Ivan Stepanovich Konev was a Soviet military commander who led Red Army forces on the Eastern Front during World War II, retook much of Eastern Europe from occupation by the Axis Powers, helped in the capture of Germany's capital, Berlin. In 1956, as the Commander of Warsaw Pact forces, Konev led the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet armoured divisions. Konev was born on 28 December 1897 into a peasant family near Podosinovets in Vologda Governorate, he worked as a lumberjack. In the spring of 1916, he was conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army. Konev was sent to the 2nd Heavy Artillery Brigade at Moscow and graduated from artillery training courses. In 1917, he was sent to the 2nd Separate Heavy Artillery Battalion on the Southwestern Front as a junior sergeant and fought in the Kerensky Offensive; when the Russian Revolution broke out in 1917 he was demobilised and returned home, but in 1919 he joined the Bolshevik party and the Red Army, serving as an artilleryman. During the Russian Civil War he served with the Red Army in the Russian Far Eastern Republic.
His commander at this time was Kliment Voroshilov a close colleague of Joseph Stalin and Commissar for defence. This alliance was the key to Konev's subsequent career. In 1926 Konev completed advanced officer training courses at the Frunze Military Academy, between and 1931 he held a series of progressively more senior commands, becoming head of first the Transbaikal the North Caucasus Military Districts. In July 1938 he was appointed commander of the 2nd Red Banner Army. In 1937 he became a Deputy of the Supreme Soviet and in 1939 a candidate member of the Party Central Committee; when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Konev was assigned command of the 19th Army in the Vitebsk region, waged a series of defensive battles during the Red Army's retreat, first to Smolensk and to the approaches to Moscow. He commanded the Kalinin Front from October 1941 to August 1942, playing a key role in the fighting around Moscow and the Soviet counter-offensive during the winter of 1941–42.
For his role in the successful defence of the Soviet capital, Stalin promoted Konev to Colonel-General. In the summer of 1942 Konev led the Kalinin Front and the Western front in the battle on the Rzhev salient. Konev held "Front" commands for the rest of the war, he commanded the Soviet Western Front until February 1943, the North-Western Front February–July 1943, the 2nd Ukrainian Front from July 1943 until May 1945. He participated in the Battle of Kursk, commanding the southern part of the Soviet counter-offensive, the Steppe Front, where he was an active and energetic exponent of maskirovka, the use of military camouflage and deception. Among the maskirovka measures he adopted to achieve tactical surprise were the camouflaging of defence lines and depots. In David Glantz's view, Konev's forces "generated a major portion of the element of surprise"; the result was that the Germans underestimated the strength of the Soviet defences. The commander of 19 Panzer, General G. Schmidt, wrote that "We did not assume that there was one fourth of what we had to encounter".
After the victory at Kursk, Konev's armies retook Belgorod, Odessa and Kiev. The subsequent Korsun–Shevchenkovsky Offensive led to the Battle of the Korsun–Cherkassy Pocket which took place from 24 January to 16 February 1944; the offensive was part of the Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive. In it, the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts, commanded by Nikolai Vatutin and Konev, trapped German forces of Army Group South in a pocket or cauldron west of the Dnieper river. During weeks of fighting, the two Red Army Fronts tried to eradicate the pocket. According to Milovan Djilas, Konev boasted of his killing of thousands of German prisoners of war: "The cavalry finished them off.'We let the Cossacks cut up as long as they wished. They hacked off the hands of those who raised them to surrender' the Marshal recounted with a smile." For his achievements in Ukraine, Konev was promoted by Stalin to Marshal of the Soviet Union in February 1944. He was one of Stalin's favourite generals and one of the few senior commanders whom Stalin admired for his ruthlessness.
During 1944 Konev's armies advanced from Ukraine and Belarus into Poland and into Czechoslovakia. In May he participated in an unsuccessful invasion of the Balkans, together with Generals Rodion Malinovsky and Fyodor Tolbukhin. By July he had advanced to the Vistula River in central Poland, was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. In September 1944 his forces, now designated the Fourth Ukrainian Front, advanced into Slovakia and helped the Slovak partisans in their rebellion against German occupation. In January 1945 Konev, together with Georgy Zhukov, commanded the Soviet armies which launched the massive winter offensive in western Poland, driving the German forces from the Vistula to the Oder River. In southern Poland his armies seized Kraków. Soviet historians, Russian sources, claimed that Konev preserved Kraków from Nazi-planned destruction by ordering a lightning attack on the city. Konev's January 1945 offensive prevented planned destruction of the Silesian industry by the retreating Germans.
In April his troops, together with the 1st Belorussian Front under his competitor, Marshal Zhukov, forced the line of
Russian Armed Forces
The Russian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Russian Federation, established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 7 May 1992, Boris Yeltsin signed a presidential decree establishing the Russian Ministry of Defence and placing all Soviet Armed Forces troops on the territory of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic under Russian control; the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the President of Russia. The Russian Armed Forces were formed in 1992; the Russian Armed Forces is one of the world's largest military forces. It is the world's second most powerful military and the world's second largest arms exporter. Under Russian federal law, the RuAF along with the Federal Security Service's Border Troops, the National Guard, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Protective Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, EMERCOM's civil defence form Russia's military services and are under direct control of the Security Council of Russia. Armed forces under the Ministry of Defence are divided into: the three "branches of Armed Forces": the Ground Forces, Aerospace Forces, the Navy the two "separate troop branches": the Strategic Missile Troops and the Airborne Troops the Logistical Support, which has a separate status of its ownThere are additionally two further "separate troop branches", the National Guard and the Border Service.
These retain the legal status of "Armed Forces", while falling outside of the jurisdiction of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The National Guard is formed on the basis of the former Internal Troops of Russia; the new structure has been detached from the Ministry of Internal Affairs into a separate agency, directly subordinated to the President of Russia. The Border Service is a paramilitary organization of the Federal Security Service - the country's main internal intelligence agency. Both organizations have significant wartime tasks in addition to their main peacetime activities and operate their own land and maritime units; the number of personnel is specified by decree of the President of Russia. On 1 January 2008, a number including military of 1,134,800 units, was set. In 2010 the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that the Russian Armed Forces numbered about 1,027,000 active troops and in the region of 2,035,000 reserves; as opposed to personnel specified by decree, actual personnel numbers on the payroll was reported by the Audit Chamber of Russia as 766,000 in October 2013.
As of December 2016, the armed forces are at 93 percent of the required manpower, up from 82 percent reported in December 2013. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, Russian exports of major weapons increased by 37 percent. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, share of modern weapons in the Armed Forces reached from 26 to 48 percent among different kinds of troops in December 2014; this was raised to 30.5–70.7% as of July 2015. The average was 61.5 per cent over the end of 2018. The Soviet Union dissolved on 25 December 1991, leaving the Soviet military in limbo. For the next year and a half various attempts to keep its unity and to transform it into the military of the Commonwealth of Independent States failed. Over time, some units stationed in the newly independent republics swore loyalty to their new national governments, while a series of treaties between the newly independent states divided up the military's assets. Apart from assuming control of the bulk of the former Soviet Internal Troops and the KGB Border Troops the only independent defence move the new Russian government made before March 1992 involved announcing the establishment of a National Guard.
Until 1995, it was planned to form at least 11 brigades numbering 3,000 to 5,000 each, with a total of no more than 100,000. National Guard military units were to be deployed in 10 regions, including in Moscow, a number of other important cities and regions. By the end of September 1991 in Moscow the National Guard was about 15,000 strong consisting of former Soviet Armed Forces servicemen. In the end, President Yeltsin tabled a decree "On the temporary position of the Russian Guard", but it was not put into practice. After signing the Belavezha Accords on 21 December 1991, the countries of the newly formed CIS signed a protocol on the temporary appointment of Marshal of Aviation Yevgeny Shaposhnikov as Minister of Defence and commander of the armed forces in their territory, including strategic nuclear forces. On 14 February 1992 Shaposhnikov formally became Supreme Commander of the CIS Armed Forces. On 16 March 1992 a decree by Boris Yeltsin created The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation the operational control of Allied High Command and the Ministry of Defence, headed by President.
On 7 May 1992, Yeltsin signed a decree establishing the armed forces and Yeltsin assumed the duties of the Supreme Commander. In May 1992, General Colonel Pavel Grachev became the Minister of Defence, was made Russia's first Army General on assuming the post. By August or December 1993 CIS military structures had become CIS military cooperation structures with all real influence lost. In the next few years, Russian forces withdrew from central and eastern Europe, as well as from some newly-independent post-Soviet republics. While in most places the withdrawal took place without any problems, the Russian Armed Forces remained in some di
Rostov-on-Don is a port city and the administrative centre of Rostov Oblast and the Southern Federal District of Russia. It lies in the southeastern part of the East European Plain on the Don River, 32 kilometers from the Sea of Azov; the southwestern suburbs of the city abut the Don River delta. The population is over one million people. From ancient times, the area around the mouth of the Don River has held cultural and commercial importance. Ancient indigenous inhabitants included the Scythian and Savromat tribes, it was the site of Tanais, an ancient Greek colony, Fort Tana, under the Genoese and Fort Azak in the time of the Ottoman Empire. In 1749, a custom house was established on the Temernik River, a tributary of the Don, by edict of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, in order to control trade with Turkey, it was co-located with a fortress named for Dimitry of Rostov, a metropolitan bishop of the old northern town of Rostov the Great. Azov, a town closer to the Sea of Azov on the Don lost its commercial importance in the region to the new fortress.
In 1756, the "Russian commercial and trading company of Constantinople" was founded at the "merchants' settlement" on the high bank of the Don. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, with the incorporation of Ottoman Black Sea territories into the Russian Empire, the settlement lost much of its militarily strategic importance as a frontier post. In 1796, the settlement was chartered and in 1797, it became the seat of Rostovsky Uyezd within Novorossiysk Governorate. In 1806, it was renamed Rostov-on-Don. During the 19th century, due to its river connections with Russia's interior, Rostov developed into a major trade centre and communications hub. A railway connection with Kharkiv was completed in 1870, with further links following in 1871 to Voronezh and in 1875 to Vladikavkaz. Concurrent with improvements in communications, heavy industry developed. Coal from the Donets Basin and iron ore from Krivoy Rog supported the establishment of an iron foundry in 1846. In 1859, the production of pumps and steam boilers began.
Industrial growth was accompanied by a rapid increase in population, with 119,500 residents registered in Rostov by the end of the nineteenth century along with 140 industrial businesses. The harbour was one of the largest trade hubs in southern Russia for the export of wheat and iron ore. In 1779, Rostov-on-Don became associated with a settlement of Armenian refugees from the Crimea at Nakhichevan-on-Don; the two settlements were separated by a field of wheat. In 1928, the two towns were merged; the former town border lies beneath the Teatralnaya Square of central Rostov-on-Don. By 1928, following the incorporation of the hitherto neighbouring city of Nakhichevan-on-Don, Rostov had become the third largest city in Russia. In the early 20th century, epidemics of cholera during the summer months were not uncommon. During the Russian Civil War, the Whites and the Reds contested Rostov-on-Don the most industrialized city of South Russia. By 1928, the regional government had moved from the old Cossack capital of Novocherkassk to Rostov-on-Don.
In the Soviet years, the Bolsheviks demolished two of Rostov-on-Don's principal landmarks: St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. George Cathedral. During World War II, German forces occupied Rostov-on-Don, at first for ten days from November 21, 1941 to November 29, 1941 after attacks by the German First Panzer Army in the Battle of Rostov and for seven months from July 23, 1942 to February 14, 1943; the town was of strategic importance as a railway junction and a river port accessing the Caucasus, a region rich in oil and minerals. It took ten years to restore the city from the damage during World War II. On August 11 and 12, 1942 in Rostov-on-Don 27,000 Jews were massacred by the German military at a site called Zmievskaya Balka. In 2018, Rostov-on-Don hosted several matches of the FIFA World Cup. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Rostov-na-Donu Urban Okrug—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts; as a municipal division, this administrative unit has urban okrug status.
Rostov-on-Don is divided into eight city districts: The 2010 census recorded the population of Rostov-on-Don at 1,089,261 making it the tenth most populous city in Russia. Albert Parry, born in 1901 in Rostov-on-Don, wrote of the summers of his childhood: There were sultry days of brassy sun, but cool evenings on the balconies facing the Don River, with the soft glow of charcoal in the samovar, with the ripe cherries crushed by your spoon against the bottom and sides of your glass of scalding tea. Rostov-on-Don lies in a humid continental climate; the winter is moderately cold, with an average February temperature of −3.1 °C. The lowest recorded temperature of −31.9 °C occurred in January 1940. Summers are humid; the city's highest recorded temperature of +40.1 °C was reported on 1 August 2010. The mean annual precipitation is 643 millimeters, the average wind speed is 2.7 m/s, the average air humidity is 72%. In December 1996, Rostov-on-Don adopted a coat of arms, a flag and a mayoral decoration as the symbols of the town.
The first coat of arms of Rostov-on-Don was approved by the Tsar. In 1904, some changes were made. One lasting oil painting of the coat-of-arms is kept in the regional local history museum but its accuracy and authenticity is uncertain. In June 1996, the Rostov-on-Don City Duma adopted a variant of the coat-of-arms in which a tower represents th
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favouring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and anti-democratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and non-ideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies; the Red Army defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920.
Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war civilians; the Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen. Many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war. Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Latvia and Poland—were established as sovereign states, with their own civil wars and wars of independence; the rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government was established during the February Revolution of 1917.
Provisional Government was unable to solve the most pressing issues of the country, most to end the war with Central Powers, was overthrown by the Bolshevik wing of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in the late 1917. From mid-1917 onwards, the Russian Army, the successor-organisation of the old Russian Imperial Army, started to disintegrate. In January 1918, after significant Bolshevik reverses in combat, the future People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, Leon Trotsky headed the reorganization of the Red Guards into a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in order to create a more effective fighting force; the Bolsheviks appointed political commissars to each unit of the Red Army to maintain morale and to ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it had become apparent that a revolutionary army composed of workers would not suffice, Trotsky instituted mandatory conscription of the rural peasantry into the Red Army; the Bolsheviks overcame opposition of rural Russians to Red-Army conscription units by taking hostages and shooting them when necessary in order to force compliance the same practices used by the White Army officers.
The Red Army utilized former Tsarist officers as "military specialists". At the start of the civil war, former Tsarist officers comprised three-quarters of the Red Army officer-corps. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers. While resistance to the Red Guard began on the day after the Bolshevik uprising, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the instinct of one party rule became a catalyst for the formation of anti-Bolshevik groups both inside and outside Russia, pushing them into action against the new regime. A loose confederation of anti-Bolshevik forces aligned against the Communist government, including landowners, conservatives, middle-class citizens, pro-monarchists, army generals, non-Bolshevik socialists who still had grievances and democratic reformists voluntarily united only in their opposition to Bolshevik rule, their military forces, bolstered by forced conscriptions and terror as well as foreign influence, under the leadership of General Nikolai Yudenich, Admiral Alexander Kolchak and General Anton Denikin, became known as the White movement and controlled significant parts of the former Russian Empire for most of the war.
A Ukrainian nationalist movement was active in Ukraine during the war. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno; the Black Army, which counted numerous Jews and Ukrainian peasants in its ranks, played a key part in halting Denikin's White Army offensive towards Moscow during 1919 ejecting White forces from Crimea. The remoteness of the Volga Region, the Ural Region and the Far East was favorable for the anti-Bolshevik forces, the Whites set up a number of organizations in the cities of these regions; some of the military forces were set up on the basis of clandestine officers' organizations in the cities. The Czechoslovak Legions had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917, they had an agreement with the new Bolshevik governmen
Order of the Red Banner
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The Order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, it was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism and courage demonstrated on the battlefield; the Order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, ships and social organizations, state enterprises. In years, it was awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military, police, or state security service without requiring participation in combat; the Russian Order of the Red Banner was established during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of September 16, 1918. The first recipient was Vasily Blyukher on September 28, 1918; the second recipient was Iona Yakir. During the Civil War, there existed named orders and decorations established by the Soviet communist governments of several other constituent and nonconstituent republics.
The August 1, 1924, decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the all-Soviet Order of the Red Banner for deserving personnel of the Red Army. Other nonmilitary awards used the phrase "Order of the Red Banner" in their title. From 1918 till the late 1930s there was a Soviet collective variant - the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor; this was in the form of a special military color awarded to distinguished Red Army, Soviet Air Force, Soviet Navy units. It was older than the Order of the Red Banner, having been established on August 3, 1918, a month and several weeks before; as a military decoration, the Order of the Red Banner recognised heroism in combat or otherwise extraordinary accomplishments of military valour during combat operations. Before the establishment of the Order of Lenin on April 5, 1930, the Order of the Red Banner functioned as the highest military order of the USSR. During World War II, under various titles, it was presented to both individuals and military units for acts of extreme military heroism.
In some ways, the Order of the Red Banner was more prestigious, as it could only be awarded for bravery during combat operations whereas the Order of Lenin was sometimes awarded to non-military personnel and political leaders. Nearly all well-known Soviet commanders became recipients of the Order of the Red Banner; when the Order was awarded to whole formations, the prefix "Red Banner" was added to their official designations. Naval vessels flew a special ensign; the Order of the Red Banner was used as a "long service award" between 1944 and 1958 to mark twenty and thirty years of service in the military, state security, or police. Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 14, 1957, emphasised the devaluation of certain Soviet high military Orders used as long service awards instead of their intended criteria; this led to the joint January 25, 1958, decree of the Ministers of Defence, of Internal Affairs, of the Chairman of the Committee on State Security of the USSR establishing the Medal "For Impeccable Service," putting an end to the practice of awarding long service variants of the Order of the Red Banner.
The Order consisted of a white-enamelled badge, which had a golden Hammer and Sickle badge surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat on a Red Star, backed by crossed hammer, torch, a red flag bearing the motto Proletarians of the World, Unite!. The whole was surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat. Additional awards of the Order bore a white enamelled shield with a silver sequence number at the bottom of the obverse. A recipient of multiple Orders of the Red Banner would wear a basic badge of the Order with a numeral corresponding to the sequence of the award on a cartouche over the wheat at the bottom of the badge; the early variants of the Order were screw back badges to allow wear on clothing. Variants hung from a standard Soviet pentagonal mount with a ring through the suspension loop; the mount was covered with an overlapping 24mm wide red silk moiré ribbon with 1.5mm wide white edge stripes and a 7mm wide white central stripe. The Order of the Red Banner was worn on the left side of the chest and when in the presence of other Orders and medals of the USSR, was placed after the Order of the October Revolution.
If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence. Baltic Fleet Soviet Northern Fleet Pacific Ocean Fleet Far Eastern Military District First Army First Guards Tank Army Second Guards Tank Army 1st Rifle Division 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 45th Rifle Division 27th Guards Rifle Division 39th Guards Rifle Division 19th Motor Rifle Division 76th Guards Airborne Division 85th Rifle Division 100th Guards Rifle Division 106th Guards Tula Airborne Division 17th Rifle Regiment, 32nd Rifle Division 72nd Mechanized Brigade French fighter squadron Normandie-Niemen Feats of valour worthy of the award of the Order of the Red Banner were as much against internal as against external enemies of the USSR, as detailed below: Stalin's Chief Executioner Va
203rd Rifle Division
The 203rd Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army. The division was formed in the Kuban near Labinsk and Mikhailovka from February to 20 May 1942. During the second half of May the division left the Kuban. At the end of the month at Frolovo, the division received missing vehicles, it continued training at a faster pace. The division moved to the front and until August built defensive positions on the Don northwest of Vyoshenskaya. On 18 August, the division received orders to cross the Don near Elanskaya village. Three days were spent on preparations for the assault; the attack began on the night of 22 August. The crossing was so fast that opposing Italian troops were unable to put up much resistance. On 26 August, the 610th and 619th Rifle Regiments went on the attack from the bridgehead and advanced 10 kilometers, capturing the Bahmutkin and Shirtikov farms. Three hours the enemy counterattacked and the regiments retreated in disarray; the division and regimental commanders were relieved of command.
On 31 August, the 592nd Rifle Regiment transferred to the division from the 197th Rifle Division. Two battalions of the regiment took up defensive positions on the right flank; the 197th was on the 14th Guards Rifle Division on its left. On 6 October, the division was transferred to the 21st Army. On 18 October, advanced units of the division carried out a reconnaissance in force of Hill 226.7. In early November, the division was subordinated to the 1st Guards Army, with which it would fight in Operation Uranus; the 592nd, 610th and 619th Rifle Regiments received the mission to reach the Don. The regiments would advance to the Chir River and hold positions there, protecting the Southwestern Front's right flank against counterattacks from the west. On 19 November, Operation Uranus began. By 0700 on the morning of 22 November, the division overcame fierce resistance and captured the enemy second line positions. Pursuing retreating forces by noon, the division advanced 10-12 kilometers to the southwest.
By the morning of 23 November, the 592nd and 610th Rifle Regiments had resumed the attack and advanced another 2-3 kilometers. However, heavy enemy fire halted the advance. At dawn on 24 November, the German troops began a counterattack. During 25–26 November, the 592nd and 619th Rifle Regiments were forced by the counterattacks to retreat 500 to 800 meters. On 13 December, the division moved to positions east of Krasnokutskaya and was relieved by the 159th Rifle Division; the division fought in Operation Little Saturn with the 3rd Guards Army. The 1243rd Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment and two battalions were ordered to capture Krasnokutskaya, Novaya Kultura and Golensky. By the first day of the attack the division was to advance to the Sovkhoz Krasnaya Talova. On the right the 159th Rifle Division attacked and on the left the 50th Guards Rifle Division attacked; the Chir River, which needed to be crossed, was 20–30 meters at this point, but was covered with thin ice. The banks were steep. On the other bank of the river, there were enemy firing points.
On 14 December, the division moved to its starting positions. Sappers dug paths to the river, prepared ladders and fascines. On the morning of 16 December, the division began the attack after a 75-minute artillery barrage; the 610th Rifle Regiments captured a kurgan one and a half kilometers from the farm and captured Ilyavinov, as well as ten anti-tank guns with ammunition. Until 20 December, the division attacked the enemy multiple times a day, despite severe ammunition shortages. However, they were unable to capture Krasnokutskaya; the 619th Rifle Regiment was transferred from the division's right to its left to reinforce that flank. On 23 December, the 592nd Rifle Regiment captured Krasnokutskaya and the next the division began the pursuit. On 25 December, the division was ordered to reach the area of the village and assist the Tatsinskaya Raid; the division made a 120 kilometer march south and by the end of 27 December concentrated at the village of Skosyrskaya. On 29 December, the division, after repulsing several German counterattacks, went on the offensive.
The neighboring 266th Rifle Division's 1006th Rifle Regiment was attacked by German tanks approaching Skosyrskaya and withdrew into the 203rd's positions. Zdanovich ordered the regiment to defend the western edge of Grinyova. By the evening, the 1006th's commander found the headquarters of the 266th, the regiment returned to subordination of the 266th; the 203rd began a withdrawal. The 592nd crossed to the right bank quickly. Advance units of the 610th and 619th moved positions. On 31 December, the division was relieved by the 1st Mechanized Corps and moved to the area of the Petrovsky farm for rest and resupply. Two hours before New Year 1943, the division was ordered to retake their old positions on the river north of Bystraya. At 0700, the division attacked after Katyusha salvo; the division captured Nizhny Nikolayev in the next half-hour. The German troops retreated to their defenses at Skosyrskoy; until 8 January, the division fought to hold Skosyrskaya. The division captured Zahara Oblivsakya and Kryukov.
On 16 January and the Mikhailovskaya farm were captured. The division was supported by the 25th Tank Corps. On 17 January, the division captured Pogorelov on the next day; the division moved to the Varguny areas soon after. On 12 August 1944, the division reached the Prut in the second echelon of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, it fought at Stalingrad and Budapest. With 53rd Army of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in May 1945; the division was r