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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Heroes of the Soviet Union

    Order Booklet issued on 23 September 1944 to Hero of the Soviet Union Corporal Evgeniy Dertev.

    Order Booklet issued on 23 September 1944 to Hero of the Soviet Union Corporal Evgeniy Dertev.

    The booklet is of standard WW2 type, bound in red cloth. It contains entries for three decorations: Gold Star Medal of Hero of the Soviet Union, #4382; Order of Lenin, #19946 (issued with the Hero Star); and Medal for Valor, #445613. All entries were made at the same time when the document was filled-out. The date for start of special privileges is shown as 1 September 1943 which corresponds with the August 1943 award date for chronologically first decoration - in this case, the Medal for Valor. As is usually the case with Soviet order booklets issued during and after the Patriotic War, there is no photograph: instead, the space provided for a photo has an ink stamp "Valid without a photograph".

    The document is in very good to excellent condition. The cloth cover is nicely preserved, shows no excessive wear. The binding is tight, all pages are firmly attached. The interior shows only minimal soiling, no significant stains or tears. The text is completely legible.

    Evgeniy Dertev was born in 1918 in the town of Pavlovo of the Nizhegorodskiy Region of Russia, and was drafted into the Red Army in 1939. Although he had been on active duty uninterruptedly since that time, he initially served in the Far East and took part in combat only from March 1943, after making many requests for transfer to a frontline unit. In August of that year, Dertev earned his first decoration, a Medal for Valor in the Battle of Kursk. At the time, he served as an Infantry Private in the 1185th Rifle Regt., 356th Rifle Div., 61st Army, Central Front. Dertev distinguished himself by destroying with hand-grenades a German machine gun nest and thus clearing the path of advance to the village of Peredel. He also killed 14 Nazi soldiers and an officer with his submachine gun while repelling 5 enemy counterattacks near the village of Krivchee.

    On October 15, 1943 Dertev, by then promoted to Corporal, with a group of soldiers used improvised means to cross the Dnieper not far from the city of Dnepropetrovsk. The group captured an enemy trench near the village of Kolybanskie and then defended their tiny bridgehead against waves of enemy counterattacks, often in hand-to-hand combat. According to the subsequent recommendation for the title of Hero, Dertev showed exceptional heroism over the course of action. He got within 50 meters of the enemy lines with a light machine gun, skillfully camouflaged his positon, and then kept the Germans under constant fire picking them out one by one and not allowing them to go over to the counterattack in that sector. He did so without taking any sleep or food for three days and nights straight, and then rejoined his unit. The Title of Hero was bestowed upon him on 15 January 1944.It is interesting to see that the award commendation went into details of his earlier exploits, so Dertev's Hero Star should really be considered a cumulative award for the period starting with the battle of Kursk and ending with the battle for the Dnieper bridgehead.

    Later in 1943 Dertev was promoted to Sergeant and given command of a rifle squad. Soon thereafter, he was seriously wounded by a German bullet that shattered his shin bone, and took a long time to recuperate. He therefore did not take part in subsequent combat and never received any other wartime decorations. He was decommissioned soon after the end of the war, and after making a recovery, worked at a factory in his native town for many years afterwards.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendation for the Title of Hero and Medal for Valor; Xerox copy and translation of the article about Evgeniy Dertev in the official catalog "Heroes of the Soviet Union" (contains his photo). Additional information about him and his feats is available on many Internet sites such as


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