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Aurelius

Another archive question

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Gentlemen,

Many believe that everyone who served during the war and all their citations are in Podvignaroda. This isn't the case.

What precentage of citations overall, etc. do you think were destroyed in battles, etc. and were lost forever during and after the war?

I'll say 25% of the overall.

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I'll say 25% of the overall.

I do not think you can actually throw percentages. Very speculative to do so.

Jim :cheers:

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There's no way to answer this question, but I have to say I'm surprised at how much we are able to find in the database. It rarely happens that I cannot find a citation, and when that happens it often turns out that they used an unfathomable spelling variation. So I'd say that the percentage of lost citations is definitely far less than 25. However, we could ask ourselves if the medals in our collection constitute a representative portion of all awards issued during the war. If records on recently issued medals were lost in battle, so may the medals.

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Could it be, that most soliders are buried with their medals, back home in the Former Yugoslavia, now Croatia, Serbia, Slovania, Bosnia, Kosovo etc Soldier's used to be buried with their medals, it was a very honorable and huge affair. There are a lot of soldiers who died in battle and a lot more who are now reaching an older age, so the documents and medals themselves might be "lost" when a soldier is laid to rest.

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Jim: Agreed on it being very speculative. Just for the sake of discussion though.

Auke: But you are the Research Guru and da man of research. However, what about all the non researchables that we have had? They all can't be KGB.

Rogi: Excellent point. I never thought of that. thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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Until 1977, awards had to be returned to the state upon the recipient's death, so I can't imagine that soldiers were often intentionally buried with their medals.

I believe that most of those non-researchables are NKVD / NKGB / partisan / Navy / et cetera awards. When our researcher looks up a serial number, he digs through serial number ranges. If an entire serial number range is missing, this most likely means that the entire range was awarded by one of the aforementioned organizations. Awards weren't issued perfectly chronologically, so if citations and award issue records were lost in battle, this would result in single, isolated cases of non-researchable awards. Our researcher makes that distinction; he will say that an award wasn't awarded by the Army or Air Force, or something else when he tells us the result of his search.

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Complicating matters also is that there are sub archives within the archives. Case in point, I recently received an army RB citation that was not found in Podolsk but rather in the Moscow archvies. Ain't Army..............Army?

Have been told that within the KGB archives exist a number of sub archives inc. "Traitors of the Soviet Union" division.

We have also seen archival docs for sale on Ebay,ie., the originals. When you think about it, an unscrupulous collector would want a sniper's docs just like award collectors would want the sniper's awards.

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