Hero of the Soviet Union
The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society. The award was established on April 1934, by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union; the first recipients of the title received only the Order of Lenin, the highest Soviet award, along with a certificate describing the heroic deed from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Because the Order of Lenin could be awarded for deeds not qualifying for the title of hero, to distinguish heroes from other Order of Lenin holders, the Gold Star medal was introduced on August 1, 1939. Earlier heroes were retroactively eligible for these items. A hero could be awarded the title again for a subsequent heroic feat with an additional Gold Star medal and certificate. An additional Order of Lenin was not given until 1973; the practice of awarding the title multiple times was abolished by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1988 during perestroika.
Forty-four foreign citizens were awarded the title. The title was given posthumously, though without the actual Gold Star medal given; the title could be revoked only by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. As the Highest Honor of the Soviet Union. Individuals who received the award were entitled to special privileges; these include: A pension with survivor benefits in the event of the death of the title holder. First priority on the housing list with 50% rent reduction, tax exempt and an additional 45 square metres in living space. Annual round-trip first class airline ticket Free bus transportation Free annual visit to sanitarium or rest home Medical benefits Entertainment benefits In total, during the existence of the USSR, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to 12,777 people, including twice – 154, three times – 3 and four – 2. Ninety-five women were awarded the title. Among the Heroes of the Soviet Union, 44 people are citizens of foreign states; the great majority of them received it during World War II.
Eighty-five people were awarded the title for actions related to the Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted from 1979 until 1989. The first recipients of the award were the pilots Anatoly Liapidevsky, Sigizmund Levanevsky, Vasily Molokov, Mavriky Slepnyov, Nikolai Kamanin, Ivan Doronin, Mikhail Vodopianov, who participated in the successful aerial search and rescue of the crew of the steamship Cheliuskin, which sank in Arctic waters, crushed by ice fields, on February 13, 1934. Valentina Grizodubova, a female pilot, was the first woman to become a Hero of the Soviet Union for her international women's record for a straight-line distance flight. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a Soviet partisan, was the first woman to become a Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II, posthumously. In addition, 101 people received the award twice. A second Hero title, either Hero of the Soviet Union or Hero of Socialist Labour entitled the recipient to have a bronze bust of his or her likeness with a commemorative inscription erected in his or her hometown.
Two famous Soviet fighter pilots, Aleksandr Pokryshkin and Ivan Kozhedub were three times Heroes of the Soviet Union. A third award entitled the recipient to have his/her bronze bust erected on a columnar pedestal in Moscow, near the Palace of the Soviets, but the Palace was never built. After his release from serving a 20-year sentence in a Mexican prison for the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Ramon Mercader moved to the Soviet Union in 1961 and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal from KGB head Alexander Shelepin; the only individuals to receive the title four times were Leonid Brezhnev. The original statute of the Hero of the Soviet Union, did not provide for a fourth title. Both Zhukov and Brezhnev received their fourth titles under controversial circumstances contrary to the statute, which remained unchanged until the award was abolished in 1991. Zhukov was awarded a fourth time "for his large accomplishments" on the occasion of his 60th birthday on December 1, 1956. There is some speculation that Zhukov's fourth Hero medal was for his participation in the arrest of Beria in 1953, but this was not entered in the records.
Brezhnev's four awards further eroded the prestige of the award because they were all birthday gifts, on the occasions of his 60th, 70th, 72nd and 75th birthdays. Such practices halted in 1988 due to a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which formally ended it. By the 1970s, the award had been somewhat devalued. Important political and military persons had been awarded it on the occasions of their anniversaries rather than for any immediate heroic activity. All Soviet cosmonauts, starting from Yuri Gagarin, as well as foreign citizens who participated in the Soviet space program as cosmonauts, received Hero award for each flight. Apart from individuals, the title was awarded to twelve cities as well as the fortress of Brest for collective heroism during the War; the last recipient of the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" was a Soviet diver, Captain of the 3rd rank Leonid Mikhailovich Solodkov on December 24, 1991 for his leadership and participation in a series of unprecedented extreme depth diving experiments.
Following the collapse of the
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Medal "For the Capture of Budapest"
The Medal "For the Capture of Budapest" was a World War II campaign medal of the Soviet Union established on 9 June 1945 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to satisfy the petition of the People's Commissariat for Defense of the Soviet Union to recognise and reward the participants of the battle for the capture of the city of Budapest from the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The medal's statute was amended on 18 July 1980 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR № 2523-X; the Medal "For the Capture of Budapest" was awarded to soldiers of the Red Army and troops of the NKVD, direct participants of the heroic assault and capture of Budapest as well as to the organizers and leaders of combat operations in the capture of this city. Award of the medal was made on behalf of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the basis of documents attesting to actual participation in the capture of Budapest. Serving military personnel received the medal from their unit commander, retirees from military service received the medal from a regional, municipal or district military commissioner in the recipient's community.
The Medal "For the Capture of Budapest" was worn on the left side of the chest and in the presence of other awards of the USSR, was located after the Medal "For the Victory over Japan". If worn in the presence of orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence; the Medal "For the Capture of Budapest" was a 32mm in diameter circular brass medal with a raised rim on the obverse. On its obverse at the top, a relief five-pointed star, its top point touching the medal upper rim. Below the star, the relief inscription in bold letters on two rows "FOR THE CAPTURE OF BUDAPEST". At the bottom, the relief image of a wreath of oak branches going up the left and right circumference of the medal up to the lower row of the inscription, in the center of the wreath, the relief image of the hammer and sickle. On the reverse at the top, a relief plain five-pointed star, below the star, the relief date in three rows "13 FEBRUARY 1945"; the Medal "For the Capture of Budapest" was secured by a ring through the medal suspension loop to a standard Soviet pentagonal mount covered by a 24mm wide silk moiré orange ribbon with an 8mm wide central blue stripe.
The individuals below were all recipients of the Medal "For the Capture of Budapest". Marshal of the Soviet Union Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky Marshal of the Soviet Union Fyodor Ivanovich Tolbukhin Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Vasilyevich Ogarkov Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Ivanovich Petrov Colonel General Nikolai Petrovich Kamanin Sapper Vladimir Fedorovich Chekalov World War 2 veteran, painter Piotr Konstantinovich Vasiliev War Correspondent Pyotr Andreyevich Pavlenko Colonel Ivan Fedorovich Ladyga Army General Semion Pavlovich Ivanov Lieutenant General Georgy Timofeyevich Beregovoy Military photographer Yevgeny Anan'evich Khaldei Lieutenant General Kuzma Nikolayevich Derevyanko Actor Georgi Aleksandrovich Yumatov Chief Marshal of Artillery Mitrofan Ivanovich Nedelin Lieutenant Grigory Yakovlevich Baklanov Lieutenant General Vitaly Ivanovich Popkov Chief Petty Officer Ekaterina Illarionovna Mikhailova-Demina Siege of Budapest Awards and decorations of the Soviet Union Legal Library of the USSR
Order of Victory
The Order of Victory was the highest military decoration awarded for World War II service in the Soviet Union, one of the rarest orders in the world. The order was awarded only to Generals and Marshals for conducting combat operations involving one or more army groups and resulting in a "successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favor of the Red Army." In its history, it has been awarded twenty times to twelve Soviet leaders and five foreign leaders, with one revocation. The last living recipient was King Michael of Romania, who died on 5 December 2017; the order was proposed by Colonel N. S. Neyelov, serving at the Soviet Army Rear headquarters around June 1943; the original name that Colonel Neyelov suggested was Order for Faithfulness to the Homeland. On October 25, 1943, artist A. I. Kuznetsov, the designer of many Soviet orders, presented his first sketch to Stalin; the sketch of a round medallion with portraits of Lenin and Stalin was not approved by the Supreme Commander.
Instead, Stalin wanted a design with the Spasskaya Tower in the centre. Kuznetsov returned four days with several new sketches, of which Stalin chose one entitled "Victory", he asked Kuznetsov to alter the design, on the 5th of November a prototype was approved. The order was adopted on November 8, 1943, was first awarded to Georgy Zhukov, Alexandr Vasilevsky, Joseph Stalin; the order was bestowed to top commanders of the Allied forces. Every order was presented during or after World War II, except for the controversial 1978 award to Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev's award was revoked posthumously in 1989 for not meeting the requirements for the award. Like other orders awarded by Communist nations, the Order of Victory could be awarded more than once to the same individual. In total, the order was presented twenty times to seventeen people. Unlike all other Soviet orders, the Order of Victory had no serial number on it, the number was only mentioned in the award certificate. After a holder of the Order of Victory died, the award was to be given back to the state.
Most of awards are now preserved by the Diamond Fund in the Moscow Kremlin. Notable exceptions are Dwight D. Eisenhower's Order of Victory, on display at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's Order of Victory, on display at the Imperial War Museum in London, Josip Broz Tito's Order of Victory, kept in the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade; the Order is made out of platinum in the form of a pentangular star with rays between the arms, measuring 72 mm in diameter. The star is studded with 174 diamonds weighing a total of 16 carats, while the arms of the star are made out of ruby; the rubies in the arms are synthetic, not because the synthetic gems were cheaper, but because they had to be of a uniform color, which could not be guaranteed with natural stones. In the center of the star is a silver medallion, with the Moscow Kremlin wall, the Spasskaya Tower, Lenin's Mausoleum depicted in gold surrounded by bands of laurel and oak colored in gold.
The laurel and oak are bound with a red banner. The sky in the background is inlaid with blue enamel. Against the sky, the letters "СССР" appear in gold centered on the top of the medallion, while the word "Победа" is displayed on the red banner at the bottom; the total mass of the order is 78g, which consists of 47g of platinum, 2g of gold, 19g of silver, 25 carats of ruby and 16 carats of diamond. Instead of being made at a mint, each Order was made in a jeweler's workshop. Dwight D. Eisenhower had his star valued by an American jeweler; the ribbons of various Soviet orders have been combined to create the Order Ribbon. The total length of the ribbon is 44 mm and it is worn on the field uniform; the following featured orders are depicted on the ribbon: Order of Glory. Orange with black center stripe Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky. Light blue stripe Order of Alexander Nevsky. Dark red stripe Order of Kutuzov. Dark blue stripe Order of Suvorov. Green stripe Order of Lenin. Large Red stripe After the death of the recipient of the Order of Victory, it was to be given back to the state.
All orders awarded to Soviet commanders are in Russia. The Russian Central Museum of Armed Forces has five orders: two of A. Vasilevsky, two of G. Zhukov and one of R. Malinovsky; the State Precious Metals and Gems Repository in Russia has one order: K. Rokossovskiy's. All other orders that are in Russia are stored in the Moscow Kremlin, preserved by the Diamond Fund. Tito's order is at the Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade Dwight D. Eisenhower's Order is on display at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas. Bernard Montgomery's Order is in the Imperial War Museum in London; the Order Pobeda of Michael I is in his estate. Orders and medals of the Soviet Union Decorated with the Supreme Military Victory Order Order of Victory - 1943 Orders and Medals of the USSR - Ord
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal, unofficially the Bronze Star, is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. When the medal is awarded by the Army and Air Force for acts of valor in combat, the "V" Device is authorized for wear on the medal; when the medal is awarded by the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard for acts of valor or meritorious service in combat, the Combat "V" is authorized for wear on the medal. Officers from the other Uniformed Services of the United States are eligible to receive this award, as are foreign soldiers who have served with or alongside a service branch of the United States Armed Forces. Civilians serving with U. S. military forces in combat are eligible for the award. For example, UPI reporter Joe Galloway was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" Device during the Vietnam War for rescuing a badly wounded soldier under fire in the Battle of la Drang, in 1965.
Another civilian recipient was writer Ernest Hemingway. The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944; the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded by the Secretary of a military department or the Secretary of Homeland Security with regard to the Coast Guard when not operating as a service in the Navy, or by such military commanders, or other appropriate officers as the Secretary concerned may designate, to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard of the United States, after 6 December 1941, distinguishes, or has distinguished, herself or himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight— while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. The acts of heroism are of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star; the acts of merit or acts of valor must be less than that required for the Legion of Merit but must have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.
The Bronze Star Medal is awarded only to service members in combat zones who are receiving imminent danger pay. The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded to each member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 6 December 1941, was cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. For this purpose, the US Army's Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge award is considered as a citation in orders. Documents executed since 4 August 1944 in connection with recommendations for the award of decorations of higher degree than the Bronze Star Medal cannot be used as the basis for an award under this paragraph. Effective 11 September 2001, the Meritorious Service Medal may be bestowed in lieu of the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a designated combat theater; the Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund of the jewelry firm Banks & Biddle. The medal is a bronze star 1 1⁄2 inches in circumscribing diameter.
In the center is a 3⁄16 inch diameter superimposed bronze star, the center line of all rays of both stars coinciding. The reverse bears the inscription "HEROIC OR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT" with a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved; the star hangs from its ribbon by a rectangular metal loop with rounded corners. The suspension ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1⁄32 inch white 67101; the Bronze Star Medal with the "V" device to denote heroism is the fourth highest military decoration for valor. Although a service member may be cited for heroism in combat and be awarded more than one Bronze Star authorizing the "V" device, only one "V" may be worn on each suspension and service ribbon of the medal; the following ribbon devices must be authorized in the award citation in order to be worn on the Bronze Star Medal, the criteria for and wear of the devices vary between the services: Oak leaf cluster – In the Army and Air Force, the oak leaf cluster is worn to denote additional awards.
5/16 inch star – In the Navy and Marine Corps and Coast Guard, the 5/16 inch star is worn to denote additional awards. "V" device – In the Army, the "V" is worn to denote "participation in acts of heroism involving conflict with an armed enemy.". Combat "V" – In the Navy and Marine Corps and Coast Guard, the "V" is worn to denote combat heroism or to recognize individuals who are "exposed to personal hazard during direct participation in combat operations". Colonel Russell P. "Red" Reeder conceived the idea of the Bronze Star Medal in 1943. Reeder felt another medal was needed as a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, suggested calling the proposed new award the "Ground Medal"; the idea rose through the military bureaucracy and gained supporters. General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt dated 3
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements; the knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order", he did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred. The Order consists of the Sovereign, the Great Master, three Classes of members: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross Knight Commander or Dame Commander Companion Members belong to either the Civil or the Military Division. Prior to 1815, the order had Knight Companion, which no longer exists. Recipients of the Order are now senior military officers or senior civil servants. Commonwealth citizens who are not subjects of the Queen and foreign nationals may be made Honorary Members.
The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. In the Middle Ages, knighthood was conferred with elaborate ceremonies; these involved the knight-to-be taking a bath during which he was instructed in the duties of knighthood by more senior knights. He was put to bed to dry. Clothed in a special robe, he was led with music to the chapel. At dawn he made confession and attended Mass retired to his bed to sleep until it was daylight, he was brought before the King, who after instructing two senior knights to buckle the spurs to the knight-elect's heels, fastened a belt around his waist struck him on the neck, thus making him a knight. It was this accolade, the essential act in creating a knight, a simpler ceremony developed, conferring knighthood by striking or touching the knight-to-be on the shoulder with a sword, or "dubbing" him, as is still done today.
In the early medieval period the difference seems to have been that the full ceremonies were used for men from more prominent families. From the coronation of Henry IV in 1399 the full ceremonies were restricted to major royal occasions such as coronations, investitures of the Prince of Wales or Royal dukes, royal weddings, the knights so created became known as Knights of the Bath. Knights Bachelor continued to be created with the simpler form of ceremony; the last occasion on which Knights of the Bath were created was the coronation of Charles II in 1661. From at least 1625, from the reign of James I, Knights of the Bath were using the motto Tria juncta in uno, wearing as a badge three crowns within a plain gold oval; these were both subsequently adopted by the Order of the Bath. Their symbolism however is not clear. The'three joined in one' may be a reference to the kingdoms of England and either France or Ireland, which were held by English and British monarchs; this would correspond to the three crowns in the badge.
Another explanation of the motto is. Nicolas quotes a source who claims that prior to James I the motto was Tria numina juncta in uno, but from the reign of James I the word numina was dropped and the motto understood to mean Tria juncta in uno; the prime mover in the establishment of the Order of the Bath was John Anstis, Garter King of Arms, England's highest heraldic officer. Sir Anthony Wagner, a recent holder of the office of Garter, wrote of Anstis's motivations: It was Martin Leake's opinion that the trouble and opposition Anstis met with in establishing himself as Garter so embittered him against the heralds that when at last in 1718 he succeeded, he made it his prime object to aggrandise himself and his office at their expense, it is clear at least that he set out to make himself indispensable to the Earl Marshal, not hard, their political principles being congruous and their friendship established, but to Sir Robert Walpole and the Whig ministry, which can by no means have been easy, considering his known attachment to the Pretender and the circumstances under which he came into office...
The main object of Anstis's next move, the revival or institution of the Order of the Bath was that which it in fact secured, of ingratiating him with the all-powerful Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. The use of honours in the early eighteenth century differed from the modern honours system in which hundreds, if not thousands, of people each year receive honours on the basis of deserving accomplishments; the only honours available at that time were hereditary peerages and baronetcies and the Order of the Garter, none of which were awarded in large numbers The political environment was significantly different from today: The Sovereign still exercised a power to be reckoned with in the eighteenth century. The Court remained the centre of the political w
Defence Medal (United Kingdom)
The Defence Medal is a campaign medal instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, to be awarded to subjects of the British Commonwealth for both non-operational military and certain types of civilian war service during the Second World War. The duration of the Second World War in Europe was from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, while in the Pacific Theatre it continued until 2 September 1945; the Defence Medal was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, to be awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of services in the United Kingdom, to Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served from or outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat, such as attacks from the air. The Defence Medal was awarded for non-operational service in the Armed Forces, the Home Guard, the Civil Defence Service and other approved civilian services during the period from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, with an earlier end date for members of organisations that stood-down before May 1945.
In the United Kingdom, those eligible included military personnel working in headquarters, on training bases and airfields for the duration of the War in Europe from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, service by members of the Home Guard during its existence from 14 May 1940 to 31 December 1944. The medal was awarded for non-operational service overseas in the Dominions of the Commonwealth and in British Colonies; those who qualified for one or more Campaign Star could be awarded the Defence Medal. Eligible civilian service in the United Kingdom included, but was not confined to, civilian services whose members were eligible for Chevrons for war service. Civil Defence services established by a Government Local Authority. Wardens Service, including Shelter Wardens. Rescue Service, including former First-Aid Party Service. Decontamination Service. Report and Control Service. Messenger Service. Ambulance Service. Including Sitting Case Cars. First-Aid Service, including First-Aid Posts and Points, Public Cleansing Centres, Mobile Cleansing Units and the Nursing Service for public air-raid shelters.
Local Authority Civil Defence Services. Rest Centre Service. Emergency Food Service, including the Queen's Messenger Convoy Service. Canteen Service. Emergency Information Service. Mortuary Service. National Fire Service, including service in a local authority Fire Brigade or the Auxiliary Fire Service prior to nationalisation; the Police including Special Constabulary, Royal Marine Police Special Reserve, Admiralty Civil Police, War Department Constabulary, Air Ministry Constabulary, Railway Police and Dock Police. American Ambulance, Great Britain. Civil Air Transport. Civil Defence Reserve, Kent County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve and West Sussex County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve. Civil Nursing Reserve. Civilian Technical Corps. HM Coastguard. Fire Guards who performed duties under the local authorities, or at Government or business premises. Lighthouse keepers who served under the three Lighthouse Authorities and keepers of Light-Vessels under those authorities, who did not qualify for the 1939-1945 Star.
Nurses in hospitals for which Government Departments or Local Authorities were responsible, or in the recognised voluntary hospitals. Port of London Authority River Emergency Service. Clyde River Patrol. Royal Observer Corps. Women's Voluntary Services for Civil Defence, whose members could qualify provided they: were enrolled in an eligible local authority Civil Defence Service; the length of qualifying service required for the award of the Defence Medal varied, depending on where and in what role an individual served. For persons resident in the United Kingdom, the requirement was 1,080 days of service in the United Kingdom or 90 days of service in a Mine and Bomb Disposal Unit; the qualifying period in the United Kingdom ended upon the end of the War in Europe on 8 May 1945. In a non-operational area, not subjected to air attack and not threatened, the requirement was 360 days of service overseas from or outside the individual's country of residence. Military service in certain areas overseas from the United Kingdom could qualify up to 2 September 1945, when the war in the Pacific ended.
Service was reckonable from the date of embarkation and was counted at its full rate for the voyage to the non-operational area. In a non-operational area subjected to air attack or threatened, the requirement was 180 days of service overseas from or outside a person's country of residence; the same applied to British Commonwealth citizens from overseas who served in the Home Guard in the United Kingdom. Service was reckonable from the date of embarkation and, for the voyage to the area of service, was counted at half the actual duration of the voyage; the medal was awarded to Canadians for six months service in Britain between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945. Service by Indian Army personnel in India did not count as qualifying service for the Defence Medal, since such service qualified for the India Service Medal, awarded to members of the Indian Armed Forces instead of the Defence Medal for three years of non-operational service in India. Regarding service outside the country of residence, five territories were classified as single contiguous areas.
Movements by personnel from one territory to another within the defined groups were not regarded as "outside the country of residence" in t