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Medal for the East (Médaille d’Orient) - Salonika Campaign 1915-1918
[FRM972]
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Medal for the East (Médaille d’Orient) - Salonika Campaign 1915-1918
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Circular bronze medal with suspension of two olive palms supporting a crescent; the face with a female head facing left, wearing a helmet with oak wreath and representing the French Republic, inscribed ‘REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE’ and signed ‘GEORGES LEMAIRE’ (sculptor and engraver, 1853-1914); the reverse with oak and laurel leaves, a cannon, a naval anchor and standards inscribed ‘HONNEUR ET PATRIE 1915-1918’ above an oriental fort, inscribed ‘ORIENT’, signed ‘E.M.LINDAUER’ and with ‘BR’ bronze assay mark, all within overarching palm tree border; on original age-faded ribbon.

The medal was created on 15 June 1926 by the same law that instituted the Medal for the Dardanelles and the two are identical in design but for the inscription on the reverse.

The Médaille d’Orient was intended to reward the military of the Armée d’Orient under General Franchet d’Esperey who, together with British and Serb forces, broke out of Salonika, defeated Bulgaria, retook Serbia and Romania and invaded to Austro-Hungarian Empire across the Danube, causing Bulgaria to sign an armistice on 29 September 1918, Turkey on 30 October 1918 and Austria-Hungary on 4 November 1918, all well before the armistice of 11 November 1918 on the Western Front.

 
Medal for the East (Médaille d’Orient) - Salonika Campaign 1915-1918
Click to enlarge
Medal for the East (Médaille d’Orient) - Salonika Campaign 1915-1918
Click to enlarge
Medal for the East (Médaille d’Orient) - Salonika Campaign 1915-1918
Click to enlarge
     
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