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    Colonel Agiton Walks On Water

    Guest Rick Research

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    Guest Rick Research

    This is the so-called "swallowtail" variant Order of the Red Banner (see "Soviet Awards" forum here) which was officially converted at the Mint from screwback pieces left over when the new suspension type was created. This particular one shows almost no trace of the screwpost-- the "ghost" shows only when held to the light at certain angles. Note the "dovetail joint" where the suspension ring is.

    This was one of my first Red Banners, back in the days when this then-undocumented "type" was thought to be simply a well-done recipient conversion-- and thus this was considered "damage."

    Today the research flew in, :jumping: and as always :cheers: to Dave and his Sinister Network. :rolleyes:

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    Guest Rick Research

    His personnel records were not, apparently, available-- unfortunate, since he was still on active duty in 1955 and after that length of time was probably a general. :(

    Still, the Award Record Card and the top of the award citation give us some personal/service data

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    Guest Rick Research

    By a bizarre coincidence, out of all the hundreds of thousands of Red Banners, for millions of Soviet servicemen, THIS Red Banner

    turns out to have been awarded to the regimental commander of Captain Kolesnikov, whose researched screwback Red Banner was dealt with here:


    So TWO 656th Artillery Regiment Red Banners have come to live in my house, after their weraers saw each other for 2 years almost every day!

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    Guest Rick Research

    Agiton's citation:

    and the details to be gleaned from these Pages From Podolsk:

    Artur Arturovich Agiton was born in 1906 in the village of Smela, Kievskaya Oblast. Russian, middle education.

    In the Red Army since 1927. Member of the CPSU since 1942.

    At the time his Award Record Card was filled out on 21 February 1946, he was at disposal ?v rezerve? of the Commander of Artillery, Red Army. His career continued, however, at least through 1955, from the decorations shown on his ARC (personnel record was not available as of 31 January 2006) for Orders Book 575415:

    Order of the Red Star # 132,286 9 April 1943 per decree of the Caucasus Front Command

    Order of the Red Banner # 81,018 2 February 1944 per decree of the 51st Army

    Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class # 75,739 11 July 1944 per decree of the 51st Army

    Order of the Red Star # 991,326 3 November 1944 for 15+ years service

    Order of the Red Banner # 249,141 31 May 1945 per decree of the 3rd Baltic Front Command

    Order of the Red Banner # 306,321 6 November 1947 for 20 years service


    Order of Lenin # 307,645 26 October 1955 for a delay of 3 years somehow and 25 years service

    Order of the Red Banner # 81,018 is a so-called ?swallowtail conversion,? an officially altered by the Mint screwback made into a suspension type to conform with the new 1943 wearing regulations.

    Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the 656th Artillery Regiment, 216th Rifles Division Agiton?s citation for THIS Red Banner was submitted for an Order of Lenin. It shows no prior ?war? service before 1941, mentions the 1943 Red Star, and gives his home address and next of kin as: Zavodskaya Ulitsa 91, city of Arzams, Gor?kovsky Oblast/Mariya Stepanovna Pinchuk. (?)

    ?2 November 1943 at the head of 656th Artillery Regiment was delivered the objective of crossing to the Crimean bank of the Sivash with all cannons of the regiment and munitions for them, essential for technical property and all of the personal staff.

    Bridges, pontoons, and temporary bridging means on the Sivash did not exist.

    The whole regiment without exception was found on the northern bank of the Sivash, commanded and led across by Lieutenant Colonel AGITON.

    Officers, sergeants, and privates, cut across the Sivash in both (?) for some time through the zone in freezing November water, dragged after themselves 75mm guns and munitions for them. Loaded on boats they crossed to the Crimean bank. The Sivash exposed them to enemy aircraft attacks, during which the regiment did not balk from carrying out delivery of the objective in front of it. {{16 guns ? erased in text?}}

    The regiment carried out the assignment and on the Crimean bank of the Sivash material units were crossed-- 16 guns:

    In the new position the regiment participated in repelling the enemy?s counter attacks, successfully managing with delivery of objectives set for it.

    Lieutenant Colonel AGITON through courage, will power and self-sacrifice displayed in the crossing of the Sivash ford with the equipment of the regiment, for successfully repelling counter attacks of enemy tanks and infantry, deserves to be awarded the Order of Lenin.

    Commander, 216th Rifles Division, Colonel Maliukov 10 November 1943

    Deserves to be awarded the Order of the Red Banner, Gds Major General Neverov, Commander 10th Rifles Corps 14 November 1943

    Awarded Order of the Red Banner by Decree of the 51st Army 2 February 1944.?

    Grigory Fedorovich Maliukov commanded the division 1943-45 and made Major General during the war. Konstantin Pavlovich Neverov (1894-1977) commanded 10th Rifles Corps 1943-45 and retired in 1953 as a Lt Gen and Dep CO of Ural Military District. :beer: to Steen Ammentorp

    I wonder (I do :rolleyes: ) whether 51st Army got ALL the swallowtail ORBs to hand out... :ninja:

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    Guest Rick Research

    Reading between the lines, I'd say "16 guns" were not ALL the regiment had-- though after being

    strafed and bombed by the Luftwaffe,

    after "boating" across (and where did THOSE come from-- the leftovers from the baskets of loaves and fishes, one wonders?),

    under tank and small arms fire,

    in freezing but NOT frozen river depths...

    it was all in a day's work for Colonel Agiton to dance his field guns over the water and up the other side. :rolleyes:

    I would also be willing to lay money that the deluge-- to continue the Water Theme-- of awards which fell from Moscow for the much more celebrated crossing of the Dnieper led to what was very likely an unfair downgrading here of an award that seems quite understated in its official telling.

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    Unfortunately his personnel records were not, apparently, available

    Or... were... perhaps... not requested by the sinister peoples... :rolleyes:

    ooooooops. :unsure:

    Well. Still a pretty cool citation! My contribution to the whole Sivash crossing was also another downgrade. It's action took place a couple days apart from Agiton's.

    Colonel Kvasha

    Pretty neat stuff! That must have been one helluva crossing!


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    Here is the full Unit History of the 216th Rifle Division:

    216th Rifle Division

    Started forming on 29. September 1941 near Kharkov with:

    589th Rifle Regiment

    647th Rifle Regiment

    665th Rifle Regiment

    656th Artillery Regiment

    690th Signal Battalion-became 811th Signal Company in December 42

    The 216th Rifle Division formed up in just a few weeks, and was assigned to the reformed 38th Army in Southwestern Front in October.From mid November 1941 the 216th was in the South Front, attacking the northern flank of the German Force in Rostov and driving them back to the Mius River in the early winter. During this offensive began south and north of Kharkov, the 216th was under the 18th Army in the South Front. The 18th Army retreated into the Caucasus ahead of the German advance, and from July 1942 until August 1943 the 216th fought under the Caucasus Fronts. It was under the 47th Army along the Black Sea coast from August 1942 until March 1943, and in September the division provided cadre to help form the 2nd Naval Infantry Brigade out of Black Sea sailors. From late March until August 1943 the 216th Rifle Division was in the 56th Army of the North Caucasus Front, fighting on the Taman peninsula. At the end of August the division was transfered north to the 51st Army in the South Front (after 20. October 1944 renamed as 4th Ukrainian Front) and then, after the liberation of the Crimea in May 1944, shifted north to the 1st Baltic Front in June 1944. During the pursuit after the destruction of the German Army group Center, the 51st Army (they were in the 51st since August 1943) advanced into Lithuania and the southern baltic in the late summer of 1944, and by late October 1944 had been transferred from the 51st Army to the 4th Shock Army in the 1st Baltic Front. At the end of 1944 the 216th RD went to the 2nd Belorussian Front, to the 124th Rifle Corps. It remained in that Corps for the rest of the war, shifting from th 49th Army to the 3rd Army and finally, in April 1945 to the 50th Army in the 3rd Belorussian Front, fighting in East Prussia and Pomerania, near the Baltic Coast of Germany.

    (Source: Charles Sharp, Soviet OOB WW2)

    Great ORB and very cool research, Rick. :jumping: I am jealous. :blush:


    Edited by Gerd Becker
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    • 3 months later...
    Guest Rick Research


    And here is Colonel Agiton, from a personnel file sized photo circa 1948/49:

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    Guest Rick Research

    Although his Lenin was awarded in 1955, he had actually been retired in 1954. Ironically, his final annual review said he was fully qualified for eventual command of an artillery or rifles corps and recommended his promotion to Major General, noting his 9 years as a Colonel.

    Perhaps it was this little "blot" on his career:

    Then Senior Lieutenant Agiton's position on battalion staff was "cause" enough for his arrest in July 1938 and imprisonment-- as he bitterly and uncharacteristically notes-- held without ever being charged until August 1939. Normally this period is zipped through with a deliberately vague statement such as "In reserves July 1938 to August 1939" but Agiton still rankled at his false arrest.

    Note that some proofreading minion has underlined this part. Once arrested, always arrestable...

    and since he was not indicted... Agiton was also never CLEARED.

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    Guest Rick Research

    So much research... but luckily, unlike Petukhov's illegible wartime units, since this was from the "big" file, mostly typed and not hideous handwritten scrawls-- though lots of that, too.

    Agiton was born in Smela on 19 May 1906. His father died in 1918 and his mother in 1922. He was a late bloomer, not going into the army until he was 21 and only being commissioned at 25--contrast that with Kremnev!

    Here's what I've got done so far:

    Lieutenant (1931?not specified)

    Senior Lieutenant 13.1.36

    Captain 24.4.40

    Major 19.2.42

    Lieutenant Colonel 12.5.43

    Colonel 20.2.45

    Served in the Red Army 10 September 1927 to 9 September 1954:

    10.9.27 to 14.4.31 Cadet at Odessa Artillery School

    April 1931 to April 1933 Platoon Commander, 118th Artillery Regiment, Kiev Military District (KMD)

    April to December 1933 Deputy Battery Commander, 76th Indep. Art. Rgt. in 55th fortified District, KMD

    December 1933 to December 1937 Battery Commander in the above

    December 1937 to July 1938 Chief of Battalion Staff, as above

    July 1938 to August 1939 ?dismissed to the reserves? euphemism?his Autobiographies (2 in file) bitterly state ?Was dismissed as impossible for further utilization. In this period was arrested by organs of the NKVD without ever being charged.?

    During this period and almost certainly for the safety of their children, Agiton?s 1st wife Maria Stepanova Pancuk divorced him. They had son Aleksandr 1934, daughter Alisa 1937, and daughter Svetlana born 1938. (Agiton remarried 18.1.46: Lidiya Vasileevna Lysenko, born in Kharkov 1909)21.11.39 to January 1940 Battalion Commander in 349th Light Artillery Regiment, 119th Rifles Division

    18 January to April 1940 Artillery Commander in 421st Rifles Rgt, 119 Rifles Div, Siberian Mil Dist:

    combat against the ?White Finns? December 1939-January 1940, 28 January 1940 ?extensive contusions?

    May 1940 to March 1941 Battalion Commander in 119th Rifles Div., Siberian Mil Dist

    March to June 1941 Commander of Regimental School of the 605th Light Artillery Regiment, 162nd Rifles Division, Kharkov Mil Dist

    June to October 1941 Commander of Instruction Battalion, 1st Reserve Artillery Rgt, 10th Reserve Art. Brigade, Kharkov Mil Dist

    October 1941 to January 1943 Chief of Regimental Staff ?565? (SIC!) 656th Artillery Regiment, 216th Rifles Division

    (admitted to CPSU September 1942 as member number 4,564,991 through the divisonal Party organization)

    January 1943 to September 1944 Acting Regimental Commander ?565? (SIC!) 656th Artillery Regiment, 216th Rifles Division

    September 1944 to September 1945 Divisional Commander of Artillery, 216th Rifles Division, war service:

    Western Front 15.9.41-July 1942 Chief of Regimental Staff, 656th Artillery Regiment as above

    Southern Front July to September 1942 as above

    Northern Caucasus Front September 1942 to May 1943 as Regimental Commander, 656th Artillery Rgt.

    4th White Russian Front May 1943 to June 1944 same as above

    3rd White Russian Front August to November 1944 as 216th Rifles Division Artillery Commander as above

    1st Baltic Front November 1944 to May 1945 same as above?

    on 3 February 1945 fighting in the small town of Plasvig, east Prussian, lightly wounded in right foot with injury to the bones.

    In addition to the Orders listed above, Defense of the Caucasus Medal, capture of K?nigsberg Medal, Victory Over Germany Medal (and 1948 Armed Forces Jubilee medal)

    September 1945 to February 1946 Commander 563rd Artillery Brigade, 216th Rifles Division, city of Gadyach

    February to 16.4.46 at disposition of Artillery Commander, Kiev Mil Dist

    to be continued...

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    • 3 weeks later...

    I completely oversaw, that he was in the 119th too, so here is the Unit History for this unit too:

    119th Rifle Division

    Formed on 19. August 1939 at Krasnoyarsk in the Siberian Military District. On 22. of June 1941 it was still in that district with:

    365th Rifle Regiment

    421st Rifle Regiment

    634th Rifle Regiment

    349th Light Artillery Regiment

    224th Sapper Battalion

    143rd Reconnaissance Battalion

    The 119th was a Motorized Rifle Division util 17. April 1940, when it was converted to a regular rifle division in the Siberian Military District. At the end of June it moved west with the rest of the 24th Army to join the Reserve Group of Forces west of Moscow. Early in July the 119th was removed from the 24th Army and in mid-July it was assigned to the 30th Army, being formed at Olenino. By the end of July the 119th RD was assigned to the 31st Army in the Reserve Front. When the German offensive started at the end of September, the 31st Army retreated northeast to Kalinin, and was added to Kalinin Front. As it moved back, on 18. October 1941 the 365th Rifle Regiment left the 119th Rifle Division and was added to the 18th RD. To replace it, the 920th Rifle Regiment, formed from Reservists, was added to the 119th. By late November, despite heavy fighting around the city of Kalinin, the 119th Rifle Division had 7200 men, which was above average for the divisions in Western and Kalinin Front at that time. In early January 1942 the 119th Rifle Division was shifted to the 22nd Army of Kalini Front. Late in the month the 119th moved south behind the german flank at Rzhev, supporting the drive by the 11th Cavalry Corps towards Vyazma. The 119th achievements in this advance were enough so that on 17. March 1942 it was redesignated as the 17th Guards Rifle Division.

    Source: Charles Sharp "Soviet OOB of WWII"

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    • 3 years later...
    Guest Rick Research

    Hurrah!!!! An actual REAL photo of Colonel Agiton thanks to marcotk's team!!!!! :cheers:

    here he is also circa 1948+ but in his service uniform:

    Speedy, affordable and great image quality results!!!! :jumping::jumping: :jumping:

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