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Modest Soviet Ribbon Bar - 39 awards!

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Hi all,

I couldn't resist posting this ribbon bar I picked up about half a year ago.

There are 39 awards in total - can you identify them all???


We guess the rank is somewhere between Major and Colonel General of Engineers or a Technical Branch of some kind - note no military Orders of the Red Banner and no Lenins either...

Good patina to it, so I believe it to be authentic, particularly with the lack of very high orders and the number of foreign awards...

It's a distinctive group...perhaps someone can identify the recipient?

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Well the top awards are:

Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class

Bravery Medal- x2

Order of the Red Star- x3

Order of Homeland Defense 3rd Class

Order of Honor

Military Merit Medal

Border Guard Service Medal

Lenin Centerian Medal

Victory over Germany

A couple of Commemorative Medals

Victory over Japan

A bunch of commemorative medals(anniversary of WW2 and of the Red Armed Forces)

Several rows of various of medals from several communist nations(east Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, and etc).

I think that this is a feasable grouping, but I am worried about the DDR 20 year Service medal at the bottom....

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The two central ribbons in the first row are of the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.

The other ribbons, starting from row 6: Long Service Medal - 20 Years (USSR); Order Polonia Restituta (probably commander cross - Poland); Brotherhood in Arms Decoration (Poland)

row 7: Order of 9th September 1944 - 3rd Class (Bulgaria); Order (or Cross) of Bravery (Bulgaria); Medal for Merit to Bulgarian People's Army (Bulgaria); 20 Years of Bulgarian People's Army (Bulgaria)

row 8: 25 Years of Bulgarian People's Army (Bulgaria); ???; Brotherhood in Arms Medal (Bulgaria); Brotherhood in Arms Medal - gold (GDR)

row 9: Medal for Strngthening Brotherhood in Arms - gold and bronze (Czechoslovakia); ???

row 10: 30th Anniv. of Victory over Japan (Mongolia); 50 Years of People's Army (Mongolia); 30th anniversary of Victory at Khalkhin Gol (Mongolia); Friendship Medal (Mongolia)

row 11: 20th Anniversary of FAR (Cuba)

I agree the offficer must have been from the non-line service.

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It would be good if the image could be posted on the thread instead of photobucket. If the linked is changed or the image is removed, this thread will lose its context.

vladtheman03, could you please post the image of the ribbon bar please?


Jim :cheers:

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As requested - non-photobucket photo.

Lukasz is on the money as ever!

I think the two 'red' (???) ribbons that were not identified are for the 90th anniversary of G. Dimitrov's birth (1882-1972) and for the 30th Anniversary of the Liberation of Czechoslovakia (1944-1974).

I have a photo of another large group from the Central Museum of the Armed Forces in Moscow which includes these awards and as these ribbons appear after the Bulgarian and Czech awards that's my guess.

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10 points for you Vlad! It is very likely, particularly that the red ribbons belong to the Bulgarian and Czechoslovak groups respectively. Another peculiarity of this bar is that the ribbon order in the "Mongolian" row is ideally (!) reversed.

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Ok some comments on the Soviet part of the bar and I do so on the assumption that it's Kosher.

The OGPW2 and one red star were probably bravery awards together with the military merit medal. The other two red stars might probably be service awards followed by the 20 year service medal issued post 1958. This would assume our man was still in the armed forces by that date, placing the earliest time he might have joined the armed forces as 1938.

Assuming the recipient joined the armed forces at the age of 18 he would be born in or around 1920.

Last anniversary medal recieved was is 1978 SAF anniversary medal. As the recipient missed out on the 40 years of victory issued in 1985 as well as the 70 year SAF anniversary medal issued in 1988 which he would have been entitled to, it is probably safe to assume he passed away between 1978 and 1985. So I'd daresay our recipient died somewhere around the age of 60

No lenins, no red banners but a Homeland 3rd class (issued in or after 1974). Strange. Also no campaign medals for service in the patriotic war - yet the two victory medals. I would, on the other hand expect to see the 2 ORBLs and an OBH awarded to a civilian - the point I am making is that a soldier who left the army after some 20 years service could still go on to receive these civilian awards. But then why would he receive the Homeland 3 which was issued in 1978, when I am assuming that the awardee would have already retired from the armed forces.

Also - the order of precedence of the Soviet medals is sligtly fudged too. Its hapenned before and its by no means an indication of a fake. However, my reading of this bar says something is not quite right and I cannot quite put my finger on it. Of course I cannot really read the other foreign medals as well so they may tell another part of the story.

If anyone wants to fine tune my interpretation please feel free too. Rick would have probably managed to do a much better job than this! But he's not here is he! :(

Jim :cheers:

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Interesting analysis. I had missed the fact that the order of the ribbons was not 100%. You're right - the frontier service medal and the 800th anniversary of Moscow medals are in the wrong places. Is this a common occurrence?

I would guess though that the military merit medal is for 10 years service and that one of the red stars is for 15. The other two red stars are likely to be decorations of some kind during WW2 the 1950s. The Order of the Red Banner of Labour, whilst predominately a civil award was also given to members of the armed forces. I remember seeing a documentary which included an interview with a rocket fuel specialist, a retired officer, who had received two Orders of the Red Banner of Labour. Also military judiciary received labour and insignia of honour awards.

I would assume that the Order of Service to the Motherland would have been received towards the end of his career. Note that there is no medal for strengthening combat co-operation which given all the overseas service I would have expected and also no veteran of the soviet armed forces. These awards were instituted in 1976 and 1979 respectively. Therefore it’s probably safe to assume that he was already retired between 1974 and 1976. Certainly the foreign awards indicate he was at the peak of his career in the late 1960s and early 70s.

Lack of campaign medals isn't unusual given the fact all soviet campaign medals were given only for actions in cities. The fronts were vast so it was easy to serve in non-urban areas. Also if someone were serving in a non-line capacity (or research/technical) then they are unlikely to be involved with defence/capture and liberation of cities.

What confused me was the appearance of two of the Czech medals for strengthening combat co-operation. This may indicate initial occupation service after 1968 followed by more serious recognition in the 70s. Nevertheless I've never seen two of these awards before in a group. Also soviet cloth ribbon bars, particularly from the late 70s and 1980s, often include 'soviet quality' ribbons for foreign awards. The foreign ribbons here are the originals, not soviet re-made ribbons and are from the countries of origin.

It's a fascinating resume of one man's career. I just wish I knew more about him.

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Hi Vladtheman,

In fact the ribbon bars make it even harder to trace due to the absence of serial numbers - one can therefore only speculate and try to put the pieces together. MMM and ORS given as service awards, one can only try to assume what was awarded for combae and what was awarded for long service. In any case, this bar definitely shows a mix of the two. However, I am still surprised how there are no higher orders which then contrasts with the homeland 3.

Any one else please feel free to chip in....

Jim :cheers:

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