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Commemorative Medal for the Expedition to Albania, Type ‘C’ (Medaglia Commemorativa della Spedizione in Albania, Tipo ‘C’) 1939
[IT257]
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£80
Commemorative Medal for the Expedition to Albania, Type ‘C’ (Medaglia Commemorativa della Spedizione in Albania, Tipo ‘C’) 1939
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Circular bronzed white metal medal with integral bar for ribbon suspension; the face with a group of Italian soldiers, one with a bicycle, before a light tank, an aeroplane and a field gun, circumscribed ‘SPEDIZIONE IN ALBANIA – ANNO XVII E.F.’; the reverse with an Italian eagle with a shield with the arms of Savoy on its breast perched on a fasces above a double-headed Albanian eagle, the words ‘ITALIA’ and ‘ALBANIA’ inscribed between the two separated by a knot, circumscribed ‘12-16 APRILE 1939 XVII E.F.’; the bronzing is worn on the highest relief parts of the medal (see illustrations); on original frayed ribbon, the red stripes of which have faded to an oxidised pinkish light brown. The medal was instituted on 7 March 1940 to be awarded to military and civilian participants in the Italian occupation of Albania. By 1939 Italy dominated all aspects of Albania life but in the minds of Mussolini and Ciano, German triumphs in Austria and Czechoslovakia demanded an Italian response. This came in the form of the invasion of Albania by an overwhelming Italian force that met no resistance and suffered negligible casualties, the Italians having bribed the tribal chieftains in advance. The year ‘XVII’ (17) refers to the number of years of fascist rule in Italy. This example is of type ‘C’ of the medal, rarest of the variants.

 
Commemorative Medal for the Expedition to Albania, Type ‘C’ (Medaglia Commemorativa della Spedizione in Albania, Tipo ‘C’) 1939
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Expedition to Albania, Type ‘C’ (Medaglia Commemorativa della Spedizione in Albania, Tipo ‘C’) 1939
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Expedition to Albania, Type ‘C’ (Medaglia Commemorativa della Spedizione in Albania, Tipo ‘C’) 1939
Click to enlarge
     

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