Croix de guerre 1914–1918

Croix de guerre 1914–1918
Croix de guerre 1914-1918
Soon after the outbreak of World War I, French military officials felt that a new military award had to be created.  At that time, the "Citation du jour" ("Daily Service Citation") already existed to acknowledge soldiers, but it was just a sheet of paper.

At the end of 1914, General Boëlle, Commandant in Chief of the French 4th Army Corps, tried to convince the French administration to create the formal military award.  Maurice Barrès, the noted writer and deputy of Paris, gave Boëlle support in his efforts.

On December 23, 1914, the French deputy Georges Bonnefous proposed a legislative bill to create the "Croix de la Valeur Militaire" ("Cross of the Military Valor") signed by 66 other deputies. Émile Driant, a deputy who served in the war zone during much of this time, became its natural spokesman when he returned to the legislature.  On 18 January 1915, Émile Driant submitted this bill but the name of the military award was renamed the Croix de guerre ("Cross of War").  After parliamentary discussions, the bill was adopted on 2 April 1915

World War I began in 1914 and ended in 1918, so the final name became "Croix de guerre 1914 to 1918".

Every "Croix de guerre" carries at least one mention awarded for gallantry to any member of the French military or its allies.  Degrees indicate the importance of the former soldier's role during the World War I.  The lowest degree is represented by a bronze star and the highest degree is represented by a silver palm.  The number of mentions on a Croix de guerre is not limited.