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Paul R

Posthumous Order of Great Patriotic War, First Class- Festung Posen!

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Despite being on a really fixed budget lately, I was able to work out a really nice payment plan to purchase this really rare item. The OGPW1 is not that rare in itself, but the fact that it was awarded posthumously makes it really unique. The OGPW series is one of the few that were authorized to be passed to family members after death. In the case of other posthumous awards; they were awarded only on paper.

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Fantastic award! I have a few posthumous OPWs myself (it's one of my collecting niches) and they are highly interesting awards.

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Thank you! What posthumous awards do you have? I am working on getting the documents translated. The seller told me that the Lt was killed in the final days of the Battle for the Posen Fortress.

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I have three posthumous OPWs:

- OPW1 #49137, awarded posthumously to 26-year-old Lt. Col. Starov, CO of the 1467th Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment, killed while reconnoitering firing positions near the front line (posted here: http://soviet-awards.com/forum/soviet-military-awards/researchers-corner/researched-orders/52640-patriotic-war-i-0049137-posthumous-award-rgt-co.html)

- OPW1 #49964, awarded posthumously to 25- or 26-year-old Guards Sr. Lt. Vinogradov, reconnaissance officer of the 45th Guards Rifle Regiment, killed while defending a bridge across the Western Dvina River with a group of fellow scouts

- OPW2 #592385, awarded posthumously to 27- or 28-year-old State Security Captain Mikhailov, NKVD special agent, killed while combating insurgency in the rear of the 13th Army

I wrote an article on posthumous awards, which was published in the most recent JOMSA issue. Over the last few years I have been working on a database of Soviet posthumous awards issued during WW2. Right now I have identified about 1400 separate awardings (I did not yet have yours, though). It's an interesting overview of which decorations were mostly given posthumously, which ranks received them, and how often their were upgrades and downgrades when the citation went up the chain of command.

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Congrats Paul. Nice one-OPW1s are hard to come by. Pls post the translation when you get it.

Marshall Aukeov, can you pls send me the article that you wrote or perhaps post it here? I am not a member of JOMSA but BFE (Barlabolas For Everyone).lol

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Here it is: Thank you! This is exciting stuff. I cannot wait to see the final product of your research(Book maybe?).

Award Card
[trans: stamped “Decoration Awarded”]
Order Booklet
1. Last name: Valeshvili
2. Name and patrionymic: Aleksei Shelvovich
3. Rank: Guards Lieutenant
4. Gender:
5. Birthyear: 1924
6. Birthplace:
7. Party membership: n/a
8. Education:
9. Nationality: Ossetian
10. Time in Red Army:
11. Place of service at awarding: Platoon Leader – 177 Guards Rifle Regiment, 60 Guards Rifle Division
12. Place of work at present:
13. Home address: Georgian SSR, Kaspii Region
14. Awards:
Designation Serial Number Awarding Organization
Patriotic War I 135.061 32 Rifle Corps dated 3.02.45
Verified by:
[trans: stamped “Checked by Section (?) Lost”]










Award Sheet
1. Last name, name, and patrionymic: Valeshvili, Aleks Shalvovich
2. Rank: Guards Lieutenant
3. Duty position: Machinegun Platoon Leader – 177 Guards Kishinev Rifle Regiment
Recommendation for the Order of the Patriotic War II Class
4. Born: 1924
5. Nationality: Ossetian
6. Party membership: n/a
7. Previous combat: since November 1943 on the Leningrad, 3 Ukrainian, and 1 Belorussian Fronts
8. Wounds or shell-shock: n/a. [trans: “In this engagement he was killed heroically”]
9. In Red Army: since 1942
10. Inducted by: Lenin Regional Military Commissariat, Tbilisi
11. Previous awards: n/a
12. Home of record: Georgian SSR, Kaspii Region, Rgvalichada
Short description of personal combat feat or accomplishment
While clearing a minefield and “Bruno” double-stranded wire obstacle during the penetration of the long-prepared, deeply echeloned enemy defense near Bule Augustovka* (Gruiets*, Warsaw Principality) on 14 January 1945, Comrade Valeshvili was one of the first to charge into an enemy trenchline, entered into hand-to-hand combat, and on the approaches to the population area of Nove Stakhuv* fell valorously.
He is deserving of the Order of the Patriotic War II Class.
Signed 177 Guards Rifle Regiment Commander Guards Colonel Kosov on 24 January 1945
Endorsed 60 Guards Division Commander Guards General-Major Sokolov on 21 January 1945
Awarded the Order of the Patriotic War I Class according to 32 Rifle Corps Order 09/N dated (?).1945, signed Chief of Personnel Guards Major (?) on 4.2.45
*Geographic place name is an approximation based off of transliterated Russian from Polish translated into English





Unit Award Order
SECRET
32 Rifle Corps Order 09/N dated 3 February 1945
On behalf of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet USSR, I award the following decorations for exemplary accomplishment of the Command’s missions in the struggle against the German invaders and for having displayed valor and bravery:
Order of the Patriotic War I Class to:
2. Guards Lieutenant Aleks Shalvovich Valeshvili – Machinegun Platoon Leader, 177 Guards Kishinev Rifle Regiment, 60 Guards Pavlograd Red Banner Rifle Division
Signed 32 Rifle Corps Commander Guards General-Major Zhereb(?), Chief of Staff General-Major Plokhov, and Chief of Personnel Guards Major Andreichenkov

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Auke,

How many citations have you been able to collect so far? What patterns have you noticed?

Paul

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Very nice! Posthumous awards were also my niche "back in the day". I had several OGPWs, both 1st and 2nd class awards. And one posthumous Red Banner. I've come across several posthumous Soviet awards to US Navy personnel doing research for my book. Quite interesting...

Dave

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Congrats Paul. Nice one-OPW1s are hard to come by. Pls post the translation when you get it.

Marshall Aukeov, can you pls send me the article that you wrote or perhaps post it here? I am not a member of JOMSA but BFE (Barlabolas For Everyone).lol

Works for me. :P I'll see if I can get a pdf version.

As Paul already stated, during World War Two the only award that, if awarded posthumously, could be presented to the next of kin, was the Order of the Patriotic War. Therefore it's not surprising that almost 94 percent of all wartime posthumous awards I have encountered are OPWs (disregarding the Gold Star Medal, which was often awarded posthumously but only on rare occasions given to the next of kin). It seems that, because the majority of posthumous decorations weren’t physically issued, senior officers often intentionally downgraded or upgraded recommendations to an Order of the Patriotic War in order to have something to deliver to the family of those killed in action. This also seems to be confirmed by the fact that the majority of the Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Banner and Order of the Red Star awards took place before May 1942 (when the Order of the Patriotic War was instituted). After this date, the number of posthumous Lenins, Red Banners and Red Stars steadily declined: as far as I have observed, after October 1943 only OPWs were awarded posthumously.

Below are a few overviews that may be interesting (I have yet to process a bunch of citations; this is all based on a database of just over 1200 citations).

(Where there's a comma, think a full stop... Mathematics works a little different on the old continent... :whistle: )

First of all, the WW2 awards and the corresponding percentages of posthumous awards in my database:

1.gif

The posthumous awards broken down by rank category:

2.gif

And broken down by rank:

3.gif

And an overview of how often posthumous nominations were adjusted. Sometimes the upgrade or downgrade was significant: I have seen cases where a HSU title was reduced to an OPW2 (eight steps lower), and on another occasion a Medal for Courage nomination resulted in an OPW1 (four steps higher):

4.gif

And finally a rank comparison of posthumous OPW1s and OPW2s:

5.gif

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And one more, a rather surprising overview showing the posthumous awards broken down per year.

6.gif

Sorry for polluting your topic, Paul...

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Wow Paul! What an outstanding award and write up-thanks for sharing! Due to Auke's explanation, I understand why an OPW2 but this fella deserved an RB in my books. How wonderful it is that this brave guy's story can be shared on the internet for all to read and that his heroic deeds are not lost in an archive but brought back to life.

Very impressive stats Auke-very well put together. Thank you for sharing! What can I say Auke, you da man.

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Really awesome stuff Paul :) I can't really add anything more awesome than has already said.

Aukinator stikes again! :D:) but "he will be bachk" :) hehehehe (arnold references)

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Auke, to the contrary! Your post really brings things into reality. Thank you! Why do you think that this award was given to next of kin, while the others were not? This one was made of as much precious metals as the others.

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Auke,

Have you compared the reults of the posthumous awards per year to number of reported KIA's per year to see if there is any correlation there?

Awardings of everything rockedted in 1943 though didnt it? I mean, they even had to bring in the Order of Glory etc as well!

I have myself gathered information on labour award volumes during the post war years, trying to map fluctuations in awarding and seeing if there is any correlation to Socio-economic factors of the age. Thats a topic for another day though!

Cheers,

Tom

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Awardings of everything rockedted in 1943 though didnt it? I mean, they even had to bring in the Order of Glory etc as well!

Actually, each year the awardings for each award increased. If you look at the Order of Glory: about a handful were awarded in 1943, some 250,000 in 1944, and the remainder, about 550,000 pieces, was awarded in 1945. The Red Star shows the same pattern: about 300,000 awardings in 1943, about 700,000 in 1944, and about 1,6 million in 1945. The same goes for the Red Banner, OPW, etc. So a spike of posthumous awards in 1943 seems surprising, but as you say, it may be explained (I have not yet examined these numbers) by a spike in losses in 1943, many of which may have been worthy of an award.

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Do you think that the acceleration of the numbers of orders awarded have anything to do with the length of time it took the word to get around on the awards being available and the process for submission?

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Personally, i think the increase was partly due to the way the war started going from 1943 onwards. Pushing the Germans back through eastern Europe, not as "on the ropes" any more.

Also, i think awards must have been used in some way as a morale booster during the bloody campaigns and battles of the push towards Germany. "Comrades our losses have been many but private look how brave and courageous comrade x has been in his fight for our motherland, URA!"

These are just my opinions though :-)

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I think that your opinion is a very realistic one. Thank you.

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I agree; in 1942 Soviet commanders had better things to do than handing out awards. Late 1942 / early 1943 was the turning point in the war, and that is when the number of decorations awarded skyrocketed. As a result, there was a certain devaluation: less and less special deeds warranted awards (the feat required for a 1945 Medal for Courage would have gotten you a Red Star in 1942) and their status somewhat decreased.

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Auke, thanks for the excellent stats! That's the sort of thought process this hobby needs more of.

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Exemplary posthumous early OGPW II for Ferdinand data base ;)

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