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Christian Zulus

Sergeant Gnitienko's "Glory-Trio"

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Gentlemen,

I started collecting SU-awards 1994 at very moderate prices.

My I present one of my "crown-jewels": Order of Glory 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class medals with accompanying Full Cavalier award booklet that includes photo of recipient, official military commissariat stamp on photo and date when booklet was issued plus all standard entries.

I purchased the Glory-group in january 1994 in Vienna for exactly EUR 1.380,-. A few month later I got from the same (very reputated) dealer a Kutuzov 2cl for exactly EUR 580,-: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=26254

Sergeant Gnitienko got his Glory 1st cl at 29th of december 1980, due to the fact, that he got originally in autumn 1944 another 2nd cl.

Best regards from Vienna, Austria

Christian Zulus

Edited by Christian Zulus

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Christian! Welcome to The Forum. An auspicious and wonderful first post! I look forward to you sharing more! Best regards and again, Welcome! Rick

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Gentlemen,

many thanks for your warm welcome :-)

Some further remarks to Gnitienko's military record and the history of s/n of his "Glory-Trio".

W. P. Gnitienko lived from 28th of december 1903 till the 8th of november 1991. Besides his "Glory-Trio" he was awarded with a OGPW 1cl in 1985 and decorated with the usual medals.

The photograph in his Full Cavalier's Booklet was stamped at the 20th of february 1981 by the War-Commissariat Charkov.

Sergeant Gnitienko got his 3 Orders of Glory for heroic deeds during the liberation of the Crimean Penisula (3rd & 2nd class) in spring 1944 and during the operation "Bagration", the final destruction of the "Heeresgruppe Mitte", in summer 1944 (his "second" 2nd class) - there the fightings in the town of Jeglava, close to Riga, Latvia, Gnitienko killed in action more than 20 Nazi-soldiers with his own weapon.

6th of april 1944, Glory 3rd class for a heroic deed at the 3rd of april 1944 (Crimea)

3rd of june 1944, Glory 2nd class for a heroic deed at the 24th of april 1944 (Crimea)

21st of september 1944, Glory 2nd class for a heroic at the 2nd of august 1944 (Jelgava, Latvia)

29th of december 1980, Glory 1st class in exchange for the "second" Glory 2nd class

So sergeant Gnitienko's promotion to a full "Cavalier of the Order of Glory" went rather fast - from the 3rd of april to the 2nd of august 1944 (seen from the dates of shown heroism) - only 4 month (!), but he had to wait another 36 years for getting his deserved 1st-class-Glory-goldstar.

You have also to take into account, that the battles in spring & summer 1944 against rather strong german forces (against the 17th army at the Crimean & and against the "Heeresgruppe Nord" in Latvia) had been much heavier, than the fighting in 1945 in the final days of the "Great Patriotic War", where the largest number of Order of Glory 1st classes hat been awarded.

The fact that soldiers got two 2nd classes or two 3rd classes during the war and the reshuffle of armies, did not occour so seldom. Specially in the case of comrade Gnitienko, who was transfered from the southern war theatre (2nd Guards Army) to the northern war theatre (51st Army). And also the fact, that it always took quiete a time, that the double 2nd or 3rd classes were exchanged to 1st classes.

What makes the group also interesting is the fact the archive did make a mistake in recording the s/n of the 1st Class Glory awarded to Gnitienko. He was actually awarded with the serial number engraved on the order and recorded in the Full Cavalier's Booklet - s/n 1.965 - and the archive recorded the wrong serial number - s/n 3.646 - in its records. s/n of the 2nd & 3rd classes match the archive recorded: 35.207 (3rd) & 3.870 (2nd) - very nice "thin" variant.

The fact is also, that neither the order 1st class, nor the entry in the special Full Cavalier's Booklet are fakes. A historic fact is also, that a Full Cavalier's Booklet has been never faked or doctored, because:

a) It is not possible.

b) It doesn't make sense (faking the order is much easier).

If someone is interested, I can send jpgs of the booklet via e-mail.

1980 the Soviet Empire was already in full agony and nothing (and nobody) really worked. So I can imagine, that the authorities decided to give Gnitienko his deserved Glory 1st class just one day after his 77th birthday (it was quite usual under Brezhnev to get get orders at birthdays). I also think the secretaries at the Supreme Soviet decided to give the s/n 3.646 to him. This would have been a rather high s/n and more or less typical for heroic deeds in Berlin, Konigsberg oder Silesia. And it might be possible, that the clerks already recorded this s/n in the archive. Imagine Gnitienko, now happy for getting - after 36 years - his Glory 1st class, but also full of self-confidence, is telling to the officers of the ceremony, that he has fullfilled his heroic deed for the golden Glory at the beginning of august 1944 and not in april or may 1945 and that he asks for a lower s/n on his Glory 1st class. The comrades said to him "no problem" and give him s/n 1.965, which they also had in stock (s/n around 1.800 to 1.900 were used in a few cases for replacements long time after the war). But they forgot about the chance in the records in the archive.

Well, I think, that's the approbriate story of the event, because the order 1st class is 100 % genuine, the worn and smelling Full Cavalier's Booklet 100 % authentic and neither faked, nor doctored and the records at the archives are not faked, but simply not up to date, because comrade Gnitienko got a Glory 1st class with another s/n.

Gentlemen, what is your opinion about that case?

Best regards from Vienna

Christian Zulus

http://www.zulusrecords.com

Edited by Christian Zulus

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Ed, it's really great to hear from you again :-)

Summer 2002 ...

Ed, tell me, what is your opinion about Gnitienko's "Glory-Trio" and the 2 different s/n for the 1st class (booklet & order vs. records in archive).

Best regards

Christian

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Have you tried researching Glory I with the s/n 1965? I'm not saying your Glory I or the booklet are a fake, but in the early 90's when you bought your set, Glory I's were much more prevalent (and cheaper). Some dealers had 5-6 AT ONE TIME. Also, some of the unissued ones you mentioned made their way to the market during that time too.

I don't want to disappoint you, but someone may have added a "spare" Glory I to your set. Yes, the archives and people make mistakes, but a high level award like this would have warranted special attention.

Also, for the record, there ARE fake cavalier booklets - again, I'm not saying yours is, but they do exist.

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Dear Dudeman,

believe me, there are no faked CAVALIER'S booklets (normal OKs there are several 1.000 fakes) at the market, because it doesn't make sense and it is impossible to get the thick black ink out of the old worn Cavalier's booklet and to write a new number into it.

Look at the postings of "slava1stclass" at http://www.soviet-awards.com/forum/index.php? . He dedicated his live to the research of the Order of Glory. He is writing, that there are no faked CAVALIER'S booklets at the market.

That's the way, how the business in eastern Europe works:

The forgers try to get ORIGINAL cavalier's booklets (or OK) without medals and then they produce the matching orders with the "correct" s/n. A cavalier's booklet is a very precious document, because you can make a lot of money out of it.

The "clever" dealer somewhere in Ex-SU is earning double money with a "Glory-Trio":

- First he sells the original cavalier's booklet (or OK) together with faked orders.

- Then he sells the original orders with a lot of documentary and archive material.

Dudeman, tell me, what is the reason for faking or doctering at an ORIGINAL cavalier's booklet? Such a document is too precious.

I can send scans of my Glory-group to you via e-mail, if you like.

Can you find out, if s/n 1.965 is listed in the directory of the Orders of Glory 1st class? Many thanks :-)

Best regards

Christian Zulus

http://www.zulusrecords.com

Edited by Christian Zulus

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I will repeat that fake Cavalier books exist. The paper is either done with a color copier or high-quality scanner/printer combination. The paper is slightly lower quality, a slight off- blue from the real one, and the biggest tip off - there is no watermark pattern. The fake document cover is also of lesser quality, but could be improved as are many of the fake NKVD documents appearing on the market. If you have seen a real document you will know fair quickly. The good news is it is fairly easy to determine they are not real (watermark), however many of the readers of this board have never seen a real cavalier document so I would like to again issue my warning.

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Dear Dave,

dear Dudeman,

Dave, nice to find you here in the Gentleman's-forum :-) On duty or in Maryland?

If s/n 1.965 went officially to a museum, it would have NO s/n stamped, but - in russian language - the word for "sample". Eleven years ago the same dealer offered - or only USD 4k (!) - a perfect (10/10 condition) Suvorov 1cl (first class) to me, but without s/n and with "sample" on it. Now I think it was a great mistake not to have bought this order :-(((((

The fact is, that Gnitientkos cavalier booklet is NOT A FAKE and the s/n for the 1st cl IS NOT DOCTORED. The booklet is perfect - watermarks, special black ink, stamps, photograph, this very special smell and it is worn (the awardees need this cavalier booklet for getting their benefits in public life) - and the order is perfect too - sharp details and the most beautyful enmanel I have ever soon on a Glory! - and due to the fact, that the order got to the reciepient as late as in december 1980, he is in a 10/10 condition.

Dave, did I sent the scans of the booklet and of the order to you in 2003 or did I only sent them to Alexei?

So it might be, that the Glory 1st cl s/n 3.646 went to the market for USD 6k+, due to the fact, that it is attached to Sergeant Gnitienko ;-)

I want to draw your attention again to the fact, that the administration in the Soviet Union was in the year 1980/81 already in the state of agony and specially in the field of state-awards nearly everything was possible - Order of Victory for Comrade Brezhnev + 4 HSU, etc.

My question to Dave, Dudeman and to all other Gentleman: Given the fact, that booklet & order are authentic, what is your theory about the wrong s/n recorded in the archives? Have you ever found other cases of wrong s/n in the records?

Best regards

Christian Zulus alias CZ ;-)

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We have presented verifiable information from references/archives, that admittedly could be mistaken/flawed. Mistakes are frequent on more common awards, but as I've stated earlier, on such a prestigious award, the chance of a mistake would be much lower since privileges and status rode on the title Cavalier.

Many serial numbered OG Is were minted, but not issued or donated to a museum. Your piece, again judging from research, MAY be one of these. Several were stolen/smuggled(?) from the mint and sold before the days of documentation.

If you choose to ignore the information presented and rely on conjecture instead (which COULD equally be the truth), than you must be open to admitting unpleasant scenarios like someone in the early 90's manufactured the set using a blank, original book. No one has yet questioned the originality of your particular Glory I or your particular book, however as you mentioned "everything is possible" either in the 80's or today for that matter.

Since your S/Ns don't agree with the research, your version of events could be correct as well as the version of someone assembling a set from a loose Glory I and an altered/completely filled-in blank, but original booklet.

A possibility for you would be to run down the S/Ns on either side of 1965 and/or 3646 and see when they were awarded. If both numbers for example come down to your 1980 awarding date, than that may be enough "evidence" to completely convince someone.

Since your S/Ns don't agree with the research, maybe at this point all we can do is rely on conjecture.

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Dear Dudeman,

many thanks for your interesting remarks.

But as I pointed out, there had been NEVER a SERIOUSLY faked or doctored cavalier's booklet at the market - there are thousands of faked OKs at the market. But the document on the attached photograph is actually NOT an OK ;-)

"If you choose to ignore the information presented and rely on conjecture instead (which COULD equally be the truth), than you must be open to admitting unpleasant scenarios like someone in the early 90's manufactured the set using a blank, original book. No one has yet questioned the originality of your particular Glory I or your particular book, however as you mentioned "everything is possible" either in the 80's or today for that matter."

O.K., let us play this special case ;-) As you can see at my attached photograph of Gnitienko's "Glory-Trio", the cavalier's booklet is rather worn. Let as assume, that the booklet is faked. What does the forger need for this:

- Glory 1st cl s/n 1.965 from the museum or from the mint

- Glory 2nd & 3rd cl from Gnitienko's family

- one original photograph of Sergeant Gnitienko from his family, rather similar to the photograph in the "Glory-Book"

- one original stamp from the former war-kommissariat in Charkov

- one original cavalier's booklet from the mint

- one poor devil in Russia or somewhere, who runs around with the cavalier's booklet at his body and takes it out of the pocket 2.000 times, so that it gets old and worn.

O.K., let us play the case, I suggest: Glory 1st cl s/n 1.965 seems to be - according to the records in the archives - a not awarded order. What might be the reason, why this s/n is in Gnitienko's documents and on Gnitienko's order. Very simple:

- one lazy office clerk.

Another fact is, that the cavalier's booklet is defintly a high class document of the Soviet Union, which can not be faked in an economicaly serious way, as I pointed out above. The business works the other way round: Forgers are extremly eager to get cavalier's booklets without orders. That is also the reason, why there are absolutly no cavalier's booklets without awards at the market. The forger can sell an original cavalier's booklet + 3 faked Glory-orders for USD 10k+ or even more!

And: Why should a forger use a "wrong" number for his Glory 1st cl? Forgers have all the records from the archives. This wouldn't make sense at all, I think.

Another example: What would happen, if a forger/dealer would get a "Glory-Trio", with the cavalier's booklet AND the OK AND some additional documents? He would sell 3 (three) "Glory-Trios" :-) He will sell the authentic orders with the additional documents and copies from the archives and 2x 3 faked orders with the original booklets. This ugly business-aspect is also the reason, why it is almost impossible to find a "Glory-Trio" with the cavalier's booklet AND the OK ;-) BTW: The net-profit of such a forger/dealer will be USD 20k+ :-((((

How I got my "Glory-Trio": At that time (1993/94) my Viennese dealer used to get his stuff at the boarder of Hungary and Ukraine, near the town Uzhgorod (UKR). The dealers got on hungarian territory and sold their stuff for USD in cash to the dealer. I think, that my dealer paid about USD 1.000,- for the "Glory-Trio" and the rest to the sum I paid was his profit. I frequently phoned to him at this time - january 1994 - for new items. He told me about his newly purchased "Glory-Trio", I went to his shop, checked the group and bought it.

I also want to point out, that the really big forger-business for high-end Soviet awards did not start in 1993, but some years later. So buying Soviet awards just after the end of the Red Empire was still a rather save investment.

Best regards

Christian Zulus

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Gentlemen,

I reduced the KBs of the scanned side in the cavalier's booklet of Gnitienko's "Glory-Trio" to less, than 60 KB and attached the picture here.

Sorry, it is not as sharp and detailed, as it would be with 3 MBs ....

But you might see, that ALL entries - incl. "1965" - have been written by the same person and nobody doctored around at the 1965-entry.

Another theory, how it could have happend ;-)

Maybe comrade Gnitienko got really the Glory 1st cl with s/n 3646 at the 29th of december 1980.

Maybe within the almost 2 month time, when he got the cavalier's booklet (20th of february 1981), he lost his golden Glory or the award was stolen.

Maybe, instead of telling the mint to produce a duplicat-order of the s/n 3646 with a "d", they authorities just gave him a new one with the s/n 1965 and wrote the s/n into his cavalier's booklet.

2 more aspects would be interesting to know:

- at which date was the entry s/n 3646 done in the records of the archive?

- does the Order of Glory 1st cl s/n 3646 exist in a collection or at a dealer?

Best regards

Christian Zulus

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OK, logic shows you have a stronger case. Your document's S/N starting with an "I" and the handwriting on the award page resembles those in the McDaniel book p. 198 along with the 50XXXX s/n from the approximate time period 1976 vs. 1981.

Please be aware of problems, however. If the document was written by the same individual over a four-five year time, this points to a centralized issuing point that would have greater control over the accuracy of the information. As I freely admit, errors do happen. Also, although the handwriting on the award pages resemble each other (yours and the McDaniel example), the first pages' handwriting do not. Does it make sense that one person would write one page and another person the other?

Please listen me out. From what I've seen, I believe both your Glory I and book to be authentic, maybe even the set being complete. I don't think it's wise to assert with absolute certainty that a Glory cavalier book has never been faked or a blank example has never been taken from the mint/issuing point. If your dealer had access to Suvorovs from a museum and the plethora of high-end items which you were offered, is it plausible he couldn't have had access to a blank cavalier document?

If unissued Glory Is, the Order of Stalin, and other unique "prototype" awards escaped from the mint, I wouldn't insist so certainly that if someone offered a crisp $50 for a blank booklet, a mint official looking to feed his family wouldn't think twice about giving someone a harmless, blank booklet not even made of precious medals and belonging to a state the didn't exist anymore.

If your supplier had your individual's set minus the OGI (which frequently occurs), a blank document acquired from corrupt individual/a lax control point (which is a real possibility), and an unissued Glory I (of which it is known escaped from the mint and were sold in the time period you mentioned) it would be easier to assemble the set than you ascribe.

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To all:

No matter how you look at it, this set raises far too many questions. I made this point to Herr Gattringer of Austria some time ago. In my view, no right-minded collector would feel comfortable buying this as a Full Knight/Cavalier set - no matter how one might seek to justify it as such.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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To all:

The best way to end this "He Says, She Says" discussion is to get a copy of his Awards Record Card (Uchyotnaya Kartochka) or Special Awards Record Card for a Full Cavalier of the Order of Glory from the Russian archives. Either document will serve to confirm the true number of his Glory 1st Class.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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Dear Mr. "Slava1stClass",

many thanks for your comments ;- )

Fred Gattringer told to me, that you wanted to sell him one of your Glory-Trios from your stock ...

Where do you see too many questions?

There is only ONE (1) question: Why is there another s/n in the official records as it is listed in the (original and undoctorded) cavalier's booklet?

You published, that you have never seen - or never heard - of a (professional) faked cavalier's booklet.

My opinion is also, that it is much more convienent and commercial to fake the orders and to have an original booklet, than to fake it the other way round ;- )

The fact is, that Gnitienko's orders and his cavalier's booklet are 100 % original and not doctored. The fact is also, that s/n 1965 for Glory 1st class is listed as non awarded.

So, what is your frank opinion about this special case (Fred Gattringer is not interested to buy one of your Glory-Trios - for his opinion, the price level of SU-awards is far too high)?

Best regards

Christian Zulus

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There seems little point in continuing this since nothing of further information advancing anything constructive is being added.

The line of civil interaction on this website has now been reached. I will not lock the thread but I will remove it if the line is crossed, and do NOT expect extraneous third parties or personal issues from other places to be brought here.

MODERATOR

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Material from the Russian archives

Gentlemen,

does anyone have access to the Russian archives to get some insight into Sergeant Gnitienko's Awards Record Card?

Many thanks in advance :love: .

Best regards

Christian Zulus

To all:

The best way to end this "He Says, She Says" discussion is to get a copy of his Awards Record Card (Uchyotnaya Kartochka) or Special Awards Record Card for a Full Cavalier of the Order of Glory from the Russian archives. Either document will serve to confirm the true number of his Glory 1st Class.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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Material from the Russian archives

Gentlemen,

does anyone have access to the Russian archives to get some insight into Sergeant Gnitienko's Awards Record Card?

Many thanks in advance :love: .

Best regards

Christian Zulus

Sehr geehrter Herr Zulus,

For a cost of $50.00, Mr. Paul McDaniel offers a service that will fax you a copy of Gnitienko's Full Cavalier Special Award Record Card. Should you so elect, you would most certainly be guaranteed speedy resolution of this case.

Check out: http://www.historicalresearch.com/cavalier.html

We look forward to your report on your findings.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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Sehr geehrter Herr "slava1stclass",

many thanks for the information :beer: .

I have an offer from an Russian comrade for USD 15,-, but it will take 3 month time :( .

Do you think, that PMD will get the results rather instantly?

Should not be ALL records of Gnitienko's Glory 1cl in the archives be checked?

Errors happen in the archives, as you can see in this posting about an RS:

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtop...ost&p=92312

Many thanks for your expertise.

Beste Gr??e aus Wien

Christian Zulus

Sehr geehrter Herr Zulus,

For a cost of $50.00, Mr. Paul McDaniel offers a service that will fax you a copy of Gnitienko's Full Cavalier Special Award Record Card. Should you so elect, you would most certainly be guaranteed speedy resolution of this case.

Check out: http://www.historicalresearch.com/cavalier.html

We look forward to your report on your findings.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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