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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Soviet WWII Campaign Medals

    Award Document for a Defense of Stalingrad Medal, #K-33906, awarded on 1 January 1944 to Deputy Antitank Gun Battery Commander Junior Politruk (Political Commander) Shika Yegorovich Rozenblat.

    Award Document for a Defense of Stalingrad Medal, #K-33906, awarded on 1 January 1944 to Deputy Antitank Gun Battery Commander Junior Politruk (Political Commander) Shika Yegorovich Rozenblat. Judging by the first and last name of the recipient, he was definitely of Jewish descent.

    The document measures approx. 5 " x 8 ". This is one of the early-style, larger one-page certificates for the defensive campaign medals which were replaced by booklet style certificates for the campaign medals instituted later in the war. The document is signed by the Commander of the 1208th Light Artillery Regiment Guards Major Chekin. The ink stamp shows the regiment's post office box 57384, essentially the codename for the unit.

    It is interesting to see that while stating the current position of the recipient - i.e. deputy commander of an antitank battery - the document refers to his original rank of Junior Politruk. The cumbersome dual military / political command in the Red Army was abolished in October 1942 during the Battle of Stalingrad; at the same time, military commissars were subordinated to the regular military commanders in their units and their ranks changed to the regular army ranks. The official document concerning the issuance of Stalingrad Medals held in the Russian Military Archives (a b/w copy of it will be included with the award certificate) shows the same "atavistic" rank where it mentions Rozenblat among other servicemen of his regiment who received the Stalingrad Medal. In all likelihood, the clerk who issued the award certificate and entered information in the award roll in 1944 simply copied Rozenblat's earlier rank from the personnel file without bothering to check the more recent details.

    The certificate is in good condition. It has been folded for storage as customary but has only minimal separations along the folds at the edges, no significant wear. The document is completely sound and free of the usual backing tape repairs on verso. There are however some small puncture holes and tears in its upper portion that probably came from being stapled to a personnel file (they will be almost unnoticeable when the document is properly framed with beige or off-white mount board). The document is clean and very presentable overall. The hand-written text and stamp are fully legible.

    Based on the information found on several Russian language websites, 1208th Light Artillery Regiment was also known as the 1208th "Exterminating" Antitank Artillery Regiment. It was formed in late 1942 and was deployed in the Battle of Stalingrad starting from December of that year as part of the 31st Light Artillery Brigade, 11th Artillery Division of the Reserves of the Supreme Command (RGK). The regiment is notable for taking part in the Third Battle of Kharkov in March 1943 where it suffered severe losses while attempting to hold open an escape route for the Soviet units trapped in the area. In October of that year, it fought valiantly during the forced crossing of the Dnieper, once again suffered heavy losses while repelling several German counterattacks on the bridgehead, and destroyed 14 panzers and as many as 200 enemy soldiers. The regiment commander Guards Major Chekin was later decorated with an Order of the Red Banner for his leadership in fighting on the Dnieper bridgehead.

    In August 1944, the regiment was highly effective in breaking the Romanian defenses during the offensive that forced Romania to switch sides in the war. In March 1945, it distinguished itself during the storming of the town of Zvolen in Czechoslovakia where its men were among the first to enter the city. During the following month, the unit performed brilliantly in fighting near Brno where it repelled numerous counterattacks; destroyed two assault guns, an armored personnel carrier and four field guns; and eliminated scores of German soldiers. The regiment ended the war in Czechoslovakia, then as part of the 53rd Army of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. It is however not clear from available archival sources if its serviceman Shika Rozenblat had survived the war.

    Item# 36240


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