Gold Medal of Military Valour
The Gold Medal of Military Valour (Italian: Medaglia d'oro al valor militare) is an Italian medal established on 21 May 1793 by King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia "....per bassi ufficiali e soldati che avevano fatto azioni di segnalato valore in guerra" (for deeds of outstanding gallantry in war by junior officers and soldiers).
|Gold Medal of Military Valour|
Medaglia d'oro al valor militare
Gold Medal of Military Valor
(Royal version & Republican version)
|Eligibility||Junior officers and soldiers|
|Awarded for||Deeds of outstanding gallantry in war|
|Established||21 May 1793|
|Next (higher)||Military Order of Italy|
|Next (lower)||Gold Medal for Army Valor|
Ribbon bar of the medal
The face of the medal displayed the profile of the king, and on its reverse was a flag decoration and the words "al valore" (for valour).
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 royal crown, and the words "al valor militare" (for military valor). On the reverse were two laurel branches enclosing the name of the decorated soldier, and the place and date of the action.
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 individual 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 Frenchmen John O'Byrne and Roland Morillot, and the American Coleman deWitt). The Gold Medal of Military Valor was one of the most parsimoniously awarded medals of World War I, granted less frequently than even the Victoria Cross which was awarded 628 times.
During World War II the medal was awarded to soldiers of the Royal Italian Army; after these forces were reorganized following the Armistice with Italy in 1943, it was awarded to members of the Allies-supporting Italian Co-Belligerent forces. The Axis-affiliated Italian Social Republic created another design of the medal, with a Gladius replacing the arms of Savoy, for members of the Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano from 1943 to 1945. This version of the award was not given recognition by the postwar Italian government.
The Gold Medal for Military Valor is still awarded by the Italian state, and it, along with Silver and Bronze medals for Military Valor as well as the "Croce di Guerra al Valor Militare" (War Cross of Military Valour - which can only be awarded in time of war) is established by the Royal Decree of 4 November 1932, in which the purpose of these medals is defined as "To distinguish and publicly honor the authors of heroic military acts, even ones performed in time of peace, provided that the exploit is closely connected with the purposes for which the Armed Forces are constituted, whatever may be the condition or quality of the author."
The first recipient was Domenico Millelire of the Royal Sardinian Navy on 6th April 1793 and the latest recipient was in 2014 Chief Corporal-Major Andrea Adorno of the 4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment for combat operations in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan in 2010.
- Abele Ambrosini
- Amedeo Guillet
- Annibale Bergonzoli
- Antonio Locatelli (thrice awarded)
- Carla Capponi
- Carlo Emanuele Buscaglia
- Carlo Fecia di Cossato
- Carmelo Borg Pisani
- Cesare Battisti
- Charles Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke
- Domenico Millelire
- Emilio Faà di Bruno
- Enrico Toti
- Filippo Illuminato
- Francesco Baracca
- Fulco Ruffo di Calabria
- Furio Niclot Doglio
- Giovanni Fornasini
- Giuliano Gozi
- Giulio Martinat
- Giuseppe Caimi
- Giuseppe Galliano (twice awarded)
- Hans-Joachim Marseille
- Inigo Campioni
- Irma Bandiera
- Joachim Müncheberg
- Joaquín García Morato
- Junio Valerio Borghese
- Luigi Arbib Pascucci
- Luigi Giorgi (twice awarded)
- Luigi Gorrini
- Luigi Reverberi
- Luigi Rizzo (twice awarded)
- Maurizio Giglio
- Nicola Calipari
- Orlando Lorenzini
- Pore Mosulishvili
- Roland Morillot
- Salvo D'Acquisto
- Sandro Pertini
- Tito Minniti
- Unatù Endisciau, the only native soldier awarded the Gold Medal
The first military unit awarded a Gold Medal was His Majesty's Dragoons Regiment (Reggimento Dragoni di Sua Maestà) on 21st April 1796 for unit's conduct during the Battle of Mondovì. Although at the time the Medal was exclusively awarded for personal bravery, King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia ordered the regiment's standard to be decorated with two medals for saving his army from Napoleon's attack. Until 1859, when the rules for awarding the Gold Medal were expanded to include cities and military units, only the "Cuneo" Brigade was awarded a Special Gold Medal of Military Valour by King Charles Felix of Sardinia for suppressing the Revolution of 1821. The first unit to be awarded the Gold Medal after 1859 was the French Imperial 3rd Zouaves Regiment  for its conduct in the Battle of Palestro. The latest unit awarded the Gold Medal was the Jewish Brigade in 2017 for the brigade's service during the Italian Campaign of World War II.
The following list contains only the military units, which were awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour twice. In total 112 gold medals were awarded to units of the Italian army: 105 to regiments and 7 to battalions.
- His Majesty's Dragoons Regiment (1796 Battle of Mondovì, the only cavalry unit to be awarded twice)
- 1st Granatieri di Sardegna Regiment (1860 Siege of Gaeta, 1917 Tenth Battle of the Isonzo)
- 5th Infantry Regiment "Aosta" (1859 Battle of San Martino, 1917-18 Italian Front)
- 6th Infantry Regiment "Aosta" (1859 Battle of San Martino, 1917-18 Italian Front)
- 9th Infantry Regiment "Regina" (1859 Battle of Palestro, 1915-16 Italian Front)
- 10th Infantry Regiment "Regina" (1860 Battle of Castelfidardo, 1915-16 Italian Front)
- 13th Infantry Regiment "Pinerolo" (1915-18 Italian Front, 1941 Greco-Italian War)
- 47th Infantry Regiment "Ferrara" (1915-17 Italian Front, 1940-41 Greco-Italian War)
- 48th Infantry Regiment "Ferrara" (1915-17 Italian Front, 1940-41 Greco-Italian War)
- 80th Infantry Regiment "Roma" (1941-42, 1942-43 Eastern Front)
- 84th Infantry Regiment "Venezia" (1911 Italo-Turkish War, 1943 Resistance to German forces in Yugoslavia)
- 151st Infantry Regiment "Sassari" (1915-16, 1918 Italian Front)
- 152nd Infantry Regiment "Sassari" (1915-16, 1918 Italian Front)
- 3rd Bersaglieri Regiment (1941-42, 1942 Eastern Front; the unit is also the custodian of the medal awarded to the III Bersaglieri Cyclists Battalion in 1915-18 on the Italian Front)
- 6th Bersaglieri Regiment (1942, 1942-43 Eastern Front)
- 8th Bersaglieri Regiment (1941-42 Western Desert Campaign, 1943 Tunisian Campaign)
- 5th Alpini Regiment (1940-41 Greco-Italian War, 1942-43 Eastern Front)
- 8th Alpini Regiment (1940-41 Greco-Italian War, 1942-43 Eastern Front)
- 9th Alpini Regiment (1940-41 Greco-Italian War, 1942-43 Eastern Front)
- 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment (1940-41 Greco-Italian War, 1942-43 Eastern Front, the only artillery unit to be awarded twice)
The 4th Alpini Regiment currently also displays two Gold Medals of Military Valour on its flag, however the two medals were awarded to the regiment's Alpini Battalion "Aosta", and the Alpini Skiers Battalion "Monte Cervino".
The first geographic entity to be awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valour was the city of Vicenza in 1866 for its five days long resistance to Austrian assaults during the First Italian War of Independence. Vicenza is also the only city to be awarded the medal twice: the second time for its participation in the Italian resistance movement during World War 2.
A full list of regions, provinces and cities, which were awarded for their bravery can be found at it:Città decorate al valor militare per la guerra di liberazione.
University of PaduaEdit
The University of Padua is the only educational institution which was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valour. The university received it on 2nd November 1945 for its furious resistance to German occupation in 1943-1945.
- "Esercito Italiano- Nastrini delle decorazioni in uso" (in Italian). Esercito.difesa.it. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Preceding paragraphs translated and adapted from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2011-06-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) which describes the book "Le medaglie d'oro al valor militare: volume primo, Roma, [Gruppo Medaglie d'Oro al Valor Militare d'Italia], 1965, 804 p.; 22 cm"
- The website of the Italian Presidency: List of all recipients can be obtained by going to http://www.quirinale.it/elementi/onorificenze.aspx, going to "onorificenza" (under "Maschera di recerca"), selecting "Medaglia d'oro al valor militare" and pressing "avvia". Also see "Nel 1° Centenario della istituzione della Medaglia al Valor Militare" edizione del 1933 dell' Ufficio storico dell' esercito
- P E Abbott & J M A Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards. pp. 293. Nimrod Dix & Co, London, 1981.ISBN 0-902633-74-0
- "le Onorificenze - Medaglia e Croce di Guerra al Valor Militare" (in Italian). Quirinale.it. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Millelire Domenico". Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Adorno Andrea". Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "3° Reggimento Zuavi". Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Brigata Ebraica". Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- "Università di Padova". Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- Ceva, Bianca (1964). Cinque anni di storia italiana 1940-1945: da lettere e diari di caduti [Five Years of Italian History 1940 - 1945: Letters and diaries of the fallen]. Edizioni di comunità. pp. 143–144. OCLC 3658871.