarded to this day. B. during the Korean War or NATO missions in the Kosovo War , as well as the Iraq War 1991 ( second Gulf War )

The inscription in the medallion reads THÉÂTRES D'OPÉRATIONS EXTÉRIEURS and the ribbon is light blue with wide red stripes.

Croix de guerre 1939-1945

Donated on September 26, 1939 and shows the year 1939 1945 in the medallion . The ribbon is red with four green stripes.

Croix de guerre Légionnaire de la LVF

Was donated by the Vichy government by Decree No. 704 of July 18, 1942 and was intended to honor members of the French Legion fighting alongside Germany . The first awards took place on August 27, 1942 in the courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris . After the fall of the regime, wearing the award has been banned since January 7, 1944.

The Croix de guerre Légionnaire de la LVF shows an eagle looking to the left in the medallion, which is enclosed by a laurel wreath open at the top . This has a coat of arms with the words FRANCE on its chest . The three-line inscription CROIX DE GUERRE LÉGIONNAIRE can be read on the reverse .

Fourragère of the CdG

Carrying method

Each on the band on the left side of the chest. The soldiers of the units to which the CdG has been awarded have the right to wear the (red and green) Fourragère (shoulder cord) of the CdG on their uniform.


In addition, the Croix de guerre can be awarded with different ribbon editions: with a bronze palm branch for honorable mention in the army report , with a gold star for mention in the report of the army corps , with a silver star for mention in a division report and with a bronze star for mention in a brigade or regimental report .

The number of editions is the same as the number of mentions and is possible individually (i.e. there are no gradations).

Well-known bearers of the award

Croix de guerre 1914-1918
Croix de guerre 1939-1945
Croix de guerre des Théâtres d'Opérations Extérieures


  • André Souyris-Rolland: Guide des Ordres Civil Français et Étrangers, des Médailles d'Honneur et des Médailles des Sociétés. Paris 1979.
  • Kurt-Gerhard Klietmann : Ordenskunde - Contributions to the history of awards. No. 31. The Order Collection, Berlin 1969.

Web links

Commons : Croix de Guerre  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ André F. Cournand - Biographical. on the pages of the Nobel Foundation for the award ceremony in 1956 (English). Retrieved from on March 6, 2014.