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    No matter the field of interest, an isolated medal is only a chump of metal and ribbon. The joy, the ability of reinstalling life in that object, is with research.

    An example:

    Several years ago, as a real "fringe" item in my collection, I acquired a Soviet Order of Glory, 3rd class, type 2, var. 2, #805395. No big investment ($20), no big deal, just a "thing".

    Well, for several times the purchase price, I was able to get research done (during one of those windows of time when research in Moscow could be obtained). This uninteresting medal was awarded to First Sergeant of the Guards Alexandra Vasilyevna Grebenschchikova [female], Sanitary Instructor of motor rifle company, 1st Motor Rifle Battalion, 29th Guards Order of Bogdan Khemelnitsky 1st Degree Motor Rifle Brigade of Unech, The Guards Tank Ural-Lvov Voluntary Corps. She was Russian, born 1922. She was wounded 12 August 1942. The field nurse's citation:

    "When fighting against German invaders Guards First Sergeant Grebenschchikova was among the first to cross in the forging of the River Oder [ca. 22 Jan 1945] and under strong machine-gun and artillery fire rendered medical assistance to 75 wounded. She took 63 heavily wounded persons with their personal weapons away from the battlefield.

    "The Guards First Sergeant Grebenschchikova deserves a government award, Order of the Red Banner."

    While this award was down-graded to an Order of Glory, it was approved 20 March 1945. The medal, however, was not physically awarded until 28 March 1990. The 23 year old nurse got the award for her deeds when she was 70.


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    This is awesome beer.gif And some people thought, i am mad to research my Glory 3rd class rolleyes.gifwink.gif

    Thanks for sharing this most intersting citation. She obviously was a brave woman and would have deserved the Order of the Red Banner.

    Btw, research is still (or better again) possible. If you need a contact, just let me know. Didn?t you do research on your own?



    Edited by Gerd Becker
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    Guest Rick Research

    beer.gif You lucked out with that one, Ed! That's one of the drawbacks of random research without any other documentation as "clues." This was an extraodinary citation... but then you get clunkers like my OPW2 to front line military retailer Mark Mekh.

    There are so many "orphan" awards in our collections... what stories are behind them? The Shiny Sparkly Things collectors don't care, but WE do.

    Grebenschchikova obviously deserved more-- at least a Red Star. I wonder sometimes if there were "quotas" placed on awards, and they were "rationed" out. Or, by that stage of the war, if Glories were being deliberately awarded in great numbers to get those St. George ribbons out there, for propaganda reasons.

    The extreme delay in processing makes me wonder-- was there anything in the research material to indicate WHY it took so long?

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    • 1 month later...

    Grebenschchikova obviously deserved more-- at least a Red Star. I wonder sometimes if there were "quotas" placed on awards, and they were "rationed" out. Or, by that stage of the war, if Glories were being deliberately awarded in great numbers to get those St. George ribbons out there, for propaganda reasons.

    I think there are a couple reasons for this award. First, Glories could be awarded by division commanders. When in a rush to get an award approved, or if the senior unit was unaccessable, then it may well have been considered prudent to award what could be awarded, rather than wait (though this one took long enough to award!) Also, the fact that it took so long to award may have been because she ended up in hospital for some reason and her unit couldn't get the award to her in time, which meant the delay in the awarding. Finally, Glories were a BIG deal when a soldier returned home. By this time, Red Banners and Red Stars had been significantly "devalued" as long-service awards, whereas to earn a Glory you had to actually be in combat... It was much more prestigious to go home to the old village wearing a Glory as a "real" combat veteran vice a Lenin/Red Banner/Red Star trio as a long-serving "benchwarmer."

    Were I a betting man, I would say she was nominated for the Red Banner and the award was sent up as such (or at least a Red Star.) Honestly, a Red Banner seems a bit excessive for the citation, and from my thought process above, I think that the opinion was that the Glory was a better combat award. Anyway, while the award was being routed through the chain of command, she ended up in hospital and the award was rushed through, to be bottom-lined by the division commander in order to get her at least "A" award before she was gone from the unit permanently. Well, she left and the award never caught up to her. Thus the reason it took so long to catch up - it was probably lost in filiing somewhere, she was unlocatable, and by the time she could be found (or perhaps she heard from another vet that she had been nominated for it?) it was 45 years later. Still, remarkable! :D


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    late awards... certainly better than never.

    my uncle david was awarded the silver star in

    1995. a pilot in the ploesti raid, this was for action in

    Italy. i'm not sure why it took so long, but the

    expression on his face in the local paper of his

    receiving it speaks volumes!!

    i'm glad she was able to receive hers as well.


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    • 3 weeks later...
    Guest Rick Research

    :speechless1: Absolutely nothing in that to show why it took 45 years!

    The poor woman must have been in tough physical shape by 1990 from the "X" nature of her signature-- perhaps somebody in getting her the Soviet version of Veterans Administration health benefits noticed she never received something that was noted in her records-- and for whatever reason she never knew herself had been approved but not forwarded?


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