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25/02/2020 19:08pm

Arctic Star

Conflict
 
World War II.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
History
 
The Arctic Star was a British Commonwealth campaign medal presented for service during World War II. The medal was instituted in 2013 and awarded for any length of service above the Arctic Circle by members of the British Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy.
 
The Arctic Star is a retrospective award, coming nearly seventy years after the end of World War II.
 
The design was subsequently submitted by the Ministry of Defence to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee. Their recommendation was then submitted to The Queen for approval and production began in early 2013.
 
The Arctic Star is awarded for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle, defined as 66° 32’ North Latitude. The inclusive qualifying period of service is 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945. Though the Arctic Star is intended to recognize the service of personnel in the Arctic convoys of World War II, other members of the military and civilians may qualify. Eligibility is defined as follows:-
 
Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel must have served anywhere at sea north of the Arctic Circle including, but not limited exclusively to, those ships participating in, and in support of convoys to North Russia. Fleet Air Arm personnel, not qualified by sea service, may qualify under the criteria applicable to Royal Air Force personnel.
 
Aircrew of the Royal Air Force are eligible if they landed north of the Arctic Circle or served in the air over this area. Non aircrew on operational service in the area, for example ground crew or those sailing with CAM ships (Catapult Aircraft Merchant Ships), are also eligible.
 
Army personnel serving in His Majesty’s ships or in defensively equipped Merchant ships qualify under the rules applying to the Navy or Merchant Navy. Personnel taking part in land operations north of the Arctic Circle are also eligible for award. Civilian Members of the few approved categories who qualify for Campaign Stars will be eligible so long as they meet any qualifying criteria while serving in support of military operations.
 
Foreign nationals serving in British or Dominion Forces, such as the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, are eligible for the Arctic Star so long as the individuals have not been recognized by a similar award from their own governments. Eligibility for the Arctic Star does not affect an individual's eligibility for any other previously awarded campaign medals, nor does it automatically entitle individuals for any further awards.
 
Description
 
The medal is of a six-pointed bronze star design similar in appearance to the other Campaign Stars awarded for service in World War II. It is 40mm high and 40mm wide.
 
The obverse of this medal has a central design of the Royal Cypher of King George VI, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the inscription; ‘THE ARCTIC STAR’.
 
The reverse is plain and the medal was issued un-named. The ribbon is attached to the medal by a ring that passes through the uppermost point of the star.
 
Ribbon
 
 
The ribbon is 32mm wide and consists of a number of vertical stripes with the colours representing the three Armed Services, red for the Merchant Navy, and a central white stripe, edged in black, representing the Arctic.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
None were authorised for this medal.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Dealer Retail Value *
 
Arctic Star
£995.00
 
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on:-
 
- The Arctic Convoys.
 
The Arctic Convoys - The Arctic convoys of World War II were oceangoing convoys which sailed from the United Kingdom, Iceland, and North America to northern ports in the Soviet Union - primarily Arkhangelsk (Archangel) and Murmansk, both in modern-day Russia. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945 (although there were two gaps with no sailings between July and September 1942, and March and November 1943), sailing via several seas of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
 
About 1400 merchant ships delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program, escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and the U.S. Navy. Eighty-five merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships (two cruisers, six destroyers and eight other escort ships) were lost.
 
The German Kriegsmarine lost a number of vessels including one battleship, three destroyers and at least 30 U-boats as well as a large number of aircraft. The convoys demonstrated the Allies commitment to helping the Soviet Union, prior to the opening of a Second Front, and tied up a substantial part of Germany's Navy and Air Force.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.