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Portugal - Victory medal WWI

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Guest Darrell

Hi Tom,

The only clasp that I could find similar this device was a 5 pointed star. No C. Sorry.

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I know... I found the same discription on the 5 pointed star and some others with text on. But i never saw this kind... Still wonder what it means...

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Hallo Gentlemen, :beer:

the way the clasp seems to pull the ribbon in at the sides, makes me wonder does it indeed belong here in the first place, :unsure: in fact the ribbon looks to be the British version of the Inter-Allied Rainbow ribbon.

Will ask Dolf if he can check it out as he lives in Portugal and collects some of the Orders.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

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Thanks for alerting me to this one Kevin.

As I told you on my PM I really have no clue, but one thing is for sure, I never saw that kind of clasp in a WWI Portuguese Victory Medal, or in any other Portuguese Medal btw.

I'll send the pic to another guy who knows much better than me about Portuguese awards and will see what he may tell. Most probably, being a teacher he may be currently on vacations so we might have to wait some time before I get a reply, will see.

Anyway, imho I don't think that clasp belongs to that Medal.

Just my two "escudos" :P (former Portuguese currency before the Euro)

Dolf

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Guest Darrell

Here's the clasp with the star we were mentioning before. Similar to this one as well.

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I've seen them with the star but first time I see one with the "C" :unsure:

Dolf

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seems still a mistery... I don't think it belongs their either... but it still looks like a Portugees Clasp...

So IF it doesn't bleong there (Im not sure about that)... Where does it belong to ?

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seems still a mistery... I don't think it belongs their either... but it still looks like a Portugees Clasp...

So IF it doesn't bleong there (Im not sure about that)... Where does it belong to ?

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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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

:angry: Or an unscruplous seller trying to raise the price of the medal by the addition of a "RARE" Bar!! :unsure:

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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:angry: Or an unscruplous seller trying to raise the price of the medal by the addition of a "RARE" Bar!! :unsure:

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

Oh, Kevin . . . you mean :speechless1: . . . that sort of thing might happen :speechless1: . . . on eBay :speechless1::speechless1: . . . of all places?!

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:angry: Or an unscruplous seller trying to raise the price of the medal by the addition of a "RARE" Bar!! :unsure:

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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 :rolleyes:

I'm as optimist :speechless:

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Hi,

From my site :cheeky: , 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

Edited by Jorge Quinta Nova

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Hallo Jorge :cheers:

thanks for the additional information with regards the Portuguese awards, to me, it does not cite that a Portuguese soldier could wear a "C" device on a victory medal ribbon, the Victory medal is not a campaign medal, good service medal or valour medal.

The victory medal just denotes the participation of Portugal on the winning side in the Great War for Civilisation.

I still believe the "C" device on a Victory medal ribbon is totaly unofficial, and against regulations, while I have seen many pictures of the Portugeuse Victory medal I have never seen one with the "C" device, (not counting the one featured in the start of this thread) and unless one turns up being worn in an old picture by a veteran, then I will continue to believe its not official or permitted.

I have seen mention of the clasp, authorised by Decree No: 5:400 of 12th April 1919, the clasp "Batalha de La Lys, 9-14-1918" to the Commemorative Medal of the Campaign of the Portuguese was instituted for those wounded in combat on that fateful day.

Provisions for the "FRANCA 1917-1918" Clasp to the Commemorative Medal of the Campaigns of the Portuguese Army, are contained in Decree No: 5:400 0f 12th April 1919, Because the Victory Medal was now associated with the "FRANCA 1917 - 1918" clasp, Decree No. 5:400, in effect, also outlined eligibility for the Victory Medal for personnel of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps. Personnel entitled to the Commemorative Medal with "FRANCA 1917-1918" clasp and award conditions are summarized as follows:

a. Soldiers, nurses, and civilians who are part of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps and in the war zone for more than two consecutive months during the period of 4th March 1917, the date of the formation of the Corps in the war zone, to the Armistice on 11 November 1918.

Hospital personnel of the Portuguese Red Cross were considered to be part of the Expeditonary Corrps.

b. Personnel of the Independant Heavy Artillery Corps between 2nd March 1917 and 11th November 1918.

c. Foreigners of either sex who were deemed worthy of entitlement by virtue of their services in the war zone to Portuguese units.

d. The war zone included the locations of: Brest, Etaples, (Paris-Plage), Boulogne, Ambleteuse, and Calais.

The original Decree which established the the Portuguese Victory Medal conformed with the intent of the Inter-Allied Commission that the medal should be reserved for combatants, while the amending Decree extended entitlement to both combatant and support forces.

To partially rectify this disparity, Decree No. 6:756 of the 10th July 1920 established a silver star suspension and service ribbon device to recognise those persons who served in combat as defined by Decree No. 6:186.

This five pointed star has a radius of 3mm and was to be placed in the middle of the ribbon buckle. The star is secured to the ribbon by two prongs which are pushed through the ribbon fabric and then bent over.

Decree No. 6:568 was later amended by Decree No. 8:993 of 17th July 1923 to include those military personnel refered to in Law No. 1:123 of the 4th March 1921.

Law No. 1:123 established clasps for the Commemorative Medal of the Campaigns of the Portuguese Army for services during the war in the maritime defense of the "Entrenched Camp of Lisbon" and the cities of Funchel (Madeira Islands) and Ponta Delgada (Azores).

These clasps bear the legend "C.E.L., Defesa Maritima 1916 - 1918", "Funchal, Defesa Maritima 1916 - 1918 and "Ponta Delgada, Defesa Maritima 1916 - 1918."

In all of the above, I see no mention to a "C" device (??) :unsure:

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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In all of the above, I see no mention to a "C" device (??) :unsure:

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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...)

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Hallo Jorge :cheers:

many thanks for your quick reply to my comments, I fully understand what you mean with regards to the wearing of such devices (I wonder why though we have never come across more than one "C" device before now on a Victory Medal ribbon).

Personaly I think Mr. Laslo (who, we have to remember was researching, and eventually published a book on the Inter-Allied Victory Medal of the Great War) and not doing a combat evaluation on the military forces from the various countries.

I have come across various references as regards the qualities of the Portuguese in books, (see The Imperial War Museum book of 1918 Year of Victory, pages 84 - 86) where it states:

. . . (Ludendorff's). . "attack caught the Portuguese in the act of being relieved. They broke and fled in confusion."

And. . . from Captain R.G.C Dartford, British Liason Officer attached to the Portuguese his account suggests, of which the following are brief extracts, also suggests that among those who did not retreat, including some ofthe attached British, there were many casualties:

9 April Tues. Woke at 4.10 a.m very heavy shelling. Guessed from the start it meant an attack. Phoned to brigade - every communication cut already. Next 3 hours we could do nothing, but nearly got aphyxiated by lack of oxygen owing to having to keep the gas blankets down. Heavy fog on and everybody seemed isolated from the others.

I think the Boche must have taken our frontline about 8.30 and the B line at 8.45 and was up to battalion HQ by 9.15 or so.

One message from X. de Costa (C.O. 29th Battalion) said he no longer had any command and that it was now a question of individuals fighting out. He was killed we learnt after. So was Captain Montenegro, O.C. 20th Battalion (right) and nothing is known of Montalvao (left) and Woodrow and Sgt Ransdale.

I know there is a tendency when things go wrong to look for a scapegoat and possibly the Portuguese took a lot of the blame, but also the following comments by Brigadier-General F.P. Crozier, a senior officer of Irish extraction and doughty reputation, has left a terse but vivid description of the state of affairs on the eve of the German attack, and of the opening of the attack itself:

On the night of the 7th - 8th April we arrive in the line south of Armentieres. On the right are the Portuguese. I don't like the feel of things - all is quiet - too quiet. I go down to the Portuguese front with a Colonel. We walk seven hundred yards and scarcely see a sentry.

We examine rifles and ammunition lying about. All are rusty and useless. "Where are the men?" I ask my companion. A snore gives me the answer. Practically all the front line sleeps heavily and bootless in cubbyholes covered with waterproof sheets, while their equipment hangs carelessly about . . .

"Our communications trenches are fearfully bad," says the Colonel, "stretchers can't move with ease in them!" "I know", I say, "I'll see what can be done about them, but from what I can see," I think we'll be shot out of this at dawn, via, the rear!" I go back to my headquarters in a farm, and report what I have seen.

"They're always like that", says a member of the British Mission attached to the Portuguese, on the telephone.

"They should not be there", I say "thats the crime".

In the early morning of 9th April, a deafening bombardment wakes me up. Before long my batman Starrett arrives, "Put this on" he orders, holding out my gas respirator, "and get dressed at once. You'll be wanted. I'll pack the kit. Get you to the telephone place, it's strong." I obey!

All is mystery and gas. The Portuguese bolt and leave the way open."

I would like to know if any members of the forum have any information pertaining to the days before the German attack against the Portuguese postions, normaly attacks are launched at quiet or weak sectors of the line, German recon reports from this period and postion of the line might give some clue as to the expected resistence from the enemy.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to fix the blame on anybody and certainly dont want to imply that the men who gave their lives did so without good cause.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

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I would like to know if any members of the forum have any information pertaining to the days before the German attack against the Portuguese postions, normaly attacks are launched at quiet or weak sectors of the line, German recon reports from this period and postion of the line might give some clue as to the expected resistence from the enemy.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to fix the blame on anybody and certainly dont want to imply that the men who gave their lives did so without good cause.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

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...

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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 perhap's have given Portugal the possibility of keeping their colonies until 1975.

Hallo Jorge, :beer:

May I ask one question, you state in your post 7,500 dead but on the web-page you posted a link to:

it states:

"The total losses of the CEP on the Western Front in 1917-1918 amounted to 2160 dead, 5224 wounded and 6678 prisoners."

Did you mistakenly combine the dead and wounded figures??

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Did you mistakenly combine the dead and wounded figures??

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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

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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

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.

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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

Hallo Jorge :cheers:

I dont see how the political instability can reflect on the troops rediness to fight, either the troops were well trained and well equipped or not well trained and well equipped.

From http://www.worldwar1.com/france/portugal.htm : "After the German declaration of war on 9 March 1916, the Portuguese government pledged to send an expeditionary force to fight on the Western Front. Overcoming considerable difficulties, Portugal managed to raise a well equipped and trained force in just three months.

This astounding achievement, of which a celebrated parade held at Montalvo in 22 July 1916 was the crowning glory, became known as "the miracle of Tancos" (Tancos being the camp where the forming of the Portuguese units and the training of its soldiers took place)."

(Again, no disrespect intended but this reads more like wishful thinking on the part of the Portuguese, and it is a well known fact that you cannot generate a perfect soldier in just 12 weeks ready for combat).

Also, this parade was held on the 22nd of July 1916 yet it was the 2nd of February 1917 before the troops began arriving in France!, were the first troops who were on the parade of 22nd July 1916 held in Portugal, or did most of these troops travel to serve in the African campaign??

And by the way to bring ths thread back to the original topic, Jorge :D I am of the orinion that the "C" bar in the picture at the start of the thread was never intended to fit on the Victory medal ribbon, do you know the diamensions of the ribbon for:

Commemorative Medal of the Campaigns of the Portuguese Army.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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And by the way to bring ths thread back to the original topic, Jorge :D I am of the orinion that the "C" bar in the picture at the start of the thread was never intended to fit on the Victory medal ribbon, do you know the diamensions of the ribbon for:

Commemorative Medal of the Campaigns of the Portuguese Army.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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

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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

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Just stubling across this thread and thought I would post mine. Just a plain ribbon buckle for what appears to be a non-combatant award.

Tim

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