Miniature circular bronze medal on integral bar suspension elaborately decorated with fasces and oak leaves; the face with the helmeted, armoured head and shoulders of Joan of Arc facing left, a sword in her right hand, standards beyond, circumscribed ‘LA MARNE’; the reverse inscribed ‘SOLDAT DE LA MARNE 1914 1918’ within a border of laurel and palm leaves; diameter 13.282mm (0.52 inch); on original age-faded ribbon.
The Medal was created on 21 August 1937 by Captain Chrissement, founder of the Association des Soldats de la Marne, whose president was Marshal Franchet d’Espérey. It was designed by the sculptor Maxime Real del Sarte (1888-1954). The medal was attributed to veterans of the two battles of the Marne.
The first battle ended on 10 September 1914 in a crucial strategic victory with French forces, supported by the British, throwing back the German offensive, recapturing lost ground and ending German plans for a quick and decisive end to the war on the Western Front.
The second battle in July and August 1918 was equally significant, the Germans failing to break through French lines, despite throwing forty divisions into the fray. Being held and then pushed back had a serious psychological impact on the Germans who began to lose the belief that they could win the war.
A striking piece of Art Deco design to commemorate those who fought two crucial battles of World War I.
The medal is rare in miniature.