expansion and contraction of the French Colonial Empire, like that of
Britain, required a large, globally mobile military force, which in
turn necessitated a numerous and varied array of medallic decorations and
commemoratives for reward to the hundreds of thousands of individual
participants. These medals chart the history of the French struggle to
maintain an empire across North Africa, the Middle East and the Far
East - and numerous other zones of influence the French chose to exert.
This "medallic history" is enriched by the awards of the Great War
and the Second World War - the latter which would define the dark years
of the occupation of France by Germany, with the Vichy, Free French and
Resistance Commemoratives - and the Great War medals recording some of
the most horrendous struggles in the history of warfare such as the
German attempt to "bleed France white" in the hell they called Verdun.