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Medal of the Resistance

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Medal of the Resistance

Resistance medal
rosette (obverse)
Awarded by  France
Type Decoration
Awarded for Remarkable acts of courage that contributed to the resistance of the French people against the enemy
Status No longer awarded
Established 9 February 1943
Last awarded 31 March 1947
Next (higher) Cross for Military Valour
Next (lower) Ordre des Palmes Académiques

Ribbons of the Resistance medal with and without rosette

The French Resistance medal (French: Médaille de la Résistance) was a decoration bestowed by the French Committee of National Liberation in the United Kingdom during World War II. It was established by a decree of General Charles de Gaulle on 9 February 1943 "to recognize the remarkable acts of faith and of courage that, in France, in the empire and abroad, have contributed to the resistance of the French people against the enemy and against its accomplices since 18 June 1940".[1]

The Resistance medal was awarded to approximately 38,288 living persons and 24,463 posthumously. These awards were both for membership in the Free French forces and for participation in the metropolitan clandestine Resistance during the German occupation of France in World War II. Higher deeds were rewarded with the Ordre de la Libération. Proposals for the medal ceased to be accepted on 31 March 1947, however, for acts that occurred in Indochina, that date was moved back to 31 December 1947.[2]

The medal was also awarded to 18 communities and territories, 21 military units, and to 15 other organizations including convents, high schools, and hospitals that particularly distinguished themselves.[1]

Award statute

The Resistance medal is awarded by the Chief of a Fighting France to French individuals and communities:[2]

  • who took an especially active part since 18 June 1940 in the resistance against Axis forces and their accomplices on French soil or in a territory under French sovereignty;
  • who took and effective and important part in the rallying of French territories to Fighting France or rendered services in the war effort of those territories that were confirmed and logged;
  • who played an eminent role in the actions of organizations of Fighting France abroad or in propaganda destined at regrouping and supporting the forces of the resistance;
  • who rallied troops, ships or aircraft in exceptionally difficult or dangerous conditions;
  • who joined the Free French Forces in particularly dangerous and meritorious conditions.

The Resistance medal may be revoked by decree following any act contrary to honour or integrity, whether committed prior to or after bestowal of the medal.[2]

Award description

The Resistance medal is a 37mm in diameter circular medal struck from bronze. Its slightly concave obverse bears at center a vertical Cross of Lorraine with the relief semi circular inscription of the date of General de Gaulle's appeal of 18 June 1940 in Roman numerals "XVIII.VI.MCMXL" (18.06.1940) bisected by the lower part of the cross. The reverse bears the relief image of an unfurling ribbon bearing the relief inscription in Latin "PATRIA NON IMMEMOR" translating into "THE NATION DOES NOT FORGET". The suspension is cast as an integral part of the medal.[3]

The medal hangs from a 36mm wide black silk moiré ribbon with six vertical red stripes of varying widths, 3mm wide edge stripes, two 1mm wide central stripes 2mm apart, and two 1mm wide stripes 6mm from the central stripes. A 28mm in diameter rosette is on the ribbon of the officer's of the Resistance medal.[2]

Notable recipients (partial list)

  • Resistance leader Jean Pierre-Bloch
  • Resistance member Albert Haar
  • Resistance member Andrzej Kuśniewicz
  • Resistance member Georges Caussanel
  • Resistance member lieutenant Henry Andraud
  • Resistance member Marcel Dufriche
  • Resistance leader colonel Émile Coulaudon
  • Admiral Philippe Auboyneau
  • Foreign Legion general Bernard Saint-Hillier
  • Writer, statesman, resistance member André Malraux
  • Resistance leader Pierre Kahn-Farelle
  • Politician, resistance member general Pierre de Bénouville
  • Resistance member doctor Charles Cliquet
  • Resistance member Jeanne L'Herminier
  • Free French soldier general François Binoche
  • Resistance member Camille Nicolas
  • Diplomat Louis Alexis Étienne Bonvin
  • Resistance member Émile Bollaert
  • Resistance leader Edmond Proust
  • Free French soldier warrant officer Walter Grand
  • Resistance leader Joseph Dubar
  • Free French navy admiral Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu

Notable posthumous recipients (partial list)

  • Grenoble resistance member Jean Pain
  • Free French aviator lieutenant Gérard Claron
  • Free French aviator captain Louis Flury-Hérard
  • Resistance leader general Aubert Frère
  • Captain, doctor, mayor of Saint-Rambert-en-Bugey, Michel Temporal
  • Resistance member Pierre Guillou
  • Free French aviator Pierre Brisdoux Galloni d'Istria
  • Resistance leader Fernand Zalkinow
  • Resistance member colonel Émile Bonotaux
  • Resistance member brigadier general Georges Journois
  • Abbot René Bonpain
  • Resistance leader Pierre Brossolette
  • Resistance member Léger Fouris
  • Resistance member Gabriel Plançon
  • Resistance member rabbi Samuel Klein
  • Resistance member Laurent Matheron
  • Resistance leader Marc Haguenau
  • Resistance member Georges Lamarque
  • Resistance leader rear admiral Jacques Trolley de Prévaux
  • Resistance member Jean Chaffanjon
  • Resistance member Pierre Chaffanjon
  • Resistance member Robert Duterque

Recipient communities and organizations (partial list)

See also


External links

  • La Commission nationale de la Médaille de la Résistance (French)

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