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French Médaille Commémorative de la Guerre, with Défense Passive clasp.


The 1939–1945 Commemorative war medal (French: "Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1939–1945") is a commemorative medal of France established on 21 May 1946 to recognize individual participation in the Second World War.

The 1939–1945 Commemorative war medal was awarded to all soldiers serving under French authority or under a French government in a state of war against the Axis nations, or present on board a warship or armed merchant vessel under these same authorities and/or governments; to French citizens, whether military or civilian, who fought against the Axis forces or their representatives; to foreign military who served as Frenchmen in formations at war against the Axis forces.

A 1949 decree further added the members of the French passive resistance as potential recipients of the 1939–1945 Commemorative war medal.

The 1939–1945 commemorative war medal is hexagonal and struck from bronze. It is 28mm at its widest and 38mm high excluding the suspension loop. The obverse bears the relief image of a rooster superimposed in front of a Cross of Lorraine, its wings spread out and standing on a broken chain. The reverse bears the relief semi-circular inscription "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE" (English: "FRENCH REPUBLIC") over a sprig of laurel leaves and the inscription on three lines "GUERRE" "1939" "1945" (English: "WAR" "1939" "1945").

The medal hangs from a ribbon passing through the medal's built-in suspension loop. This silk moiré ribbon is 36mm wide and light blue with 3mm green stripes bordered in 1mm red at its edges, at its centre a vertical series of red "V" letters denoting "Victory".

DÉFENSE PASSIVE for those receiving an invalid's pension following injury from work aimed at the protection of the civilian population (decree of 2 August 1949).

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