Purple Heart – US Military Decoration – Sabaton History 027 [Official]

Purple Heart – US Military Decoration – Sabaton History 027 [Official]

i’m indy neidell and I’m from Saba and this is Sabaton history the Purple Heart is an American military decoration given to soldiers wounded or killed in service against the enemy and we really needed to find a new topic when we decided that Sabbath on is all about war history so we actually rewrote a song called my child into Purple Heart the Purple Heart is one of the most iconic if not the most military decorations the United States Awards these days it’s awarded to those wounded or killed during their service in the US military and the purple heart shaped badge signifies both sacrifice by and gratitude towards the soldier backed by charities and foundations the declaration acknowledges those who gave their most during their service this is quite a simple premise but story of the medal itself is not as straightforward as you might think outlined with bronze edges the Purple Heart on the front shows the relief bust of George Washington in his uniform as general of the Continental Army and on the reverse side bears the inscription for military merit this is no mere gimmick though because the origins of the Purple Heart actually date all the way back to the American Revolutionary War in the 1770s and 1780s when George Washington was that General [Music] back in those days as the 13 soon-to-be-ex British colonies were fighting for their independence medals and awards were still usually reserved for generals and high officers men who won decisive battles or captured a fort or a major city during their campaigns that a noncommissioned officer or even a common soldier would receive a medal or some sort of federal recognition was pretty much unheard of but the war for independence was also a war fought based on certain principles of theoretical equality and you know fighting experienced and professional British redcoats was one thing and a lot to be asked to do but endless forced marches through swamps storms and winters had left the army demoralized sick and close to starvation legend has it that Washington wanted to give something back to the common men who endured all this for their cause but the Continental Congress had little time to be bothered with such things eventually in 1782 Washington officially introduced the badge of Military Merit a Purple Heart shaped piece of cloth outlined by a silver braid the purple color throughout history going back even beyond the Romans associated with royalty or nobility was supposed to highlight the contribution of the individual soldier and would visually stand out when it was worn on his uniform Washington wrote the general ever desirous to cherish a virtuous ambition and his soldiers as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military Merit directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged in narrow lace or bringing not only instances of unusual gallantry in battle but also extraordinary fidelity an essential service in any way shall meet with a do reward at least three people were awarded the badge of Military Merit all of them men who had distinguished themselves by heroic deeds in service of the colonies all three of them spy and two war heroes were noncommissioned officers in a way it was the Medal of Honor of the American Revolutionary War the badge of Military Merit is officially recognized as the first American military decoration although two years earlier Continental Congress had created the fidelity medallion for the men involved in the capture of the British officer John Andre who was executed as a spy but since it had never been awarded again after that it is officially seen as a one-time commemorative medal however the Purple Heart might have shared the same fate as the fidelity medallion and it fell into obscurity for quite some time from the disbanding of the Continental Army in 1783 until the American Civil War in 1861 no official federal military decorations were awarded of course during the Civil War and up to the end of World War one there were several other awards created and dedicated to heroism and sacrifice but the Purple Heart remained nearly forgotten soon after the euphoria over the 1918 victory in the First World War had subsided in the States disgruntled veterans took to the streets and a nationwide debate about veterans compensation and military pensions began already in the 1920s American generals were talking to Congress about reinstating the badge of Military Merit as a way of rewarding disgruntled or disillusioned veterans but it was not until 1931 when the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s Birthday was around the corner on February 22nd the following year that none other in renowned World War one General Douglas MacArthur whose army chief of staff at the time turned his words into action backed by and together with the Washington Commission of Fine Arts and the heraldry specialist Elizabeth will they created the modern Purple Heart the medal bearing the Washington family coat of arms was not yet however primarily intended as a chevron for the wounded but instead still seen as a combat decoration for those who had done great deeds under fire McArthur insisted that he himself be awarded the first Purple Heart for his World War one service he had it engraved with a number one [Music] December 1942 a year into America’s participation in the Second World War President Franklin D Roosevelt authorized the award for all branches of service by executive order he declared that the decoration would also be retroactive Lee awarded to those men and women that had died since America’s entry into the war beginning with the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941 among the first recipients was a woman lieutenant Amy Fox who received it for her heroic actions and keeping a field hospital running during Pearl Harbor saving many lives by 1944 though the purpose of the Purple Heart had changed with the high casualties of the war the Purple Heart became the official decoration for those members of the Armed Forces wounded or killed to be eligible for the Purple Heart a wound had to be received by the actions of an enemy that necessitates medical treatment by a medical officer now the story could end here but the identity of the Purple Heart is still changing and unfolding in November 1952 President Harry Truman declared the medal should be extended to those wounded or killed since April 6 1917 the day of the u.s. entry into the First World War and under President John F Kennedy there were several propositions brought forward that would open the Purple Heart to civilians wounded while working for the Armed Forces this was later gradually limited by different editions of the yearly National Defense Authorization Act which removed most civilian claims and restricted it back to the Armed Forces Kennedy by the way is actually the only u.s. president who was awarded the Purple Heart that for his service in the Second World War as the commander of a torpedo boat near the solomon islands his boat came under fire from a Japanese destroyer and Kennedy injured his back but still Dovan to the water to save his badly burned crew members during Ronald Reagan’s presidency there was a growth of international terrorism so in 1984 it was decided that the declaration would also be awarded to soldiers wounded in a terrorist attack or while part of a peacekeeping mission I should point out that during this era the lines between battens and non-combatants and in some cases and parts of the world between soldiers and terrorists began to blur suddenly the core principles of the Purple Heart were no longer as clear as they had been back in 1942 what defines an enemy attack what is terrorism and what is simply a criminal act and what is a wound exactly just a clear cut from shrapnel tearing through flesh what about psychological wounds like PTSD our soldiers coming home with post-traumatic stress eligible for the Purple Heart 2009 the Pentagon decided not to award purple hearts to veterans with PTSD their reasoning is that the loss of a limb or combat wound is permanent while PTSD is treatable whether or not you agree and despite all those questions the Purple Heart has taken its place as one of the most prestigious and important decorations of the American military ranking right behind the Bronze Star and over the many decades from its humble beginnings in 1782 through World War one for the Second World War Korea Vietnam Iraq the conflicts of post 9/11 and the war on terror over one point eight million purple hearts have been awarded the United States celebrates Purple Heart Day on August 7th a day to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices made by those recipients men and women during their service a Purple Heart is there to remind the nation what it takes to defend or to fight for your nation and it is for the rest of that nation to acknowledge that Purple Heart recipients are automatically eligible for medical care and the support of veteran associations regardless of the severity of their injuries a length of their service or their income they also receive higher priority access to medical care and other benefits like paying less for medical bills being preferred for college access or federal hiring and even getting cheaper groceries many purple hearts have however been lost or been sold by veterans who hit hard times after their service some were simply stolen there are still many descendants trying to fight for an ancestors right for the Purple Heart and documents are still being put together to fix the tattered narrative of the Purple Heart as veterans call it I’ll end the history part of this episode with some food for thought as the US was preparing for operation downfall the invasion of the Japanese mainland in 1945 American generals estimated it would cost them anywhere between four hundred thousand and four million casualties so they began stockpiling purple hearts up to five hundred thousand of them until the plans for the invasion were called off those stockpiled purple hearts had been used ever since finally 45 years later in 1990 the news broke that the American military was manufacturing new ones this news reminded the American people that new conflicts were on the horizon and that every one of those military conflicts fought with troops on the ground will result in casualties those casualties the wounded and the dead those are the recipients of the Purple Heart [Music] okay you took one of your early songs night child and you rewrote it as Purple Heart yeah this is the time when some of them started to figure out what we are actually doing right we were writing songs about I mean the metalizer album it doesn’t really have any historical context to it no it’s gone oh it’s metal but we didn’t feel that it was right okay so there we are recording the album primo Victoria and we really loved the song night child it was recorded and it was a good song they’re playing some of it right now [Music] we were like okay we’re gonna do an album completely about war history yeah and night child doesn’t belong there because it’s just fiction and fantasy again we decided okay let’s rewrite it to have something programmed in your mind that you are already played several several several times and then you have to change it we realized that it’s tricky to rewrite something but it was necessary about it whatever peopie mean maybe your friends reaction or people that were already fans what do they think of recycling a song we some people were disappointed because they were like okay so it’s an old song we already heard it and now you did it like this and even when we released my child a long time later as a bonus then people also got upset because they thought you would rewrote Purple Heart and denied child oh that’s funny do you play it live as both or is it only Purple Heart live or we have never ever performed night child version live we have only rehearsed it a lot of times and recorded in in the studio but we played it live as Purple Heart but you haven’t done that to any of your other songs have you are we am not really rewritten anything else this is a unique story for one song are there may be some songs that maybe some of your earliest songs that were never released from like 1999 or 2000 that maybe demo versions of them might come back and be seven okay so actually no I’m wrong here the song that we talked about before saboteurs yes everything this has I mean it was called holy lights and yeah yeah that’s true [Music] that’s it for today but we see you next week here on Sabaton History Channel alright everybody thanks for watching this week’s episode of Sabbath on History Channel don’t forget to subscribe become a patreon support us and see you soon [Music]


  1. Purple Heart Day is celebrated on the 7th of August, and while we usually don't seek anniversary dates to publish our episodes on, this one lined up pretty well. In any case, this episode is not about a song or a person, but about the origin story of a military decoration. We personally think that this worked out pretty well, and we hope that you do too! If you do, please consider supporting us on Patreon so we can continue making more videos like this one -> https://www.patreon.com/sabatonhistory

  2. This is very amazing song and amazing episode 🔥🔥🔥
    Thank you very much Sabaton history 🔥❤️ Good Job🔥❤️
    Greetings from Slovakia 🇸🇰❤️

  3. 9:05 If their reason for PTSD not counting as a wound is that you can recover from PTSD, wouldn't that mean that many other injuries that don't result in limb loss should receive the purple heart either? If your leg gets wrecked with shrapnel, and you're sent home, but years of physical therapy and simple healing causes you to regain some of the use of your leg, shouldn't that mean you don't get a purple heart? What if it's just an injury that requires you to convalesce in a hospital for a few months before returning to combat? I feel like we need consistency if we're going to not give purple hearts for people whose lives are ruined by PTSD.

  4. Thanks for a amazing story, as an American this song always held a special place in my heart. And that story at the end about stock piling Purple heats have me goosebumps. Thank you Sabaton history, thank you Indy and god speed to all the recipients of the Purple heart!

  5. Definitely among my favorite Sabaton songs. Has such that patriotic yet somber feel of the sacrifice made by soldiers. Salute to the brave soldiers fighting today. The song deserves more attention.

  6. YESS!! I’ve already considered this one of their best songs and one that had sadly been forgotten. Let this be the start of the revival.

  7. I've got something of a contradictory, possibly hypocritical, stance on war and honouring veterans.

    On the one hand, I think that war is stupid, and waged by stubborn idiots who have more balls than brains. They can't be bothered working out a compromise, so they launch bodies at each other until one or the other relents. The world would be so much better without war, and because of it, mankind has been constantly inventing new way to kill each other. From stone axes to swords to bows to guns to nuclear weapons, none of these items were meant to save lives.

    However, I know that war can sometimes be a necessary evil and although I am against it, I believe in honouring the men and women who gave their health and their lives for what they love and in the name of freedom and peace. The people who put their lives on the line to try and make the lives of their friends, families, and countrymen at home safer and easier are the ones who deserve to be remembered and properly complimented.

    I can predict that there will probably be plenty of people who are against my view, and I will only request that you put your opinions in a respectful and educated manner, rather than following the typical trend of YouTube comments:

    With that being said, I wish you all a pleasant day, evening, or night.

  8. Interesting how an old song got rewritten for what I see as one of the most memorable tracks of Primo Victoria

    I like how the chorus has a bit of a melancholic atmosphere to it, to emphasize that this medal isn't awarded to just any soldier, but one who is willing to give his own life to save that of others. It still gives me chills whenever I listen to it.

  9. "Just give them a 0.50 cents purple medal so they keep fight for our cause (but only if they are physically wounded)" -Some rich bastards americans capitalists somewhere in the past

  10. I hope that Sabaton at some point, will make an official Sabaton version of the Area51 cover song of Fields of Verdun. if for no other reasons than it would be hilarious.

  11. I’m fortunate enough to have my Great Uncles Purple Heart from WWII.
    While I know not what he did to be awarded it, I do know that this small piece of metal and fabric must have an amazing story tied to it.

  12. I wonder sometimes, despite as a country whom both love and hate war, love veterans, and support their fellow men and women, why then we haven't had a real average joe who rose through the ranks and knows how bad war is, and how bad the average american has it both inside and outside it's country. knows the rich are always using themselves and others to serve them. Why then, have they never really had people who either fought against injustice be it foreign or domestic (like bernie has in the many protests back then.) why we never had a real man who didn't have riches behind them is beyond me.

  13. This is why you gents are amazing. Always learning something new, and this episode is no exception. Thank you for another awesome episode.

  14. The pantagon thinks PTSD is "treatable"!? My god… In that case losing a leg shouldn't qualify for the purple heart, after all you can "treat" it by getting a prosthetic. Absolutely ridiculous.

  15. Interesting fact is that we haven’t minted purple heats since WWII because we minted so many in preparation for the invasion of Japan.

  16. I live about 10-15 minutes away from where major Andre was hanged. They turned where he was held into a revolutionary war themed steakhouse.

  17. I earned mine August 11th, 2007, in Baghdad. I still have a piece of the 107 mm rocket that almost got me, kept at home. To this day, I still get headaches and sleep trouble from the blast and bits of concrete that hit my head.

  18. We salute those who have given their lives and minds to protect this great country of America.

    Thank you for everything, you brave Souls.

  19. My grandfather received two purple hearts around 2007 . might have been earlier. I remember the sentiment around that being "it's about time."
    If I remember correctly he was with the marines as a cook and got hit by shrapnel on Guadalcanal, and shot on Okinawa.
    He also was witness to the pearl harbor attack, though he was stationed a few miles inland.
    Interesting episode, Never knew the history behind the medal.

  20. Should we wait an episode of Sabaton History about The Attack of Dead Men?
    I'm from Voronezh, Russia. Dead Men were from 226 Zemlyansk regiment. Zemlysnsk is the place near Voronezh. We are waitimg for your performance in our city!!!

  21. They should make it a medal for all civilized (western) countries! It is so iconic that every wounded soldier fighting for freedom deserves one!

  22. It took that long to exhaust the stockpile they had set up just for the hypothetical Japan invasion
    Shows the difference between a "World War" and "normal" wars. And their expectations of how a land invasion of Japan would go down.

  23. I know a lot of people don't like the U.S, particularly the modern country, but it's awesome to see Sabaton make a song about honouring our fallen, and it's nice to see people from around the world appreciate our country for the good things we've done. I understand not liking the U.S. from a foreign perspective, but it's great to see people are grateful for what we have given to their countries in the past.

  24. 9:38 is that an mp40? I know the m3 grease gun looks fairly similar to the mp40, but that looks more like an mp40

  25. Can you do one on the Mannerheim Cross, that has 192 recipiants. Could have been cool 🙂 also about swedish speaking-finnish regiment IR 61

  26. I can't place my words but im so happy that the soliders who died or got injured are remembered as heroes.
    This episode brought me to tears.

  27. Mmm Byzantine mosaics good choice I really want a Rome concept album that begins with its rise to power and ends with the end of the often over looked Byzantines

  28. Tbh I think they should make the Purple Heart available to the allies of the United States, my father who was serving the British military was injured whilst aiding an American ally. God bless the troops who serve the United Kingdom and United States.

  29. chaplin emil kapaun!!!!!!!!!
    korean war victim and purple heart and congresional metal of honor winner!!!!!

  30. I can't wait for more good stories behind the songs you guys make. I randomly met Joakim at the bus-station I used to live because it's close to the airport OSL (Oslo Airport) and I think Joakim went to far. It was a starstruck moment for sure! I've been a sucker for military history and one of the reasons I want to be a history teacher myself! Keep up the amazing music! m/

  31. We need a video for "In The Name of God". I expect it to be an interesting topic with minefields to be tackled by Sabaton History.

  32. in short, the muricans wants more wars, more violence and more violence over the another peoples of the world.

  33. One of my most prizes possessions is my uncle's Purple Heart. Mom inherited it from her parents and I from her. Uncle Tom was a bomber engineer who was killed after being shoot down and captured in WW2.

  34. You know, MacArthur would make a good subject for a Sabaton song, from "I shall return" to "just fadeaway". Heck, call it American Caesar. And slip in a few riffs from Jimmy Webb's MacArthur Park to make a few of us laugh.

  35. I am a medal collector (I have been longer than I have been a fan of Sabaton), I really appreciate this video a lot. I think medals can tell a hell of a story without the veteran being there to tell it. Sadly, I see far too many wind up in the trash or in the hands of ungrateful grandchildren who don't care about what granddad did in the war and who would sell them for next to nothing, I'll gladly take them to preserve their history and stories if I can. Someone has to care about veterans in this country.

    I gave Hannes a cased WW2 era Purple Heart after their show in Houston, TX. I gave every member of the Swedish War Machine a medal that is mentioned in a song or has significance to a song or event. I gave four that Lauri Törni earned [Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Iron Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross], Tommy got an Order of the Red Star [for Hill 3234, each Soviet soldier at the battle received one of these awards]), I hope they liked them! 😀

    Thanks for the excellent video guys, the Operation Downfall order of Purple Hearts is largely unknown by a lot of Americans.

  36. To sacrifice life and limb for your country. There is no greater gift a man or woman can give for their people. Thank you to all who earned this medal, you’re all heroes and an inspiration for every coming generation.

  37. Honestly, I think that there should be a decoration for soldiers that received ptsd, not something like the Purple Heart, but something along the lines

  38. My great grandfather earned a Purple Heart taking a Japanese bullet in the Phillipines during WW2. Prior to this he had earned a Bronze Star clearing out a Japanese machine gun nest. Fortunately he recovered from his wound and lived a long, happy life, passing away only a few years ago. 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲

  39. Ok now for the real mystery. Millions of sabaton fans in the world. But the channel is still not past 200k subscribers.
    Historical channels like scoolagladiatoria lyndybeige skallagrim and shadiversity has been forced to work from the ground up but this channel should have had a million subscribers the first month.

  40. FOR SABATON: Some Veteran friends introduced your group and songs to a Disabled American Veterans meeting not long ago and also advised us of the Sabaton History clips which are surprisingly factual with all the altered versions that exist out there. Needless to say we are in the process of getting albums and doing our own analysis of each song (no complaints to date). Though prior to my own era (having served 1971-1995 in the Air Force with multiple combat tours), I have always been miffed at few actually know that that iconic Marine Memorial of the flag raising at Iwo Jima in world war 2 was actually for a publicity shot since some commanders wanted a larger more visible flag displayed. The first group of Marines actually braved enemy sniper fire to get their flag hoisted…but to the masses are all but forgotten. Probably the best article can be found here: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/raising-flag-iwo-jima-story-one-most-famous-photos-all-time-26421 Would love to see that original group remembered and immortalized in song. Thank you not just for your great band, but for reminding so many of history. Salute.

  41. My family tried hard to get my great grandpa a Purple Heart as he was shot in the pacific. However the marine corps never would budge as he never went to a field hospital for his wound. To my great grandpa, I don’t think he cared much. He was just happy to have made it home alive and always said the real heroes were the one who never returned home

  42. I was literally just listening to this song and then I see this video was posted 2 days ago (from when I posted this comment) good timing Sabaton! Stay metal and rock on!!

  43. not a fan of your music but I really appreciate how you engage a larger audience and entertain them, whilst also teaching history.
    Plus, your choruses are so epic and catchy.
    I find myself singing along by the end of each video.

  44. The last time I saw my grandfather (He served in Korea) I played that song with him. That song reminds me of him… He past away last year.

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