Gun commander ULCHENKO: field artillery saves the day in German counterattack.

Please, meet sr. sergeant ULCHENKO Nikolaj Dmitrievich, 1918. He was a 76mm field gun commander of 140 rifle regiment, 182 rifle “Dno” division. The order is bestowed for the “Rezhitsa-Dvina offensive”.

In the engagement for the village Zhuki, Sebezh district, Kalinin region, on 13-14 July 1944, comrade ULCHENKO rolled his gun out to an open direct fire position while subjected to the enemy heavy fire. From a distance of 50m, he blasted rapidly spot blank at the attacking German infantry. The enemy could not stand the fire and retreated to his original position, leaving many casualties on the field.
Just on 13th July, comrade ULCHENKO’s gun repelled 6 enemy counterattacks, destroying 3 enemy firing positions and about 30 enemy troops.
For courage and bravery exhibited in the struggle agains the German occupants, comrade ULCHENKO deserves a state award order Glory III class.
Commander of 140 rifle regiment Guards Major /RODIONOV/

According to the combat diary of 140RR, the German units involved in the action was “the assault battalion of 463 Inf.Reg. of 263 Inf.Div. , which replaced beaten up battalion of the 322 Inf.Reg.“. The combat diary also describes, how the Soviet 171RR suffered heavy losses lost control due to lack of reconnaissance and unfavourable terrain, which forced the troops to concentrate and being subjected to German artillery strikes. The 140RR was sent to replace 171RR, and that is when the action described in the citation took place.

Pt. BEREZIN. Karelian front.

Please, meet private first class BEREZIN Pavel Evgenievich, 1917, a rifleman of the 7 rifle company, 536 rifle regiment, 114 rifle “Svir” division, 7 army, Karelian front.

In service since May 1942, wounded lightly in his leg on 20.09.1943. The veteran was also awarded with OG2 № 26933 in November 1944. The OGIII was awarded for the “Svir-Petrozavodsk offensive” (Suurhyökkäys Syväriltä).

In the engagement for the village Obzha, Olonets district, on 24 June 1944, he was the first into the enemy trenches and thus showed the way to the rest of his unit. He took one soldier prisoner and eliminated 8. Captured two submachine guns.
For courage, bravery, and personal leadership, private first class BEREZIN deserves a state award ORDER GLORY III CLASS.
Commander of 536 rifle regiment /OGORODNIKOV/

Sr. Lt MIROSHNICHENKO: from antitank field artillery in 1941 to Head of Staff in air defence

Sr. Lieutenant MIROSHNICHENKO Pavel Antonovich, 1916. 
He was in service since 1937. Retired in 1940. Recalled in May 1941 again. 
Artillery battery commander of 45mm AT guns, 1043 rifle regiment, 285 rifle division. 
WIA in August 1941 defending Kiev
Hospitalised until July 1942. 
After that he was in serving in 103 reserve artillery regiment, 37 reserve rifle division. 
There is a MIA report on him from January 1943. Not clear for me why, as the reserve units were not usually participating in combat. Unless there was some kind of dramatic situation, in which the front line was broken and a reserve unit had to step in.
Retired from the Army in Sept 1943. 
Reinstated in the internal NKVD/MVD forces right away as air defence artillery unit Head of Staff.
He served as Head of Staff for the air defence in the southern Ukraine region till 1960.

The first Red Star was awarded in 1947 according to the decree “for wounds sustained in Patriotic war”. The citation is written after veterans recollection of the events in August 1941.
The second Red Star is a long service award for his service in MVD air defence in the Southern Ukraine region (around towns Nikolaev, L’vov, Uzhgorod). Because it is a late MVD issued award, it is not found in his register card, but only in his award booklet.

Machine-gunner KADYSH. Kurland pocket, March 1945.

Please, meet private KADYSH Stanislav Stepanovich, 1915. A deputy squad leader of the 2nd rifle company, 975 rifle regiment, 270 rifle division, 2 Baltic front. In combat service since August 1944. Light facial wound in November 1944.

In the offensive operation against an enemy fortified line near the village Azhi on 27 March 1945, comrade KADYSH decisively closed up with the enemy, despite heavy fire.
As a master machine-gunner, comrade KADYSH continuously fired on the move. His fire eliminated 4 enemy soldiers and dispersed an enemy platoon, which was attempting a counterattack and flacking our advancing platoon.
Being wounded, comrade KASDYSH remained with his machine-gun and with his powerful salvoes eliminated up to 6 Hitlerites.
For excellent performance in combat and achieved combat results, he deserves order Glory III class.
Commander of 975 rifle regiment
Guards Lt. Colonel /SOZONOV/

The combat diary of the 975RR states, that the opposing German force consisted of 1st battalion of 426 Grenadier-Regiment, 126. Infanterie-Division.

Combat diary of the 975RR for the day 27 March 1945.

Order Glory III class for NAZARENKO – regiment son, 14 y.o.

OGIII for a regiments son.
Please, meet Guards private first class NAZARENKO PETR EMELIANOVICH, who served as a horse carriage driver of 3 battalion, 7 Guards paratrooper rifle regiment, 2 Guards paratrooper “Proskurov” division. 
Awarded OGIII #248777 for an action near settlements SYURTE and KISTEGLAS on 20 November 1944.

The veterans birth year is recorded as 1928 in the citations, but as 1930 in the awards register card signed after the war. 

NAZARENKO’s status is described as “volunteer: pupil” in his 2 first award recommendations. Such was the designation used during the war time for what later became known as “regiments son/daughter”. The name “regiments son” was popularised from 1945 by the novel “Regiments son” written by Valentin Kataev. 
This means, that NAZARENKO added up 2 years to his age to get accepted to the regiment. I am quite sure, that he was infact born in 1930 and thus was barely 14 y.o. in 1944 (he joined the army in February 1944).
According to the official data, there were app. 3500 of such regiments sons and daughters.

During his service from February 1944, NAZARENKO was bestowed medal “For Combat Merits”, medal “For Bravery”, and the last one – Order of Glory III class.
Recommendation for OGIII was signed 12 January 1945.
Though it is not mentioned directly, the described events took place on app. 20 October 1944. 

Comrade NAZARENKO, being a horse wagon driver of the supply platoon, has exhibited courage and valour in the fight against the Germano-Fascist invaders. Risking his life under enemy fire, he timely delivered ammunition to the rifle companies on the first line. When during the assault on the village Syurte, Chzechoslovakia, occurred lack of ammunition, he hand carried and successfully delivered cartridges to the rifle company, while being under enemy rifle-MG fire. Having been resupplied, the company continued the assault and comrade NAZARENKO steadfastly went with the company into the attack. 
In the village Kisteglas, the enemy suddenly opened fire from inside a house. Comrade NAZARENKO stealthily following a ditch approached the house and fired at the windows. Confusion struck the enemy and they started running out of the door, where they were met with NAZARENKO’s well placed shots. In this engagement, he killed 6 Hungarians and 2 captured prisoner. 
For exhibited courage and valour he is worthy of order Glory III class.

You can see the position of the 7 Guards paratrooper rifle regiment on 20 October 1944 , just South of Kesteglash (green marker on the map). 

Small town Syurte is located half way between towns Uzhgorod and Chop. 
In the citation these historically Hungarian settlements are named as located in Czechoslovakia. That was correct for the period 1920 – 1945.
But today they are both located just East of the Ukrainian state border. 
In Sommer 1945, Stalin insisted on the local railway junction Chop with it’s area (250 square km) being exchanged with Czechoslovakia for another piece of land.

48 years delayed award for Halbe pocket, 1945

48 years delayed award for the action at Halbe pocket.
This is a catchup award: bestowed in 1945, but handed out in 1987 (the veteran was 74 y.o.). 
The RS 3782263 bestowed upon private rifleman TOSHMATOV Turambay, 1913, for the action on 27 April 1945 near the German station BARUTH (South of Berlin). 148 guards Rifle Regiment, 50 Guards Rifle Division.

Deflecting emery counter attack, and risking his life, he flanked the enemy and eliminated 11 German soldiers with his carabine and took one officer prisoner.

Overview of the actions of 50 Guards rifle division near the station Baruth in April 1945 during the Halbe pocket battle.
Positions of 50 Guars rifle division on the day of the engagement.

Private KRIGA. Berlin battle.

Berlin and Warsaw medal documents for private first class KRIGA Pavel Semeonovich, 1924.
Mortar crew leader of 21 Guards Motorised Rifle Briagde, 1 Gu. Tank Army. 
Awarded Red Star in 1944 and Red Banner in May 1945 (Berlin battle). 
Interestingly, his original ORB recommendation was for Hero of Soviet Union title. 
It was approved 3 times up to the corps level. But was downgraded to ORB at Army level.
KRIGA and his crew was the first one to cross Spree on 23 April 1945 near Köpenick. Defending the bridgehead, his crew members had to repel enemy counterattack, in which his crew members were taken out of action. KRIGA had to take machine-gun to defend the position and held it until the main forces reinforced them.
His citation states wrong date of the action – 27 April. The Spree crossing took place on 23 April at around 13:00.

Pilot MOISEEV shot down in 1941

Victory medal and the document for captain MOISEEV Ironim Afanasievich, 1913. A pilot of 13 fighter aviation regiment of the Baltic Fleet.
From Jan 1942 – 4 Guards fighter aviation regiment.
Then the Winter war against Finland. Awarded “Red Banner” in 1940.
June-Sep 1941 Leningrad front: 131 combat missions, 33 air fights.
Shot down and wounded on 10 Sep 1941.
Face burns and fragment wound to the left foot.
After hospitalisation sent to a transport aviation unit, but never 
managed to recover fully and remained “uneasy and tence in the air” 
according to evaluation.
Awards: ORB in 1940 , FCM in 1944, OPW1 in 1946.

Captain GORODOV, 150 rifle division, Berlin battle.

Please, meet captain GORODOV Anatolij Ivanovich, 1913. 
Berlin capture medal and document.
Captain GORODOV served in the 171 separate chemical defence company, 150 rifle “Idritsa” division. 
This division was the main to assault and capture the Reichstag building. 
GORODOV was bestowed OPW2 for the action on 26 April 1945:

In the street fighting in Berlin on 26 April 1945, captain GORODOV managed the smoke screen application during the forced crossing of the Verbindungs canal by the 756 rifle regiment. 
Under heavy enemy machine-gun and sniper fire, he set up 2 smoke screens, one of which was done on the southern bank by our smoke-chemists, who crossed among the first. The smoke screen covered the bridge, which provided successful crossing by the regiment to the southern bank.

The 150RD combat diary also highlights the important role the smoke screen played on 26 April 1945.