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Verdun medal for valor


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It is not particularly rare, but its interesting nonetheless. A medal issued by the city of Verdun to the soldiers, French and American, who fought in the extensive, bloody World War I battle for Verdun. Millions of shells were exchanged by both sides, 250,000 dead, 500,000 wounded. Verdun exemplifies the excesses of war. Struck by the Paris Mint.

 

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Sculpted by S.E. Vernier, Paris, 1917.

 

The obverse states, You Shall Not Pass. The reverse shows the city gates of Verdun.

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This is an interesting medal. It comes in large size nonportable like yours and also in a smaller size with loop so that it could be worn on a ribbon. A lot of American troops brought the medal back which is interesting because the battle was fought in 1916 and the Americans didn't declare war until April of 1917. I am not sure what the criteria for eligibility was but I expect that anyone who was stationed any where near Verdun during 1917-18 could buy one. The French had several other medals that are some times found with American groups. Those are also private purchase pieces for battles that Americans didn't fight in.

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