Battle of Verdun Medal
Bronze; cardboard, paper; cloth, plastic
diameter: 1 in. ( 2.6 cm ) mount: 8 9/16 x 4 1/16 x 1/8 in. ( 21.7 x 10.3 x 0.3 cm )
Inscription: obverse, at left of field: "VERNIER"
Bronze struck medal, issued to commemorate the heroes of the Battle of Verdun, with shoulder-length portrait of woman in helmet, with sword in her right hand; legend above: "ON NE PASSE PAS." Reverse shows arched entryway of a medieval castle with tower on either side; laurel wreath beneath; inscription above: "VERDUN"; in exergue: "21 FEVRIER/1916." Medal is inset into cardboard and paper mount with pasted printed and hand-written documents; black cloth edgings; remnants of plastic sheet covering documents on both sides of mount.
A 300-day stalemate between French and German troops, the 1916 Battle of Verdun resulted in over 700,000 casualties. General Robert Nivelle (1856-1924), the first commander of French troops, was replaced by General Philippe Petain (1856-1951), hero of the battle. Petain was later discredited as head of the French collaborationist (Vichy) government in World War II.
Gift of Mrs. James G. Harbord, 1948
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.