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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Soviet WWII Campaign Medals

    Award Document for a Medal for the Defense of Sevastopol, issued on 18 October 1943 to Seaman Aleksandr Bereznev.

    Award Document for a Medal for the Defense of Sevastopol, issued on 18 October 1943 to Seaman Aleksandr Bereznev.

    Note the uncommonly early issue date: most defensive campaign document s were awarded in 1944 or later. The document is hand-signed by Captain Belyakov, Commander of the 386th Separate Naval Infantry Battalion (OBMP), Novorossiysk Naval Base (NVMB), Black Sea Fleet. The round unit stamp is of the Anapa Defense Sector, Novorossiysk Naval Base, Black See Fleet, USSR Narkomat of the Navy. It is interesting to note that Anapa, a port city north of Novorossiysk, was overrun by Romanian troops in as early as August 1942. It was only liberated on 22 September 1943 during the Soviet offensive that finally broke through German "Blue Line" on the Taman Peninsula - less than a month before the document was issued.

    The document is in good condition. It has been folded for storage as was customary and has developed the usual separations along the fold lines. These were repaired with backing tape to the verso. There are a couple of very small holes in the upper left corner, possibly from staples. The document is otherwise intact, free of significant wear to the edges or stains. The written text and stamp are clear and completely legible

    Based on available archival information, soon after receiving the Sevastopol Medal, Seaman Bereznev took part in the famous Eltigen naval assault in Crimea. The landing which took place in the early days of November 1943 was only partly successful and the small Soviet beachhead was soon isolated by numerically superior enemy forces. With the remaining survivors of the initial assault, Bereznev broke out to the city of Kerch where he took part in desperate street battles. He was wounded in this action but according to the subsequent award commendation, showed "exceptional tenacity" by continuing to fight; he was only evacuated later that night at the direct orders of his commander. On 15 January, immediately after the end of the operation, he was recommended for a Medal for Valor by his battalion commander Hero of the Soviet Union Major Belyakov, and this recommendation was later personally approved by the Commander of the Novorossiysk Naval Base Counter Admiral Kholostyakov.

    This very uncommon Sevastopol document to a heroic Soviet naval infantryman comes with the photocopy of the award commendation for his Medal for Valor and of the relevant pages of the 19 March 1944 award decree for the Medal for Valor (both from the Russian military archives).

    Item# 31585


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