German-Italian Africa Campaign Medal

Condition: Excellent


SKU: C11348 Category: Tags ,


Product Description: This German-Italian Africa Campaign Medal is a great example with lots of character. It appears to have actually been worn. The medal itself is a desirable early strike, made of a brass alloy (Tombak). It’s in excellent condition, with only light wear and attractive age toning and patination. Nearly all of the crisp original detail on the medal is still present, on both sides. This one comes with its original ribbon which shows lots of wear and fading. There is some fraying where the ribbon passes through the medal’s integral suspension ring, and the ribbon is hand sewn together at the top. A correct period type plated steel safety pin is present in the ruibbon, with some minor staining suggesting the safety pin has been there for a very long time. It certainly appears that this German-Italian Africa Campaign Medal was worn on a uniform. This is a unique piece and remains in excellent condition.


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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