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Commemorative Medal for Loyalty to the Fatherland: Albanian Retreat Medal, rare version in zinc gilt, 1915
[YU431]
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£155
Commemorative Medal for Loyalty to the Fatherland: Albanian Retreat Medal, rare version in zinc gilt, 1915
Click to enlarge

Circular zinc-gilt medal with swivel gilt crown suspension, the central circular gilt medallion superimposed on the Serbian double-headed eagle; the face with the head of Crown Prince Alexander facing left encircled by the Cyrillic inscription ‘To His Comrades of War * Alexander *’ within a laurel wreath; the reverse with the Cyrillic inscription ‘For Loyalty to the Fatherland 1915’; surface scratches to the monarch’s head lacking ribbon. 

The Medal was created on 5 April 1920 and awarded to military who took part in the terrible retreat in the winter of 1915 through the mountains of Albania to Corfu.  It ranked before all other medals other that those for bravery.

Faced with annihilation by Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian armies, the Serbian army, led by King Peter and Crown Prince Alexander, made an heroic retreat and was later to play a notable part in the breakout from Salonika that forced Bulgaria out of World War I.  Its survival in 1915 and subsequent recovery was an important factor leading to the creation of Yugoslavia in 1918. 

The Medal was made by Huguenin Frères of Le Locle, Switzerland but this example was made on a different stamping press, is without silvered elements and was probably locally in Serbia.  It is rare.

 
Commemorative Medal for Loyalty to the Fatherland: Albanian Retreat Medal, rare version in zinc gilt, 1915
Click to enlarge
         

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