Order of Victory

Last updated
Order of Victory
Orden-Pobeda-Marshal Vasilevsky.jpg
The Order of Victory
TypeSingle-grade order
Awarded forConducting combat operations involving one or more army groups and resulting in a "successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favor of the Red Army"
Presented bythe Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
EligibilityMilitary Generals and Marshals only
StatusNo longer awarded
EstablishedNovember 8, 1943
First awardedApril 10, 1944
Last awardedFebruary 20, 1978 (was revoked)
Total20
Ordervictory rib.png
Ribbon of the Order of Victory

The Order of Victory (Russian : Орден «Победа», romanized: Orden "Pobeda") was the highest military decoration awarded for World War II service in the Soviet Union, and one of the rarest orders in the world. The order was awarded only to Generals and Marshals for successfully conducting combat operations involving one or more army groups and resulting in a "successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favor of the Red Army." [1] The Order of Victory is a standalone decoration awarded specially for service in World War II; unlike other awards such as the Hero of the Soviet Union, it does not belong to any order of ranking. In its history, it has been awarded twenty times to twelve Soviet leaders and five foreign leaders, with one revocation. The last living recipient was King Michael I of Romania, who died on 5 December 2017.

Contents

History

The order was proposed by Colonel N. S. Neyelov, who was serving at the Soviet Army Rear headquarters around June 1943. The original name that Colonel Neyelov suggested was Order for Faithfulness to the Homeland; however, it was given its present name around October of that year. [2]

On October 25, 1943, artist A. I. Kuznetsov, who was already the designer of many Soviet orders, presented his first sketch to Stalin. The sketch of a round medallion with portraits of Lenin and Stalin was not approved by the Supreme Commander. Instead, Stalin wanted a design with the Spasskaya Tower in the centre. Kuznetsov returned four days later with several new sketches, of which Stalin chose one entitled "Victory". He asked Kuznetsov to slightly alter the design, and on the 5th of November a prototype was finally approved. The order was officially adopted on November 8, 1943, and was first awarded to Georgy Zhukov (#1), Alexandr Vasilevsky (#2), and Joseph Stalin (#3). All three were awarded a second order a year or more later.

The order was also bestowed to top commanders of the Allied forces. Every order was presented during or immediately after World War II, except for the controversial 1978 award to Leonid Brezhnev, who was not given a personal award, but an older one, originally awarded to Leonid Govorov, Marshal of the Soviet Union. (Govorov was already deceased, with his award returned to the state) [3] Brezhnev's award was revoked posthumously in 1989 for not meeting the requirements for the award.

Like other orders awarded by Communist nations, the Order of Victory could be awarded more than once to the same individual. In total, the order was presented twenty times to seventeen people (including Brezhnev).

Unlike all other Soviet orders, the Order of Victory had no serial number on it, the number was only mentioned in the award certificate. After a holder of the Order of Victory died, the award was to be given back to the state. Most of awards are now preserved by the Diamond Fund in the Moscow Kremlin. Notable exceptions are King Michael I of Romania’s Order of Victory, which is held in the collection of the Romanian Royal Family, Dwight D. Eisenhower's Order of Victory, which is on display at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's Order of Victory, which is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London, and Josip Broz Tito's Order of Victory, which is kept in the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade.

Construction details

The Order is made out of platinum in the form of a pentangular star with rays between the arms, measuring 72 mm in diameter. The star is studded with 174 diamonds weighing a total of 16 carats (3.2 g), while the arms of the star are made out of ruby. The rubies in the arms are synthetic, not because the synthetic gems were cheaper, but because they had to be of a uniform color, which could not be guaranteed with natural stones. In the center of the star is a silver medallion, 31mm in diameter, with the Moscow Kremlin wall, the Spasskaya Tower, and Lenin's Mausoleum depicted in gold surrounded by bands of laurel and oak also colored in gold. The star of the tower is studded with a genuine ruby. The laurel and oak are bound with a red banner. The sky in the background is inlaid with blue enamel. [4]

Against the sky, the letters "СССР" (USSR) appear in gold centered on the top of the medallion, while the word "Победа" (Victory) in white, is displayed on the red banner at the bottom, made with enamel. The total mass of the order is 78g, which consists of 47g of platinum, 2g of gold, 19g of silver, 25 carats of ruby and 16 carats of diamond. The order is estimated to be $10 Million.

Instead of being made at a mint, each Order was made in a jeweler's workshop.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had his star valued by an American jeweler; according to Bernhard, Prince Consort of the Netherlands (who, having been Commander of the Dutch Armed Forces during the war, was interested in receiving such a prestigious award himself but never got it), Eisenhower told him that his stones were "fakes". [5]

Ribbon

The Order Ribbon. Ordervictory rib.png
The Order Ribbon.

The ribbons of various Soviet orders have been combined to create the Order Ribbon. The total length of the ribbon is 44 mm and it is mostly worn on the field uniform. [6] The following featured orders are depicted on the ribbon (read from outside towards the center):

List of recipients

British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (left, wearing beret) was awarded the Order of Victory on June 5, 1945. American general Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet field marshal Georgy Zhukov, also recipients of the Order of Victory, are to the right of Montgomery. British air marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (right of Zhukov) is also present. Montgomery receives Order of Victory HD-SN-99-02756.JPG
British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (left, wearing beret) was awarded the Order of Victory on June 5, 1945. American general Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet field marshal Georgy Zhukov, also recipients of the Order of Victory, are to the right of Montgomery. British air marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (right of Zhukov) is also present.
#DateNameDiedSummary
1April 10, 1944 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Georgy Zhukov June 18, 1974
2April 10, 1944 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Aleksandr Vasilevsky December 5, 1977
3April 10, 1944 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Joseph Stalin March 5, 1953
4March 30, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Flag of Poland.svg Konstantin Rokossovsky August 3, 1968
5March 30, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Ivan Konev May 21, 1973
6April 19, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Aleksandr Vasilevsky December 5, 1977(2nd time)
7April 26, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Rodion Malinovsky March 31, 1967
8April 26, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Fyodor Tolbukhin October 17, 1949
9May 31, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Leonid Govorov March 19, 1955
10May 31, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Georgy Zhukov June 18, 1974(2nd time)
11June 4, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Semyon Timoshenko March 31, 1970
12June 4, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Aleksei Antonov June 18, 1962
13June 5, 1945 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Bernard Montgomery March 24, 1976
14June 10, 1945 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Dwight D. Eisenhower March 28, 1969
15June 26, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Joseph Stalin March 5, 1953(2nd time)
16July 6, 1945 Flag of Romania.svg Michael I of Romania December 5, 2017
17August 9, 1945 Flag of Poland.svg Michał Rola-Żymierski October 15, 1989
18September 8, 1945 Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Kirill Meretskov December 30, 1968
19September 9, 1945 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Josip Broz Tito May 4, 1980
20February 20, 1978 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Leonid Brezhnev November 10, 1982Revoked (posthumously)

Fate of the Orders

Plaque at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, listing the recipients of the Order of Victory. Brezhnev's name is not on the plaque, as his award was revoked in 1989. Kremlin plate.JPG
Plaque at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, listing the recipients of the Order of Victory. Brezhnev's name is not on the plaque, as his award was revoked in 1989.

After the death of the recipient of the Order of Victory, it was to be given back to the state.

See also

Related Research Articles

Georgy Zhukov Marshal of the Soviet Union (1896–1974)

Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov was a Soviet general and Marshal of the Soviet Union. He also served as Chief of the General Staff, Minister of Defence, and was a member of the Presidium of the Communist Party. During the Second World War, Zhukov oversaw some of the Red Army's most decisive victories.

Order of the Red Banner Military decoration of the Soviet Union

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, dedication, and courage demonstrated on the battlefield. The Order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, cities, ships, political and social organizations, and state enterprises. In later years, it was also awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military, police, or state security service without requiring participation in combat.

Order of the October Revolution

The Order of the October Revolution was instituted on October 31, 1967, in time for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It was conferred upon individuals or groups for services furthering communism or the state, or in enhancing the defenses of the Soviet Union, military and civil. It is the second-highest Soviet order, after the Order of Lenin.

Order of Suvorov

The Order of Suvorov is a military decoration of the Russian Federation named in honor of Russian Field Marshal Count Alexander Suvorov (1729–1800).

Michał Rola-Żymierski

Michał Rola-Żymierski was a Polish high-ranking Communist Party leader, communist military commander and NKVD secret agent. He was appointed as Marshal of Poland by Joseph Stalin, and served in this position from 1945 until his death. He supported the 1981 imposition of Martial law in Poland.

Order of the Red Star

The Order of the Red Star was a military decoration of the Soviet Union. It was established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 6 April 1930 but its statute was only defined in decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 5 May 1930. That statute was amended by decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 7 May 1936, of 19 June 1943, of 26 February 1946, of 15 October 1947, of 16 December 1947 and by decree No 1803-X of 28 March 1980.

Order of the Patriotic War Military decoration of the Soviet Union

The Order of the Patriotic War is a Soviet military decoration that was awarded to all soldiers in the Soviet armed forces, security troops, and to partisans for heroic deeds during the German-Soviet War, known since the mid-1960s in the former Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War.

Order of Alexander Nevsky Award of the Russian Federation

The Order of Alexander Nevsky is an order of merit of the Russian Federation named in honour of saint Alexander Nevsky (1220–1263) and bestowed to civil servants for twenty years or more of highly meritorious service. It was originally established by the Soviet Union as a military honour during World War II, more precisely by Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of July 7, 1942. Its statute was amended by Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of February 26, 1947. It bears a similar name to the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky which had been established by Empress Catherine I of Russia in 1725, and continued to be bestowed by the heads of the House of Romanov after the 1917 Russian Revolution. The Order of Alexander Nevsky was reinstated by the Soviet Union, minus the words "Imperial" and "Saint", for award to officers of the army for personal courage and resolute leadership. The Order was retained by the new Russian Federation following the dissolution of the USSR by Decision of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation 2557-I of March 20, 1992 but was never awarded. The September 7, 2010 Decree №1099 of the President of the Russian Federation redesigned the badge of the Order closer to pre-1917 imperial model and amended the statute of the Order making it a purely civilian award.

Order of Kutuzov Military decoration of the USSR

The Order of Kutuzov is a military decoration of the Russian Federation named after famous Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov (1745–1813). The Order was established during World War II to reward senior Red Army officers. The Order of Kutuzov has three classes and was retained by the Russian Federation after the Dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Order of Ushakov Russian award for outstanding naval leadership

The Order of Ushakov is a military decoration of the Russian Federation named in honour of admiral Fyodor Ushakov (1744–1817) who never lost a battle and was proclaimed patron saint of the Russian Navy. It is bestowed to command grade naval officers for outstanding leadership. The order was established in two classes during World War II by decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of March 3, 1944. The idea was given to Joseph Stalin by admiral Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov in the summer of 1943. Following the 1991 dissolution of the USSR, the Order of Ushakov was retained unchanged by Decision of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation 2557-I of March 20, 1992 but it was not awarded in this form. The all encompassing Presidential Decree 1099 of September 7, 2010 that modernised and reorganised the entire Russian awards system away from its Soviet past amended the Order to its present form, a ribbon mounted single class Order.

Order of Nakhimov Russian award for outstanding military leadership

The Order of Nakhimov is a military decoration of the Russian Federation named in honour of Russian admiral Pavel Nakhimov (1802–1855) and bestowed to naval officers for outstanding military leadership. The order was established during World War II by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of March 3, 1944. Following the 1991 dissolution of the USSR, the Order of Nakhimov was retained unchanged by decision of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation № 2424-1 of March 2, 1992 but it was not awarded in this form. The all encompassing Decree of the President of the Russian Federation № 1099 of September 7, 2010 that modernised and reorganised the entire Russian awards system away from its Soviet past amended the Order of Nakhimov to its present form, a ribbon mounted single class Order.

Order "For Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR"

The Order "For Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR", also known as the Order "For Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR", was a Soviet military order awarded in three classes for excellence to military personnel.

Medal "In Commemoration of the 1500th Anniversary of Kyiv" Commemorative medal of the Soviet Union

The Medal "In Commemoration of the 1500th Anniversary of Kyiv" was a state commemorative medal of the Soviet Union established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on May 10, 1982 to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the Hero City of Kyiv.

Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" Commemorative medal of the Soviet Union

The Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" was a state commemorative medal of the Soviet Union established on May 7, 1965 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to denote the twentieth anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" Commemorative medal of the Soviet Union

The Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" was a state commemorative medal of the Soviet Union established on April 25, 1975 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to denote the thirtieth anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Jubilee Medal "Forty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" Commemorative medal of the Soviet Union

The Jubilee Medal "Forty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" was a state commemorative medal of the Soviet Union established on April 12, 1985 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to denote the fortieth anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy" Commemorative medal of the Soviet Union

The Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy" was a state military commemorative medal of the Soviet Union established on February 22, 1948 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to denote the thirtieth anniversary of the creation of the Soviet Armed Forces. Its statute was later amended by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of July 18, 1980.

Medal "To a Partisan of the Patriotic War"

The Medal "To a Partisan of the Patriotic War" was a World War II Soviet paramilitary award established in two classes on February 2, 1943, by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. to recognise the fortitude and courage of the partisans on the home front in their struggle to free the Soviet Motherland of the Nazi invaders far behind enemy lines. Its statute was amended by a further decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 26, 1947.

Order of Lenin Soviet Union award

The Order of Lenin, named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was established by the Central Executive Committee on April 6, 1930. The order was the highest civilian decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union. The order was awarded to:

References

  1. "Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of November 8, 1943" (in Russian). Legal Library of the USSR. 1943-11-08. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  2. Dmitry Markov, Order of Victory - 1943 (Russian-medals.net)
  3. Voice of Russia, World Service in English (2005) The Order of Victory Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in an interview with H.G. Meijer, published in "Het Vliegerkruis", Amsterdam 1997, ISBN   90-6707-347-4 . page 92
  5. (in Russian) Awards and medals of the Soviet Union Орден "Победа"
  6. https://familiaregala.ro/stiri/articol/96-de-fapte-in-96-de-ani
  7. Featured Museum Artifact