The War Order of Lachplesis ( Latvian: Lāčplēša Kara ordenis ) is the state military award of Latvia , intended to reward merit in the First World War and the Liberation War of Latvia .
|Military Order of Lachplesis|
|Lāčplēša Kara ordenis|
|Motto||Par Latviju |
Latvian. For Latvia
|Status||not awarded |
|Established||November 11, 1919|
|First award||August 13, 1920|
|Last reward||1928 year|
|Number of awards||I degree - 11 |
II degree - 61
III degree - 2073
|Junior Award||Order of the Three Stars|
The Lachplesis Military Order was the first, highest and until 1924 the only Latvian award. Its establishment was initiated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Latvian Army, Colonel Janis Balodis .
The date of establishment of the order is considered November 11, 1919 (the day of the liberation of Riga from the troops of Pavel Bermondt-Avalov ), although the law announcing the establishment of the order, as well as the Statute of the order, were adopted by the Constitutional Assembly of Latvia on September 18, 1920. Every year on November 11, on the day of the Order Day, ceremonies and honors of the gentlemen took place.
The order was awarded to servicemen of the Latvian army (including former Latvian shooters )  and foreigners who took part in the struggle for independence or otherwise contributed to the creation and formation of the Latvian state.
The statute of the order was developed by Captain Alberts Stalbe, holder of the 3rd degree Lachplesis order.  The award was made by the Order Council. The Council was composed of the President of Latvia (chairman), 7 deputies of the Seimas and 7 gentlemen of the Order of Lachplesis of the highest degree.
The order had three degrees. Awarding was carried out in a strict order of degrees (this rule was not mandatory for awarding foreigners).
Among the foreigners awarded the Lachplesis Military Order, mainly the heads of state, prime ministers, major military leaders: Estonian army commander Army General Johan Laidoner , Polish marshals Jozef Pilsudski and Edward Rydz-Smigly , King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III , Prime Minister of Italy Benitoussoli , King of Belgium Albert I , French Marshal Ferdinand Foch  , Czech writer General Rudolf Medek .
Verdun Fortress was awarded the Lachplesis Military Order for the heroism of its defenders during the First World War .
In 1928, the award of the order was discontinued. The last awarded (posthumously) was Elsa игiglevits  .
On November 11, 1929 , during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Riga and the establishment of the Lachplesis order, the creation of the Society of Chevaliers of the Lachplesis Military Order was initiated. The company's charter was finalized on November 19, 1931 . Since November 11, 1933, the Society of Cavaliers of the Lachplesis Military Order has published the Lachplesis magazine. After Latvia joined the USSR, the cavalry society continued its activity in exile: in Germany and the USA. Currently, the society has ceased its activities. 
Signs of the Order
The badge of the order is a golden four-pointed stylized " fire cross " (a symbol similar to a swastika ) of white enamel with a wide border of red enamel. In the center of the front side is a round medallion of white enamel with a wide metal rim. In the center of the medallion is the epic hero Lachplesis , who defeats the bear.
The back of the cross without enamel. The motto of the order on the upper and side beams of the cross: “PAR / LAT— / WIJU” (“ For Latvia ”); a number was engraved on the lower beam, under which the cavalier was included in the cavalier lists. The central medallion without enamel, in the center the date of establishment of the order in 2 lines: "11. NOVEMBRIS / 1919 ".
Between the rays of the cross - 2 crossed swords with arms down, passing through the center of the cross.
Sign size: I degree - 61 × 57.5 mm; II degree - 48 × 46 mm; III degree - 41 × 39 mm.
Star of the Order of the I degree - 16-point silver. The order sign is superimposed on the center of the star. Star diameter - 68.5 mm; overhead sign - 25 mm.
The ribbon of the order is silk moire, consisting of 4 white ( silver ) and 3 red stripes of the same width. The width of the tape I degree - 101 mm.
|1st degree||2nd degree||3rd degree|
Rules for Wearing the Order
Cavaliers of the Order of the first degree wore the badge of the order at the hip on a wide ribbon over the right shoulder and a star on the left side of the chest.
Cavaliers of the Order of the II degree wore the badge of the order on a narrow ribbon around the neck.
Cavaliers of the Order of the III degree wore the badge of the order on a narrow ribbon on the left side of the chest.
Younger degrees were not removed in the presence of elders.
Grade I Cavaliers
11 people were awarded the 1st degree of the Lachplesis Military Order:
- Ferdinand Foch , Marshal of France
- Jozef Pilsudski , Marshal of Poland
- Albert I , King of Belgium
- Victor Emmanuel III , King of Italy
- Johan Laidoner , general of the Estonian army (gentleman of all 3 degrees)
- Marie-Eugene Debeny , General of the French Army
- Jānis Balodis , General of the Latvian Army (gentleman of all 3 degrees)
- Oscars Kalpaks , Colonel of the Latvian Army (posthumously cavalier of all 3 degrees)
- Friedrich Briedis , captain of the 1st Latvian Rifle Regiment (posthumously cavalier of all 3 degrees)
- Krishjanis Berkis , general of the Latvian army (gentleman of all 3 degrees)
- Benito Mussolini , Prime Minister of Italy
The 2nd degree of the Military Order of Lachplesis was awarded to 18 Latvians and 43 foreigners. Among them:
- Edward Rydz-Smigly , Marshal of Poland
- Jan Syrovy , General of the Czechoslovak Army
- Stanislav Chechek , General of the Czechoslovak Army
- Sylvestras Zhukauskas , General of the Lithuanian Army
The 3rd degree of the Lachplesis Military Order was awarded 1,600 soldiers of the Latvian National Army, 202 former Latvian riflemen and 270 foreigners. Also, the French fortress Verdun was awarded the 3rd degree of the order.
A memorial plaque on the house where the cavalier of the order Peteris Radzins lived
Chapel of the Knights of the Order of Lachplesis at the Bratskoye Cemetery in Riga
Fragment of a board with the names of the Knights of the Lachplesis Order in the chapel at the Bratskoye cemetery in Riga
- Types of State Awards Archived July 13, 2011 on Wayback Machine
- Modris Šēnbergs. Holders of the "Lāčplēsis" Military Order (Latvian) (pdf). Latvijas Nacionālais Arhīvs. Date of treatment July 11, 2008. Archived March 4, 2012.
- Alberts Stalbe Biography on Lkok
- Modris Šēnbergs Lāčplēša kara ordena kavalieri: biogrāfiska vārdnīca Rīga: “Jāna Sēta” 1995 ISBN 9984508498 ISBN 9789984508498 (Latvian)
- Elsa Jiglevitz Biography on Lkok
- Military Order of Lachplesis Archive dated January 20, 2008 on the Wayback Machine on the website of the President of Latvia
- Ērichs Ēriks Priedītis. Latvijas Valsts apbalvojumi un Lāčplēši. Riga: Junda, 1996. ISBN 9984-01020-1
- Kristīne Ducmane. Apbalvojumi Latvijas Republikā 1918-1940. - Riga, "Latvijas enciklopēdija", 1993. ISBN 5-89960-040-3
- Lachplesis Military Order on the website of the President of Latvia
- Statute of the Military Order of Lachplesis (Latvian)
- Lāčplēša kaŗa ordeņa kavalieŗi: Cavaliers of the Lachplesis Military Order (Latvian)
- Latvian awards