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Egyptian ribbon bars


ChrisW
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Gentlemen,

This is my collection (so far!) of Egyptian medal ribbon bars. All are current (i.e., post-1952 revolution, Republic era).

First up is this one:

- Liberation Order with palm; Commemorative Medal of the United Arab Republic; Military Medal of the Evacuation

- Medal of Long Service and Good Example; Victory Medal; Military Medal of Independence

- October 6 Memorial Medal [1973 War campaign medal]; Army Day Commemorative Medal; Tenth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal; Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal

Note that the ribbons are made from colored threads, wrapped around the metal bars. This method was used by at least one manufacturer in the Cairo area (for the life of me I cannot remember if it was northeast of the city center near the airport, or northwest of the city center in Giza -- forgive, I bought this there around 1981, when I was ten years old.)

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Here we have the ribbons of the Sinai Liberation Medal and Egypt's Kuwait Liberation Medal. Most, if not all, Egyptian soldiers I've seen wearing the Egyptian KLM also wear the Kuwaiti Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait, and often the Saudi or UAE versions of this medal.

It's also rare to see a two-ribbon bar; most Egyptian officers don't seem to wear fewer than three ribbons. (Possibly because by the time they've earned three medals they can afford to start getting fancier with their uniforms?)

This ribbon bar was purchased from Maison Tawfiq Bichay in Cairo, and is typical of most modern ribbons bars.

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Two Air Force ribbon bars, purchased at Bichay in the late 1980s.

On the top one:

- Sinai Liberation Medal; Medal of Military Duty; Medal of Long Service and Good Example

- October 6 Memorial Medal; Silver Anniversary of the Air Force Medal; Tenth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal; Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal

On the bottom one:

- Sinai Liberation Medal; October 6 Memorial Medal; Silver Anniversary of the Air Force Medal

- Tenth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal; Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal; Gold Anniversary of the Air Force Medal

Some observations:

- Egyptian ribbon bars don't often follow a strict order of precedence. Witness the Medal of Military Duty being worn after the Sinai Liberation Medal.

- Note the difference in weaves between the Sinai Liberation and October 6 medals.

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And here are one each from the Air Defense Forces and the Navy, purchased from Bichay in the early/mid-1990s.

On the Air Defense (top) one:

- Sinai Liberation; Air Defense Forces Day

- October 6 Memorial; Army Day Commemorative; Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution

On the Navy (bottom) one:

- Victory Medal; Sinai Liberation; Long Service and Good Example

- October 6 Memorial; Navy Day; Tenth and Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution

These groups raise more comments:

- The top one lacks the 10th anniversary of the revolution medal, it's very rare not to see both the 10th and 20th worn together

- Why would a member of the Air Defense Forces, a separate military branch, also wear the Army Day medal? Did he switch branches at some point?

- How could the recipient of the Navy group be eligible for the Victory Medal (awarded for the 1956 War) without earning some of the other Nasser-era commemorative medals? This -- and many other observations -- make me strongly inclined to believe that the ribbons of Nasser-era commemorative medals are "re-used" for other purposes, or possibly that some Egyptian officers wear ribbons they're not eligible for.

I should add that, since these were manufactured by Bichay, and on display for sale there, that they were made specifically for individual officers, rather than just being "display" examples in the hope that random foreigners like myself would walk in.....

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These two I purchased off Ebay in the past few years. Unlike some of the Egyptian ribbon bars I've seen on Ebay, these could plausibly have been issued. (The combination of ribbons of some of the bars on Ebay are very very strange indeed... although, as I have noted, you'll see strange combinations being worn.)

The top one is another "colored thread" example, and a pretty terrible one: 6 October Memorial (with the "6" on a disk which is not always seen, and the significance of which is unknown); Army Day; Sinai Liberation.

The bottom one is a single ribbon -- which are extremely rarely seen in practice, as I've noted most officers don't seem to bother wearing fewer than three ribbons -- of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution medal. For some reason it is lacking the usual "20" on a disk.

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... and finally from me, at least for the moment...

My most recent addition, and a bad photo. Another "colored thread" ribbon bar I purchased on Ebay, and another plausible one that was probably genuinely awarded to someone.

- Sinai Liberation, October 6 Memorial with disk

- Army Day, Tenth and Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution

I already see replies to some of these posts, I'd better get cracking on answering those!

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Can you show the reverses, too, please? Always interested in various national construction techniques. :cheers:

Excellent question! Give me a couple of days and I'll scan the reverses. (I did these scans weeks ago but didn't get around to posting them until tonight.)

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Here's one.

1- Liberation Order, Military Order of Merit/Union Order, End of Occupation Decoration

2- Miltary Independence Medal, Victory Medal, Sinai Liberation Medal

3- Military Medal of Courage, Medal of Military Duty, Medal of Training, Medal of Distinguished Service

4- Medal of Long Service and Good Example, War Wounded (?), October 6th, Army Day Medal

5- 10th Anniversary of Revolution, 20th Anniversary of Revolution, ????. Kuwait Liberation Medal

See also: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=20809&st=30

More to come

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Chris,

The bars below illustrate service from the 1948 War through to the 2Oth Anniversary in 1972 of the Revolution (coup) - at least 24 years service:

Row A - Liberation Order; UAR Commemorative; Evacuation; Victory

Row B - Independence; LSGC; 1948 War; 1973 War

Row C - 1949 Mohammed Ali Centenary: Army Day; 10th Rev.; 20th Rev

Interesting to note that there are two medals from before the change of regime - the 1948 War was post 1952 worn reversed thereby hiding the profile of King Farouk.

Owain

Edited by oamotme
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And another:

Row A - Liberation Order; UAR Comm.; Evacuation.

Row B - Victory; Independence: LSGC; 1948 War.

Row C - 1949 M'd Ali; Army Day; 10th Rev.; 20th Rev.

The device is missing from the Liberation Order - the same ribbon was used for the Liberation Order (Officers) and Liberation Medal (Other Ranks) - does the device signify the Order as opposed to the Medal?

Owain

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Here's one.

1- Liberation Order, Military Order of Merit/Union Order, End of Occupation Decoration

2- Miltary Independence Medal, Victory Medal, Sinai Liberation Medal

3- Military Medal of Courage, Medal of Military Duty, Medal of Training, Medal of Distinguished Service

4- Medal of Long Service and Good Example, War Wounded (?), October 6th, Army Day Medal

5- 10th Anniversary of Revolution, 20th Anniversary of Revolution, ????. Kuwait Liberation Medal

See also: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=20809&st=30

Ed,

Very nice ribbon bar! Great selection! It's rare to see the War Wounded Medal, and nice to see an unknown (foreign?) award. Thanks for sharing.

But this grouping again raises some of the questions I mentioned earlier. If this belonged to an actual officer/soldier, the ribbons indicate he had nearly 50 years of service -- from the 1952 revolution to the 1991 liberation of Kuwait. Of course, such a long period of active service is possible. But I do have a lingering suspicion that some ribbons -- particularly those of the Nasser-era commemoration medals -- are recycled for other purposes.

More to come

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Chris,

The bars below illustrate service from the 1948 War through to the 2Oth Anniversary in 1972 of the Revolution (coup) - at least 24 years service:

Row A - Liberation Order; UAR Commemorative; Evacuation; Victory

Row B - Independence; LSGC; 1948 War; 1973 War

Row C - 1949 Mohammed Ali Centenary: Army Day; 10th Rev.; 20th Rev

Interesting to note that there are two medals from before the change of regime - the 1948 War was post 1952 worn reversed thereby hiding the profile of King Farouk.

Owain

Owain,

Thanks for sharing this especially nice group. It's a particularly fine example of the colored thread style -- unlike some of the terrible ones I own! You're right, it is fairly rare to find an example with pre-revolution medals.

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And another:

Row A - Liberation Order; UAR Comm.; Evacuation.

Row B - Victory; Independence: LSGC; 1948 War.

Row C - 1949 M'd Ali; Army Day; 10th Rev.; 20th Rev.

The device is missing from the Liberation Order - the same ribbon was used for the Liberation Order (Officers) and Liberation Medal (Other Ranks) - does the device signify the Order as opposed to the Medal?

Owain

Another nice one, Owain. Yes, the gilt palm device was only seen on the Order. Although in your case it looks like the device may have been removed from the ribbon.

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And here are the other four.

The top one is a rare clutch-back example, made by Bichay. I removed one of the backs to more clearly show the fitting.

The bottom three are colored thread styles. Most of the colored thread styles seem to have paper backing, probably to protect loose threads.

Again, in all cases the cloth is glued to the metal bars.

This is probably one reason why ribbons are not necessarily worn in order of precedence. If an officer earns a new medal, he will have to have a whole new ribbon bar made. He would probably also wait until he gets 2-4 new ribbons (i.e., a new row) and just add the new row to an existing row.

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:Cat-Scratch: VERY interesting! It always fascinates me when Potemkin Village bars exist like this-- lovely up front but horrible behind! :speechless1:

These seem very very flimsy indeed for the climate conditions they are worn in. Paper and loose yarn are not what I think of as suitable for desert conditions!

:cheers:

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  • 1 year later...

A fairly typical ribbon bar from 1967 -- I bought it from an Israeli dealer, so presumably it was a "war souvenir" brought back by an Israeli soldier.

UAR Commemorative, Independence Medal, Victory Medal, Army Day, and 10th Anniversary of the Revolution.

What's interesting about this is that the numerals on the Anniversary of the Revolution medal are individually cut out and glued on the ribbon. It's much more common to see them on a stamped disk.

Construction is the standard colored thread wrapped around metal bars, with paper backing.

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