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Ivan Vasilievetch Zhukov


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When I changed employer 5 years ago I was already very much into travelling in the former Soviet Union but not yet into ODM. This changed after a trip to Ukraine 3 years ago or so (and since then my bank account has had to suffer, but it's been a great learning experience!). Even then, it wasn't until a year ago or so that I asked my former boss and good friend (who is Russian) about her family's wartime experience. Turns out her grandfather fought in the Finnish war and later - as I suspect as she didn't know much about him - in the siege of Leningrad. Later on he went to do top secret research for chemical warfare / missiles and stuff (his daughter and also his granddaughter - my friend - also studied chemistry).

Obviously I had to ask: does he have any awards? And after some logistical troubles (my friends mother had to travel back to St Petersburg to fetch them) they were finally on my desk. A bunch of jubiliee medals, a numbered (thankfully!) order of red star and a 1985 order of patriotic war. That's all that was left... apparently there used to be much more but his childred used to play with them outside and just give them away ( :speechless1: ) to their friends many decades ago.

Nevertheless, this was sufficient to proceed with research and I essentially gave Nota Bene a blank cheque - after all, family of a friend we're talking about here :cheers:

I have to say, Alexei = god of research! With only a number and a name I have received research back in barely 2 weeks! I will now get it professionally translated so it can be made into a nice package for when Nicholas (great grandson of Ivan) is old enough to take remaining awards and research into possession from his mother. In the meantime, would like to post already the scans here for any first "hot off the press" impressions. Short feedback from Alexei was already that Ivan was on some sort of "special reserve" (whatever that is) which means data is limited through research :banger:

12 scans to follow - appreciate any pointers :cheers:

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Regarding his awards:

- red star

- medal for defence of leningrad

- ???

The bag full of awards I was shared also contained an unnumbered valor medal but I guess that never made it to the archives.

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The other two medals LISTED were Capture of K?nigsberg and Victory Over Germany.

He should also have had a MMM for 10 and another ORS for 15 years service, as well as the 1948 Jubilee Medal-- since he was discharged as a Major at age 45 in what is PROBABLY the "age" paragraph "reason" in 1957. There must be a SECOND Awards Record Card with the two long service awards, made out after his original one.

He served in the army as a late call up 3.9.39 (age 27!) to 29.(3?5?)57. Born 21.9.1912 in the city of Rai in Smolenskaya Oblast.

Jr Lt (2?)2.3.38, Lt Nov 41, Sr Lt 26.7.43. Most peculiarly, Captain TWICE and NOT at a time when job titles made a "change"-- 1st time 17.11.44 by decree of the Leningrad Front, and 2nd time 29.12.44 per 2nd White Russian Front. major 30.11.49-- so he was either "up or out" by too long in grade, or by age.

He was in charge of the "chemical section" (? anti-gas defense) in howitzer and anti-aircraft artillery regiments, as well as some chemical battalions. I don't see anything "sinister" looking in his assignments that could account for any special security restrictions.

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The other two medals LISTED were Capture of K?nigsberg and Victory Over Germany.

He was in charge of the "chemical section" (? anti-gas defense) in howitzer and anti-aircraft artillery regiments, as well as some chemical battalions. I don't see anything "sinister" looking in his assignments that could account for any special security restrictions.

Thanks Rick. Guess I should slicken up my cyrillic reading skills :speechless:

Chemical section makes sense... fits exactly in the family history. Having said that, I didn't realize chemical warfare was something that was done during WWII. Paranoia?

Edited by Bob
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Chemical section makes sense... fits exactly in the family history. Having said that, I didn't realize chemical warfare was something that was done during WWII. Paranoia?

Bob,

Probably [bad!!!] memories of years gone by...

Marc

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Chemical section makes sense... fits exactly in the family history. Having said that, I didn't realize chemical warfare was something that was done during WWII. Paranoia?

From what I've read, except in the Pacific (the Japanese against the Chinese), lethal gas was not actually used in battle in WII. The line is basically that the Axis were afraid of direct retaliation by the Allies, who themselves didn't use it first because of international law banning it and ethical concerns. Even giving a more cynical interpretation the thougt is that both sides didn't use it simply because they feared retaliation.

My thought is somewhat different. Retaliation was an issue, but effectiveness concerns were also a big reason. WWI and inter-war era gas was just not that great a weapon in battle. A prepared opponent in WWI could deploy effective countermeasures. The effects are invisible, so using it then analysing the results is much more difficult than analyzing the results of a straight bombardment. It's uncontrolable once deployed, so if your troops aren't as or better prepared than the enemy they could suffer as much as the foe if the weather and other conditions don't act as planned. It also condemns many civilians in the area to horrible death or injury, they by definition being the most unprepared. Morality aside it's just bad war business to exterminate the people you're liberating (for the Allies). In short it wasn't only direct retaliation that was feared, it was drawbacks in the weapons' effectiveness that kept them off the battlefield.

Also, I believe that besides chemical defenses, the "chemical sections" of some militaries also handled non-lethal "chemical" weapons. Smoke shells and such. Don't know if that was true in the Red Army.

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Thanks Eric - interesting perspective.

Ivan was always completely silent about the war to his family and all I've been told is that when he returned home he looked 15 years older and devastated. :unsure:

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  • 1 month later...

Partial translation:

"Short and concrete description of a personal heroic achievements or merits.

In combat for breaking through the German defence from Narvsckii bridgehead, comrade Jukov together with the operational group from the staff of the regiment in the capacity of a liaison officer has carried out critical communication tasks to the infantry subdivisions under a strong enemy fire.

15.1.45 in "Tshinetz" village he and the commander of the regiment repelled German counter-attack with tanks and sub-machine gunners. He personally killed 2 Germans.

During a counter-attack of Germans comrade Jukov has carried from the battlefield a heavily wounded officer ? the captain of the reconnaissance comrade Vedensckii.

He merits the order of Great Patriotic War of the second level.

Commander of the regiment,

Major Musienko"

Oddly enough this is not referring to the Red Star which he received - he was downgraded?

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In post #5, the back of the citation side, you can see that he was downgraded by the corps commander. Why gen.-lieut. Anisimov did that I can't know. Maybe some quota of OGPW 2cl had already been filled and only red stars were left?

The place he broke the German defence is the Narew bridge head, north of Warsaw.

/Kim

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  • 3 weeks later...

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