Combatant's Cross

  (Redirected from Croix du combattant)

The Combatant's Cross (French: "Croix du combattant") is a French decoration that recognizes, as its name implies, those who fought in combat for France. The Poilus (French combat soldiers) of World War I worked toward recognition by the government, of a special status to those who had participated in the bitter fighting of 1914-1918 (as opposed to those who served behind the lines).[1] The law of 19 December 1926 created la "carte du combatant", or combatant's card, for veterans of 1914-1918, as well as for the veterans of 1870-1871 and colonial wars before the First World War. The decoration was created only three years later by the law of 28 June 1930.[2]

Combatant's Cross
Croix du combattant FRANCE.jpg
Obverse of the Combatant's Cross
Awarded forCombat service to France
Presented by France
Established19 December 1926
Croix du Combattant (1930 France) ribbon.svg
Ribbon of the Combatant's Cross
Next (higher)Aeronautical Medal
Next (lower)Medal of French Gratitude
André Daugnac, a recipient of the Combatant's Cross
Doctor Edmond Reboul, a recipient of the Combatant's Cross

A decree of January 29, 1948 states that the provisions of the 1930 Act relating to the allocation of the combatant's card and the Combatant's Cross were applicable to participants of the 1939-1945 war. The law of 18 July 1952 extended the benefit of the award of the Croix du combattant for Indochina and Korea.

The law of December 9, 1974 extended the award of the Combatant's Cross to operations in North Africa between 1 January 1952 and July 2, 1962. More recently, a decree of January 12, 1994 opened le carte du combattant holder (hence of the Combatant's Cross) to those who participated in operations in Cambodia, Cameroon, Persian Gulf, Lebanon, Madagascar, the Suez Canal, Somalia, Central African Republic, Chad, Yugoslavia, Zaire and Iraq.

Award statuteEdit

There is a particular set of requirements for each conflict or military operation in regards to the granting of the combatant card.[2]

The Cross is awarded in different cases:

- for service with a unit asserted as combattant unit (front-line service) by the Ministry of Defense : ninety days of service or a wound or illness received or contracted during service, or ninety days of detention by the enemy.[2]

- for service with any unit : mention in dispatches for valor, or direct participation in five fire engagements, or a wound in action, or detention by the enemy without application of the Geneva Convention[2]

Award descriptionEdit

A 36 mm wide bronze cross pattée with a laurel wreath between the arms 36 mm across.[3]

On the obverse at center, the effigy of the Republic wearing an Adrian's helmet crowned with laurel leaves surrounded by the relief inscription REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE (FRENCH REPUBLIC).[3]

On the reverse the relief inscription CROIX DU COMBATTANT (COMBATANT'S CROSS) along the lower circumference framing a vertical sword pointing down, rays protruding horizontally and up from the hilt in a 180° arc.[3]

Noteworthy recipients (partial list)Edit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Historical introduction to the Combatant's Cross" (in French). France phaléristique. Retrieved 2016-11-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d "Law of the French Republic of 28 June 1930" (in French). France phaléristique. Retrieved 2016-11-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c "Decree of the French Republic of 24 August 1930" (in French). France phaléristique. Retrieved 2016-11-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit