|Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieurs|
War Cross for foreign operational theatres (obverse)
|Awarded for||Citations for courage during foreign operations|
|Established||30 April 1921|
Ribbon bar of the French croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieurs
|Next (higher)||Croix de guerre 1939-1945|
|Next (lower)||Cross for Military Valour|
The Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieurs (War Cross for foreign operational theatres), also called the Croix de Guerre TOE for short, is a French military award denoting citations earned in combat in foreign countries. The Armistice of November 11, 1918 ended the war between France and Germany, but French soldiers continued fighting in theatres outside metropolitan France. Combat operations continued in Syria, Palestine, Constantinople, Morocco, French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa.
A law was passed on April 30, 1921 establishing the new Croix de guerre for "Théâtres d'opérations extérieurs" (TOE). It was intended to commemorate the individual citations awarded during operations carried out since November 11, 1918 or that would occur in the future, for war service directly related to an expeditionary force used outside of the borders of France, otherwise, the statute of the Croix de guerre TOE was the same as that of the 1914 - 1918 Croix de guerre.
After a hiatus of thirty-five years, it was again awarded for actions between January 17, 1991 and May 5, 1992 during the Gulf War (Order of Minister of Defence of 17 January 1991). It was also extended to military operations conducted in Kosovo in 1999.
The award criteria for the Croix de Guerre TOE are substantially the same as those governing the Croix de Guerre 1914-1918, the citations for the entire armed forces are made by the Minister of Defense unless this authority has been specially delegated to the commanding general of the expeditionary forces.
The Croix de Guerre TOE is awarded to military personnel and civilians who have received an individual citation during war/combat operations on foreign soil. More precisely, it was awarded for citations earned in the following operational foreign theatres:
For naval citations, their levels differ from the army as follows:
The Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures is a bronze 37 mm wide cross pattée, between the arms, two crossed swords pointing upward. It was designed by the sculptor Albert Bartholome. On the obverse in a circular medallion, the effigy of the Republic (Marianne) wearing a cap decorated with a laurel wreath, surrounded by a ring bearing the legend: "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE". On the reverse, in the circular medallion the inscription: "THÉÂTRES D'OPÉRATIONS EXTÉRIEURS".
The cross is suspended by a ring through the suspension loop to a 38 mm wide grey silk moiré ribbon with 10 mm wide red edge stripes. The Croix de guerre TOE is worn on the left side of the chest and when in the presence of other medals of France, is located immediately after the Croix de guerre 1939 - 1945.
Citations (same as the Croix de guerre 1914-1918):