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Jorge Quinta Nova

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  1. Hi Kevin, Answering your question, all portuguese military medal ribbons are 3 cm wide (since mid-XIX century). Normally, the 'buckles' are between 3,3-3,5 cm. If I saw that decoration on sale, I would consider it 2-in-1, because the "C" device, even if not for that medal, is a must have item. Jorge
  2. Kevin, There are several irregularities to be considered here: First, the ribbon is french size, so the portuguese 'buckle' will not fit. Second, as we know, the "C" device was only to be used in Valour and Good Services. I also believe that this medal was 'mounted' for ebay purposes, from several parts, but I simply keep an open mind towards the 'variations'. It is just a matter of knowing when were the 'alterations' made. As for the CEP, I must say that the political instability played a fundamental role in the outcome of events. In December 5, 1917, there was a military coup that put Sid?nio Pais in power, taking the Portuguese Republican Party out of power. Two sides existed clearly in Portugal. All the Expeditionary Corps was in France since February. Inside the CEP, there was also a political division mainly between the officers. Many officers were recalled to Portugal, and never substituted (or came back, if on 'holiday'). The replacements inside the CEP never took place, either by the lack of political interests, either by labour strikes in the Lisbon Port, and lack of ships. I'm not trying to clean or revise history. The Portuguese Army in France did not give a good example to the world, but those who were there were soldiers and not politicians (at least most of the enlisted). Even so, they suffered because of the lack of decision from the politicians. Lack of replacements, lack of material, lack of management. If you see the traditional strategic choices of Portugal in the XX century, you will see that having troops in France was an anomaly, fruit of a young regime with 6 years in need for recognition, and a terrible mistake. Our war was in Africa and not in northern France. From 2007, I think it would have been better if we only sent the Heavy Artillery (CAPI), and that would be enough - perfect for just showing up. There are many examples of bravery that day, especially on the south. At least, in all this sucession of mistakes, the honour of the Portuguese Army was saved, even if not that of Portugal. Jorge
  3. If I had this opinion in 1917, I would be emprisoned (and the keys thrown away). I would be a germanophile, a traitor and a pacifist... J.
  4. Kevin, Yes. I meant casualties, but came out with dead. 7,500 would be about 33% of the number of men - that would be a most grim number. Even so, my numbers must be wrong... Nevertheless, the Portuguese Army was not ready to fight in France. Not because they were less than the others, in quality, but because of the political instability in Portugal - that's my main point, anyway. Jorge
  5. Kevin, No problem. Things happen like they happen. It's History. As I heard my history, the allied left flank was made up of british troops and looking at the maps they ratreated as much as the portuguese. Only the right, to the south, was able not to be pushed back that much. As I understand, the German attack, 'Georgette' offensive, consisted of about 4 divisions (50,000 men). I believe that something would have happen eventually. In the historical defense of the Portuguese troops, I must say that they were to be relieved that day and that they were not getting replacements for some time. The Allied Command and the portuguese political authorities knew very well of the situation, hence the orders to get the C.E.P.'s 2nd Division out - it came too late apparently: "(...), General Fernando Tamagnini de Abreu e Silva, informed the politicians in Lisbon of the first mutinies in 4 April 1918. Finally alarmed, the British decided to relieve the CEP at the front, starting by the bulk of the 1st Division on 6 April - whose sector, the southern half of the CEP's line, was taken over by the neighbouring British 55th (West Lancashire) Division, already in line in front of La Bass?e - and then the 2nd Division would go on the 9th of April, to be replaced by the British 55th and 50th (Northumbrian) Divisions." - http://www.worldwar1.com/france/portugal.htm The reason why the Germans attacked was the same that the British command had in deciding to pull out the portuguese division. In the disaster, of course there were portuguese running like hell for their lives, but there were also portuguese standing and delaying the German. The political situation in Portugal is very important here. Of course, has I said early, Portugal should have never sent troops to France, as our strategic objectives were always in Africa and so our military know-how. On the other hand, those 7,500 dead in the first 4 hours perhapas have given Portugal the possibility of keeping their colonies until 1975. I wonder if those many thousand men wouldn't be more useful in Africa, against the Germans in Angola and Mozambique, where the portuguese interests were, but that's speculation...
  6. Kevin, In portuguese military medals, what is written in the decrees differs greatly from what people put in their chests. A good example is the wound bar for 'La Lys' (today is the 89th anniversary of the battle with the ultimate sacrifice of the Portuguese, with the famous Minho Brigade holding the advance of the german - I take the opportunity to honour this men who died for their country far away from home and from their country's real interests...). That wound bar - I was saying - was so important for the veterans that quickly transformed into a full size bar, as if it was a campaign. This as to do with the fact that the shops were responsible for making and selling such items. As it is commonly said, the client is always right. There are many unofficial campaign bars out there, all legitimate objects of study. So, the "C" device was only to be used in the Valour and the Good Services, when won in campaign. What I do is give some latitude to this decree-blind veterans, which had their own aspirations and, specially, bought the medals at their own expenses, most of the times. If asked I would say that the picture at the beginning of this thread is not according to regulations, but can't overlook the possibility of such a phenomenon. Best Regards, Jorge PS: Outside the subject (but close enough), I would also like to note that despite being accurate in terms of regulations and actual designs, the historical vision of Laslo (1992) is biased and does not take into full account the portuguese participation in World War I. (simply had to say this...)
  7. Dolf, The Peninsular War Cross was created in June 28, 1816. You can see it here . The ribbon was originally has stated on the site, but then changed to this, for political reasons: The modern Military Valour medal has a very similar design, in hommage, no doubt, to this very beatiful and valuable decoration. Jorge
  8. Dolf, We never know. As for the newspaper collection, it was a third of the actual size and plastic... What I really wanted was a museum-quality certified replica of the Peninsular War Cross, which does not exist... (I'll keep dreaming...) Jorge
  9. Friends, I bought an item from that collection and never bought a second. The quality is, for me, bellow zero. The only good thing is that at least someone did it, unfortunetaly, the execution left much to be desired. On the other hand, I found this collection - link - which appears to be much better, finished in gold or silver. They are 2 very different collections indeed. Jorge
  10. Yankee, I've found the journal where that article is and bought it yesterday. Here is the link where you can see the summary. It was published in 2006. Jorge
  11. Hi, From my site , a small chronogram about the subject, which might explain the discrepancy (on the condition that the medal was not altered): 1919 11/9 - Decree nr. 6093 ? The following alterations are introduced to the Regulation of the Military Medal: - Creation of the copper degree for the Good Services medal; - Use of device "C", on the ribbon buckle, to indicate that a certain medal was won while in campaign, mainly Valor and Good Services. 30/10 - Creation of the Victory Medal (Vit?ria), "inter-allied commemorative medal", by decree nr. 6186. 1920 10/7 - A silver star device is established for the Victory Medal to indicate a combatant. 1921 25/4 - Decree nr. 7464 ? The reverse of the Victory medal is altered, not complying with the reverse decided between the allied nations. 1926 7/5 ? Decree nr. 11649 ? New alterations are introduced to the Military Medal Regulations: - The device "C", formerly used to indicate that a medal was won in campaign, now indicates that it was won in campaign in continental Portugal, against insurrectionals; - A golden Plam device is to be used on the ribbon buckle to indicate that the medal was won in Africa or France. So, what happens is that there was a 1-year window for a soldier awarded with a Victory medal to place a "C" device to indicate he was in the trenches. Again, this only explains things if someone didn't mess with a perfectly good victory medal. Jorge
  12. Yankee, I'm in the 'business' for a bit over one year, and never saw this medal until I read your post. But now I'm certainly going to find out more in my investigations in the District Archives where they keep the official 'gazette'. I'm hoping to find a list of people who received this and other medals. Jorge
  13. Hi, Yankee I have no info on the medal itself, but I'm able to shed some light on the events that inspired it. The plague was in 1857, in Lisbon, caused by Yellow Fever. It is said to have killed 10% of the city's population. Many hospitals were raised, so I believe the medal was targeted at the people that worked there. History says that Lisbon stopped, people were afraid to leave their houses, streets were empty, shows were closed. Funeral processions were carried out only with priest and digger - well, plague environment all round... To show its importance, even King D. Pedro V visited somes hospitals, suposedly against the advice of his aides. This would also explain why a medal was issued, as the new liberal kings were very keen to public health. Also, I found a photograph of King D. Pedro V with the medal, just right of the Order of The Tower and the Sword. Obviously, his Majesty was very proud of it: D. Pedro V and the 1858 yellow fever medal
  14. The names aren't very much help, but it might point to a 1912 expedition in Mozambique against the chief of the Yao in the area, mataca Chisonga (mataca being the title). I'm talking about what today is Niassa Province, in the northnest part of Mozambique. This expedition, organized by the Nyassa Company, was aimed at destroying an uprising of the Yao, which constantly raided the area and enslaved many people (their main business, and why the british also had an eye no the Yaos west of lake Nyassa - or lake Malawi). This expedition came to conclude another one in 1899 against the 'great' mataca Bonomali, in turn to 'avenge' the killing of lieutnant Valadim and his expedition, in 1890. Can't track the commander of the expedition, but can indicate the following composition, organized in September, 1912: - 18 europeans - 370 'Cipaios' (Sepoy? - local african police) - 2500 auxiliaries - and 500 bearers The commander would be the local governor. The expedition had no artillery, but it had 2 machine-guns and 300 round for each. The first objective being completed - that of cutting powder supply routes from Ost Afrika to the Yao - the rest was 'easy'. In 21 days, the Yao's capital city, Mwembe, is destroyed (much the same way as in 1899) and the Yaos flee to Ost Afrika. In the destroyed Mwembe, Fort Lieutnant Valadim is raised and portuguese authority established. Perhaps this is the expedition you are trying to find, but as I said the names are not helpful.
  15. That's the problem, even if I see something is not according to regulations, I can't help being portuguese and start speculating about a soldier not obeying to regulations. And specially when I know that there was some discomfort in the late 1910's about not being an indication in the medal for combatants. I can't but wonder that a soldier wanted to enphasize that is was in the fighting, instead of the red cross guys and the clerks, eheheh I'm as optimist
  16. The C was used in two portuguese medals (Valour and Good Services) to indicate that it was won in campaign. Today a palm is used for the same purpose (since the 1920's, I believe). For the Victory Medal, there was only the five-star silver star to indicate that it was awarded to a combatant. That C was put there by mistake, perhaps even by a soldier to indicate he was a combatant. Jorge
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