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- 07 -142015

« In Honour and by Victory »: the 18 military units honoured with the title of Companion of the Liberation.

General de Gaulle’s historic call to arms from the London offices of the BBC on 18 June 1940, was the starting point for la France Libre, “Free France”. This military and political organization was determined to pursue the war alongside the Allies.

La croix de la Libération © musée de l’ordre de la Libération / DRRapidly, General de Gaulle, Leader of the “Français Libres” – the Free French Movement – considered it essential to reward the most deserving amongst those who had joined him to continue the struggle against the occupant in order to liberate the country. While in Brazzaville, Congo, General de Gaulle created on 16 November 1940, a “new insignia”: the Order of Liberation.

All recipients of the Order received the Cross of the Liberation and were awarded the title of Compagnon de la Libération. Between January 1941 and January 1946, this prestigious decoration was awarded to men, women, military and civilian organizations alike «for outstanding service in the effort to procure the liberation of France and the French Empire». In all, 1 038 individuals, 5 cities and 18 military units were awarded the Order of the Liberation, a one class insignia. In 1964, the Chancellery of the Order of the Liberation was installed in the Hotel des Invalides, where it opened its museum which recently underwent a major renovation.
This exhibition is dedicated to the combat actions led by the 18 Companions of the Liberation military units. The title of the exhibition takes up the end of the phrase pronounced during the presentation of the Order of the Liberation :

« Nous vous reconnaissons comme notre compagnon pour la libération de la France, dans l’honneur et par la victoire » – « We acknowledge you as our companion for the Liberation of France, in Honour and by Victory ».

A reminder that the Order of the Liberation is, above all, a distinction intended primarily for combatants.

Credits : © the Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération / All rights reserved.

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