Download Awarded for Valour: A History of the Victoria Cross and the by Melvin Charles Smith PDF

Download Awarded for Valour: A History of the Victoria Cross and the by Melvin Charles Smith PDF

By Melvin Charles Smith

This is often the main considerate and well-researched monograph concerning the Victoria move that i've got encountered. It totally explores the explanations for the production of the award after which strains the shifts in standards for awarding the medal from its inception to the current day. It analyses the explanations for awarding the VC at a variety of issues in background and opinions a few of the army branches' awards bureaus for his or her viewpoints and reasons. the writer has crammed an important hole in British army scholarship. good performed.

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Additional info for Awarded for Valour: A History of the Victoria Cross and the Evolution of the British Concept of Heroism (Studies in Military and Strategic History)

Example text

That it be claimable by an individual on establishing before a Jury of his Peers subject to confirmation at home, his right to the distinction. 6. 69 The peer-elective principle was intended to serve to both defuse the resentment soldiers might feel at not getting a decoration and to discourage commanding officers from recommending every man in the company or regiment in situations where an entire unit performed bravely. 70 Although Albert and Victoria at this point appear to have gotten behind the idea of a new gallantry award, going so far as authorizing approval of a public announcement of the intent to create a ‘Cross of Military Merit,’ political circumstances put the issue on the back burner for almost a year.

72 The reality of war and heroism were thus not an exact fit with society’s conception of the phenomenon. For the British public, the military consisted of the Officer Corps, a sort of modern incarnation of the paladin, riding forth to bring light to the darkness, and the Other Ranks, consisting of rogues with hearts of gold. War was a grand game to be played with good sportsmanship. The following passage comes from newspaper accounts of the storming of Dargai Ridge, 20 October, 1898: Stepping forward to the head of his regiment, Colonel Matthias addressed a few words to his men in loud, clear tones.

Bullets did not leave neat holes in shoulders, and it was a rare man indeed who could press his lips together hard enough to prevent crying out during an amputation. Heroes were more often than not just too tired, too hungry, or too crazed with blood-lust to care anymore. Reconciling the myth and reality would prove to be a tedious task once the decision was made to institutionalize heroism. The Normans had their Tallifers, the Saxons their Herewards and the Celts their Warrior Queen; military virtues and the values of the hero had been common features of popular culture in the British Isles as long as there had been a population to cultivate these values.

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