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The WORST OPW2 Ever Awarded!

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When I got this group years ago, with the Orders Book, I had high hopes.


The Red Banner and one Red Star and Miltary Merit Medal from the numbers were obviously the long service awards of a career officer, so the other three awards were obviously for WW2 action.


Naturally, I selected the OPW2 to research.

This is a story of how... You Never Know What You Are Going To Get Back speechless1.gif

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Documented awards group to Mark Mikhailovich MEKH

1) Order of the Red Banner, serial # 499,337 (circa 1953??for 20 years service)

2) Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, serial # 203,488 (28 September 1944: flat back type: SEE CITATION)

3) Order of the Red Star, serial #223,076 (24 July 1943: Type 2 ?Monetny Dvor? screwpost base)

4) Order of the Red Star, serial #3,361,560 (ca 1948?? this is a 1952 serial #, but if 15 years? ?delayed)

5) Military Merit Medal, serial # 375,304 (16 March 1943)

6) Military Merit Medal, serial # 1,554,715 (3 November 1944 for 10+ years long service)

7) Orders Booklet, 1945 edition, serial # 406,836 Issued 8 February 1946, showing 1st award privileges starting 1 April 1943. Signed ?Mekh? below ?Valid Without Photograph? space. First four awards-- #s 5, 3, 2, and 6 as listed above?were made before this Booklet was issued, then #4 and last #1 as listed by precedence above. Mekh?s service record does not list awards after 1948. His Awards Record Card entries end in December 1945. He also received the Defense of the Caucasus Medal on 1 May 1944, Victory Over Germany Medal, and 1948 Armed Forces Jubilee Medal on 22 August 1948.

Mekh was born 28 April 1901 in the village of Balakei in Smelyansky district of Kiev region. He was a Ukrainian national, speaking Russian and Ukrainian. He completed 4th Class at village school, and was at Kharkov Vocational Trading School as an adult December 1937 to March 1938. Married to Yelena Andreevna, born 1916, and had one daughter, Liana, born 1944. Mekh joined the Communist Party in 1925. No civilian occupational information. Red Army service?

8.9.22-25.4.24: Red Army soldier and junior commander in the Independent Officers? Training Regiment, Transcaucasian Front (1 year, 7 months, 17 days active duty)

February-April 1923: took part in suppression of the Esurget Mutiny.

25.4.24-5.12.31: released to Reserves.

5.12.31: Officer Cadet, advanced officer training classes, 17th Rifle Corps (? then in Far East?)

27.2.32: Platoon Commander in 287th Rifles Regiment, 96th Rifles Division in city of Zhmerinka.

25.7.37-22.6.41: re-released back to the Reserves (6 years, 7 months, 22 days active duty 1931-37)

August 1937: appointed Captain of Rifles in the army reserves

22.6.41: called up for war service as ?Voentorg? (Post Exchange) chief of 18th Army on Southern Front.

22.7.41-April 1943: served on the Southern Front

10.1.42: appointed Intendant 2nd Rank (= Quartermaster Major)

25.7.42: rank altered to new title of major of Quartermaster Corps

7.4.43: 56th Army Post Exchange Chief on the Northern Caucasus Front

April-November 1943: served on the Northern Caucasus Front

November 1943-July 1944: served on the Transcaucasian Front (i.e. in the rear)

25.1.44: Deputy Chief of Post Exchange of the Transcaucasian Front in city of Tbilisi (Tiflis)

15.6.44: Post Exchange Chief of the Independent Maritime Army (new designation of former 56th Army)

July 1944-5.9.45: served with Independent maritime Army in the Crimea.

21.8.45: Post Exchange Chief of Tovrichesky Military District

23.9.45: promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of Quartermaster Corps.

7.8.46: Post Exchange Chief in city of Belgorod-Dniestrovsk near mouth of the Dniester River on the Black Sea in Odessa Military District.

24.8.47: Post Exchange Chief in Odessa for Odessa Military District

11.10.49: Post Exchange Chief in Izmail on the Rumanian border near mouth of the Danube River, Odessa Military District

19.2.52: Post Exchange Chief in Dontonelsky Branch PX # 105

31.7.52: Post Exchange Chief in Bolshe-Martinovsky PX #105

23.3.54: Post Exchange Chief of PX #185 in Chita, Transbaikal Military District, on Mongolian border.

10.11.55: discharged finally to the reserves, after 14 years, 4 months, 29 days continuous active duty since 1941, and 22 years, 8 months, 6 days total military service since 1922.

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Mekh's Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class



And the WORST citation Igor Moiseyev or Paul McDaniel had EVER seen

It's not too late to turn back!!! rolleyes.gifspeechless1.gif

?Comrade Mekh, commander of the Voentorg (Military Trading Department) of the Primorskaya (Maritime?aka 56th) Army since June 1944, used his great experience in military trade to organize performance of his department in accordance with the Decree of the Soviet State Defense Committee of 23 March 1944 ?To Improve Service Of Military Units.? He achieved remarkable results:

Retail sales and Provisions

For the third quarter the projected volume of retail is 7,000 rubles and that of short term objective is 2,000 rubles, that makes a total of 9,000 rubles.

During two months of the third quarter 130.6% of the plan was completed, and 102.3% of short term objective.

During July and August mobile shops made 163 trips to 166 units, increasing the volume of staple sales 2 to 3 times compared to the second quarter.

The Department organized procurement of agricultural products and goods.

Industrial and Service Enterprises

A net of workshops serves to satisfy the needs of servicemen. The workshops produce Red Army cap stars, mugs, and kettles. The cost of a cap star is 57% less than that of one manufactured by local factories. The plan developed by the Glavvoentorg (Main Military Trading Department) both for workshop departments and for all industrial and service enterprises was exceeded by 28.7% during two months of the current quarter.


During the current quarter the structure of trade exchange significantly improved as compared with the second quarter. In the second quarter the share of kitchen equipment was 34% and the volume of purchased goods was 66%. In the first 2 months of the third quarter, share of kitchen equipment was brought up to 43.7% and that of purchased goods was down to 56.8%.

Comrade Mekh deserves to be awarded an Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class for his skillful performance to ensure execution of the 3 March 1944 Decree of the State Defense Committee.

Signed, Major General Aleksandr Anatloievich "Khilinsky," Commander in charge of Rear Quartermaster Services, (smudge) September 1944

Approved Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, Guards Lieutenant General Kondrat Semyonevich "Mel?nik," (day blank) September 1944. ?





........... speechless1.gif ............ speechless1.gif ............. speechless1.gif

Mekh?s Awards Record Card shows the downgraded award (gee, they should have waited for End Of Quarter!) of his OPW SECOND Class approved 28 September 1944.

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Hi Rick,

This brings to mind the group that Igor Moiseyev had for sale some years ago to an officer who was given an award for cumulative events, the most significant of which was the ?liberation? (their words, not mine) of a vodka factory. Cheers!

Wild Card

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Schutztruppe

Nothing bolsters the cause of the global march of communism like some good old fashioned capitalism! :beer:

Of course, now I absolutely have to find a Red Army coffee mug to have with me at the office.



I am a new member and have a small Soviet ODM collection. I noticed that you got hold of the award cards and military papers. Can you give me advise on how I can get hold of them for my ODM's.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 9 months later...

Insane laughter, organ music, thunder and lightning--

Well-fed Comrade Mekh now drops to SECOND in the Worst Citation Ever Made "Contest"---



in which said Private, despite recurrent bad health, got a Glory 3rd for being a dutiful clerk in an army Trophy Property Packing Company!!!! :speechless1::speechless1::speechless1:

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Thanks a lot Rick! I almost cried when I read this :cheeky: It is something!!!

About the intendants (quartermasters) I have to say that they all looked like brothers. I have a picture of another quartermaser, take a look. I don't think he was starving during the war...

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In Red Army the situation with food was really bad. In many memoirs has been described that very often soldiers didn't receive any food for the whole day. Even if they got some food, it was not enough to overcome the demand for calories, so the soldiers were always hungry. Because of that, the regular delivering of fresh hot food to the trenches was extremely important. Hungry soldier is not a warrior. When Russian soldier had an empty stomach, he didn't have a desire to fight. So a cook or a person in charge of food supply were important figures. Their good work was in a close connection with soldier's "high spirit".

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Belaruski, it is not only for "financial business". In citation it has mentioned that he was also in charge of sending official regret letters to the families of soldiers killed in action :speechless1:

Thanks for adding this. For me (and, I think, for most on this forum), just posting a Russian language document carries no meaning at all, unless accompanied by some summary (or even a translation) in English.

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Thanks for adding this. For me (and, I think, for most on this forum), just posting a Russian language document carries no meaning at all, unless accompanied by some summary (or even a translation) in English.

Sorry, my bad. I'll provide the complete translation very soon.

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