I'm currently part-way through a biography of Napoleon. I'm curious about the medals he had struck to commemorate events such as battlefield victories. How widely were these distributed within the ranks or even the French citizens? How many authentic medals survive today, and which are the hardest to come by?

  • AFAIK, Napoleon didn't issue any general commemorative medals for his troops. The St Helena Medal was issued to any surviving soldiers of the Napoleonic campaigns by Napoleon III in 1857, however that was a very general service medal rather than for specific events. – Steve Bird Dec 3 '15 at 11:16
  • One of my favorite supposed Napoleon quotes is: "I could conquer the world if only I had enough ribbon." – T.E.D. Dec 3 '15 at 14:34

As Emperor of France, Napoleon established the following medals.

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    Those Orders, and the honors that they presented, were created to reward individuals for valorous or meritorious service rather than to "commemorate events such as battlefield victories". I think that the question is referring to what we now consider as campaign medals. – Steve Bird Dec 3 '15 at 11:12
  • Interesting, but yes I was asking about the campaign medals, the book (so far) has not specified if they were made for him, for his officers, or for all of his troops. I know as emperor he had them made for more boring things like the opening of a university and other events like that, were those just for him or were they given to citizens. You can find Napoleon medals on ebay but I doubt their authenticity. – Chris Trudeau Dec 3 '15 at 17:18

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