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Nationalist China Medal of Armed Forces

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I think it will be very interesting and extremely useful to talk about this beautiful

Medal of Armed Forces

Let’s go for it! :)

They call it Medal of Armed Forces

a.k.a. Army, Navy, and Air Force Medal

a.k.a. Armed Forces General Medal

a.k.a. Medal of Armed Forces

a.k.a. Military Medal

a.k.a. Army and Navy Medal

Too many names for one medal?

Not my fault! ;)

The original name of this medal

Edited by JapanX

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should be translated (as far as I understand it is a set expression) as Medal of Armed Forces.

Word-by-word translation

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Different variants of translation are consequences of word-by-word translation practice and in some cases even incomplete word-by-word translation.

The only (published in English) source that is available for us today was published in 1962.

I am talking about James Peterson small brochure

James W. Peterson (1962) Chinese Nationalist Medals and Awards. Award publications №1, Award publications,

Lyons, Illinois.

Lets see what he wrote about this medal (in his book he called it Army, Navy, and Air Force Medal).

Edited by JapanX

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Not much…

Black and white pictures + description of colors (unfortunately even this short description contains inaccuracies and mistakes – we’ll discuss them a little later).

Time has come to give a detailed description for this medal.

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First type (1929-1951)

This medal (first nationalistic medal!) was established on August 15, 1929 in two Grades

  • A grade
  • B grade

In turn each grade has two classes

  • A grade 1st class
  • A grade 2nd class

  • B grade 1st class
  • B grade 2nd class

Grade A medals intended for high ranking officers (level of Major and higher).

Grade B medals awarded to junior officers (level of Captain and lower) and privates.

Awarding is performed in consecutive order from 2nd class to 1st class.

This division on grades and classes is quite typical for many modern Taiwan medals (and very much in tradition of early awarding system I must add ;))

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Awarding criterion

This medal could be awarded to servicemen of the Armed Forces for merit displayed during wartime/peacetime or exhibiting unique expertise in some area/academic accomplishments.

To be more specific servicemen who have accomplished one of the following incidents could be awarded with Medal of Armed Forces (or Certificate of Appreciation of the Armed Forces, or Armed Forces Branches Medal)

  • Fighting bravery in a battle, and having an achievement
  • Performing a special military mission and having an achievement
  • Had accomplished in handling a disorder on the right time
  • Being injured due to accomplishing a mission or rescuing others
  • Having alerted to a subversive (or revolt), discovering a crime, avoiding an accident and having outstanding achievement
  • Having returned from the enemy line and having a good record in a battle
  • Having invented or improved a weapon or military apparatus which passed the inspection and have a great contribution to the military
  • Other hard works in performing their duty and having obtained a excellent records that deserve an award

This medal could also be awarded to civilians and to foreigners.

Edited by JapanX

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All four medals of first type have identical ribbon.

Here it is

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And here they are in person

(From left to right) A grade 1st class / A grade 2nd class / B grade 1st class / B grade 2nd class

Edited by JapanX

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All medals were numbered.

Quite interesting that the medal number was replicated on reverse of the bar.

Here comes an example.

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Here's a look at the modern version. Note that the ribbon appears to have changed on the B class.

Hugh

Edited by Hugh

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As we see Peterson didn’t mentioned that before 1951 different classes of these medal have identical ribbon….

Peterson “Senior” and “Junior” grades are ours “A” and “B” grades.

A grade 1st class he called “Senior Grade 1st class”

A grade 2nd class he called “Senior Grade 2nd class”

B grade 1st class he called “Junior Grade 1st class”

B grade 2nd class he called “Junior Grade 2nd class”

The problem is that official translation of medal classes and grades in english completely concurred with our version ;) But actually this is not the real problem. The real problem is the description of “Junior Grade 1st class” and “Junior Grade 2nd class”. Here it is

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A little tangled description …

Especially this part

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Here again these “Junior Grade 1st class” (on the left) and “Junior Grade 2nd class” (on the right)

No signs of yellow arcs on “Junior Grade 1st class” …

I wonder if it was some kind of a strange typo (“yellow” instead of “white”)…

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Eccentric “orange” 2nd class grade B medal

Please take a look at this 2nd class grade B medal (with incorrect ribbon) OMSA photo library.

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We see that this piece (numbered 6492) has orange outer border instead of correct red one!

This is very strange since official color for this outer border is red! Maybe this is restored piece or simply optical illusion? Nope it isn’t. Here comes another piece (2nd class grade B with correct ribbon) that was issued in 1948 for american soldier that served with MP in China.

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This piece has the number 7969 and same strange orange outer border …

What is this?

I think this is some kind “non-statutory” mis-coloring that occurred with 2nd class grade B medals in six and seven thousands (and very strange mis-coloring I must add). Of course shades of enamel vary from one medal to another ... Here is a nice example.

Three different 2nd class grade B medals.

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And this is how “red” looks on 1st class grade A medal numbered 7461.

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And another example 1st class grade A medal numbered 2696

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Not really “red”…

Looks more like “orange” to me.

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