Medal for the Dardanelles Campaign (Médaille des Dardanelles), 1915
Circular bronze medal with laterally-pierced loop and suspension bar with two olive palms supporting a crescent; the face with a female head facing left wearing a helmet with oak wreath and representing the French Republic, inscribed ‘REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE’, signed ‘GEORGES LEMAIRE’ (sculptor and engraver, 1853-1914); the reverse with oak and laurel leaves, a cannon, a naval anchor and standards inscribed ‘HONNEUR ET PATRIE 1915-1918’ above an oriental fort, inscribed ‘DARDANELLES’, signed ‘E.M.LINDAUER’ (for the great engraver Edmond-Émile Lindauer, 1869-1942), with Paris Mint cornucopia bronze assay mark, all within an overarching palm tree border; on replaced correct ribbon. The medal was created on 15 June 1926 to reward the soldiers and sailors of the expeditionary corps under General d’Amade that landed and fought in extremely difficult conditions at Gallipoli between 26 April and 20 December 1915. Well trailed in advance, the landings were opposed by well-entrenched Turkish forces, supported by German advisors, who held the high ground. Churchill’s plan, brilliant in concept, was catastrophic in its execution and Allied forces, amongst whom were most notably the ANZACs, had to be withdrawn in the face of constant losses and lack of any prospect of progress. The medal is becoming rare. A good example.
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