Croix de Guerre 1939–1945 (France)

The Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (War Cross 1939–1945) is a French military decoration, a version of the Croix de guerre created on September 26, 1939, to honour people who fought with the Allies against the Axis forces at any time during World War II.

Croix de guerre 1939–1945
Croix de Guerre 1939 France AVERS
1939–1945 War Cross with 2 silver-gilt (gold) stars
Awarded by  France
TypeBravery award
Awarded forMilitary duty during World War II mentioned in dispatches
StatusNo longer awarded
Claspssilver-gilt palm
silver palm
bronze palm
silver-gilt star
silver star
bronze star
EstablishedSeptember 26, 1939
Next (higher)Croix de guerre 1914–1918
Next (lower)Croix de guerre des TOE
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon

Streamer FCDG WWII

Ribbon bar & streamer of the French Croix de guerre 1939–1945

Award statute

Due to the large extent of the war zone, recipients included those who fought during, with, at, or in the following:[1]

Award description


The Croix de guerre was designed by the sculptor Paul-Albert Bartholomé. The medal is 37 mm in size and is in the shape of a Maltese cross with two swords criss-crossed through the center. In the center of the front, is the profile of the French Republic crested by a Phrygian cap. Around this portrait, are the words République française ("French Republic"). On the reverse of the medal are the dates of the conflict : 1939–1940, 1939–1945, or simply 1940.[1]


Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon
The suspension and service ribbon of the medal has a red background crossed with four green lines in its center.[2]

Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon


On every medal and ribbon, there is at least one ribbon device, either in the shape of a palm or of a star, and fashioned from either bronze, silver or gilded silver (gold). The relative importance of the six possible combinations is detailed below. The total number of devices on a "Croix de guerre" is not limited.

Award grades

Croix de Guerre 1939 France REVERS
Reverse of the 1939–1945 War Cross

Mentioned in Despatches

The lowest degree is represented by a bronze star while the highest degree is represented by a bronze palm:[2]

  • Bronze star
    Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon
    Bronze star (étoile en bronze) for those who had been mentioned at the regiment or brigade level.
  • Silver star
    Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon
    Silver star (étoile en argent), for those who had been mentioned at the division level.
  • Silver-gilt star (étoile en vermeil), for those who had been mentioned at the corps level.
  • Bronze palm (palme en bronze), for those who had been mentioned at the army level.
  • Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon
    UK Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service device.svg Silver palm (palme en argent), represents five bronze ones.
  • Silver-gilt palm (palme en vermeil), for those who had been mentioned at the Free French Forces level (World War II only).[1]
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon

The clasps are awarded for gallantry to any member of the French military or its allies and are, depending on the degree, roughly the equivalent for U.S. Bronze Star and Silver Star or UK Military Cross and Military Medal.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Marc Champenois. "Croix de guerre 1939–1945" (in French). Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Croix De Guerre, France". The Institute of Heraldry. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
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Aimé Marie Antoine Lepercq (2 September 1889 – 9 November 1944) was a French soldier, industrialist and political figure.

Born in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or (now part of the Metropolis of Lyon), as the eldest of nine children, he graduated from the École Polytechnique in 1911, and then the École des Mines.

Lepercq fought in World War I, in which he was wounded three times and decorated for valor five times, becoming Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1915 and receiving the British Armed Forces Military Cross. After the war, he worked as an administrator of industrial properties for the Škoda company in Czechoslovakia.

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Consequently, he became an active member of the French Resistance, commanding the Forces françaises de l’intérieur (FFI) in Île-de-France. Arrested again in 1944, he was set free due to the German authorities' failure to investigate, he took part in the Liberation of Paris (August of the same year), leading the FFI's attack on the Hôtel de Ville. For his role in the Resistance actions, he was made a Compagnon de la Libération; he was twice recipient of the Croix de guerre, for his valor in both World Wars.

He was selected by Charles de Gaulle as Minister of Finance, but died soon after in a car accident near Lille, and was replaced by René Pleven. He is buried in Cimetière des Batignolles.

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Christian-Jaque's 1946 film A Lover's Return was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.

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