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Remembered Today:

Converted medals for soldiers from Alsace-Lorraine after WW1


gboehm

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This is a very niche one. 

 

My great grand father fought for Germany during WW1. However, he was from Alsace which after the war was ceded to France. From what my father has told me, straight after the war he was incorporated into the French army and his Iron Crosses 2nd and 1st class were converted into a Croix de Guerre 14-18 with a citation. 

 

Has any one ever encountered something like that? I found it quite incredible that "enemy" medals would be converted :D

 

 

Edited by gboehm
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I would doubt very much that France, an avowed enemy of Germany during 1WW,

would convert EK's earned whilst serving with the enemy against France to C de G's.  This sounds like a very improbable story to me.

 

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That's what I'm thinking too. I need to look into his french military records, they would probably mention it if that was the case. 

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I am unsure. Most former German soldiers from Alsace-Lorraine were given the same rights as French soldiers after WW1 if they accepted French nationality. It went so far as even to allow the same rights for the fallen of Alsace-Lorraine (in the German army) to be granted the same rights as fallen French soldiers, like the right on repatriation or reburial in a French military cemetery (under a French cross with inscription "mort pour la France" or something similar). In most villages, there is no difference on the war memorials: the names of the fallen of the French and German armies are listed without difference.

 

I haven't heard of medals like the Iron Cross being converted into Croix de Guerre though.

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  • 1 month later...

Right, the mystery has finally been elucidated! 

 

It is not a Croix de Guerre but a Combatant's Cross. Which seems to make a lot more sense, because it was given to all "Anciens combatants".

Quite surprising that it was given to Alsacian soldiers too, but it seems to be the case!

Grand'Père Diplome Ancien Combattant.jpg

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Well, but he received the wound medal for his being wounded in the German Army.

 

Jan

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  • 1 month later...

 

 

The Combatant cross was givel to former french "variors" without distinction of origin.

 

During the re-annexion by nazi Germany between 1940 and 45, I was unable to found a so open minded attitude on german side. Even more, former french militars were considered as suspects by german autorities, except if thei accept nazi new rules  and expulsed from Elsass - Lothringen.

Gabelou 

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