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Gds. Jr. Sgt. Mikhail Y. Demkov group with 1st Ukrainian Front Citation and Guards badge document


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Hello,

I am new to this forum and this is my first Soviet medal group - I'm fascinated now with these awards and how well documented some of the recipients can be.

This group includes the Liberation of Prague and Victory Over Germany Medals with award booklets, Guards badge with issue document from July 1945, three citations for participation in taking cities through German Silesia including Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, and a large citation for service in the 1st Ukrainian Front. There is also his Military ID with picture and the award booklet for his 1985 Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class.

Guards Jr. Sgt Mikhail Demkov served with the 173rd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 58th Gds Rifle Division. I discovered his sister regt the 175th of the 58th was the first Red Army to meet up with the Americans after crossing the Elbe in Germany. It appears his unit served in taking Berlin but his Military ID only lists the two service medals for Prague and VOG, no decorations.

From his military ID under injuries and concussions there is the date 21 Feb 1944, and words that I could only make out to say "objects in the grass" and "severe" so will try and post an image to see if anyone can read what it actually says.

The towns listed in his 3 certificates are:

Krayburg, Rosenberg (Olesno, Poland), Pitshen, Lenpberg, Gutentag, Prague, Otspeln, Ravich, Trakhenert.

I will post his large citation with the translation as well. I'm still in the process of translating and researching, the cursive cryllic is quite difficult to make out but will work at it.

Jeff

Edited by jeffskea
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Here is his large citation for service with the 1st Ukrainian Front - does anyone know if everyone received one of these or do they specifically list only the individual's service?

I managed to use the Cryllic characters on my computer's word program then translated online. Took some time but worked fairly well.

CITATION

Guards Junior Sergeant Mikhail Yakovlevich Demkov

Dear Comrade! The Great Patriotic War [has] victoriously completed. [The] Red Army [fought] in fierce battles against the Nazi invaders to defend the honor, freedom and independence of our Motherland, providing millions of people the opportunity of life at the front again to return to peaceful creative labor. You return home with a VICTORY.

In the grim years of war, you honestly fulfilled your patriotic duty - adequately served in the army of [the] valiant First Ukrainian Front, and deserve [by] your feats of arms the universal love of our people.

The banners of military glory of the First Ukrainian Front forces recorded outstanding historic victory. They defeated the powerful blows of the enemy in the middle reaches of [the River] DON, [after the] Nazis inflicted unprecedented damage in the area of the Kursk Bulge, [they] heroically crossed the DNIEPER RIVER [and] liberated from Nazi occupation the ancient Russian city – the capital of Soviet Ukraine – KIEV.

Swiftly advancing, surrounding and destroying [a] large enemy group in the Ukraine, [they] liberated the cities of – ZHITOMYR (UKR, former HQ for Himmler in Ukraine), EXACTLY, PROSKUROV (UKR, later named Khmelnytskyi in 1954), VINNYTSIA (UKR, Site of 1937-38 Massacre by Stalin's NKVD and Former Eastern-most Front HQ of Adolf Hitler), KAMENETS-PODOLSKY (UKR, Hube's Pocket), KOVEL (POL, later UKR, fighting 5th SS Panzer Viking Div), TERNOPIL (POL/UKR), CHERNIVTSI (UKR), STANISLAU (UKR, later named Ivano-Frankivsk) DROHOBYCH (UKR), and LVIV UKR).

With fierce fighting taking place in the south of Poland, crossing the Rivers SAN and the VISTULA, [they] liberated the second Polish capital city of KRAKOW and the most important industrial region of Upper Silesia.

Storming into Germany – the facist beast's lair, [they] crossed the Rivers ODER, NEISSE, SPREE and went out to the River ELBE in Germany to join forces with our Allies.

Together with the valiant troops of the First Belorussian Front [they] routed the Germans, the Berlin group and raised the flag of victory over Berlin.

[With] shattering blows, destroying the remnants of enemy troops [they] occupied the city of Dresden and completing the final defeat of Nazi Germany freed the capital of our ally, Czechoslovakia – Prague.

Seventy-four [mentions] of gratitude [have been] announced in his Order of the Day - The Great Stalin [to] troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front for excellent fighting.

I am confident that the infinite love of the Soviet Motherland, inspired you in the Great Patriotic War, will be an inexhaustible source of your labor feats in the days of peaceful labor.

Many thanks for excellent service in the armed forces of the front I wish you health and success at the front of the peace for the benefit of socialist labor and happiness of our country, in the name of the great ideas of Lenin – Stalin.

Signed – Commander of the Troops of the First Ukrainian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union I. KONEV

- A Member of the Military Council of the Front, Lieutenant-General K. KRAYNYUKOV

- Front Chief of Staff Army General I. PETROV – July 1945

Edited by jeffskea
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Here is the issue document for his Guard badge with translation.

CITATION

HKO-CCCP

173rd GUARDS Rifle Regiment (58th Guards Division - 5th Guards Army)

6 July, 1945

No. 77

Issued by the Guard – Junior Sergeant Mikhail. Y. Demkov

That he [served] for 173 Guards Rifles Czestochowa (City in Poland liberated 16 Jan 1945) Red Banner Regt, 58th Guards Rifles (or Small) Krasnogradoka – (Kraski - Polish City?)Order of Lenin, Red Banner, Order of Suvarov Division.

From June 30, 1945 No. 76 awarded the title "Guard" on the issuance of the breast badge “GUARDS”

AUTHORITY – NKO (Narodnyi Komissariat Oborony - People's Commissariat of Defense) Order No. 420 from 31 December 1942 (58th Guards Rifle Division was formed on that date from the 1st Rifle Division which fought at Stalingrad under the 63rd Army)

Chief of Staff of 173 Gd. Rif. Czestochowa

Red Banner Regiment

GUARDS LIEUTENANT COLONEL

Signed MOISEEV

Edited by jeffskea
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Here are the three citations from the 58th Division listing the towns he participated in liberating. I welcome any corrections or further information anyone may have on these interesting documents. Thanks.

Edited by jeffskea
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Welcome aboard! :jumping: :jumping: Very nice grouping. I've actually never seen a document for the Guards badge before... at least not that I can remember. Very complete. Would love to see the photo from the ID book not to mention the pages of same. You mention the award booklet for the 85 OGPW2... do you have the Order as well or just the booklet? If not the Order seems kind of odd they'd part with that separate from the rest. Hoping you have it. If so please show it... some collectors don't think too highly of them but to me they are all part of the whole picture.

Congrats on a very nice grouping and all the hard work you've put into translating everything. :beer:

Dan :cheers:

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Hi Dan, thanks for the reply, I am very pleased with the group and really enjoy the translating and research, you never know what you are going to find :)

Sadly the 85 OGPW2 is not with the group, only the booklet, as well I assume he would have at least been entitled to the 20, 30, and 40th Anniversary of the GPW medals, and the 50, 60, & 70 Years of the Armed Forces ones too but unfortunately they are missing as well.

I just discovered today he first served with the 140th Rifle Regiment from Jan-Feb 44 before presumably being wounded - haven't been able to find what Front-Army-Division this unit fell under or which battles he fought in with them. He didn't join the 173rd until June 1944 but served with them until the end of the War.

I will post post more photos with his picture and some pages from his ID book, still trying to decipher his place of birth and some enlistment details (such tiny handwriting in ink is straining the eyes a bit!) Hopefully someone may recognize some of the words that would be great.

Jeff

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Goes to show that a grouping does not need to have a valor award in order to be amazing! I love those documents. I have never seen the service citation before. You should find some way to stabilize it before it starts falling apart.

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Hi Paul it is the first time I saw these kind of documents as well, you can almost trace his service battle by battle, town by town for the last year of the War, very fascinating. The large citation looks like it has some thin strips on the back to stabilize it, but the folds are still very delicate so I think I will frame it to protect it. The smaller citations, guards badge document and award booklet are all quite fragile too so I'm handling with great care.

Here are some photos of his Military ID booklet, if anyone is able to translate the cursive Cyrillic that would be very appreciated.

Jeff

Edited by jeffskea
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This page lists his wounds and government awards. If anyone can make out what his injuries were on 21 Feb 1944 and the first word above his list of medals (has an !) that would be awesome. I've translated the medals as his Prague and VOG.

Edited by jeffskea
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Here is his birthplace, I figured out that the РСФСР stands for RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) which narrows it down a little but from what I can find as it was the largest republic. Again if anyone can please translate, thank you!

Edited by jeffskea
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And here is his award booklet for his Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class from 1985 - does anyone know how it was decided whether a veteran received the 1st or 2nd Class - decorations, service, wounds?

His Order Ser# is 3415807, if anyone happens to come across it, please let me know as I would love to keep it with his group! Thanks.

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Just continuing with some research, while some elements of the 1st Ukrainian Front pushed north in late April and participated in the Battle of Berlin, the 58th Guards Rifle Division under the 5th Guards Army simultaneously swung west to the Elbe so Gds. Jr. Sgt. Nemkov would not have received the Capture of Berlin Medal - however I'm discovering that elements of the 2nd Bn, 173rd Regt were among the first Russian soldiers who met the U.S. 69th Div patrols near Torgau.

I'm not sure which Battalion he served in but I think it is safe to say he was in the very near vicinity of Torgau on the day of that historic occasion of East meeting West, pretty exciting stuff. I've just order the books Yanks Meet Reds and The Red Storm on the Reich to to find as much information as possible on these events and his other battles.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been reading "Yanks Meet Reds" and it is a fascinating insight into the historic meeting on the Elbe, especially from the Soviet perspective which I'm going through right now. So indeed Nemkov's 173rd Regt was in the vicinity of Torgau and I just wonder how many of the people interviewed in the book he knew or served with - or whether he participated himself in the celebrations that took place after the 25th of April.

The 175th Regt was stationed to the south in the villages of Kreinitz, Strehla, and Reisa which is roughly 20km from Torgau so the 173rd's area of operations couldn't have been too large an area, plus it seems by that time in 1945 Regiment strengths were probably more Battalion-sized due to the lack of reinforcements so I bet there wasn't a large amount of soldiers serving in the 173rd.

Also had a theory about his 1st Ukrainian Front Citation, I wonder if he could have participated in the Moscow Victory Parade in June representing the Front and received it afterwards. His Victory Over Germany Medal booklet has a red stamp on it, I vaguely remember reading that may have had some significance and connection with early issues of the medal if I'm correct. The Front Citation and Guards badge issue paper were both issued in July so it is plausible he was at the Parade and received these documents after. Anyhow the Guards Regt seems to have been very conscientious with their soldiers' paperwork, and I'm very thankful for that :)

Edited by jeffskea
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  • 3 weeks later...

Again thanks to the translation work of Ferdinand, I have been able to find more on Gds. Jr. Sgt Demkov - he was a Squad leader, rifleman, sub machine gunner and machine gunner who joined the Reserve in 1934 and was mobilized by the Military Commissariat of the City of Dneprodzerzhinsk, Ukraine on Jan. 1 1944.

He was severely wounded in the right forearm on 21 Feb 1944 while a rifleman with the 140th Rifle Regt (possibly in the Krivoi Rog operations) and was in hospital from Feb to June 44. He was then transferred to the 173rd in June and served as a Squad Leader until November 45.

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  • 5 weeks later...

For me, this is what collecting is all about. This is the militaria is really something special. Thank you for taking the time to post it and thanks to Ferdinand for your time in translating the documents.

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Hi Paul here is the Guards document from above with translation - issued 30 June 1945 by the 173rd Gds Rifle Regiment. I haven't seen any others so far - is it possible that this unit still consisted of mainly regular professional soldiers at the end of the War and had excellent clerks? The 173rd were quite literally at the tip of the spear at the end so maybe they were the "best of the best" ? Definitely an interesting document.

Jeff

CITATION

HKO-CCCP

173rd GUARDS Rifle Regiment (58th Guards Division - 5th Guards Army)

6 July, 1945

No. 77

Issued by the Guard – Junior Sergeant Mikhail. Y. Demkov

That he served for 173 Guards Rifles Czestochowa [City in Poland liberated 16 Jan 1945] Red Banner Regt, 58th Guards Rifles Krasnograd [ukrainian City] Order of Lenin, Red Banner, Order of Suvarov Division.

From June 30, 1945 No. 76 awarded the title "Guard" on the issuance of the breast badge “GUARDS”

AUTHORITY – NKO (Narodnyi Komissariat Oborony - People's Commissariat of Defense) Order No. 420 from 31 December 1942 (58th Guards Rifle Division was formed on that date from the 1st Rifle Division which fought at Stalingrad under the 63rd Army)

Chief of Staff of 173 Gd. Rif. Czestochowa

Red Banner Regiment

GUARDS LIEUTENANT COLONEL

Signed MOISEEV

Edited by jeffskea
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It is interesting in that the document was issued in June of 1945, exactly a year after Gds. Jr. Sgt Demkov joined the 173rd in 1944. If they were awarded to each Guardsman, you'd think they would show up more frequently, but maybe it could also have been one of those papers that easily got lost in the mix. Sure completes the group nicely.

Jeff

Edited by jeffskea
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