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The WWI Victory Medal Series – Greece

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Military Medals278 of 329The WWI Victory Medal Series – RumaniaMilitary medal collecting
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Posted 6 years ago


(310 items)

The Greek government was divided during the war. King Constantine was married to the Kaiser’s sister, and he and the General staff were pro-German. The prime Minister, Eleutherios Venizelos, and the faction he lead were pro-Allied. For most of the war, Greece was officially neutral. Even with a British and French force of over 500,000 men occupying Salonika, Greece in 1915, and the Bulgarians invading Macedonia in 1916, Greece waivered. Finally in 1918 Greece sided with the allies, sending 230,000 troops to fight in Macedonia.

This victory medal was struck in red bronze. Approximately 200,000 were issued. The artist, Henri-Eugene Nocq, was a recognized French sculptor and medalist who lived in Paris, where the medal was also struck. The unusual suspension device is not found on other Greek medals, and was probably the artist’s idea. The image of Victory was modeled after the 5th Century BCE statue of Nike by Paionios, which commemorated a victory by Athens over Sparta. On the back we see “The Great War for Civilization” in Greek, and an infant Hercules wrestling with two snakes. In Greek mythology, Juno sent two snakes to kill Hercules in his bed, but Hercules strangled them. In this case the snakes represent the Central Powers. The tablet in the center reads “Allies and Comrades” and lists the allied nations.

The medal to the left in the first photo and in the second and third photos is the official issue. You can see the bottom of one of two large prongs for attaching the medal to the uniform. It lists the name of the designer “Henry NOCQ” (last name in all capitols) at the lower left edge of the front side of the medal. The medal on the right in the first photo is a copy of an unofficial version, which not only lacks the designer’s name, but is missing the first “O” in the inscription that wraps around the back of the medal. The unofficial (right) version has a replacement ribbon. The official (left) version still has it's original ribbon. The last picture shows the original issue box, the inside of the top stamped with the name of the manufacturer, V. Canale of Paris.

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Here are three nations that were eligible to produce Victory Medals but didn’t:

China - Too fragmented to produce a nationally recognized version.

Poland – Approved a medal design but never put them into production or issued any. Polish Victory medals are in circulation, and they are interesting, but are more appropriately categorized as “fantasy medals.”

Yugoslavia – Was created at war’s end from several smaller countries. They did not wish to alienate their Croat and Slovene citizens who fought on the German side and therefore did not produce a Victory Medal.


  1. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Great information.

    I am printing off each page and putting together a Victory Medal reference booklet!

    Keep up the great work,

  2. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    Now I feel humbled Scott. In that case I also feel I should mention again that about 80% of this information will becoming out of a single book, The Interallied Victory Medals of World War I by Alexander Laslo. He should get the credit.

    I actually put together a display of my Victory Medals for a school Veterans Day program back in 2005 0r 2006. I'm working off what I typed for that display, taking new pictures, and adding stuff I think collectors would want to know.
  3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    Thanks scandinavian_pieces, scott and aycockonaxion.
  4. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    I am one of those guys who always ignored the "I was there" medals in favor of valor awards.

    I had no idea that so many countries produced these. I have many US Victory Medals and a couple of UK (I like the naming on them), but never thought too highly of them.

    These postings have increased my knowledge and INTEREST.

    I'll pay more attention to them in the future!

    Thanks for sharing,

  5. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    Scott, you just gave me an idea for the 6 Nov installment of the series. Stay tuned!
  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Wonderful medal and account!!!

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