The Bir Sreshtho, is the highest military award of Bangladesh. It was awarded to seven freedom fighters who showed utmost bravery, the other three gallantry awards are named, in decreasing order of importance, Bir Uttom, Bir Bikrom and Bir Protik. All of these awards were introduced immediately after the Liberation War in 1971, all the recipients of this award were killed in action during the Liberation War of 1971. The award was published by the Bangladesh Gazette on 15 December 1973 and it is the highest military award of Bangladesh, similar to the American Medal of Honor or the British Victoria Cross. It has only given in 1973 to seven people. Listed below are the people who have received the Bir Srestho, When referring to martyrs, the word shaheed is often put before each individuals name as a mark of respect. The list has been prepared like the declaration by the Bangladesh Gazette, Bir Uttom Bir Bikram Bir Protik Medals of the Bangladesh Armed Forces
Gold Medal of Military Valour
The face of the medal displayed the profile of the king, and on its reverse was a flag decoration and the words al valore. On 14 August 1815, Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia replaced it with the Military Order of Savoy, charles Albert of Sardinia revived it on March 26,1833, and added to it the Silver and Bronze medals. These had, on their faces, the coat of arms of Savoy with laurel branches, the crown. On the reverse were two branches enclosing the name of the decorated soldier, and the place and date of the action. With the proclamation of the Republic on June 2,1946, for actions performed by individuals during World War I, the Gold Medal was awarded some 368 times, as well as 37 times to military units, and once to the Unknown Soldier. Only four of the awards went to foreigners, one of these being Czar Nicholas II of Russia. The other three were for acts of gallantry in which the recipient was killed in action or died from his injuries. The Gold Medal of Military Valor was one of the most parsimoniously awarded medals of World War I, the Axis-affiliated Italian Social Republic created another design of the medal to give to members of the Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano from 1943 to 1945.
This version of the award was not given recognition by the postwar Italian government, cinque anni di storia italiana 1940-1945, da lettere e diari di caduti
Legion of Honour
The Legion of Honour, full name National Order of the Legion of Honour, is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte. The order is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction, Officier, Grand Officier and Grand-Croix. The orders motto is Honneur et Patrie and its seat is the Palais de la Légion dHonneur next to the Musée dOrsay, in the French Revolution, all French orders of chivalry were abolished, and replaced with Weapons of Honour. The Légion however did use the organization of old French orders of chivalry, the badges of the legion bear a resemblance to the Ordre de Saint-Louis, which used a red ribbon. Napoleon originally created this to ensure political loyalty, the organization would be used as a facade to give political favours and concessions. The Légion was loosely patterned after a Roman legion, with legionaries, commanders, regional cohorts, the highest rank was not a grand cross but a Grand Aigle, a rank that wore all the insignia common to grand crosses.
The members were paid, the highest of them extremely generously,5,000 francs to an officier,2,000 francs to a commandeur,1,000 francs to an officier,250 francs to a légionnaire. Napoleon famously declared, You call these baubles, well, it is with baubles that men are led, do you think that you would be able to make men fight by reasoning. That is good only for the scholar in his study, the soldier needs glory, rewards. This has been quoted as It is with such baubles that men are led. The order was the first modern order of merit, under the monarchy, such orders were often limited to Roman Catholics, and all knights had to be noblemen. The military decorations were the perks of the officers, the Légion, was open to men of all ranks and professions—only merit or bravery counted. The new legionnaire had to be sworn in the Légion and it is noteworthy that all previous orders were crosses or shared a clear Christian background, whereas the Légion is a secular institution. The jewel of the Légion has five arms, in a decree issued on the 10 Pluviôse XIII, a grand decoration was instituted.
This decoration, a cross on a sash and a silver star with an eagle, symbol of the Napoleonic Empire, became known as the Grand Aigle. After Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French in 1804 and established the Napoleonic nobility in 1808, the title was made hereditary after three generations of grantees. Napoleon had dispensed 15 golden collars of the legion among his family and this collar was abolished in 1815. The Légion dhonneur was prominent and visible in the French Empire, the Emperor always wore it and the fashion of the time allowed for decorations to be worn most of the time
The Victoria Cross is the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy to members of the British armed forces and it was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857 and these investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace. The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War, since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals,11 to members of the British Army, the traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. Some research has suggested a variety of origins for the material, research has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannons that were captured from the Russians in 1855.
Owing to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction, a number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded, following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museums Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010. These are unique awards of honours system, assessed and presented by each country. In 1854, after 39 years of peace, Britain found itself fighting a war against Russia. The Crimean War was one of the first wars with modern reporting, before the Crimean War, there was no official standardised system for recognition of gallantry within the British armed forces. This structure was limited, in practice awards of the Order of the Bath were confined to officers of field rank. Brevet promotions or Mentions in Despatches were largely confined to those who were under the notice of the commanders in the field.
Other European countries had awards that did not discriminate against class or rank, France awarded the Légion dhonneur and The Netherlands gave the Order of William. There was a feeling among the public and in the Royal Court that a new award was needed to recognise incidents of gallantry that were unconnected with a mans lengthy or meritorious service. Queen Victoria issued a Warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that officially constituted the VC, the order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. Queen Victoria had instructed the War Office to strike a new medal that would not recognise birth or class, the medal was meant to be a simple decoration that would be highly prized and eagerly sought after by those in the military services
Nkwe ya Gauta
The Nkwe ya Gauta - Golden Leopard, post-nominal letters NG, is a military decoration for bravery which was instituted in 2003, to replace the Honoris Crux Gold. It is South Africas highest military decoration for bravery, the Union Defence Forces were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force in 1958. On 27 April 1994, it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force. The Nkwe ya Gauta - Golden Leopard, post-nominal letters NG, was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa on 16 April 2003, the bilingual title of the decoration is in Sesotho and English. This decoration replaced the Honoris Crux Gold as South Africas highest military decoration for bravery and it is the senior of a set of three military decorations for bravery, along with the Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard and the Nkwe ya Boronse - Bronze Leopard. A Bar may be awarded for every subsequent action which would make recipients eligible for the award of the same decoration, the decoration and bar may be awarded posthumously.
Deliberate but daring and courageous actions, on an occasion or over a period of time. A single act of valour, or most conspicuous bravery, or daring or pre-eminent act of self-sacrifice, a real threat of loss of own life. Placing a high premium on the prevention of the loss of lives, succeeded by the Star of South Africa, Gold of the Republic of South Africa. Official national order of precedence Preceded by the Star for Bravery in Gold of Umkhonto we Sizwe, succeeded by the Mendi Decoration for Bravery, Gold of the Republic of South Africa. Obverse The Nkwe ya Gauta - Golden Leopard is a cross paty struck in 9 carat gold. The arms of the cross are faceted per chevron, embowed throughout, in the centre of the obverse is a light blue enamel roundel,19 millimetres in diameter, with a golden leopards head. Reverse The reverse bears, in relief, the Coat of arms of South Africa, the decoration is attached to a plain gold suspender, fixed to the upper arm of the decoration. The medal number is impressed or engraved below the Coat of Arms, ribbon The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and sky blue with 6 millimetres wide gold edges.
The blue represents the feathers of the crane, which Xhosa kings used to present to brave warriors. When only a bar is worn, a button replica of the decoration,8 millimetres in diameter. These insignia are struck in 9 carat gold and are worn on the ribbon, crossed swords for the South African Army. An eagle for the South African Air Force, an Anchor for the South African Navy
Military Medal (Spain)
The Military Medal is a high military award of Spain to recognise battlefield bravery. The medal was established in 1918 by Alfonso XIII of Spain, since it is awarded to members of the Spanish military service independent of rank. Emilio Mola Adolf Galland Mohamed Meziane Werner Mölders Walter Oesau Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen Royal Decree 899/2001, de 27 July
Order of Katonga
The Order of Katonga is the highest military decoration of the Ugandan Honours System. It is awarded very rarely for extraordinary heroism, the order is named after the final and decisive battle of the National Resistance Army during the Ugandan Bush War. It was fought near the Katonga River and his wife Maria received the award on his behalf. Photograph of the ceremony at Haki Ngowi Blog