Chris Weeks

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  1. Thanks as always, Owain. You've added an intriguing aspect to this story (and a beautiful photo as well!)
  2. (These may already be known to people, and I hesitated if I should post this here or in the Middle East section, so apologies if necessary on both counts.) I came across two medal related pages on the Sudan Presidency website. The third page (of recipients) is empty, and the English language versions of the pages aren't complete, but it's an easy task to put these pages into Google Translate.
  3. Paja, The Arabic reads "Air College" (al-kuliyya al-gawiyya). Judging by the roundel and the silhouette (a Mirage III or V) it's probably from Libya. Regards, Chris
  4. OCTOBER 1973 WAR Interestingly, all the known awards for the 1973 war are to non-Egyptian units, but this probably is simply because these awards received more press coverage (as a goodwill gesture.) It seems almost certain that a large number of Egyptian units also received awards, but they just didn’t receive as much press coverage. A Presidential decree of 18 February 1974 bestowed the Military Order of the Republic on select Egyptian, Syrian and other Arab units that distinguished themselves in fighting during the October 1973 war. (Cairo Press Review, 19 Feb. 1974; Cairo Press Review, 20 Feb. 1974) It was awarded to the Sudanese infantry brigade that served on the Egyptian front in the war, in an August 1974 ceremony. (Cairo Domestic Service, 5 Aug. 1974) The Kuwaiti battalion that served on the Egyptian front also received the medal in a ceremony in October 1974. (Cairo Press Review, 11 Oct. 1974) No photos unfortunately! POST-1973 AWARDS The Military Order of the Republic also has been awarded for non-combat service. In April 1995, the Egyptian Army's 166th Mechanized Infantry Battalion received it following a 14 month deployment to Somalia as part of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). (Al Ahram Weekly, 25-31 May 1995) That's all I have in my notes, thus endeth this mini-article... for now.
  5. Same ceremony, hard to tell if this is the same commando battalion or a different one. (Photo credit: President Nasser photo archive at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) And the last photo from this award ceremony, President Nasser awarding the Military Order of the Republic to an unidentified Egyptian Army paratroop unit. (Photo credit: President Nasser photo archive at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) Another award for service in Yemen, this time to the 23rd Commando Battalion in early 1965. (Photo credit: al-Quwwat al-Musalahah magazine, March 1965) Another photo of the 23rd Commando Battalion, with the award certificate in the inset. (Photo credit: al-Quwwat al-Musalahah magazine, March 1965) And a close-up of the 23rd Battalion's award certificate. (Photo credit: al-Quwwat al-Musalahah magazine, March 1965) Moving on from the Yemen War.... WAR OF ATTRITION (1967-1970) The Army’s 39th Commando Group received the Military Order of the Republic for several operations during the War of Attrition which took them across the Suez Canal into Israeli-occupied Sinai. (The 39th Group was commanded by Col. Ibrahim al-Rifa'i, Egypt's most decorated soldier.) Here is President Anwar Sadat decorating the unit flag of the 39th, in a ceremony on 12 August 1971. (Photo credit: President Sadat photo archive at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) Another award from President Sadat during the War of Attrition. Date and unit unknown, it could be the same as above. (Photo credit: President Sadat photo archive at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina)
  6. Egypt's Military Order of the Republic (al-wisaam al-gomhouriya al-‘askariia) was established specifically as a unit award. According to the Egyptian medals protocols, it “may be granted to any military unit or formation for outstanding achievements.” It comes in a single class. It is identical to the Order of the Republic, First Class, with the addition of a five-pointed star on the lower part of the order. It could be considered a separate class of the Order of the Republic. The Order of the Republic was created in 1953, and presumably the Military Order of the Republic was created at the same time or shortly afterwards. The earliest record of its existence I’ve been able to trace is from 1964. (References: Egyptian Decorations & Medals and the Rules Governing Them, Presidency of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Cabinet of the Grand Chamberlain, 1983; Samah abd al-Rahman al-Liqaani, Mausua’a al-Qala’id wal-Niyashin wal-Osama wal-Nuat wal-Midaaliyyat al-Masriyya, Cairo, 2015) When awarded to a unit, the medal is directly attached to that unit’s flag. Unlike unit awards in some countries such as the USA, personnel assigned to the recipient unit do not wear some variation of the medal on their uniform. However, there does appear to be a buttonhole rosette for the medal’s ribbon (seen above), which could be worn when in civilian dress. Here is the Order of the Republic, for comparison. The only difference is the lack of the star. EXAMPLES OF AWARDS Several specific awards of the Military Order of the Republic are known, both to Egyptian and non-Egyptian Arab units. YEMEN WAR (1962-1967) The Military Order of the Republic probably was first issued on a large scale during Egypt’s war in Yemen (1962-1967), judging from period photos. Here's President Nasser pinning the Military Order of the Republic on the flag of an unidentified Egyptian Air Force, probably for operations in Yemen, in June 1964. (Photo credit: Al-Quwwat al-Musalahah magazine, July 1964) And at the same ceremony, on 18 June 1964, President Nasser awarding the Military Order of the Republic to an unidentified Egyptian Navy unit or ship, again for Yemen operations. (Photo credit: President Nasser photo archive at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) Same ceremony, Nasser decorating the flag of an unidentified Egyptian Army commando battalion. (Photo credit: President Nasser photo archive at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina)
  7. Kosty, Thanks for posting and welcome! That is the Military Medal of the Republic (United Arab Republic version). The medal looks silver, and if it is, then it's the First Class. Awarded "to those who display great devotion to duty on the battlefield irrespective of rank." The ribbon is well worn but it's always hard to find Egyptian medals with the original ribbon. And it's really interesting to see that the ribbon appears to have a cardboard mount for display or wear. Congratulations on a nice find. Chris
  8. Rusty, Thanks for posting this. It's a remarkable piece, with a great back story and family connection. The motifs (pyramids and lotuses) definitely mark it as Egyptian. But I don't think the figure is of King Farouk, or his predecessor, King Fuad. This figure is too slender, with a fuller mustache, than either of the kings. It might be a lower ranking official, perhaps a prince? Chris I may have answered my own question. Could it be Khedive Abbas II, ruler of Egypt from 1892-1914?
  9. A very nice example of a new but rarely-seen medal. Thanks for posting!
  10. Very interesting, and a great find! Thank you for posting these! I should explore the Alexandria Library's Facebook page. I've spent some time digging around their website, which has some nice material (archive photos and some official documents from both the Kingdom and Republic era) but is extremely un-user-friendly. It requires lots of patience, cunning, and some knowledge of Arabic to trawl through. The most obvious medal-related page from the website is this photo gallery of Egyptian and foreign medals in the library's collection - possibly originally from the Montazah Palace and since taken into the state archives? Chris
  11. And a few others from the Zaki book: Coast Guard Cavalry. Border Guards. Army organization/administration. Communications/signals. Maintenance.
  12. Here, about six months after I promised them, are some of the branch insignia from Zaki's book. I arranged these in the same order as the illustration from Carman's book which iffig kindly posted a few days back. Zaki's book lacks the insignia for the Staff College.
  13. iffig: Thank you for reminding me I have neglected to post images of the Egyptian branches of service from that book. I will try to get started this week. Peter: Interesting quotes, thanks for sharing! During the First World War, Egypt became a British protectorate, so it was firmly on the side of the Allies. Some Egyptian combat troops (mostly artillery) served alongside British and Imperial soldiers in the Sinai, Libya, the Sudan, Palestine and Arabia. But the most important Egyptian contribution to the war effort was the Egyptian Labour Corps and the Camel Transport Corps; hundreds of thousands of them served in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Western Front. Regards, Chris
  14. Fascinating! Thanks for posting these, Igor. Interesting to see that the Soviet officers are wearing what look like Egyptian uniforms.
  15. Thank you for posting, Igor - very nice photos! I've seen Egyptian award documents to Soviet officers but not photos of them wearing the medals. Do you know if the 18th Rocket Division was an air defense (SAM) or FROG/SCUD unit, or when these officers served in Egypt? Thank you! Chris