101406 | AUSTRIA. Sinking of the Léon Gambetta zinc Medal.
101406 | AUSTRIA. Sinking of the Léon Gambetta zinc Medal. Issued 1915. Austrian Red Cross series (45mm, 31.77 g, 12h). By H. Schwathe.
LЄON • GAMBЄTTA – S. M. U. S. 27.4.1915 on banner, the Léon Gambetta sinking; below, the U-Boat U-5 rising to sea level / ROTES / KREUZ • KRIEGS– / HILFSBÜRO • / KRIEGSFÜRSORGE– / AMT / 1914–1915 in six lines. Edge: Plain.
Hauser 1397. Gem Mint State. Matte charcoal surfaces.
Launched in October 1902, the Léon Gambetta served as the lead ship in her class of three armored cruisers used to patrol first the seas north of France and then, starting in 1910, the waters in the Mediterranean. It was there, during April 1915, that she was tracked and fired upon by the German U-5, sinking in a matter of just ten minutes and leaving merely 137 of the crew's 821 surviving.