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Old 02-23-2012, 08:05 AM   #1
medals73
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Medal Of The Revolt Of May 1941.

Nut Harkat Mais 1941 / Medal for the May 1941 Revolt

Established retrospectively, after the Revolution, to commemorate the May 1941 Iraqi rebellion under Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani.

The British role in crushing the Arab Revolt in Palestine from 1936 to 1939 had contributed to growing anti-British sentiments in the Iraqi Army and the first rumbling of a desire to overthrow the Iraqi monarchy date from this period. As World War II approached, German diplomacy played upon this growing anti-British sentiment in Iraq. In 1939, Iraq severed diplomatic relations with Germany, but their sympathies were by no means unambiguiously with Britain. In 1940, the nationalist Rashid Ali al-Gaylani became prime minister and imposed restrictions on British troops in Iraq.
In April 1941, Rashid Ali granted only tightly governed rights for Britain to deploy any new troops into Iraq. The British replied by landing troops in Basra, claiming that Iraq had broken agreemants in their 1930 treaty of friendship. Many Iraqis saw this as an effort to restrore British rule in Iraq, as a unprovoked British invasion of their country, and as an effort to shore up an increasingly collaborationist monarchy. With limited support from Germany, Iraqi troops fought to defend their country from these incursions by the British, who were supported by the Arab Legion from Jordan. Baghdad was occupied, an armistice was signed on 30 May 1941, and Rashid Ali fled the country. Thereafter, Iraq participated grudgingly in the Allied war effort.

This revolution – variously interpreted as nationalist or pro-Axis – became a major event in the recent history of Iraqi nationalism. It is significant that, after the revolution of 1958, this medal was establish to commemorate the struggle against the British under Rashid Ali seventeen years earlier.

Established: By Law No. 31 of 1959. While there is no maker’s mark, it is believed these medals were manufactured by Hunguenin (Le Loche, Switzerland)

Obverse: A 43-mm bronze-gilt eight-pointed star, the points enameled red. In the circular center, a representational map of Iraq with the rivers enameled blue with stylized military units across the map. To the left and right, the Arabic legend “Mais / 1941 [C.E.]” or “May / 1941”. Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: Moiré, 30 mm, five equal stripes of green, yellow, blue, yellow, green; 6 mm green, 6 mm yellow, 6 mm blue, 6 mm yellow, 6 mm green.
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