Original French North African WWI Era Army of Africa (France) Morocco Commemorative Medal Grouping With Saharan Companies Unit Insignia
Original Items: Only One Lot Available. This is a wonderful lot of items ranging from Pre WWI, WWI and early Post War years for the Moroccan Troops. The Moroccan Division or the 1st Moroccan Division of 1914, initially the Marching Division of Morocco was an infantry division of France's Army of Africa which participated in World War I.
During the major engagements of the Division, the composition of the latter consisted of, half of Maghrebi soldiers (Algerian and Tunisian Tirailleurs) and the other half made of "European" soldiers (Marsouins ex-Infantry Colonial Troops, Zouaves and Legionnaires), the Moroccan Division illustrated capability in the First Battle of the Marne in September and the Second Battle of Artois of May 1915 where for the first time, a French division pierced the front.
The Moroccan Division was one of the most decorated units of the French Army and all its regiments were cited at the orders of the armed forces at the end of the conflict. The Moroccan Division was the only division of all French regimental colors to be decorated with the légion d’honneur throughout the course of World War I.
The four principal units which composed formation of the Moroccan Division between 1914 and 1918 were the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion RMLE, the 4th Marching Tirailleurs Regiment 4e RTT, the 7th Marching Tirailleurs Regiment 7e RTA and 8th Marching Zouaves Regiment 8e RZ, all awarded the French fourragere with colours of the légion d’honneur at the end of the conflict.
The Items In This Lot:
- Croix de guerre 1914–1918 (France) With Star: The Croix de guerre 1914–1918 is a French military decoration, the first version of the Croix de Guerre. It was created to recognize French and allied soldiers who were cited for valorous service during World War I, similar to the British mentioned in dispatches but with multiple degrees equivalent to other nations' decorations for courage.
The cross was designed by the sculptor Paul-Albert Bartholomé. It is 37 mm wide, Florentine bronze cross pattée, with two crossed swords pointing up between the arms. The obverse centre medallion bears the relief image of the French Republic in the form of the bust of a young woman wearing a Phrygian cap surrounded by the circular relief inscription RÉPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE (FRENCH REPUBLIC). Not knowing how long the war would last, the reverse centre medallion bears the dates 1914–1915, 1914–1916, 1914–1917 and finally 1914–1918.
The cross is suspended by a ring through a suspension loop cast atop the upper cross arm. It hangs from a 37 mm wide green silk moiré ribbon with seven narrow 1,5 mm wide vertical red stripes evenly spaced and two 1 mm red edge stripes.
- Morocco commemorative medal (1909) With “MAROC” Clasp: The Morocco commemorative medal (1909) was a French military campaign medal. It was established by the law of 22 July 1909 for award to soldiers participating in the Second Franco-Moroccan War under the command of general (and future Marshal of France) Hubert Lyautey.
The Morocco commemorative medal (1909) was a 30mm in diameter circular silver medal. The obverse bore the relief image of the effigy of the "warrior republic" in the form of the left profile of a helmeted woman's bust, the helmet being adorned by a crown of oak leaves. On either side, the relief inscription along the circumference "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE" (English: "FRENCH REPUBLIC"). The reverse, representing both the army and navy, bears the relief images of an infantry rifle crossed with a naval anchor below two military banners and lances surmounted by the relief inscription "MAROC" (English: "MOROCCO"), the banners bore the inscriptions "HONNEUR ET PATRIE" (English: "HONOUR AND COUNTRY") and the words "CASABLANCA", "HAUT-GUIR", and "OUDJDA". In the background, sand dunes, the wall of a Kasbah and palm trees.
The medal hung from a 36mm wide silk moiré green ribbon with a 7mm white central stripe and two 2mm wide white stripes 1mm from the ribbon edges. The medal suspension ring was adorned by a silver laurel wreath and a crescent.
Four silver clasps of oriental design could be worn on the ribbon:
- Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieurs (War Cross for foreign operational theatres) With “MAROC” Clasp: The Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieurs (War Cross for foreign operational theatres), also called the Croix de Guerre TOE for short, is a French military award denoting citations earned in combat in foreign countries. The Armistice of November 11, 1918 ended the war between France and Germany, but French soldiers continued fighting in theatres outside metropolitan France. Combat operations continued in Syria, Palestine, Constantinople, Morocco, French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa.
The Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures is a bronze 37 mm wide cross pattée, between the arms, two crossed swords pointing upward. It was designed by the sculptor Albert Bartholome. On the obverse in a circular medallion, the effigy of the Republic (Marianne) wearing a cap decorated with a laurel wreath, surrounded by a ring bearing the legend: "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE". On the reverse, in the circular medallion the inscription: "THÉ TRES D'OPÉRATIONS EXTÉRIEURS".
The cross is suspended by a ring through the suspension loop to a 38 mm wide grey silk moiré ribbon with 10 mm wide red edge stripes. The Croix de guerre TOE is worn on the left side of the chest and when in the presence of other medals of France, is located immediately after the Croix de guerre 1939 - 1945.
This wonderful lot comes more than ready for further research and display.
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