Product Description: This Afrika Campaign Medal is a nice, early, high-quality example of this desirable campaign award. It is struck from bronze, as were all the early issue pieces, and it has great detail. The medal itself is in excellent condition, and beyond some minor highlighting to the high points in the design, shows no visible wear. It has a lovely, old patina. The correct original ribbon is present, though very fragile from age, and showing some fading to the original colors. The reverse half of the ribbon was removed, perhaps by the original owner for uniform wear or to make a ribbon bar; this does not affect display of the front. This remains a great early example of the Afrika Campaign Medal, uncleaned, with a great look.
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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