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Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
[LT103]
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Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
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Shield-shaped bronze medal on shield-shaped integral suspension; the face with the Cross of Vytis circumscribed ‘VYR. MAŽ. LIETUVOS GELBĖJIMO KOMITETAS’ (Supreme Council for the Liberation of Lithuania Minor), the suspension shield bearing the arms of Lithuania, being a knight (vytis) on horseback, a sword in his raised right hand, a shield bearing the Cross of Vytis in his left; the reverse with a lighthouse beyond a stone wall, an elk in the foreground, circumscribed ‘KLAIPĖDA 1923 m. SAUSIO 15. d.’ (Klaipeda 15 January 1923, date of the entry of Lithuanian troops into Klaipeda), the suspension shield bearing the arms of the city of Klaipeda, being a stone gate tower, a wooden wharf tower to either side, a boat in the foreground; on original tricolour ribbon for combatants (the ribbon for non-combatants being plain green). The medal was awarded in January 1925 on the second anniversary of the liberation of Klaipeda by the Supreme Council for the Liberation of Lithuania Minor, the Lithuanian government wishing to emphasise that the incorporation of Klaipeda into Lithuania was at the volition of the local population rather than the Lithuanian state, though the medal was later recognised by the state itself. The city of Klaipeda (German = Memel) was taken by Teutonic knights in 1252 and was part of Prussia (later Germany) until 1923. The Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I had made the area a protectorate of the Allied states but in 1923 Lithuanian forces aided by elements of the local population annexed it. The city was reincorporated in Germany in 1939 but restored to Lithuania in 1945. It is Lithuania’s only sea port and of major economic importance. The medal is reported to have been awarded “to some hundreds of participants” and is very rare.

 
Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Liberation of Klaipeda (Memel), (Klaipėdos Išvadavimo Medalis), 1925
Click to enlarge
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