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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > TOP Soviet Military Orders

    Complete Documented Group of 3 Awards to Ivan Berenok.

    Complete Documented Group of 3 Awards to Ivan Berenok.


    Order of Alexander Nevsky, #12229; Medal for Valor, #3500579; Medal for Victory over Germany .

    Details and Condition of the Decorations:

    Order of Alexander Nevsky is Type 3 (without rivets) in silver and enamels, measures 51.3 mm tall x 49.6 mm wide; weighs 42.1 g without screw plate. Early variation with a well-pronounced "deep dish" concaved reverse and characteristically wide bands at the lower ends of the battleaxes. The mint mark is in very slightly curved up, almost straight lines. Note also an extremely low serial number, among the lowest ever observed for the Type 3. This particular piece is especially interesting because of the extremely uncommon location of the serial number: at 5 o'clock position rather than at 6 o'clock as on vast majority of Type 3 specimens.

    The Nevsky is in excellent, near mint condition. The enamel retains magnificent luster and shows no wear other than a couple of microscopic contact marks completely invisible to the naked eye. The center medallion is perfect, practically untouched; its details are extremely crisp. The gilt finish on the wreath, battleaxes, sword, quiver, and the edges of the star is extremely bright. The reverse is likewise untouched, with magnificent toning to silver and the characteristic "spillover" gilt along the edges completely intact and clearly visible - in and of itself a very uncommon case. The screw post is full length, over 14 mm long, and includes original silver screw plate. Apparently worn only a few times, this Nevsky is extraordinary piece even from the standpoint of condition alone. This beautiful example is literally impossible to upgrade.

    The Medal for Valor is Type 2 Var. 1 in silver with red lacquer; 37.2 mm wide. Just like the Nevsky, the medal is in superb, near mint condition. The original lacquer in the letters is perfect - which is extremely uncommon for a Valor Medal of WW2 era. The medal shows almost no wear and its raised details are extremely crisp, practically pristine. There are only a few tiny dings to the raised edge, no bumps. Very nice dark patina to silver. Comes on original suspension in brass with old, apparently original ribbon which is in perfect condition, without fraying or soiling. The connecting link is original and has not been cut.

    The Medal for Victory is Variation 1 with a separate eyelet; in brass, 32.1 mm wide. In near mint condition. Comes on original brass suspension with perfect, clean old ribbon

    Award Documents:

    Order Booklet, circa 1945-46 issue (the date of issue is omitted, as is sometimes the case with documents of the period). The Nevsky is the first entry in the document, made at the same time when it was filled-out. The medal for Valor was added afterwards, as was customary. The booklet shows October 1944 as the starting date for the special privileges. The starting date was obviously due to some sort of error in processing award documentation. The month should have been May based on the currently available archival information showing that chronologically the first award - Medal for Valor - was bestowed in April 1944. In all likelihood, when the booklet was being filled-out, the commissariat that issued it had no knowledge of the prior award. This is supported by the fact that Medal for Valor has a pretty high serial number and was added to the document later. Note that the group is complete: both decorations listed in the document are present in the group, and there is no evidence that the recipient had any other decorations, at least during or immediately after the war.

    The order booklet is in excellent condition, crisp and almost perfectly clean. There are only barely noticeable water stains to the interior pagers that do not detract from their overall appearance. All the pages are present and firmly attached.

    Award Certificate for Victory over Germany Medal, issued on 17 January 1946. The document shows ink stamp of the Ivankovskiy Military Commissariat and is hand-signed by its commander Guards Major Yashchuk. The document is in very good to excellent condition. There are light spots to the cover and very minor water stains, but no tears, excessive wear or soiling. The writing is clearly legible.

    Ivan Berenok was born in 1922 in the Ukraine. He joined the Red Army in May or early June of 1941, just before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, and was at the front starting from September of that year. In August 1943 during the fighting near the railway station of Mga southeast of Leningrad, he was seriously wounded in the jaw by a German bullet, but after convalescence in a hospital returned to frontline service.

    By April 1944, Berenok had been promoted to sergeant and appointed a squad leader with the 1016th Rifle Regiment, 288th Rifle Division, Leningrad Front. He earned his first decoration, a Medal for Valor, in the offensive of early 1944 that completely lifted the siege of Leningrad and pushed the Germans away from the city. In a skirmish near the town of Porkhov on 25 February, Berenok was the first to rise when his unit was given the order to attack. By his courage and leadership he ensured the successful outcome of the battle. On 9-10 March, Berenok was once again wounded in combat at the village of Nemoevo, Ostrovskiy District, not far from the city of Pskov (then administratively a part of the Leningrad Region.) Despite his wound, he continued to lead his squad "setting an example of personal courage and valor." The Medal for Valor was bestowed upon him on 29 April 1944 by a regimental decree.

    Later that year, Berenok received commission as junior lieutenant and was given command of a rifle platoon in the 1274th Rifle Regiment, 364th Rifle Division, 67th Army, 3rd Baltic Front. In September 1944, he was seriously wounded in the head by a shell fragment in action near the city of Tartu, Estonia. This injury, his fourth of the war, broke his skull and caused permanent disability. It is interesting to see that the subsequent award commendation was submitted not by a field unit commander but by the commander of a military hospital where Berenok was convalescent at the time. The recommended award was Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl., but it was then elevated to Order of Alexander Nevsky, probably owing to Berenok's years of selfless combat service. The award was bestowed upon him on 25 October 1944 by a decree of the 3rd Baltic Front. Despite being an invalid, Berenok was permanently discharged from the military only a year after his injury, in September 1945.

    Research Materials: Xerox copy and complete English translation of the award commendation for Order of Alexander Nevsky and service record; copy of the award decree for the Medal for Valor. Additional information about the 364th Rifle Division is available in Vol. X "Red Swarm" of the Charles Sharp's "Soviet Order of Battle in WW2".

    Item# 31806


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