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Nevsky to 24 Year Old "Stalin Organ" Major

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Order of Aleksandr Nevsky 24,258 was awarded on 19 February 1945 to Guards Captain A. P. Belov, weeks after his 24th birthday:



Personnel file stamp sized photo, taken between bestowal date (that's THIS Nevsky just visible closest to his buttons) and 27 April 1945


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His Award Record Card, filled out by the local Military Commissariat while he was a university student after the war, showing brief biographical details


and decorations:


Since these Cards were signed by their subjects, we have the autograph "A Belov" here.

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From the ARC and his service records 1941-48, Anatoly Petrovich Belov


was born 5 February 1921 in the city of Vologda. Russian by Soviet nationality, of peasant class background, he attended the 3rd Leningrad Artillery School from July 1939 to July 1941, graduating as a Lieutenant (seniority not given in records as is perplexingly the case with most initial commission dates).

Promoted to Senior Lieutenant almost immediately (again, no date given in personnel record!), promoted AGAIN to Captain 26 March 1942 at age 21, and again promoted-- to Major, on 28 April 1945 at the age of just barely 24, less than four years after being commissioned.


Reasons for this spectacular rise may be found in his wartime service:

Belov?s first assignment was as a platoon commander in the 14th Reserve Artillery Regiment.

In November 1941 he was reassigned as a platoon commander to the 44th Independent ?Order of the Red Banner? Mortar Battalion on the Volkhov Front. Casualties were so bad that the 21 year old was a battery commander in that Battalion?and so promoted to Captain?by March 1942, only eight months after graduating from the military academy!

July 1942 saw him transferred as a battery commander in the 86th Guards Mortar Regiment on the Stalingrad Front. ?Guards Mortar? units were equipped with Katyusha multiple rocket launchers?the hair-raising ?Stalin organ? whose sound was as much a weapon as its effects.

Losses again were overwhelming. By September (14 months after being commissioned) Belov was ?staff commander? of the 3840th Battalion in the 86th Guards Mortar Regiment, now on the Don Front. In November 1942 he was transferred to take over the 3820th Independent Guards Mortar Battalion of the Central Front?s Guards Mortar Regiment.

Then, although not wounded, young Guards Captain Belov had a break from frontline action. In June 1943 he was assigned as a topography instructor to the 28th Artillery Officers Training Regiment, Moscow Military District. Here again the wanton wastage of the Soviet armed forces is evident, because that August he had been made a Senior Instructor, and held this position to May of 1944.

In that month, Belov was assigned as temporary assistant reconnaissance department commander at Artillery Headquarters of the 1st Ukrainian Front.

June 1944 saw Belov transferred to his final wartime unit, as a battalion commander in the 83rd Guards Mortar Regiment on the 1st Ukrainian Front. In December the Regiment was reassigned to the 4th Ukrainian Front, advancing through the Carpathian mountains into Slovakia. There, on 11 March 1945 he received a ?light? unspecified wound which resulted in his evacuation and treatment at Hospital 1335 in Kiev until May 1945. For him, the war was over. On 2 July 1945 Belov was discharged to the reserves until his 60th birthday in? 1981!

During the war, he had earned a Defense of Stalingrad and Victory Over Germany Medal, and received Order of the Red Star number 74,217 on 7 November 1942, Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class number 107,045 on 15 September 1944, and ? Order of Aleksandr Nevsky on 19 February 1945.

He joined the CPSU in 1945 as member 3,888,196. In late 1945 or early 1946 he married Anna Abramovna (also born 1924), and as of 1948 had one child, a daughter Tatiana born in 1947. By January 1946 he was a student at Kiev State University. Because he spoke ENGLISH (an unexpected skill for that time), by the time his records were being filled in in 1948, he was studying at the University?s department of INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. Whether he went on to a career in the diplomatic service or journalism is not known to me. His Aleksandr Nevsky was obtained in June 1996, so he had presumably died by then, whatever his postwar career turned out to have been.

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Citation for Order of Aleksandr Nevsky:


?Guards Captain Belov has proven himself as a courageous, resolute, and vigorous officer and artilleryman in combat against the German invaders during the breakthrough of the enemy defenses on 15 January 1945 and further offensive operations in the sector of the 140th Rifles Division, 38th Army.

The battalion under Guards Captain Belov?s commanded operated in close cooperation with rifle units of the 140th Rifles Division, supporting them by fire and movement. Thus it proved itself as a well-organized combat unit ready to carry out any combat task given to it.

On 17 January 1945 the battalion destroyed up to a platoon of enemy infantry by firing a salvo in the area of Sedliska.

On 18 January 1945 the battalion fired a salvo at an enemy infantry and supply train in the area of Gvozdets, eliminating up to 30 Hitlerites and destroying 7 horse carriages.

On 20 and 21 January 1945 the battalion?s salvos eliminated up to a battalion of enemy infantry, destroyed two guns, several horse carriages, and three vehicles in the area of Khrostovo and Gduv.

On 22 January 1945 Guards Captain Belov set up his battalion in an open position. The battalion fired a salvo at Skavina station, destroying two automatic guns and eliminating over 45 enemy soldiers and officers.

Comrade Belov was always in infantry combat order to direct fire accurately and in a timely way, thus inflicting heavy losses in manpower and materiel upon the enemy. During the offensive the battalion operated effectively without failing to keep up with the other units. The battalion is well organized. Comrade Belov?s actions are precise and sharp. Comrade Belov is exacting toward himself, disciplined, and quick. He is highly respected by regimental officers and personnel, morally firm, well educated, polite, and devoted to the Party of Lenin and Stalin and his Socialist Homeland.

Comrade Belov deserves to be awarded an Order of Aleksandr Nevsky.

(no date) Commander of 83rd Guards ?Zhitomir, Order of the Red Banner? Mortar Regiment, Guards Lieutenant Colonel ?Zakharov.?

Concur 31 January 1945 Commander of Artillery 10th ?SL? (??) Corps, Guards Lieutenant Colonel ?Sokolov.?

Approved 18 February 1945 Commander of Artillery, 4th Ukrainian Front, Lieutenant General ?Kariofilli.? ? (see below)

Obviously some sort of ?points? consideration was made reflecting the varying criteria by branches of service for the Nevsky?s statutes. It is perhaps worth pointing out that this 1945 award seems as much for successful COMMAND as personal heroism, and compares rather directly to the sort of actions for which a Red Star was bestowed in 1942 or an OPW 2nd in 1943. I have never encountered ?politeness? before as a reason for a Soviet award?but perhaps that was remarkable enough to merit mentioning! cheeky.gif

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Thanks Rick,

How annoying that they didn't use their initials when signing! Otherwise I would have Kariofilli's (ЗАМ=deputy?) as well. Sadly there were two Lieutenant-Generals of Artillery at the time unsure.gif



Kind Regards

Steen Ammentorp

The Generals of World War II

Edited by Steen Ammentorp
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Nope just narrative display-- he was a little guy though and those are the smallest size of the three shoulder options. This was a lone anonymous Nevsky.

One thing about Nevskys-- you can take as a GIVEN that they are worth researching. Other awards could end up like the hideous Mekh OPW2 results.

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The 140th Rifles Division was part of the 38th Army/1st Ukrainian Front since July 1944 and remained in that Army until the end of the War. It ended the war near Prague in May 1945 as a part of the 101st Rifles Corps. Its final wartime title was:

"140th Rifle Siberskaya, Novgorod-Severskaya, Order of Lenin, twice Order of the Red-Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Division" speechless1.gif

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