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Christian, my congratulations with those amazing documents. So, the truth finally came out. I'm really happy that former Soviet archives helped you to prove the authenticity of Gnitienko's full Glory set. Now even the most sceptical members of the forum should agree that this group is OK :D

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To all:

Dave captures my sentiments exactly - sentiments which I've expressed in some of the earliest posts in this thread.

- Do the three Orders of Glory alleged to have been awarded to G. appear legit - yes.

- Does G's Full Cavalier booklet appear legit (the Order of Glory 1st Class s/n number discrepancy aside) - yes.

- Would I personally want to include this set in my own Full Cavalier collection knowing what we know (or better yet, don't know) - no.

Don't take me wrong, I certainly wish Herr Zulus good luck in his search for indisputable hard evidence to clarify/justify this exceptional case. Absent such proof, however, a heavy cloud of suspicion/doubt will always hang over this set for the reasons Dave has so clearly articulated.

Regards,

slava1stclass

Herr Zulus,

I am very happy that the "heavy cloud of suspicion/doubt" concerning this set has now been lifted and that sunny skies are shining upon you. Congratulations! You certainly did the right thing by following our advice and securing the last (and most critical) piece of evidence - the Awards Record Card.

As I said all along, the orders themselves looked fine and the Full Cavalier booklet looked fine (again, I have yet to encounter a fake/counterfeit Full Cavalier booklet).

After reviewing the awards record cards a few observations:

1) There is nothing to suggest/indicate how serial # 3646 came to be recorded as that for his Order of Glory 1st Class on his Special Awards Record Card. We will likely never know.

2) His erroneously twice-issued Order of Glory 2nd Class, serial # 47164, was returned to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, USSR on March 17th, 1981.

Hope this helps. Congratulations again and welcome to the exclusive club of Category 1 Full Cavalier set owners!

Regards,

slava1stclass

Edited by slava1stclass
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Lieber Herr "slava1stclass",

many thanks for your congratulations and the additional informations :cheers: .

I assume, that it had been just an error in writing, why the wrong number was listed in the special award card. Maybe the clerk filled out a card with #3646 before and wrote the same number into Gnitienko's card :unsure: ?

The returning of the second Glory 2cl to Moscow is just the correct way, I think :unsure: ? I have heard only of one case, where the comrade kept his second 2cl or 3cl and had 4 Orders of Glory on his chest.

Tell me: How exclusive is the club of Category 1 Full Cavalier set owners - how many members are there already ;) ?

Best regards :beer:

Christian

Herr Zulus,

I am very happy that the "heavy cloud of suspicion/doubt" concerning this set has now been lifted and that sunny skies are shining upon you. Congratulations! You certainly did the right thing by following our advice and securing the last (and most critical) piece of evidence - the Awards Record Card.

As I said all along, the orders themselves looked fine and the Full Cavalier booklet looked fine (again, I have yet to encounter a fake/counterfeit Full Cavalier booklet).

After reviewing the awards record cards a few observations:

1) There is nothing to suggest/indicate how serial # 3646 came to be recorded as that for his Order of Glory 1st Class on his Special Awards Record Card. We will likely never know.

2) His erroneously twice-issued Order of Glory 2nd Class, serial # 47164, was returned to the Presidum of the Supreme Soviet, USSR on March 17th, 1981.

Hope this helps. Congratulations again and welcome to the exclusive club of Category 1 Full Cavalier set owners!

Regards,

slava1stclass

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More informations on Sgt. Gnitienko's service record

Gentlemen,

Sgt. Gnitienko's citations about his 3 herioc deeds, which brought him his Glory 3cl, 2cl & 1cl, you will find in post #62 in this thread: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtop...st&p=131040

Gnitienko served in the 1175th rifle regiment of the 347th rifle division.

In spring 1944 ("Battle of the Crimea") the 347th rifle division belonged to the 2nd Guards Army (4th Ukrainian Front, Tolbuchin).

In summer 1944 the 347th rifle division was transfered to the 51st Army and took part at the "Operation Bagration" (1st Baltic Front, Bagramjan).

So, Gnitienko got his first Glory 2cl from the 2nd Guards Army at the Crimean Peninsula and his second Glory 2cl (1981 exchanged to a Glory 1cl) from the 51st Army in the Baltics.

Gnitienko got his Glory 3cl at the 3rd of april 1944 - just 4 days before the beginning of the "Battle of the Crimea" - south of Perekop for rescuing four comrades from the battle field (maybe some reconnaissance mission just before the battle :unsure: ?).

He got his Glory 2cl for killing several Hitlerites at 24th of april 1944 during the high-tide of the "Battle of the Crimea" in the souther part of the peninsula, north of Sevastopol and just before the storm of the Sapun Heights.

The 347th rifle division had been switched over to the 51th Army for taking part at the "Operation Bagration" and Gnitienko got his Glory 1cl (1981!) for killing 20 Hitlerites at the 2nd of august near Jeglava in the southern part of Latvia.

So, Sgt. Gnitienko got his Glory full cavalier set for 3 heroic deeds during two major battles of the GPW:

- "Battle of the Crimea (1944)" - the liberation of the peninsula (Glory 3cl & 2cl).

- "Operation Bagration" - the destruction of Heeresgruppe Mitte in summer 1944 (Glory 1cl).

Gnitienko (b. 1903) served in the Red Army from 1942 to 1945 and got - except his 3 Glories and a OPW 1cl in 1985 - no other Soviet Orders. He received several medals: Victory over Germany and all the jubilee stuff (no defend or capture medals). So, he got all his awards in his early 40s. Comrade Gnitienko died in november 1991 - only one day after the celebrations of the Great Socialist Octoberrevolution.

Gentlemen, it would be great, if someone has further informations about the history of the 1175th rifle regiment and the 347th rifle division during "Crimea" & "Bagration" - many thanks in advance :cheers: .

Best regards :beer:

Christian

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Having established that it is kosher -- and please don't gloat too much, Christian :shame: , though you may well have earned that right :P -- the next step is to get back to The Researcher and finish the task with his recommendations and whatever else can be found.

Research is ALWAYS better than guessing.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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Having established that it is kosher -- and please don't gloat too much, Christian :shame: , though you may well have earned that right :P -- the next step is to get back to The Researcher and finish the task with his recommendations and whatever else can be found.

Research is ALWAYS better than guessing.

Dear Ed,

many thanks for your advice - I will not gloat too much ;) .

Well, my notes are not pure guessing, but taken out of the reference book "Cavaliers of All Three Classes of the Order of Glory" from Gnitienko's entry:

I think, that Gnitienko's entry there include ALL recommendations and citations - what is your opinon :unsure: ?

Best regards :beer:

Christian

Edited by Christian Zulus
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I think, that Gnitienko's entry there includes all recommendations and citations - what is your opinon :unsure: ?

I'd still get the real things. As we now see very clearly, that book is far less than accurate.

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I'd still get the real things. As we now see very clearly, that book is far less than accurate.

Dear Ed,

no, it was not that book, which listed the wrong Glory 1cl s/n (there are no numbers listed at all). That wrong number was only listed in the special award card and is not listed in any book (in the other Cavaliers book the entry for Gnitienko's Glory 1cl s/n. is left blank!).

So, I will ask our researcher to get ALL documents dealing with Sgt. Gnitienko from Podolsk :D .

Best regards :beer:

Christian

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Given what we all now know you have :jumping: , it will be well worth the expenditure and the wait!

Dear Ed,

I already sent an e-mail to our researcher and transfered some USD via PayPal to his account :D .

You are right, the citations and recommendations might be more detailed, than published in that reference book.

So, Gnitineko's Glory-Trio might become the best researched full Cavaliers set we know ;) .

How difficult it might be, to find some newspaper or magazine articles from Charkov about comrade Gnitienko - getting his 1st class and maybe about his death in 1991 :unsure: ?

Best regards :beer:

Christian

BTW: Sgt. Gnitienko died just a few days before the great CCCP passed away :rolleyes: .

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I'd still get the real things. As we now see very clearly, that book is far less than accurate.

Ed,

The real take away from this case is that even archival research, to wit: Gnitienko's Special Awards Record Card (SARC), was found to be in error.

The people who compiled the book listing the serial numbers of all Orders of Glory for the Full Cavaliers used these SARCs as their sourcing.

All of us (Paul McDaniel, Dudeman, NavyFCO and myself) found it difficult to believe that something as important as a Full Cavalier's records could be prone to administrative error. We went with the standard convention that archival research (in this case Gnitienko's SARC) was gospel - until this case demonstrated otherwise.

This only begs the question of how many other Gnitienko-like errors are out there.

Regards,

slava1stclass

Edited by slava1stclass
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Ed,

The real take away from this case is that even archival research, to wit: Gnitienko's Special Awards Record Card (SARC), was found to be in error.

The people who compiled the book listing the serial numbers of all Orders of Glory for the Full Cavaliers used these SARCs as their sourcing.

All of us (Paul McDaniel, Dudeman, NavyFCO and myself) found it difficult to believe that something as important as a Full Cavalier's records could be prone to administrative error. We went with the standard convention that archival research (in this case Gnitienko's SARC) was gospel - until this case demonstrated otherwise.

This only begs the question of how many other Gnitienko-like errors are out there.

Regards,

slava1stclass

Absolutely, "Slava"! This was what The Researcher found most interesting and most instructive too. It is nice to know there are always new things to learn.

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This only begs the question of how many other Gnitienko-like errors are out there.

Gentlemen,

Igor showed another clerical mistake at a 2cl/3cl-Glory-set, as I posted some weeks ago, but the group is already sold :( :

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtop...st&p=164207

I assume, that there might be quite a lot of such errors in Podolsk - specially from documents of the 1970s and 1980s, from the CCCP in decline.

Best regards :beer:

Christian

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The only thing that I could find for the 347th Rifle Division is that it was given the honorific "Melitopol" on the day of the liberation of this city (23 Oct 1943) and was commanded by Major-General (as of 15 Sep 1943) Aleksandr Kharitonovich Yukhimchuk. The division also took part in the liberation of the Latvian town of Yelgava on 1 Aug 1944. At that moment the division was part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps of the 51st Army of the 1st Baltic Front.

The commanders of the 2nd Guards Army:

Lieutenant-General (as of 16 May 1944 Colonel-General) Georgy Fedorovich Zakharov (Jul 1943 - Jun 1944)

Lieutenant-General (as of 2 Jul 1945 Colonel-General) Porfiry Georgiyevich Chanchibadze (Jun 1944 - end of war)

The commander of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps:

Lieutenant-General Ivan Ilyich Missan (1942 - 1944)

The commander of the 51st Army:

Lieutenant-General Jakov Grigoryevich Kreizer (Aug 1943 - end of war)

The commander of the 4th Ukrainian Front:

Army General Fedor Ivanovich Tolbukhin (20 Oct 1943 - 15 May 1944)

The commander of the 1st Baltic Front:

Army General Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan (20 Nov 1943 - 24 Feb 1945)

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Dear Auke,

many thanks for these informations :cheers: .

A lot of famous names among the commanders :D .

Best regards :beer:

Christian

BTW: Is it possible, that 347th Rifle Division got a double-name at the end of the GPW: Melitopol-XXXX :unsure: ?

The only thing that I could find for the 347th Rifle Division is that it was given the honorific "Melitopol" on the day of the liberation of this city (23 Oct 1943) and was commanded by Major-General (as of 15 Sep 1943) Aleksandr Kharitonovich Yukhimchuk. The division also took part in the liberation of the Latvian town of Yelgava on 1 Aug 1944. At that moment the division was part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps of the 51st Army of the 1st Baltic Front.

The commanders of the 2nd Guards Army:

Lieutenant-General (as of 16 May 1944 Colonel-General) Georgy Fedorovich Zakharov (Jul 1943 - Jun 1944)

Lieutenant-General (as of 2 Jul 1945 Colonel-General) Porfiry Georgiyevich Chanchibadze (Jun 1944 - end of war)

The commander of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps:

Lieutenant-General Ivan Ilyich Missan (1942 - 1944)

The commander of the 51st Army:

Lieutenant-General Jakov Grigoryevich Kreizer (Aug 1943 - end of war)

The commander of the 4th Ukrainian Front:

Army General Fedor Ivanovich Tolbukhin (20 Oct 1943 - 15 May 1944)

The commander of the 1st Baltic Front:

Army General Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan (20 Nov 1943 - 24 Feb 1945)

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Here are some information about the 347 Rifle Division:

Units: 1175, 1177, 1179 Rifle Regiments 907 Artillery Regiment

Raised at Krasnodar, North Caucasus Military District Sept. 1941

RVGK in North Caucasus w/56 Independent Army Oct. 1941

Caucasus Sep. 1942

Mozdok w/44 Army Jan 1943

Melitopol Operation Oct. 1943

South Ukraine w/55 Rifle Corps, 51. Army Jan 1944

Crimea w/ 1 Guards Rifle Corps, 51. Army Apr 1944

Memel w/10 Rifle Corps Oct 1944

347 Rifle Division - "Melitopol" Order of Red Banner, Suvorov

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