War Medal

Medals as a form of award and recognition for military service dates back to the time of the Roman Republic (509-27 BC), with this tradition spreading across the world and still being preserved today. Medals are generally awarded for periods of service or completion of campaigns, whilst decorations are reserved for specific achievements. Since the American Civil War (1861-1865), the highest military medal in the United States has been the Medal of Honor, given for remarkable acts of bravery; for similar achievements, the British armed forces has awarded the Victoria Cross since 1856. During the First and Second World War, an unprecedented amount of military medals were distributed across Europe and the United States for both service and achievement; many of these are available on the collectors' market today.

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