Product Description: This Afrika Campaign Medal is an textbook example of this desirable campaign award. It’s an early one, struck from Tombak, a brass alloy. It shows only very minor wear, and has a great, old, uncleaned patina, with a couple of spots of light verdigris near the edge of the rim. The front side, with the lettering, retains some of the original luster; both sides have great original detail. This scarce Afrikakorps award is complete with the original ribbon, which is on the short side. The ribbon shows typical age toning and fading of the original color, and some minor fraying. The condition of this original Afrika Campaign Medal is excellent.
Historical Description: In the spring of 1942, the Italian government instituted a special campaign award to recognize the achievements of German troops in the campaign in Africa. It was designed by Roberto De Marchis. Early examples were struck from Tombak, while later examples were made of zinc with a bronze wash. The front of the award depicts a Nazi Swastika and Italian Fascist emblem, flanking an image of the Arco del Felini, which stood in modern Libya. The inscription “Italo-German Campaign in Africa” is rendered in both German and Italian. The reverse of the medal shows two gladiators, representing Germany and Italy, doing battle with a crocodile, symbolizing Britain. The award was suspended from a ribbon bearing both the German and the Italian national colors. The first awards of this medal took place in 1942. Because Italy was a German ally, German soldiers were permitted to wear this award. That changed in 1944 with the surrender of Italy. On March 29, 1944. new orders prohibited German troops from wearing Italian decorations. The Africa Campaign Medal was specifically mentioned in this order.
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