The Order of Liberation was established in 1940 by General de Gaulle to reward civilian and military communities or individuals who distinguished themselves in efforts to liberate France and the French Empire.
It is the second highest French national order after the Legion of Honour, with the second largest national chancellery. The Order of Liberation has only one title, that of Companion of the Liberation, and a single insignia, the Cross of Liberation. In total, 1,038 Crosses of Liberation have been awarded to individuals, 18 to military units and 5 to French communes: Nantes, Grenoble, Paris, Vassieux-en-Vercors and Île de Sein. This limited number of decorations gives the Order of Liberation an exemplary quality and makes the Cross of Liberation the most prestigious French distinction for World War II.