France and Germany Star.
The France and Germany Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for operational services in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany between June 6th, 1944 (D-Day) and the May 8th, 1945, the German surrender and end of active hostilities in Europe during World War Two.
Qualifying details for the Royal and Merchant Navy.
- The France and Germany Star awarded for 1 or more days’ service in the qualifying sea area is the North Sea south of a line from the Firth of Forth to Kristiansand (South), in the English Channel and in the Bay of Biscay east of longitude 6° west, provided such service was directly in support of land operations in the above countries.
- For all service directly concerned with the operations in the invasion of the above countries.
- Personnel who were service off the South of France didn’t qualify for the France and Germany Star but for the Italy Star.
- Personnel who served ashore also qualified for this campaign medal.
Qualifying details for the Army.
- Army personnel qualified through service on land in any part of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany between June 6th, 1944 (D-Day) and the May 8th, 1945.
- Army personnel who entered Austria may not qualify for this award, as their service is recognised by the grant of the Italy Star.
Qualifying details for the Royal Air Force.
- Air force aircrew had to make one operational sortie over Europe in the above dates and appropriate land or sea areas.
- Personnel who flew operations over Europe from Mediterranean bases did not qualify for this award either but for the Italy Star medal.
- Non-aircrew personnel qualified under the same conditions as the Army.
Due to British uniform regulations, neither the Atlantic Star nor the Air Crew Europe would be awarded to a recipient of the France and Germany Star. The recipient of this medal could wear a silver rose emblem on the ribbon of the first star they earned when wearing the ribbons without the medals attached.
The Clasp with the title ‘Atlantic’ was awarded to the recipient qualifying for the France & Germany Star and the Atlantic Star. This was attached to the ribbon of the France and Germany Star to show service rendered. A second clasp to this Star was not awarded for ‘Air Crew Europe.’
Materials: The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issued in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants. The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.
Ribbons: Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed. Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.
Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.
Ribbon – Five equal stripes of (from left to right) blue, white, red, white and blue. These were chosen as being symbolic of the national colours of France, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom Union Flag. Being noted that Belgium is not represented in the colours of this ribbon.
Type – Campaign medal.
Eligibility – One or more days service in appropriate land or sea area.
Awarded for – Service.
Campaign – Service in the European Theatre of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands or Germany between June 6th, 1944 (D-Day) and the May 8th, 1945.
Designer – The Star campaign medals were designed by the Mint engravers.
Naming – All issued unnamed by the British Government. Although Stars issued to Australian and South African personnel have recipient names impressed.
Clasps – One issued.
Description – The France and Germany Star is a six–pointed star of yellow copper zinc alloy, with a height of 44mm and a maximum width of 38mm. The obverse of the star is comparable in design to the Gwalior Star from the campaign of 1843. The centre of the star is the Royal Cipher of King George VI, surmounted by a crown overlaid on a circlet which bears the title of the award ‘The France and Germany Star.’ The reverse of this medal is the same as other WWII Star campaign medals and plain, with no naming.
Clasps are usually referred to as ‘bars’. They are single-faced metal bars carried on a ribbon attached to the medal, indicating the recipient’s service in a particular campaign or battle. The clasps carry side flanges to enable them to be attached to the medal and riveted to each other, so that new ones can be attached as earned. Usually the first earned Clasp is closest to the medal, so that the latest earned should be at the top, although they can be found in the wrong order.
Awarded to those who subsequently qualified for the Atlantic Star.
When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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