Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl, Type 2, "Starback"
variation (Krasnokamsk Mint), #377453, awarded on 21 March
1945 to Guards Sergeant Aleksandr Panevin.
Silver, 14K gold (hammer and sickle emblem), enamels.
Measures 47.0 mm tall, 44.8 mm wide; weighs 29.2 g without
screw plate. The reverse is relatively flat with a faint
pentagon "star" counter-relief. This piece is among the late
war "starbacks" made by the Krasnokamsk Mint. According to
the Monvor.narod.ru website, it was made from November 1944
- January 1945 (currently known serial number range for this
series is 340505 - 402434.)
In very fine to excellent condition. The enamel is very well
preserved and, shows beautiful luster. There are a few minor
scratches and contact marks to the arms, but the red enamel
is completely free of flaking or any significant wear. The
white enamel on the band has some surface flakes that are
nearly unnoticeable to the naked eye, otherwise perfect.
Very attractive dark patina to silver on both sides. The
screw post is over 14 mm long, has not been shortened.
Original WW2 era screw plate is included.
Aleksandr Panevin joined the Red Army in January 1943, and
was in combat starting in December of that year at the age
of 18. During the following year, he was twice decorated
with a Medal for Valor and by the early 1945, had been
promoted to Guards Sergeant. In February 1945, Panevin
served as gun commander of a T-34 tank with the illustrious
67th Guards Tank Regiment of the19th Guards Mechanized
Brigade, 8th Guards Mechanized Corps, 1st Belorussian Front.
During the Vistula - Oder offensive in January 1945, his
tank operated in the forward detachment of the regiment.
From 15 - 30 January, he with his crew advanced over 500 km
and 4 times forced major rivers without having to stop for a
repair even once. On a number of occasions, their tank was
the first to break into enemy-held towns and villages thus
serving as an "inspiration for the other tank crews to
perform combat feats."
On 24 January, Panevin with his crew destroyed 5 large
warehouses near Poznan storing artillery and aviation
equipment. In that single engagement, they also destroyed 2
artillery pieces, captured 2 motor vehicles, and eliminated
30 German soldiers. In other engagements during the same
two-week period, the crew destroyed an assault gun, 2
mortars and an additional 30 Nazi soldiers. Panevin's heroic
ride ended on 30 January, when he was seriously wounded in
combat. On 21 March, Panevin was awarded with the Order of
the Patriotic War, 2nd cl. for his bravery and the damage he
inflicted upon the enemy in the Vistula-Oder Operation.
His injury none withstanding, Panevin was back in combat in
time for the Battle of Berlin. From the beginning of the
battle until the fall of Berlin, he once again operated in
the leading detachment engaging the enemy at close quarters
on the streets of the German capital. He and his crew killed
over 30 enemy soldiers and destroyed 6 machine gun nests and
2 mortars. On 2 May, on the last day of the battle, his tank
met in the middle of a street by a German antitank gun
firing at point-blank range. Acting boldly and decisively,
the tank crew maneuvered to smash the enemy gun with the
tank treads. For the battle of Berlin Panvein was awarded
with an Order of the Red Star, his fourth and final
decoration of the Patriotic War.
Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendation
and relevant pages of the award decree; photocopy of the
relevant page of the archival serial number log confirming
the identity of the recipient; photocopy of the award
recommendation for the 1945 Order of the Red Star.
Information about the 19th Guards Mechanized Brigade and 8th
Guards Mechanized Corps can be found in Volume III "Red
Storm" of the Charles Sharp's book series on Soviet Order
of Battle in World War II.