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     Home > IMPERIAL RUSSIA > Imperial Russian Medals

    Medal for the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, in dark bronze.

    Medal for the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, in dark bronze.

    In copper ("dark bronze"), 26.4 mm wide. The obverse shows Eastern Orthodox cross standing upon a Muslim crescent. Inscription to the reverse reads, "Not Unto Us, Not Unto Us, But in Thy Name".

    In very fine to excellent condition. There are a couple of light scuffs - the most visible one is immediately above the cross - but overall the details are extremely well preserved and crisp. There is attractive, even dark patina to the bronze. The medal comes on a Soviet era suspension in steel with new St. George / St. Andrew ribbon.

    The dark bronze medal was awarded to all participants of the war who had not taken direct part in combat. Interestingly, there were far fewer of the dark bronze issues (335424) than of the light bronze for combatants (635921).

    The Russo-Turkish war was marked by some heroic battles such as siege of Plevna by Russian and allied Romanian forces and joint Bulgarian and Russian defense of the Shipka mountain pass. Despite the frequent inadequacy of the Russian high command and fierce resistance on the side of the Turks, the war ended in resounding victory for the Russians. By January 1878, nearly all of Bulgaria had been liberated from the centuries of Ottoman yoke and the Russian juggernaut was rolling unstoppable toward Constantinople. If not for the intervention of the western powers concerned with growing Russian influence and Russia's reluctantly signing the St. Stefano peace treaty, any Turkish presence in Europe might have ended there and then.

    /See Mikhail Diakov, "Medals of the Russian Empire, Part 5, 1855-1881", p. 221/.


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