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Divisional CO's Red Star For Afghanistan


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Order of the Red Star, serial # 3,738,401

with 1967 edition Orders Book serial # I ( И ) 076578, showing awarded on 3 January 1980, book issued 12 August 1980.

Never had photograph or signature. For Afghan coup October 1979 or earlier ?uprisings.? Research received January 29, 2005 reveals some personal information, as well as the citation for this Order of the Red Star?

Since 12 December 1977 Soviet Commander and "Chief of Staff" of an infantry division in

the army of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

A "disciplined, industrious, and highly prepared officer," in paraphrasing his Red Star citation--

Comrade V skillfully organized special battalion and regimental marksmanship in the highest mountains in the country. Operating on "eight significant fronts," he "annihilated five separate dangerous squadrons of rebels, and three groups of rebels were compelled to lay down arms." He demonstrated a "Good familiarity in situations of complex and dangerous conditions."

"Thanks to his courage and capacity to master any conditions, and taking correct decisions, units of the division liberated population points Shul'gara, Garmach, Chorkent, and others from the enemy. As a result, active enemy combat operations in three provinces in the division's zone of responsibility ceased."

UNFORTUNATELY, the year was 1979, when coup after coup after coup of increasingly deranged local Communists slaughtered each other: first Daud in 1978, then Taraki (in early October 1979?probably the wave of uprisings and ?rebellions? for which this Red Star was bestowed), and finally Amin, Christmas week of 1979. THESE combat operations, qualifying for the later Warrior Internationalist badge for Afghan service from 22 April 1978 to 30 November 1979, were but the precursor of the war (the four Soviet advisors killed in the internecine Afghan butchery of 1979 were not counted in the later war?s casualties) that followed-- and which Vozhachenko was obviously still involved in through 1980.

On 18 October 1979 Lieutenant General "Gorelov," chief Soviet military "adviser" in the DRA, recommended Colonel Vozhachenko for a Red Star "For courage and firmness, demonstrated in battle conditions...." Colonel General Zotov, Chief of Staff of the Soviet General Staff concurred on 24 October 1979. The Presidium (otherwise engaged) approved on 8 January 1980. Vozhachenko must still have been in Afghanistan in August 1980, when he finally received this Red Star?after 10 months.

For other awards of Colonel Vozhachenko, see:

his FIRST type OSH3=

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1042

and other Soviet awards in the group, as well as a North Vietnamese Feat of Arms Order 1st Class =

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1938

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Anatoly Aleksandrovich Vozhachenko was born in 1936. He joined the Soviet Army 27 June 1956 at Morozovsky District Military Commissariat, Rostov on Don, and attended an officers? training academy for lieutenants 1956-1960 (not entitled to the 1958 Jubilee medal under its restrictive bestowal conditions). He would have been commissioned and promoted approximately as follows: Lieutenant 1960, Senior Lieutenant 1963, Captain about 1967, Major about 1971-72, Lieutenant Colonel by 1974, and Colonel on 16 February 1978. His presence at the Frunze Military Academy in 1968 meant he was considered a likely prospect for higher command, and he would have attended its 3 years course (since he was there in February 1968) in one of these classes: 1965-68 (seems unlikely, had to be a Captain already), 1966-69 (again, unlikely), or 1967-70. Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1964. His late 1974 home address was Quarters 9, House II, Zarachnaya Ulitsa, Sartolovo-I Colony, Vsevolozhsky District, Leningrad Region. His late 1979 home address was Apartment 57, House 53, Kirov Street, Murmansk.

His known military unit affiliations were: ?Unit 74261? from at least November 1965 to at least February 1967, Frunze Military Academy (see above, probably 1967-70), ?Unit 37551? which was the 270th Guards Instructional Motor Rifles Regiment, under his command from 31 July 1973 to at least December 1974, August 1980 ?Unit 44708,? and May 1984 on the staff of Military Preparatory Schools (for Lieutenants?) in Leningrad Military District. He was posted to Afghanistan from 12 December 1977, before the tidal wave of local Communist coups, and must still have been ?in country? there in August 1980. He was ?gone? again from 1988 to at least November 1989. He MAY have actually been in Vietnam during this period?his Feat of Arms Order 1st Class was issued in October 1989, during this period, but the award could also simply have been transmitted to him.

While ranks (or lack thereof) are often sloppily noted on Jubilee Award Booklets, I have never encountered a Veteran of the Armed Forces Booklet that did NOT accurately designate the recipients status as Reserve or Retired. Since Vozhachenko?s rank is given as if he was still active, his ?retirement? there may have been simply part of the official fiction that he was not ?really? a Soviet military officer overseas. The ?active? rank on his ?1988? would thus not normally be grounds for any notice?except that it was granted directly by the Presidium, and not by a military unit or local veterans? commissariat.

Vozhachenko was obviously a career secret overseas military advisor, who served for prolonged and repeated tours in countries dominated by the then-Soviet Union, where ?officially? no Soviet military presence existed. These are secrets likely to remain locked in the ex-Soviet archives for decades.

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His Red Star Nagradnoi List:

This was not found added to the Award Record Card started with his OSH3. Whether, like Orders Books which had also come to be "single issues," separate ARCs were being prepared at this period, I don't know. It is possible that "sensitive" awards such as this may still be classified, or have been pulled from the archives. We may never know.

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